Using Bottled Water

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dn151864

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I just moved to a new house and we have well water. Needless to say, it's totally f'ed up due to low ph. I had a company come in and install an all new filtration system but since my ph was so low they had to pump tons of calcite into the water to increase the ph. At this point, my water tastes awful and it is super slippery feeling. I've made 4, 1 gallon batches in a very short period of time without realizing how bad my water was. I'm now dealing with that... Spoiler, all my beer tastes awful.

I want to keep brewing while I get my water squared away. I was thinking of heading to the grocery store and buying gallon jugs of water. Does anyone have any recommendations for the type or brand of water I should get? I'm not at the level yet where I can use R/O water and put supplements in it. Just looking for some good water.

Thanks!
 

Ike

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OK. SO, first, don't be afraid to take a stab at water chemistry. It really doesn't take rocket science, there is a sticky in the chemistry section that explains a very back-of-the-envelope way to prepare a decent water with (IIRC) only two mineral additions.

I buy distilled from the store and do a total of three or four mineral additions. It's done wonders for my hop recovery.

BUT, that's not what you asked. Back in my extract days, I just used one of the "spring waters" from the supermarket, like Arrowhead or Crystal Geyser. Check the company's website for a water report to make sure it doesn't have chloramines, but anything from a spring probably will not.

WHICH BRINGS ME TO THE POINT I REALLY WANT TO MAKE: I lost a batch of Scottish Ale to what I thought was spring water, but wasn't. When I tasted it after primary, it had a terrible band-aid flavor to it. WTH? A quick search on HBT told me my water must have had chloramines in it, which react with the hop aromatics to create this classic band-aid off flavor. Turns out that instead of grabbing Arrowhead, I'd grabbed the store-brand "drinking water." Looking at the label (after the fact, unfortunately) it said "bottled from a municipal water source." Well, wherever that water source was, it must have used chloramines.

SO, when using bottled water, just make sure you check what you're going to use. Other than that one time, I had great results from bottled water until I really wanted to kick my hop recovery up a couple notches.

:mug:
 

RM-MN

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OK. SO, first, don't be afraid to take a stab at water chemistry. It really doesn't take rocket science, there is a sticky in the chemistry section that explains a very back-of-the-envelope way to prepare a decent water with (IIRC) only two mineral additions.

I buy distilled from the store and do a total of three or four mineral additions. It's done wonders for my hop recovery.

BUT, that's not what you asked. Back in my extract days, I just used one of the "spring waters" from the supermarket, like Arrowhead or Crystal Geyser. Check the company's website for a water report to make sure it doesn't have chloramines, but anything from a spring probably will not.

WHICH BRINGS ME TO THE POINT I REALLY WANT TO MAKE: I lost a batch of Scottish Ale to what I thought was spring water, but wasn't. When I tasted it after primary, it had a terrible band-aid flavor to it. WTH? A quick search on HBT told me my water must have had chloramines in it, which react with the hop aromatics to create this classic band-aid off flavor. Turns out that instead of grabbing Arrowhead, I'd grabbed the store-brand "drinking water." Looking at the label (after the fact, unfortunately) it said "bottled from a municipal water source." Well, wherever that water source was, it must have used chloramines.

SO, when using bottled water, just make sure you check what you're going to use. Other than that one time, I had great results from bottled water until I really wanted to kick my hop recovery up a couple notches.

:mug:
To avoid any of this in the future you need to use Campden tables. They are not expensive to start with and since you would only need 1/4 tablet for 5 gallons they turn out to be really cheap. Since they won't add any flavor you can use these for any water source whether it has chlorine/chloramines or not. Crush the 1/4 tablet well, stir it in and do your brew. They work nearly instantaneously.:rockin:
 
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jmcquesten

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Also, all the Walmart stores I've been to have a RO water machine and you can fill your own 5 gallon water jugs for $0.37 per gallon. That puts it at $1.85 for a 5 gallon fill up. Since I'm not quite into building my own water yet, I usually mix it 50/50 with tap water. I don't know if this is the best way, but it's been working for me.

I do use campden tablets for the 50% I'm getting from the tap.
 

PADave

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I also have a well, and it is very high in iron and we don't drink it. Been using the store brands spring water to brew, working so far.
 

Leezer

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I have been buying gallon jugs of Poland Spring at the grocery store, have had no issues.
 
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