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Old 11-05-2011, 04:28 PM   #1
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mjdonnelly68's Avatar
Oct 2011
Glenmont, NY
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Good afternoon guys.

First of all, as someone who is new to home brewing I'd like to thank everyone who takes the time and effort to participate in this forum. Your insight and information has really helped me as I toe in to home brewing. Danke and Slainte!

Now my question: Is there any reason that I should not use lake water (taken directly from the lake) to brew? For kicks, I'd like to source some water from my favorite Adirondack lake and use it in a batch.

I intend to charcoal filter and boil it before use. Any other prohibitions or suggestions?

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Old 11-05-2011, 04:49 PM   #2
Oct 2011
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If you boil and filter there is not issues.
I use distilled water from the store just because I dont want any minerals in my beer unless said minerals are going to benefit the taste.

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Old 11-05-2011, 04:51 PM   #3
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Dec 2009
State Line, PA, Pennsylvania
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well, boiling it will kill all the baddies.

more importantly you should taste it - after boiling of course to make sure the water doesn't taste like swass or something. bad water in equals bad beer out.

other than that there is no reason not to use it. then come up with some nice lake themed name.
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Old 11-05-2011, 06:01 PM   #4
Nov 2010
Beach, VA
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+1 on judging by taste. the rule of thumb is "if it tastes good to drink, then it is generally ok to brew with".

i if you are doing all grain beer, you may need to think about the mineral content in the lake water.
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Old 11-05-2011, 06:15 PM   #5
Jul 2011
, Wa
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Fish poop in there. Gross

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Old 11-05-2011, 09:55 PM   #6
Bernie Brewer
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Feb 2006
Eldorado, WI
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There is a homebrew club about an hour from me that sponsors an Ice Brew every February. Guys drive their trucks loaded with their gear onto the frozen lake and brew away. They cut holes in the ice and use the lake water. Not everyone uses it for brewing, but it works great for chilling. I have been meaning to do this for some time, but haven't made it up there yet.
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Old 11-05-2011, 11:10 PM   #7
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Apr 2011
Arlington (DC), VA
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Originally Posted by Dogphish View Post
+1 on judging by taste. the rule of thumb is "if it tastes good to drink, then it is generally ok to brew with".

i if you are doing all grain beer, you may need to think about the mineral content in the lake water.

If you're doing extract, boiling and filtering should be fine as long as the water tastes ok. If you want to get into all-grain with it, I'd recommend sending out a sample for water chemistry testing.
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Old 11-06-2011, 03:00 AM   #8
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Feb 2011
Carmel, IN
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If you're dealing with one of the Adirondack lakes, they are typically pretty soft and have low alkalinity. Similar to Pilsen water in some cases. If the water is clear, it should be good for brewing. The carbon filtering will remove any off flavors. Additional calcium may be warranted if the lake water is soft like typical for the region's lakes.
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Old 11-06-2011, 03:05 AM   #9
Nov 2008
Jay, Adirondack Mountains, NY
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Which Adirondack lake?
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Old 11-06-2011, 03:14 AM   #10
Sep 2011
Seattle, WA
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Giardia's no fun at all. I'm seconding the boiling and careful sanitation recommendations.

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