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RO vs Distilled water for brewing?

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Yesfan

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Interesting thread topic. Subscribed.

Anyone got any recommendations for a good TDS meter? I'm looking at some on Amazon, but wanted to see what you guys recommend. Same can be said for a good RO setup.

Right now, I'm just using a typical carbon filter and camden tablet as treatment. Seems ok, but I'd like to send a sample to Wards Lab and see if there is a difference vs straight out of the tap.
 

originator2020

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How long is that sitting there?
I know you're boiling it on brew day. For some reason I don't think drinking water should sit still or stored for very long without UV treatment, a sanitizer or other preservative added. Doesn't it get stale and musty over time?
I keep it in a refrigerator
 

IslandLizard

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Seems ok, but I'd like to send a sample to Wards Lab and see if there is a difference vs straight out of the tap.
Not much gets "filtered" through a carbon block. Campen works faster and completely removes Chlorine (and Chloramines).

Better off putting that money toward an RO filter, a guaranteed 100% return on your money, for years.
That is, if your tap water is unsuitable for most brewing (and probably cooking and drinking too).
 

tracer bullet

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Doesn't it get stale and musty over time?
If it's sitting out exposed to air, it changes flavor. Something about the ambient air mixing in and changing pH, etc. and altering the flavor. Not totally unlike how carbonated beer changes flavor because of getting more acidic w/ the Co2 in it. If water is in a closed jug it's fine.
 

originator2020

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If it's sitting out exposed to air, it changes flavor. Something about the ambient air mixing in and changing pH, etc. and altering the flavor. Not totally unlike how carbonated beer changes flavor because of getting more acidic w/ the Co2 in it. If water is in a closed jug it's fine.
I'll boil 7 or 8 gallons of water with the lid off of the pot (15 gallon) and then when it's finished boiling (20 minutes) I put the lid on it and let it cool overnight, then I put it in sanitized 1 gallon jugs put the top on and put them in the refrigerator
 

day_trippr

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[...]
Anyone got any recommendations for a good TDS meter? I'm looking at some on Amazon, but wanted to see what you guys recommend. Same can be said for a good RO setup.[...]
fwiw, I've been using this one for at least a decade now. I wouldn't spend much more on one than this...

Cheers!
 

jerrylotto

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How long is that sitting there?
I know you're boiling it on brew day. For some reason I don't think drinking water should sit still or stored for very long without UV treatment, a sanitizer or other preservative added. Doesn't it get stale and musty over time?
No longer than bottles of distilled water sit on the supermarket shelves :) I know that can be a problem but I keep it in a cool, dark place and it rarely sits for more than a month. I also sanitize the carboys and I never seem to have any problem with the flavors. If I always brewed the same thing, I would probably add the salts up front, but my recipes and styles vary.
 

jerrylotto

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Hmm, maybe you are. But coffee, just like beer, benefits from certain minerals and hardness, etc. Pure RO or distilled water really isn't the best for it.
On this off-topic, I sprinkle a few grains of sea salt on the dry grounds every time before I brew a pot of coffee and highly recommend trying this. It really cuts down on the bitterness.
 

deuc224

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I built something similar to HbrewO system and the only thing that I can think of doing more is getting a pump to get more GPH from it. Currently only doing 2 per hour but would like to maybe do 5 cuz when i brew 5 gallon batches have to run it for 5 hours.
 

jerrylotto

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The only downside would be that you would be pushing more waste water out per RO collected. The filter you have is rated at a particular flow and you don't want to go too far off that.
 
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It is perfectly fine to crank up the pressure on an RO membrane. You'll reach the pressure limits of other components before you over pressurize the membrane. However:
Those little goofy RO systems in a case use badly inferior prefilters - not really intended to be used as prefilters. So if you use a higher capacity RO membrane, and or crank the pressure up, make sure the prefilters are up to the task.

When you raise the pressure you get comparatively LESS concentrate ("waste water") relative to the amount of permeate ("RO water") produced. Therefore, you may want to think about changing your flow restrictor out depending upon your feedwater quality.

We stock residential-scale membranes (referred to as 1812 membranes because they are 1.8" in diameter and 12" long, nominal) in a number of capacities. They all fit in the same housing.
Capacity (gpd)Factory Spec Temperature (F)Factory Spec Pressure (psi)
247750
367750
507750
757750
1007750
1507765
2007765

Russ
 

Hwk-I-St8

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Not to be that crazy guy, but I dug into this and there is a chart in that link that says the glacier refills don't have minerals added back in! Hooooray
CRAP CRAP CRAP CARP! I have been using RO from the grocery store machine for years. Then covid came and they shut it off. I didn't brew for several months, but then found the Primo machine at our local Lowes. The fill-it-yourself option is disabled, but they had the pre-filled bottles....thought I'd found an option to get RO water during our covid shutdown. Now I find out it's got minerals in it....I'm saying crap, but thinking something that starts with F.

Sigh...was going to brew next weekend....now I need to go back on the hunt for RO water.
 

Hwk-I-St8

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VikeMan

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Can you use just plain distilled water for brewing Kolsch with LME?
Definitely. The LME already has the minerals from the manufacturer's mash. And even if they mashed with fairly soft water, that's great for Kolsch, IMO.
 

mcl

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I have a well, so my whole house water goes thru water softener and sink has an ro so I guess I will stick to distilled gallons of water. Problem is now I am trying to figure out how to adjust the water using some settings from Recipes
There is nothing wrong with sending softened water through an RO system/membrane. In fact, it is advisable if you have very hard water and the RO membrane will last longer. All the sodium that was introduced at the softenter will be removed in the RO system. As many others have stated you should validate with a TDS meter and ensure you are dealing with chlorine/chloramine.
 
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