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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > Basic water chemistry with bottled spring water
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Old 09-10-2012, 02:47 AM   #1
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Default Basic water chemistry with bottled spring water

Hi All,

Trying to step up my game a bit. I've only done 3 all-grain batches, and while I think they turned out pretty decent, I think our water is in question.

We've always had issues with our aquariums, local experts pointed to the water. pH was high (8.4+), and just doesn't taste good at all. I picked up a single stage filter, which helps, but I don't think enough.

So, decided to pick up some bottled spring water and see how it goes. Here is the only report I can find on it:

http://www.advanced-h2o.com/files/wa...20WQR-2011.pdf

What, if anything, should I add for this? I'd like to just start with something basic and not necessarily tailoring it to each type of beer just yet.

Thanks!

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Old 09-10-2012, 12:42 PM   #2
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That link doesn't really tell you what is in the water. It says they add "minerals" back to reverse osmosis filtered water.

Personally, I'd just brew up a simple batch and see how it goes. Unless you know for certain you need to add something, you are just guessing. You would be just as likely to guess right as you are to guess wrong.

For most beer styles, you probably won't have to add anything at all.
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Old 09-10-2012, 12:50 PM   #3
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Instead of "spring water", I'd suggest reverse osmosis or distilled water. That way, you know what is in it (nothing)!

Then, add one teaspoon of CaCl2 (calcium chloride) to each 5 gallons of water you use, following this "water primer" guide: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f128/bre...primer-198460/

So, if you use 8 gallons of water for your brew, add 8 grams (scant 1.75 teaspoons) calcium chloride to the water and call it done.
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Old 09-10-2012, 12:56 PM   #4
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I bet if you wrote the company you could get more detail on the water. However, I would just start brewing. Get you base line going then determine if you need to add anything.
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Old 09-11-2012, 04:37 AM   #5
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Okay cool well thanks everyone. I'm trying to get a pumpkin ale going ASAP so I was trying to get it as close to right as I could, then experiment later.

Yooper: I was going to grab some "purified drinking water" that was RO, but it had a few things added to it, so I figured between the two, spring water may be a bit more pure for brew purposes. Hoping to get an RO filter soon, so then I will definitely take your advice there!

Thanks!

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Old 09-12-2012, 10:32 AM   #6
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Beersmith has Poland Springs water chemistry in it...I'm from the Northeast so I don't know how far this company reaches
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Old 09-12-2012, 11:05 AM   #7
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There's RO water, and then there's RO water. I've been an aquarist for over 30 years and there are many different types of reverse osmosis membranes. Water quality can vary quite a bit between commercial "spring" water, RO water and distilled water. The purest water you can use is distilled, which usually has calcium and magnesium salts added back to it to stabilize the pH before you drink it (thus making it potable). Drinking pure distilled water that doesn't have these stabilizers added back to it can actually make you sick in the long run.

IMHO, if your water is that hard (liquid chalk), then i'd probably use distilled water AND tap water. Say a ratio of 2:1, or 1:1 depending. This will ensure that your yeasts have some of the trace elements they need to do the job while cutting down on the hard water. BTW, you can request a water report at any time from any water company in the United States. They're required to publish their water quality analysis reports at a minimum of once a year for the general public. Just ask, they'll give you a copy (they're required to by law).
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