RO water...

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anyone brew with this before? and what are the possible pros and cons?

Mod edit: This is not about extract brewing: it's been moved to the relevant forum.
 

John Beere

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I think you'd basically have no water profile at all with RO. It would be a good way to purify the water then add in the necessary minerals to mimic some region's water... but that beyond me. Back in the day, we just used water out of the hose to brew with and never thought twice about it. Now I use a good quality filter I got from Lowes.
 

Brewbeard

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Distilled or RO should be okay for extract brewing since all the necessary salts and minerals are in the extract.

For all grain brewing, you would need to add some minerals to make it suitable for the yeast and mashing.
 

eschatz

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I've used RO with great success on extract batches with adjuncts. However, I too am very concerned with my jump to all-grain. I've asked on the forum before and nobody seems to know exactly how to compensate for the lack of minerals. How much gypsum do i add to 6.5 gal? how much 5.2 do i add? (if any) these are the questions that i would want to know. If you could pin-point how much of these minerals and additives to add to the water to create certain profiles then it would be foolproof to make perfect water. However, I think that this might cost more because you would be buying the water in addition to probably adding more salts/nutrients to the water as opposed to most brewers who already have some amount of this in their water. Discuss. :mug:
 

beerthirty

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water is forced through a permeable membrane with molecule size holes(water molecules are only 3 atoms large where most others are larger allowing the water to pass through and trapping larger molecules). It remove just about everything from the water. the down side is that it also removes minerals that are beneficial to all grain brewing and that the pore size makes it very slow filtration without a very large filter. The filter can clog quickly. To prevent clogging the are designed to flush (usually once a day) themselves to clean the filter. Flushing takes three times the amount of water produced. In other words to make 10 gallons of RO you use 40 gallons and 30 go down the drain. If the filters capacity is exceeded they bypass allowing unfiltered water as the end product. If you use RO from one of those little coin op watershacks in the middle of a parking lot, make sure you go early in the morning before the storage tank is drained and the filter starts bypassing.
 

Brewbeard

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I've used RO with great success on extract batches with adjuncts. However, I too am very concerned with my jump to all-grain. I've asked on the forum before and nobody seems to know exactly how to compensate for the lack of minerals. How much gypsum do i add to 6.5 gal? how much 5.2 do i add? (if any) these are the questions that i would want to know. If you could pin-point how much of these minerals and additives to add to the water to create certain profiles then it would be foolproof to make perfect water. However, I think that this might cost more because you would be buying the water in addition to probably adding more salts/nutrients to the water as opposed to most brewers who already have some amount of this in their water. Discuss. :mug:
I've never built my water, but this is how I would do it. Read Chapter 15 of How to Brew. After you understand what each salt does, then I would download the spreadsheet on the bottom of this page. Then play around with the spreadsheet, leaving everything in the source water profile as zero since it is RO water. Step 5 is the one you want to look at the most. Play around with the salt additions until you get the profile you want. Palmer lists some common water profiles of major brewing cities in Chapter 15 of his book. Hope this helps.
 

beerthirty

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you can also get many water profiles in the trial version of beersmith. personally I just use a carbon filter run very slow(carbon absorbs not filters) to remove the nasties from our tap water. I'm devising a clamp on float valve to sit on my keggle so that I can fill the night before brewing while I sleep. It takes several hours to fill 15 gallons and get proper water. I have high ph so I treat with 5.2 before brewing.
 

eschatz

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Yeah, my PH is really high too. the water is very hard here. thats why I use RO. I need to do more research really before I attempt to talk about this with confidence. :)
 

nickhead

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Hmmm - I just did my first batch ever on Friday. I used RO water (and did not use an extract). Crap maybe? I used Burton water salts - and hope that may help a bit (the recipe called for it). I live in the mountains and have SUPER hard water from a well that I refuse to drink from... so I didn't feel comfortable using it in my brew (it tastes terrible anyhow).

I guess I'll let you know how it tastes in a month or 2 :)
 

JMichaels

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well, my first post.. :)

RO water is very popular in reef aquarium's, actually it's a neccessity. I've been involved in aquariums for many years and naturally it crossed my mind to use it when I began brewing beer. I have a 7 stage RO-DI filter that I use on the aquarium. To make a comparison, my tap water is somewhere in the 250-300 tds, (total disolved solids) and after the filter, it's zero.

In my experience for making items to consume, such as beer and coffee, it's too pure. I think using an average filter would be much better but I have pretty resonable water to start with but the best thing you can do is just try it out and document your finding based on taste :)
 
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