iron bacteria in water

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TurbineTim

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I am new to brewing and made my first batch this week. I know that sanitation is a key factor in brewing. Will iron bacteria affect my beer if I use my well water to rinse or clean? I will not be using this water as the water source. If I did will it inhibit yeast growth and/or affect taste?
 

daksin

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Iron is a metal and bacteria are little single-celled organisms. Neither will make your beer taste particularly good. Rule of thumb- if your water tastes like iron, don't use it to brew. All of your equipment that isn't heated should be sanitized with an acid-based or iodine-based sanitizer to reduce the number of bacteria to a sanitary level.
 

SanduskyRiver

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My well water also has bacterial iron and I wondered this same thing. I'm building my first brew rig now and have no intention of brewing with the water but would like to clean with it. If you get a definitive answer please post it or PM me.
 

unionrdr

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Idk why they'd call it " bacterial iron"? It's a mineral dissolved in the water, like sulfur & others. It can be filtered out, but cost some money to do. Distilled, RO or spring water works well.
 

unionrdr

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The iron still comes dissolved in the water. These bacteria oxidize it, turning it into, basically, rust slime. So it's not so much the bacteria as the dissolved iron to begin with. That's what the wiki is saying.
 

daksin

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Huh- learn something new every day I guess. I doubt these bacterial will spoil your beer, i'd be more worried about the iron sludge. That being said, I'd still boil any water I wanted to use for cleaning or rinsing.
 

xpops

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I've recently moved to the country and wondered if using well water for washing/rinsing could affect final product.

Or for that matter can using well water render pbw or starsan ineffective depending on its contents?
 

unionrdr

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Well water is ground water, unlike spring water, which comes from pockets in the bedrock, like oil & gas. It can come up through cracks & fissures in the rock as well. So groundwater can be hard or soft & mineralized to varying degrees.
 

broadbill

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Well water is ground water, unlike spring water, which comes from pockets in the bedrock, like oil & gas. It can come up through cracks & fissures in the rock as well. So groundwater can be hard or soft & mineralized to varying degrees.

spring water comes from pockets in the bedrock, which are located in the ground, which would still make it ground water???? Semantics aside, I'm not sure what your point is. Springwater will also be mineralized to varying degrees since it is in contact with the bedrock?
 

unionrdr

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spring water comes from pockets in the bedrock, which are located in the ground, which would still make it ground water???? Semantics aside, I'm not sure what your point is. Springwater will also be mineralized to varying degrees since it is in contact with the bedrock?
No, ground water literally comes out of the ground, AKA dirt, earth, etc. In other words, from the water table. And no, most if not all spring water is quite clean tasting, not being exposed to air or minerals, as in soil, like ground water.
 

broadbill

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No, ground water literally comes out of the ground, AKA dirt, earth, etc. In other words, from the water table. And no, most if not all spring water is quite clean tasting, not being exposed to air or minerals, as in soil, like ground water.
you don't think spring water is exposed to minerals? Again, I'm not sure what your point is.
 

BigusD

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I use my well water to brew and clean and sanitize. (I mix 50-50 with RO for brewing water though. )

The sanitizer solution will kill whatever bacteria is in the water. Don't worry.

I love my beer. You'll be fine. Brew on!
 

Toga

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I have well water that is high in iron and manganese. We have also have an iron bacteria issue that we control by bleach bombing the well once a year. I use my well water for cleaning my brewing equipment and for mixing sanitizer. After it is treated via multiple filters and a softener to remove the funk it tastes fine but I do not use it for brewing water due to the softener. I use spring water or RO water.
 

unionrdr

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you don't think spring water is exposed to minerals? Again, I'm not sure what your point is.
In other words, spring water is very lightly mineralized, to the point where you can't taste it. But the lil yeasties like it & need some of them to be fruitful & multiply. Better for you, because you can't taste it, but just enough there to be good for them. Get it now? Or are we just trolling?...sorta like arguing with a spambot, it doesn't really work!...:D
 

broadbill

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In other words, spring water is very lightly mineralized, to the point where you can't taste it. But the lil yeasties like it & need some of them to be fruitful & multiply. Better for you, because you can't taste it, but just enough there to be good for them. Get it now? Or are we just trolling?...sorta like arguing with a spambot, it doesn't really work!...:D
The point is that spring water can vary just as much as ground water, and have various amounts of minerality. In fact some spring water is bottled and sold as "mineral water" for its high mineral content. Just because the type of spring water you find in the store has a certain mineral content doesn't mean that every spring in the world has that same exact mineral profile because it came from a spring.

There is nothing special about spring water other than it tends to be more protected from contamination because of where you find it or is is sold because of its mineral content.
 

Quadrupled

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OP sorry to keep the derail going, I just wanted to add to something I felt should be corrected.

And no, most if not all spring water is quite clean tasting, not being exposed to air or minerals, as in soil, like ground water.
No. This part about minerals in spring water is wrong. Spring water comes from water passing through the ground (soil, rock, clay...). Minerals dissolve into the water as water passes through the various layers traveling to the spring. My understanding is that time spent in the spring can then further increase the mineral content.
 

Onkel_Udo

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In other words, spring water is very lightly mineralized, to the point where you can't taste it.
No offense, but this is the most idiotic generalization ever. Have you ever been to Yellowstone...or even seen pictures? Lots of spring water there loaded with minerals including...sulphur.

So lets ignore extreme examples...springs that pass through limestone pick up calcium carbonate. These are common in the US, Italy, etc.

Springs that pass through salt veins pick up Sodium Chloride. These are common in Austria, turkey and elsewhere.

Should I go on?

Edit: Even a Iron Salts spring type called "Chalybeate"...bet they could have iron bacteria.
 

kaffeenjunkie

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We have the same issue with the well water. I will not use it for brewing but use the water after it has gone through the water softener for cleaning but I still won't drink it. Without the softener the water is so hard it hurts to take a shower. ;)

I got real friendly with the grocery store in town and inquired about their water dispensing machine. Their machine is inspected and tested monthly. Quarterly the water is independently analyzed by another company.
I now get the quarterly report.
 

unionrdr

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No offense, but this is the most idiotic generalization ever. Have you ever been to Yellowstone...or even seen pictures? Lots of spring water there loaded with minerals including...sulphur.

So lets ignore extreme examples...springs that pass through limestone pick up calcium carbonate. These are common in the US, Italy, etc.

Springs that pass through salt veins pick up Sodium Chloride. These are common in Austria, turkey and elsewhere.

Should I go on?

Edit: Even a Iron Salts spring type called "Chalybeate"...bet they could have iron bacteria.
No, it isn't. I see your point, but those springs, geysers & such come up through God knows what in the ground on their way to the surface. Here's a page from White House Artisian Springs about their water that I sometimes use, besides Giant Eagles; https://whitehousesprings.com/our-water/
They explain it better than myself. Basically, the drilled wells don't allow the water to pass through minerals & such on their way to the surface, unlike natural ones that do.
 

Onkel_Udo

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No, it isn't. I see your point, but those springs, geysers & such come up through God knows what in the ground on their way to the surface. Here's a page from White House Artisian Springs about their water that I sometimes use, besides Giant Eagles; https://whitehousesprings.com/our-water/
They explain it better than myself. Basically, the drilled wells don't allow the water to pass through minerals & such on their way to the surface, unlike natural ones that do.
Continued :off:

Now who is being the troll/spambot? Springs do come up through "God knows what" by definition. So by saying:

"In other words, spring water is very lightly mineralized, to the point where you can't taste it... Better for you, because you can't taste it, but just enough there to be good for them."

you have made a generalization that is all encompassing and since proven to be utterly false.

Had you instead indicated that "My local bottler of spring water and probably the majority of bottled spring water is..." you could have had a leg to stand on. Even then, some spring water that is very high in mineral content is bottled and sold at a premium because of the high (assumed beneficial) concentrations of certain minerals.

Definition of a spring: "A spring is any natural situation where water flows from an aquifer to the earth's surface."

So hot springs...still spring water including those at Yellowstone, Bad Gastein, etc that are extremely high in minerals. Not so hot springs also can and often do contain vast mineral content based on the make up of the aquifer and the rock, soil, other items it passes through on the way to the surface.

Glad Ohio has a bottler of spring water that is very low in mineral content...awesome for you. Just please stop spouting a generalization as a fact then accusing others, who point this out, of bringing forth false arguments and being trolls.
 

unionrdr

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The springs I'm referring to are in pockets in the bedrock, & must be drilled into to get to the water at all. Unlike the ones that flow through fissures in the bedrock & flow to the surface. not all springs come to the surface before being used. Seems more like I'm not the one trolling for an argument, or at the least debating for the sake of itself?...My words are not false! It just depends on the end source as to how much mineralization you wind up with. The article covers that. And you started the damn troll thing, not me. I din't say I'm the only one that's right. but many do confuse ground, ior " well" water with spring water & they are not the same. Well water is from the water table in the ground, the dirt. Spring water generally is from pockets in the bedrock. Simple.
 

Onkel_Udo

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And you started the damn troll thing, not me.
Re-read Post 16 where trolling and spambot were first mentioned in this thread.

I was never fishing for argument but you told people they were wrong...more than once...based on an "is" verses "often" or "commonly", etc. Those things really get to me because "is" = absolute. You were at no time absolutely right. This is huge pet peeve.

The Hydrological definition of a spring is what I quoted. A well drilled into an aquifer <> a spring. The fact they market it as such is just that...marketing.

I am out...this post was probably even a waste.
 

unionrdr

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It's not my fault you made a big stink out of mere usage. It's like you were waiting for an excuse to get in line to pic on the old man. The one that's on here everyday, being to physically messed up to do much of anything else & no money to get there. I called it like I've actually lived it. Not so much what I read someplace. Just trying to help with what I've learned from experiences. People pulling this English debate team stuff makes me wanna just quit this whole damn thing & chuck it all. I tell the truth from what I've learned myself. That's it. That's all. The bacteria wouldn't be doing anything in the water if the iron wasn't there to begin with. Simple. And water trapped in those rock pockets that had to be drilled into didn't have a chance to seep through the rock up to the ground water table, picking up more minerals.Our has minerals, but at low levels. some are less fortunate, but I think this is due to being at shallower depths, &/or in/near natural pockets of various minerals. & I used those two words in replies where the one poster always seems to respond like spambots do, & you were trolling me to argue English usage.
 

broadbill

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It's not my fault you made a big stink out of mere usage. It's like you were waiting for an excuse to get in line to pic on the old man. The one that's on here everyday, being to physically messed up to do much of anything else & no money to get there. I called it like I've actually lived it. Not so much what I read someplace. Just trying to help with what I've learned from experiences. People pulling this English debate team stuff makes me wanna just quit this whole damn thing & chuck it all. I tell the truth from what I've learned myself. That's it. That's all.
Nobody is picking on you, we are challenging your assertions. Would you rather me defer/give me a break to you just because of your age, your physical condition, etc. (and how old would I know you are anyway?)?

I assume people populate this forum because they want to learn something, which sometimes means you will be told you are wrong. Sometimes it hurts to hear it.


The bacteria wouldn't be doing anything in the water if the iron wasn't there to begin with. Simple. And water trapped in those rock pockets that had to be drilled into didn't have a chance to seep through the rock up to the ground water table, picking up more minerals.
This is untrue, spring water can certainly run through the ground water table on its way into the spring aquifer. Maybe I'm confused on what you are calling a spring. I even took the opportunity to read up to springs to find out if I was who was wrong. As Onkel_Udo pointed out, there are many geologic versions of a spring. I'm still unsure what the original point of spring water was...to me it is the mineral profile that is important, not the source of the water.

Even if you assume it has always been entombed in rock upon formation of that rock layer, the water could still pick up iron ions from the bedrock itself, could it not?

Our has minerals, but at low levels. some are less fortunate, but I think this is due to being at shallower depths, &/or in/near natural pockets of various minerals. & I used those two words in replies where the one poster always seems to respond like spambots do, & you were trolling me to argue English usage.
uh, ok...I guess I was the "spambot" poster, not sure what that means.
 

unionrdr

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Nobody is picking on you, we are challenging your assertions. Would you rather me defer/give me a break to you just because of your age, your physical condition, etc. (and how old would I know you are anyway?)?

I assume people populate this forum because they want to learn something, which sometimes means you will be told you are wrong. Sometimes it hurts to hear it.

*It's just the fact of my experiences with well, or ground water, & springs that were locked in those pockets until drilled into. Some springs that flow through fissures into the ground water can be tainted, as we both mentioned. But the ones around NE Ohio seem to be fairly clean. Some well water back home in WV was just plain nasty tasting by comparison. So I know that. But I was just trying to express the basic differences between the two. I've been around the country a couple times, & have tasted the differences in many places, but not all.*


This is untrue, spring water can certainly run through the ground water table on its way into the spring aquifer. Maybe I'm confused on what you are calling a spring. I even took the opportunity to read up to springs to find out if I was who was wrong. As Onkel_Udo pointed out, there are many geologic versions of a spring. I'm still unsure what the original point of spring water was...to me it is the mineral profile that is important, not the source of the water.

Even if you assume it has always been entombed in rock upon formation of that rock layer, the water could still pick up iron ions from the bedrock itself, could it not?


*It would depend on the bedrock of the given area, of course. But there's a lot of sedimentary & igneous bedrock out there, depending on area & depth. *

uh, ok...I guess I was the "spambot" poster, not sure what that means.
And no, I wasn't referring to you. It was an odd name of odd letters that always seems to react like a spambot. But definitely not you. My desire here was to help, not troll, or spread false information. But to relate my own experiences & knowledge of such things. The source of water is one thing, but the end result coming out of the ground can be another. But not strictly so. Fair enough?
 

HOW

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The iron bacteria should be addressed. Have you ever sanitized your well?
Reviving an old thread. I also have an iron bacteria problem in my well. My RO took care of the drinking water but the non-treated water was so infected that I couldn't sanitize consistently and I had a couple of infected batches.
Shock chlorinated well and house. Hopefully that has fixed it. Regardless, water is much better for all non-brewing use.
 
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