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Old 05-11-2007, 12:42 AM   #11
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But Soft does not mean acidic and Hard does not necessarily mean alkaline.

I may not be an expert, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express........ 6 months ago.

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Old 05-11-2007, 01:05 AM   #12
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That's true. I have very soft water, but the pH of my city water is 9.25. Hardness is determined by the levels of cations, i.e, calcium, and magnesium. Alkalinity is determined by the levels of anions, i.e., carbonates and bicarbonates. Total alkalinity is the buffering power of the water to a change in pH.


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Old 12-08-2014, 08:55 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by colinwollmann View Post
i have a question about using reverse osmosis water for all-grain brewing beer.

i have been using reverse osmosis water for about a year now and would like a bit more info.
i have been having some minor problems like gushing and would like to know if it could be from lack of minerals in R.O. water.
what i mean with gushing is when i open warm beer is gushes out.
when i cool my beer , it dosen't gush, it's perfect, great ,tasting marvelous stuff.
so i don't think it's bacteria because it's awesome beer ,once cooled.
so what minerals could i add or try?
or should i not be using R.O. water at all?

thank you ,happy brewing. later.
You can get gushing if you are not using enough Calcium in your water. You should be shooting for 50-80ppm Calcium to help acidify the mash. The Calcium also reacts in the boil to precipitate oxalate (beer stone). If the oxalate doesn't all precipitate out and gets in your packaged beer it will cause gushing.

RO treated with Gypsum and or Calcium Chloride will create great water for lower SRM beers. You will probably need a touch of acidity for mash pH as well, I use 1-2% acid malt but 88% Lactic Acid or Phosphoric Acid can also be used.
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Old 12-08-2014, 10:18 PM   #14
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RO water does not guarantee good results. For many styles, there is still some minor tweaking of that RO water needed to produce acceptable beer. That might mean a little mineral addition or acid addition or alkali addition to help the mash pH get into a desirable range and the flavor of the finished beer to meet the brewers desires. You still have some work to do when using RO!
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Old 12-09-2014, 12:32 AM   #15
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Im glad someone dug up this old thread..I use RO (my city water is disgusting)and just started AG.I have some homework to do to. would my HB supplier have the minerals I need?

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Old 12-09-2014, 12:39 AM   #16
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ARgh... water chemistry makes my head hurt.. and bores me to tears.... but I know its important....

I'm using RO water and it is a HUGE improvement over my tap water which has chloramine or chlorine...
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Old 12-09-2014, 12:53 AM   #17
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My thing, if your tap water is decent otherwise, a little Campden to scrub out the chlorine/chloramine, and you can save on buying RO water or spending huge amounts of time RO filtering your brewing water. If your water is on the extreme side then sure, RO water is probably a good bet. But I like my tap water, and it's a pretty good canvas for most of the beers I want to brew. Just a little acid to counteract the alkalinity in paler beers.
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Old 12-09-2014, 02:31 AM   #18
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A year ago I might have tried tap water.. But since the drought here in nor cal we have a high nitrate level..I have always had r.o system for my large fish reef tanks so it was a no brainer to use r.o.I week have to do research on adding back

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Old 12-09-2014, 12:26 PM   #19
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I think it's less than $1.50 for my RO at kroger. I just refill the jug and put a carboy cap on it. I have good results with it although my beer I'm sure it will never be perfect. It's funny I find checking my pH one of the most exciting things as well as checking my efficiency and then tasting the final product. I guess maybe it's also exciting to me because I actually come close to projected but my efficiency and final product are still a question.

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Old 12-09-2014, 04:53 PM   #20
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If water chemistry makes your head hurt, just use 5.2 Stabilizer. It's a premixed buffering solution that gets your water in range for you. Available at your LHBS and online.

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