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Old 08-25-2012, 08:16 PM   #1
Apr 2012
San Diego, CA
Posts: 7

Hello all,

I live in San Diego, CA and I have a question about the water for all grain brewing. I usually buy water from the Glacier vending machines for 30c a gallon, I am getting pretty tired of hauling carboys full of water so I decided to buy a GE water filter from Home Depot for $20. My question is if that is a good idea, and what other additives I should put on the water?

Thank you,

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Old 08-25-2012, 08:57 PM   #2
GotPushrods's Avatar
Jul 2012
Phoenix, AZ
Posts: 588
Liked 151 Times on 102 Posts

Keep in mind that what you bought is probably just a carbon filter that will remove organic compounds (taste/odor) and some chlorine/chloramine depending on your flow rate. It will NOT appreciably change the minerals we care about for brewing.

What were you doing to your Glacier machine RO water before? Hopefully you were adding back in at least some calcium?

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Old 08-26-2012, 01:35 AM   #3
mabrungard's Avatar
Feb 2011
Carmel, IN
Posts: 4,384
Liked 705 Times on 547 Posts

I don't recall the water quality for San Diego, but I think that some of the water comes from the Colorado River. The Colorado R water is fairly mineralized and can be a little tough to brew some styles. That $20 filter is probably just a carbon filter as mentioned above. It won't reduce the ionic concentrations of the water and you would be left with a water that is only slightly better to brew with.

I agree with your PITA factor regarding the water purchases and lugging it home. A home RO machine can be had for a little over a hundred $, so that might be high on your list of future brewing accessories when you consider the time, travel, and cost of buying water.

The other option is to find out more about your tap water and learn what might be done to that water to make it more suitable. The Bru'n Water website can provide some guidance in understanding where the hazards lay and Bru'n Water software can help you with adjustments. I'm betting you can find out about the local water quality from your water utility or from other local brewers on forums like this.

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Old 08-27-2012, 03:45 AM   #4
Jan 2012
San Diego, CA
Posts: 26
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

If you haven't already done it, check this out: http://www.sandiego.gov/water/quality/ You can look for the 2011 or 2010 report for one of our regions.

I played around with the idea of doing something similar to what you were doing, but ended up taking the advice of a few local brewers which was to just use water from the tap (non garden hose). I have always ended up with a PH of 5.0 -5.3 by mid-mash. In fact, today's mash ended up being 5.1 at mid-mash.

Good luck.


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Old 08-27-2012, 04:00 AM   #5
helibrewer's Avatar
Nov 2011
Santa Rosa, CA
Posts: 3,820
Liked 327 Times on 276 Posts

The water there is pretty hard and has a lot of chloride and sulfate (ratio close to 1:1). I use to live in the Otay water district and only used bottled/RO water for drinking. Down there I would stick to purchased water and treat accordingly unless you go to an in-house RO unit.
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