Has anyone used true spring water for beer?

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harebearva

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In my ongoing effort to try different things, (one of the great things about homebrewing IMO) I am thinking about trying a different water.
Background: Near my home there is an old spring along the side of the highway called Villamont Spring. It is simply a white pipe coming out of a stone wall that flows year round. The stone wall is dated 1938 and it's rumored belonged to some old business no longer around.

People drink this water all the time, it's kinda famous around here, yet there is a sign there posted by the county that states the water isn't suitable for drinking. They admit that they do this simply because they do not test it, mostly because they can't guarantee the results due to runoff or other potential contaminants.

Anyway, I'm curious if this water would be good for brewing. My belief is that boiling would kill the bugs but what about pollutants or other contaminants from a water source of unknown quality.

I'd like to hear anyones thoughts about this and hear if anyone uses water such as this.

Thanx,

Hare
 

TKOriginal

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I cant tell you about your specific water source, but in survival school we were given iodine tablets, a tshirt, and a cantine pointed towards a stagnant pond with slow moving stream in and out of it and told that's your water for the next 7 days. It was next to a field so it had run off and everything associated with it. I never had issues from drinking it. What you are talking about is probably significantly better then what we were given. Follow the rules of water purification and understand there is a good chance of mineral leaching since it comes from out of the rocks.
 

Airplanedoc

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On the most recent (i think) basic beer podcast a guy from Washington tells about brewing from a spring in the middle of town. He takes his carboys and fills them up then goes back and brews.

As long as it is safe to drink (no heavy metals etc.) I would think it would be fine. You are going to boil it for a hour, so that should kill any unwanted bacteria
 

estricklin

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Hey sounds like a good idea! Gives me the idea to maybe take a trip to the famous Hot Springs here in Arkansas, maybe brew with some water from there.
 

NTOLERANCE

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Yes. I did. I made Ed Worts pale ale with 50 percent spring water from the spring house at govenor dodge state park in sw wisconsin. Rest was ro water.

Took some samples to work. Guys there loved it. Threw a six pack in the dirty santa game at work for the christmas party and it got exchanged many times.

One of my top 5 brews. Plus i got to push the frogs out of the way to get the water!
 

crash1292

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thought about going to Bay View and filling some jugs at the iron well to brew with
 

Musky01

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Every batch I have made was from a local spring, it's a little high in hardness but I haven't had a single problem because of it.
 
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harebearva

harebearva

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Sending a sample to ward's sounds like a reasonable idea. I imagine the water quality could and probably will change a bit from time to time, but It would give me an overall idea of the water quality. I imagine any contaminants from runoff could just as easily contaminate my own well.
The spring in question has a stone above it with the date 1938 carved into it and As long as I can remember, I haven't ever heard anything in the local news of anyone getting sick from it. My dad used to use it years ago. He claimed it made the best coffee he'd ever had.

Does anyone know if you can provide your own container for testing or do you have to order their container kit from the website?
 

Braufessor

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you can just use your own. I always use 12 ounce water bottles that you would just get in a case of storebought water. Rinse it out a few times with the source water, fill it up, and send it in. They have a pdf homebrew water test form you can submit with it.
 

Calichusetts

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We have a fantastic spring here in my town. I've drank from it for years and have used it for brewing as well.
 

Airborneguy

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My friend who just moved to Mass used water from a spring right here in NYC to brew all his beer for the past 4 years or so. Everything he made was fantastic. The spring in question is on a Marine Corp League property and they allow people to fill up once a week. He would trade beer with them to be allowed unlimited access. I don't believe he ever tested it, but he's not really a 'by the numbers' brewer.
 

Curtis2010

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Be sure and have the mineral content tested too. Important to know depending upon the style of beer you are brewing. I use well water here (Guatemala) to brew. The water at my place is way soft (about 10 PPM right out of the ground) -- great for Pilsners not so good for a Burton Ale for example.
 

mack65

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My wife likes to go up the mountain to a spring just outside of Cripple Creek, CO. She uses it for baking bread. So, I've been up a few times and brought a bunch of carboys with me. I've brewed with it a few times and it is great. However, my water out of the tap is about the best you can get in the country so I don't really bother with it any more. In town here there are a few mineral springs that put out stuff that tastes like seltzer, I wouldn't use that stuff. Although, it is safe to drink I can't imagine what a beer would taste like using it.
 
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