Hot tap water?

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BrewnWKopperKat

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It is a extract kit and I top off with tap water in the fermenter.
If you are thinking of brewing with extract for a while, take a look at some of the recipes that @Steveruch has posted (here) or published (Zymurgy magazine). It's a 'no-boil (pasteurized)' approach using a concentrated wort. Less water to heat and the 'top off' water appears to take the wort from 180F-ish to pitching temperature.
 

BarryBrews

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As an environmental chemist, you know that the 1986 "lead free" regulation didn't actually eliminate lead. Hell, pipes were still allowed to contain up to 8%. You also know that lead leaches more efficiently into hot water than into cold water.

Just adding some context.
Yes, the metals present can dissolve more readily in hot water. How much difference is there between the cold and hot water? Depends.

This is a cautionary tale about private wells that have acidic water. Twenty years ago a neighbor lost his wife to dementia. A couple years later he ask me (handyman too, btw) to a fix a leaking toilet. His property was just outside the neighborhood and hence he had a well and was not using the local water system which is regulated. I found the copper pipe inside the tank to be very shiny and not the normal copper/brown patina. There was considerable corrosion of the pipe. Long story short (kind of), he sold the house and moved off with an old girlfriend. Not a story to share with your loved one. I bumped into him 2 years later with the now new wife and sadly he did not recognize me at all. His new wife said he had developed dementia. My neighbor's house was built in 1980. Was it copper and lead poisoning?
There are many factors that can taint your tap water. Buy a RO system for all your water consumption. It removes all of the large ions and >98% the small ones, plus all of the organics and those pest small microbial pathogens. Don't start your kids on RO until they are around 5 years old (assuming you don't have water issues), the fluoride in the water (assuming your system adds it) actually works.

Back to beer. I absolutely, positively without a doubt noticed a large improvement in my beer when I switch to RO water. If your tap water doesn't taste good don't use it.
 

seatazzz

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Our tap water tastes great, I do smell a bit of chlorine when I run the cold water for the dog's water bowl or any other time I'm running a lot of cold water. And....I'm going to cause a lot of shock here, but I run my strike & sparge straight out of the valve on my HWH into the kettle, with no filter. I do use k-meta as well. My beers taste great, I've got no weird off-flavors, and my kettles don't have anything built up on the insides that would speak to minerals leaching out of the heater. Water heater is less than 3 years old and was top of the line when we bought it. Stupid? Maybe. But it works for me. I've got great burners that would take dead cold water up to strike temperature in about 45 minutes, but using hot water cuts that time down to 15-20 minutes with a LOT less propane being used. Also, I figure I'm doing the tank some good by draining about 1/3 of it every brewday to let fresh water rinse it out (I may be talking out my a** here, correct me if I'm wrong but I may not care).
 

BarryBrews

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And....I'm going to cause a lot of shock here, but I run my strike & sparge straight out of the valve on my HWH into the kettle, with no filter.
That's exactly how it should be done, assuming no lead solder pipe connections. Your hot water heater is far less expensive for heating water than with propane and will minimize your trips for refills.

Practical Mechanic quote:
"Although your hot water still is safe to drink, you may want to replace your anode rod with an aluminum-zinc rod. The zinc will help to neutralize the hydrogen sulfide gas production, eliminating the horrible smell!"
 
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moorejl57

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The rust is from the sacrificial anode, place in the tank to rust intentionally, to protect the tank itself from rusting. IOW, in order to protect the tank, it makes more rust than otherwise would be made. And the rusty anode disintegrates over time.
The sacrificial anode in water heaters is usually made of magnesium or aluminum, so while it corrodes, it doesn't rust.
 

BrewZer

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Again WHOA! Cold water is added to the bottom of a hot water tank and hot water drawn off the top hence maintaining constant hot temperature for the volume of your tank. The precipitated solids are not floating around in the hot water tank. The tank scale is from calcium and magnesium in you water and when heated causes the carbonate to be driven off leaving the Ca and Mg to precipitate. Anyone that lives in the Phoenix area has seen this effect on their coffee pot over time. Use your hot water or not, as long as your tap water taste good you're good to go!
Well, the last time my water tank broke, when I drained it, I got about half-a-gallon of aluminum-colored sludge out of it... it wasn't by any means solid, and made me seriously reconsider ever drinking anything out of the hot water side ever again.
 

VikeMan

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The sacrificial anode in water heaters is usually made of magnesium or aluminum, so while it corrodes, it doesn't rust.
And/or zinc. Call it oxidation, rust, or corrosion, but this is what it looks like.



Until it's completely gone, that is.
 

Mikey B

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Lead is a neurotoxin. Think about this and decide if you want ANY in your beer.
 

VikeMan

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Some of the information proposed within this thread is downright funny.
[Rephrased -mod]
Can you explain whatever it is that's making you laugh specifically, and provide information to further the discussion?

Mods: Apologies in advance if this post constitutes unauthorized moderation.
 
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madscientist451

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For about $20 you can get a 16 quart pot at Walmart. Just use that as a second pot, use the lid to get boiling faster, use cold tap water and RDWHAHB.
 

Zymurologist

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[Rephrased -mod]
Can you explain whatever it is that's making you laugh specifically, and provide information to further the discussion?

Mods: Apologies in advance if this post constitutes unauthorized moderation.
After thirty+ years in the industry (self employed over half that time) as a licensed plumber (specializing in service and repair) in three different states, I can say that some of the replies are a bit suspect, not enough to get your panties all bunched up but enough to cause a chuckle, sorry not interested in picking on any one post but the best information I've seen posted in this thread is to regularly flush your water heater, that thing should go fifty or more years and it will with regular maintenance.

Once a scale is formed in the water pipes (doesn't take long) then the water passing through them is isolated from the pipe, fittings, and solder joints, no more contact, no leaching. Acidic water can be a problem and is typically addressed at the municipality level, that is what happened in Flint Michigan, they changed to an acidic water supply and did not do enough adjustment for it and the acidic nature of the water not only exposed the lead but leached it into solution. As an aside, leaded solder was basically outlawed with the other lead products when California banned high lead content, before I started plumbing. Plumbing solder is comprised of 95% tin and 5% antimony, or 95/5.

If you live in a house built after about 1996 then your house water pipes could be pex, or a combination of pex and copper.

Speaking of municipality water purveyors, many city connections (depends on location) are a lead tap with lead wiped support for the taps from the water main to the corp stop, from there the residential/commercial supply lateral goes to the building, many areas are finally getting around to replacing their taps. I found these in Wisconsin working for a plumber that did the heavy lifting for the city.

I would never draw water off the bottom of my tank type water heater to brew with, If the dip tube is compromised (happens all the time) then you are not circulating that tank completely with use, dip tubes are plastic and become brittle with time and will break off in the water heater as they decompose, water heaters can be a breeding ground, dark warm and stagnant. If you take a functually perfect fifty gallon water heater but only run about five or ten gallons of water a week through it, it will grow a nasty smelling black sludge in the bottom. Tankless water heaters are a great idea, they are just more maintenance and require a vinegar (acidic) flush annually to flush the hard water deposits from the copper heat exchanger to keep the flow rates up and protect the equipment warranty.

The state of Oregon is on the cutting edge of clean water technology, most all of the other states are taking their cues from Oregon and how we are protecting our water shed. When the human body is made up of 60% or so of water it makes sense to drink your supply upstream of the herd.

Hope ya all have a good day.
 
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BarryBrews

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they are just more maintenance and require a vinegar (acidic) flush annually to flush the hard water deposits from the copper heat exchanger to keep the flow rates up and protect the equipment warranty.
WOW did not know that! Always thought the rapid water flow and far from boiling point operation would have made scaling impossible. I did notice the 4 valve setup looks like it's designed for flushing.

Anyway, she who shops is now scheduled to purchase 2 gallons of white vinegar next trip. I'll flush the heater, and measure the vinegar density before and after to see if any scale is dissolved or any particulate matter flushes out.

Will let you know.
 

Zymurologist

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WOW did not know that! Always thought the rapid water flow and far from boiling point operation would have made scaling impossible. I did notice the 4 valve setup looks like it's designed for flushing.

Anyway, she who shops is now scheduled to purchase 2 gallons of white vinegar next trip. I'll flush the heater, and measure the vinegar density before and after to see if any scale is dissolved or any particulate matter flushes out.

Will let you know.
It's in the warranty paperwork that comes with the unit, if you call tech support for issues it is one of the first questions that they will ask, "have you kept up with the maintenance", right after they get your particulars like name, address etc.

Edit:

As far as the flow through the tankless units it has improved a great deal over the years, I installed my first tankless in '99 and had to go back in and remove the faucet flow restricters otherwise there was not enough flow through the unit to activate the flow switch, and yup, that four valve setup is specifically designed to facilitate the flushing of the unit, instructions should be provided with the unit.
 
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BarryBrews

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It's in the warranty paperwork that comes with the unit, if you call tech support for issues it is one of the first questions that they will ask, "have you kept up with the maintenance", right after they get your particulars like name, address etc.
I installed a tankless system in our last house right after the old tank heater lost it's bladder all over the laundry room floor. The tankless heater was still performing great after 10+ years when we sold the house. New house is just 4 years old, but...still want to check it out. We are fortunate in NC since our tap water is surface water and therefore has much less calcium and magnesium than typical.

It's these little tip bits that make it all worth while.
 

Zymurologist

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We are fortunate in NC since our tap water is surface water and therefore has much less calcium and magnesium than typical.

It's these little tip bits that make it all worth while.
It's definitely location critical, in Wisconsin water heaters are installed (early nineties) with a bolt up access plate near the bottom to allow removal of the hard water deposits, you could reach your hand inside, in Oregon I made an adapter for my shop vac to gain access through the lower element hole of the electric water heaters to remove the buildup, as was mentioned earlier, water heaters are nasty.
 

Barleymist

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In lieu of anyone actually testing their hot water output for contaminants I found this study. Slightly alarming, although performing deep flush decreases risk mostly.
"Lead in hot water – an issue worth testing" "One water heater had levels as high as 2,680 ppb"

So if you still want to use hot water drain tank from bottom valve, purge flush by opening and closing water inlet a few times. This should remove most of the lead particles, Aluminum hydroxide gel (formed via anode oxidation), scale and stagnant water in tank. Maybe even remove the cheap aluminum anode, replace with more expensive, healthy magnesium rod that might make your water smell like rotten eggs... After flushing clean faucet aerators they will be filled with junk.

Put a label on your beer, not for developing children or embryos ;-)
 
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Zymurologist

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"Lead in hot water – an issue worth testing" "One water heater had levels as high as 2,680 ppb"
That's a good article there and hits on a few points including about lead service taps etc. and also points out that the piping must be disturbed to release the amounts of toxic lead, disturbed is anything that would cause the scale buildup to be removed exposing the raw lead.

Another misconception is that copper water supply pipes and fittings contain lead, this is not true, the internet does a poor job of explaining things. When a copper alloy is mentioned they are talking about brass, bronze etc. as copper is a pure element and is mined as such, brass and bronze etc. is a man made manufactured alloy that is made up of primarily copper, some zinc and just enough lead to aid the machine-ability of the alloy (acts as a lubricant). That said, all of your faucet bodies, hose spigots, garden hose ends, commercial flush assemblies (flushometers), etc. are manufactured from brass as brass is more durable (harder) than copper alone.
 

Barbarossa

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After thirty+ years in the industry (self employed over half that time) as a licensed plumber (specializing in service and repair) in three different states, I can say that some of the replies are a bit suspect, not enough to get your panties all bunched up but enough to cause a chuckle.
So, you are working in the industry, and you are telling people that drinking from the hot water tank is safe? Can't you lose your licence for something like that? Is this industry even regulated?
 

Zymurologist

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So, you are working in the industry, and you are telling people that drinking from the hot water tank is safe? Can't you lose your licence for something like that? Is this industry even regulated?
You didn't read past the first paragraph.

I would never draw water off the bottom of my tank type water heater to brew with, If the dip tube is compromised (happens all the time) then you are not circulating that tank completely with use, dip tubes are plastic and become brittle with time and will break off in the water heater as they decompose, water heaters can be a breeding ground, dark warm and stagnant. If you take a functually perfect fifty gallon water heater but only run about five or ten gallons of water a week through it, it will grow a nasty smelling black sludge in the bottom.

And you chose to ignore the followup information in other posts, are you trying to instigate an argument?

 

IslandLizard

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Problem solved! Someone mentioned making sure you have a flat bottom pot when using flat top stove. Time for a new pot!!
Alright!

That looks like some quite thin material too. That could become a potential scorch problem.
It's very possible they formed that recess to make the kettle more rigid, and prevent plopping when heated due to expansion.
 
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