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Old 10-04-2012, 07:26 PM   #1
poppalarge
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Apologies if this has been asked a million times.

Is it safe to 'top off' with tap water?

If so, why can't I dump tap water in to chill my wort?

 
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Old 10-04-2012, 07:29 PM   #2
Yooper
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Quote:
Originally Posted by poppalarge View Post
Apologies if this has been asked a million times.

Is it safe to 'top off' with tap water?

If so, why can't I dump tap water in to chill my wort?
Yes, I've done it. But you don't want to use water with chlorine or chloramines, as that will ruin the taste of the beer. (When fermentation occurs with chlorinated water, bad off-flavors called chlorophenols result).

I always had great tap water, and used it often to top off and to help chill the wort.

When chilling the wort, though, you still have to chill the wort in the boil kettle to under 90 degrees or so. That's because if you have, say, 2.5 gallons of boiling hot wort, 2.5 gallons of cold water will not chill it enough. Then you'll have 5 gallons of too-warm wort that will take even longer to chill! But if you chill it in an ice bath to 90 or less, and then add 2.5 gallons of 40 degree water, you'd be right at pitching temps!
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Old 10-04-2012, 07:32 PM   #3
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That is the technique I first learned years ago...boil 2.5 gallons, put 2.5 gallons into the carboy, pour the boiled wort into the carboy, done. It can be done. Doesn't mean it results in the best beer. What kind of water do you have, well or city water? Does it have excess chorine flavors in it? That will affect your beer (I use a water filter). And that is not even going into the fact that you will have much lower hop utilization by doing a smaller, higher gravity boil before diluting. And I'm sure there are other concerns.

But bottom line, it can be done, there are just reasons people trying for really good beer try to get their process down so they don't have to do it. Hope that helps.

 
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Old 10-04-2012, 07:33 PM   #4
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Dang Yooper you are so darn fast to post I can't even get done typing!

[Edit: yes people say "Dang" where I am from. That is all.]

 
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Old 10-04-2012, 07:34 PM   #5
menerdari
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I always boil several gallons of water the day before I am going to brew.
I hear people say if it is ok to drink it is ok to add directly to your beer.
I don't agree with that. Being drinkable doesn't mean it can't have micro-organisms in it either from the supply itself or from your plumbing.
I play it safe, it gives me a better sense about my brewing.

 
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Old 10-04-2012, 08:33 PM   #6
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I usually have 6 or 7 gallons of purified water on hand when I'm brewing. I do 2.5 gallon boils and keep the rest in the fridge so it's nice and cold when I need it. I do my boil, check the water level with a piece of copper tubing I have marked for my brew kettle to determine how much I lost to boil off. Then add the cold water to get up to the 5 gallon mark. I've also been freezing a couple of 2 liter soda bottles the night before to add to the 5 gallons of wort of its still too warm. I sanitize the the frozen bottles when I do the sanitizing of all my equipment then put them back in the freezer so they're clean if I need to add them to cool the wort even more. That method works really well for me. I'm able to chill the boiling hot wort pretty quickly with out an immersion chiller.

 
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