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Old 06-03-2007, 04:51 PM   #1
bare19672
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Jan 2007
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How important is it to have good water for brewing? I have made a few batches and am starting to notice a taste pattern that I don't care for I have been using city tap water. My best beers so far have been dark more forgiving beers. Should I be buying bottled water for brewing? How about the boil water do I need bottled for that also?
I do not know the make up of my tap water.
Any thoughts and experiences would be helpfull.

 
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Old 06-03-2007, 04:54 PM   #2
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If the tap water tastes good, the beer should taste good. That's especially true when brewing extract batches.

When you move to AG, you should get a water report and learn to read it.
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Old 06-03-2007, 04:54 PM   #3
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Taste your water.

If it tastes good then you should be ok. If it tatses bad you will probably carry the taste to the beer.

Full wort boils help failing that you can preboil your water. I'd make three brews, all the same ingredients, , smaller batches if needed. One with your water, one preboiled water and one store bought water.

If there is a noticible difference then you'll know.

There's always the filter option.
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Old 06-03-2007, 05:14 PM   #4
bare19672
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Jan 2007
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Water tastes o/k there is a smell of clorine. I may have to try a batch I have made before with filtered or boiled water.
Thanks

 
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Old 06-03-2007, 05:41 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bare19672
Water tastes o/k there is a smell of clorine. I may have to try a batch I have made before with filtered or boiled water.
Thanks
I assume you are on a municipal water system rather than a private well? You'll probably wat to try filtering your water if that is the case. Municipalities add chlorine and flouride, etc. That's why I like well water.
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Old 06-03-2007, 07:42 PM   #6
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Call your water company and get a water quality report. Ours is mailed out yearly and is also available online. Boiling will get rid of chlorine but not chloramine. I switched to spring water from the grocer until I can get off my duff and install a whole house charcoal filter. Which from what I understand will filter chloramines. Do a search for “chloramine” on this site and there are all kinds of posts on filtering and what water to use. Confidence in brewing water and ingredients, to me, makes it taste that much better.

 
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Old 06-03-2007, 07:54 PM   #7
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You need a special type of carbon filter to filter chloromine. There's been at least 2 recent posts about this.
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Old 06-03-2007, 09:26 PM   #8
Levers101
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What does your water taste like if it sits in a glass for a couple hours open to the air? If I leave mine (city tap water) out for this amount of time it is barely drinkable. I haven't sought an answer to it so I'm not exactly sure what causes it, though it might just be the pH dropping (from 9.2) through equilibrium with CO2 in the air, producing more HOCl... perhaps leading to formation of chloramines.

You can get a Water Quality Report for Specialized Water Use Customers from your water company online or by requesting it from them, and it will tell you exactly what is in the water as far as Alk, TDS, and different ions. (Assuming you aren't drinking softened water, which then is

I filter all my water through a Brita pitcher to remove total chlorines before using it to brew.
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Old 06-03-2007, 09:53 PM   #9
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Or check your local grocery stores for one that has a Reverse Osmosis (RO) machine where you can refill jugs for cheap (seen it on sale for as low as 25 cents/gallon and as high as 75). That way you know it's free of much of the unwanted chemicals found in tap water.

There's an artesian well that's just a block out of my way to work every day. I like to use that water for brewing when I can. Very nice and clean, tastes great.

 
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Old 06-03-2007, 10:17 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bare19672
How important is it to have good water for brewing? I have made a few batches and am starting to notice a taste pattern that I don't care for I have been using city tap water. My best beers so far have been dark more forgiving beers. Should I be buying bottled water for brewing? How about the boil water do I need bottled for that also?
I do not know the make up of my tap water.
Any thoughts and experiences would be helpfull.

Spend $2 on 4 gallons of bottled water. Peace of mind. In the boil, just use straight tap water--the boil will take care of any off taste.

 
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