Any benefit to use fresh spring water?

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Fordiesel69

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I got access to a remote spring and from the locals they claim the quality is second to none. Any advantage in brewing with this water? What kind of reciepies would be good using this natural water profile?
 

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hotbeer

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It'll be hard to speculate without knowing the analysis of the water and whether it varies from season to season or rain to dry spell.

Might taste like that well known Colorado brewery which to me never had any taste at all.

But you can always brew a batch or two and see what you think. Depending on what is in it, it might be better suited to a particular style.

If you do like what you taste in a few brews, then it'd be worth getting an analysis made so you'll know more certain what to look out for in your brews so you can correct it if needed.
 

SouthForkBrew

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As a general rule, good tasting water makes good tasting beer. The biggest offenders in off flavors from water are Chlorine and Chloramine, commonly found in tap water. Spring water wouldn't have that so that's a BIG plus! If you're into water chemistry for specific styles then you would want to send it off for an analysis of the mineral content, but there are also a good many brewers who don't focus too heavily on this. One thing I would do is check the pH of it and adjust as necessary. Spring water, depending on where you are, can be fairly alkaline. A little lactic acid or phosphoric acid addition is easy enough to calculate to get your mash pH in the 5.2 - 5.4 range.

This is a great find! I'm jealous...Haha! Cheers, bro.
 

IslandLizard

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I'd stick a TDS meter (~$15-20) into a good sample of that water to get an idea of total mineral content. Let that be your guide, and decide from there.

The pH of the water means very little. It's high buffering capacity (carbonate content) we brewers are concerned about, and where needed, mitigate by acidifying.

Any water you send out for testing (at around $40 a clip + shipping) is merely a snapshot. Especially "spring water" that contains much surface water, mineral content will fluctuate wildly.
 
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Here is a water-adjustments experiment (from NHC 2007, link to PDF in Internet Archives) that may be worth re-producing.

Hypothesis:
When brewing a range of styles (from ales to stouts) good tasting water needs adjustments to make good tasting beer​

Experiment (abbreviated):
  • brew a pale ale with water adjustments appropriate for a stout recipe
  • brew a stout with water adjustments for a pale ale recipe
Tasting observations (from the original):

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I live a mile from a spring just like that and I also have a private well for my home. When I brewed 5 gallon batches I always used the water from the spring down the road, it was great tasting water and I always made great beer with it, however I never had it analyzed. When I switched to making 15 gallon batches there was no reasonable way to transport the amount of water I would need to brew a batch. So I sent a sample of my well water to ward labs and now brew with that. I would brew a simple batch with it and see what you think. I would sooner brew with the spring water then tap water if I didn't have an analysis of either.
 
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