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Old 09-28-2011, 02:05 PM   #1
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Default Using Hot Tap Water as Strike Water

surprised that i couldn't find any threads on this...

Background: I brew all grain and sometimes fill my HLT with hot tap water to expedite my brew day. I have an 80's style hot water heater at my house. It heats water on demand with a coil heating element inside the furnace. Water heaters like this are famous for collecting mineral deposits around the heating element over time. This is caused by the constant and consistent rapid heating and cooling of water inside the small reserve.

I notice that if/when I fill the HLT with hot water, it comes out very cloudy at first, which scares me. Maybe it's just from a residue on the inside surface of the pot, or maybe it's nothing. Other homebrewers I know have similar concerns so I was curious if anybody has ever looked into this.

I suppose one could also have similair concerns with using hot water that's been sitting in a tank. Fact is, it can really save you 20 or 30 minutes, but at what cost?

Perhaps, for a tankless heater, the answer is just to run your water until the small reserve empties?


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Old 09-28-2011, 03:00 PM   #2
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Not sure how it affects the beer but a chef friend of mine says to always start a boil with cold water. Something to do with the hot water removing particles from the pipes and would end up in the food. I assume it would be the same for brewing.


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Old 09-28-2011, 03:32 PM   #3
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The chef's advice is sound. When water sits in you water heater for an extended period of time at high temperature it can extract lots more stuff from any metallic structure with which it comes into contact. If you cool some hot water and taste it you will note that it generally doesn't taste very good.

Some small commercial breweries use hot water heaters as their HLT's. The difference here is that the heater is emptied daily or more frequently. A tankless heater should not be subject to this problem nor, I suppose, one that is completely glass lined.
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Old 09-28-2011, 03:37 PM   #4
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My water heater is about 10yrs old, I did a side by side blind test, and couldn't tell the difference (and had another brewer taste it) so in the pot it goes !!
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Old 09-28-2011, 04:42 PM   #5
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Do as you wish but note that the AWWA in their "Plain Talk About Drinking Water" specifically advises against using hot water for cooking.
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Old 09-28-2011, 04:45 PM   #6
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I use hot water, but:
The house is less than 10 years old.
The hot water tank is 2 years old, and glass lined.
Our household empties that tank at least 3 times a day.
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Old 09-28-2011, 06:32 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ajdelange View Post
Do as you wish but note that the AWWA in their "Plain Talk About Drinking Water" specifically advises against using hot water for cooking.
to reduce the risk of lead poisoning, yes.

Lead poisoning aside (as if that's not a good enough reason) am wondering if there can be flavor/PH/mineral content affects.
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Old 09-28-2011, 07:11 PM   #8
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In my home, the hot side of the plumbing uses softened water. Sometimes, I have stuck with the cold side, but other times, I've used the hot side to save a bit of heating time. I have NOT noticed a difference between the soft hot water and the cold hard water.

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