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Bottled or Distilled?

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wolfgre

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What is better to brew with bottled water or distilled??? Which one produces a better flavor?
 

erock2112

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If you're doing extract brewing, distilled is better since the extract already contains all the minerals you want/need. If you brew all-grain you'll want to avoid distilled water, since the mash requires certain minerals.
 

ThickHead

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I would recommend against using distilled water always. Unless you are creating your own water profile manually.
 

Shooter

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It probably depends on the type of bottled water and what you're doing. I never use distilled for all grain. I just use my tap water since my water report isn't way out of whack anywhere. For extract batches I normally use distilled water, but have also used tap water without any problem.
 

Justibone

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Me and SWMBO buy "spring" water from Wally World when we brew wine.

I just use tap water when I brew beer.
 

arturo7

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Not all bottled water is created equal. If it is "drinking" or "purified" it is most likely R/O which is as bad as distilled. Spring water is what you want.
 

erock2112

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Not all bottled water is created equal. If it is "drinking" or "purified" it is most likely R/O which is as bad as distilled. Spring water is what you want.
This. But as said, most anything will work for extract, unless you have really hard water.
 

SteveM

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I go by the rule that good tasting water makes good tasting beer. The tap water in my area doesn't taste good and I don't like that weirdly flat taste of distilled, so I use spring water.
 
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wolfgre

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So, the questions still stands... I am going to brew an all extract batch. Should i use distilled or bottled water or spring water??
 

maxamuus

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I live in Utah and our water is snow run off from the mountains and the tap water tastes great. Better then some bottled waters. So my beers (so far) tastes great and i only have used tap water.

However if your tap water doesn't taste good then i would go with Spring water (probably shipped from my tap) ;)
 

SteveM

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No one will tell you what you should do. All we will do is say what WE do - you decide for yourself.

PS - I'm also an extract brewer.
 

jeffmeh

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For an extract batch, it does not really matter, as the water profile is most important during the mash, and the mash is already completed. Either spring water or distilled water will be fine.

For an all-grain batch, you are going to mash, so the water profile matters. My view is that you want to know your water profile. You will not know it with spring water, and you will know it with distilled built back up with mineral salts.

However, a better solution is to get your tap water tested at Ward Labs, and only add back what you need. Even if your tap water is way off, you can dilute with distilled and add back what you need. You will end up using much less mineral salts this way. Note that you will also have to remove chlorine and/or chloramine, if your water contains them.
 

TheWeeb

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For me, it is more a matter of sanitization and taste. The water here has very high mineral content, low chlorine, and tastes pretty bad. I use it for the boil, but use distilled frozen and in the 'fridge to bring the volume up just before pitching. This is usually about half and half, and minimizes the poor tap quality and the use of distilled means I do not have to pre-boil to kill any possible nasties. A bit easier and worth the $2 cost.
 

Homercidal

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For extract, I'd use distilled. It already has all the minerals the boil and yeast need.

For AG I'd either use tap water and adjust the salts to the particular style of beer I'm making, or use distilled and adjust the salts to the particular beer I'm making.
 

ThickHead

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So, the questions still stands... I am going to brew an all extract batch. Should i use distilled or bottled water or spring water??
It is best to generate your own opinion given the feedback that you have been given. Don't expect the community here to tell you what to do. Most all of us have developed different preferences relative to water. It is an ingredient that varies considerably by brewer and can be responsible for many differences in the finished product.

Most of the advice given to you up to this point basically tells you that you cant really go wrong (save using ****ty over-chlorinated tap water). I have always used spring water for every batch of beer that i have made, including all my extract batches. If I were you I would get in the habit of using spring water until you get to a point where you feel that you wish to construct your own water profile by tinkering with water chemistry.
 

Justibone

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So, the questions still stands... I am going to brew an all extract batch. Should i use distilled or bottled water or spring water??
The answer is: it's up to you.

To summarize: distilled and RO water is NOT recommended for all-grain batches due to lack of minerals. Everything else is an option.
 

tvtoms

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What *I* would do, and what I do do, is boil tap water for the boil portion, and top up the last 2 gallons or so with fridge chilled RO water from my own RO filter. I have had great tasting beer so far with vigorous fermentation, knock on wood. My RO water comes in at less than 10 PPM around PH of 6.

I've read that yeast wants certain minerals in the water to be in an ideal state and this and that. But you know what? Everything needs everything better than I can manage to get it to be in an ideal state. So I guess until I have severe problems, I will get by as less than perfect. Good luck!

edit: I'll add that I've only ever done extract and partial extract brews to date. If I were doing all grain, I'd search for details on modifying water and go from there with an open mind.
 

stephm

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Our water SUCKS!! They recommend that kids don't drink it, so we don't either.... :mug: ...

We buy spring water at Albertsons, 10 gallons for $10. We use it for EVERYTHING when we make any type of beer.
 

Noodle

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I have used both cheap store brand distilled and spring water for the kits that I did and they've all tasted fine so far.
 

jeffmeh

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Ozarka (maybe others, too) has their water profile on line:

http://www.nestle-watersna.com/pdf/OZ_BWFA.pdf
Interesting.

Unfortunately, their Spring Water lists wide ranges (e.g., Cl .61-18, Na 2.6-12), so that is not all that helpful.

Their Fluoridated Water lists single values, but they are all pretty low so it is not far off from distilled.

Their Drinking Water goes back to ranges, but they are fairly tight, so one would probably be fine using the midpoint of the ranges.

Personally, I would still go with tap water, a carbon filter, and a Ward Labs test, but the Drinking Water is a viable option.
 

DeafSmith

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I'm wondering if it's worthwhile to get a Ward lab test on my water. It would tell me what my water profile is at the time I took the sample, but how much does the average municipal water supply vary over time, say over the course of a year (seasonal cycles?) or if water is drawn from different sources (e.g., more from one lake than another at different times of the year). Seems like the only way to know for sure would be to start with distilled or RO water and build the brewing water with mineral additions.
 

mlyday

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I use dehydrated water. You open the box pour the water powder into a bucket, add some water and your done. Its really good, but really expensive. :)
 

Justibone

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I use dehydrated water. You open the box pour the water powder into a bucket, add some water and your done. Its really good, but really expensive. :)
I bought some of that once. The results were very similar to regular water, though, so I stopped. :p
 

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