Spike Brewing Giveaway - New v3 Kettle

Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Techniques > Top off Water Prep
Thread Tools
Old 08-19-2008, 06:22 PM   #1
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: East TN
Posts: 593
Liked 4 Times on 4 Posts

Default Top off Water Prep

Searched and didn't find a definitive answer. Granted, my search skills may not be the best.

If I'm doing a partial-boil, do I need to also boil my top-off water? I have been boiling my top-off as well and letting it cool several hours before brewing. Didn't know if this is actually beneficial or not.

I am on municipal water with a whole-house softener/chlorine remover.

- CStone
Boodlemania is offline
Reply With Quote
Old 08-19-2008, 06:45 PM   #2
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Schaumburg
Posts: 670
Liked 7 Times on 7 Posts


When I did partial boils I always topped off with tap water, never had a problem. If you want to go a step further, just buy 3 gallons of drinking water to top off.

End of the Line Brewing
Primary: Caramel Cider
Secondary: Bourbon Vanilla Porter
On tap: Some Sort of IPA, Cherry Cider
Bottled: Belgian Sour (1st place winner Binny's Chicago Comp)
Big10Seaner is offline
Reply With Quote
Old 08-19-2008, 06:55 PM   #3
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Greater Cincinnati area
Posts: 622
Liked 4 Times on 3 Posts


I've never bothered boiling the top-off water. Furthermore, boiling removes oxygen from the water. Yeast need that oxygen, so if you do boil the top-off water it's a good idea to aerate it, either before or after mixing it in with the wort. Easiest way to do that is to dump the water into the wort in a rough manner--not gently. Or, a funnel can be effective too. However, it could be argued that this process cancels the sterilization benefit of boiling the water to begin with. Hence, I don't bother and use water straight from the tap.

Primary 1: Oktoberfest Lager
Primary 2: Apricot Wit
Primary 3: Christmas Warmer MkII
Primary 4: Apfelwein
Bottle conditioning: Vanilla Caramel Creme Ale
Bottle conditioning: Brain Spawn Saison
Bottle conditioning: Hot Shot Rye Red
On Tap 1: Barletariot Cream Ale
On Tap 2: Apfelwein
MrFebtober is offline
Reply With Quote
Old 08-19-2008, 07:15 PM   #4
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Clarkston, MI
Posts: 725
Liked 4 Times on 4 Posts


With the whole-house water softener you generally can bypass the system by using cold water. Every system I've seen so far is rigged that way.

It's a good idea to boil the water, and you definitely should let it cool before you pour it in. I would say that you won't be cancelling the benefits of boiling as long as you make sure to sanitize the funnel first.
GearBeer is offline
Reply With Quote
Old 08-19-2008, 07:48 PM   #5
Ale's What Cures You!
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Yooper's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: UP of Michigan, Winter Texan
Posts: 67,699
Liked 6980 Times on 4949 Posts
Likes Given: 1973


I never boiled top off water, but I never had a water softener. My thinking is that you shouldn't have to boil- but you should bypass the softener. I'm not really familiar with water softeners, but my understanding is that hard tapwater has lots of dissolved Calcium Carbonate and Magnesium Carbonate
in it. So there's Ca++ Mg++ and CO3-- ions floating around.

Now, the water softener replaces Ca++ and Mg++ ions with sodium (Na+) ions. This is the same as if you dissolved a whole lot of baking soda in your water. I don't think this would be desirable for brewing water- I'd suggest either buying spring water from the grocery store, or bypassing the softener.
Broken Leg Brewery
Giving beer a leg to stand on since 2006

Follow me on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lorena.t.evans
But I'm pretty boring so don't expect much!
Yooper is offline
Reply With Quote
Old 08-19-2008, 08:20 PM   #6
Cape Brewing
DOH!!! Stupid brewing...
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Cape Brewing's Avatar
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Norton, MA
Posts: 12,795
Liked 708 Times on 568 Posts
Likes Given: 50


..same here... top-off right from the tap and it's never been a problem.

Why the eff not... everyone else is starting a nano!!! I wanna!!! www.bogironbrewing.com

Originally Posted by paulthenurse View Post
I'm pretty much a douche in real life, too.
Cape Brewing is offline
Reply With Quote

Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
hop prep for winter FxdGrMind Hops Growing 2 12-08-2009 07:11 PM
Competition prep Cohack General Beer Discussion 5 02-20-2009 01:45 AM
Aluminum Pot Prep? Wade E Equipment/Sanitation 5 04-07-2008 02:13 AM
prep for first pm this weekend malkore All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 8 07-31-2007 01:38 AM
new chiller prep..?? Jester Equipment/Sanitation 10 03-31-2006 03:00 PM

Forum Jump