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T-SULLI

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Does the water you use make a huge difference in the outcome of your beer? Or is it safe to just use any water you feel like (sink water, hose water, distilled water, etc.) I have heard a lot about water in home brewing but all the stuff written on it and explanations I have seen it has all been really scientific so I find it kinda hard to follow. Thanks!

Cheers!
 

Arneba28

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it does make a difference but for the average brew not that much. If you want to get really area specific you can look up water profiles to emulate from the area that your beer originated. I always boil then chill my water before I use it to top off because I want de-chlorinated water added and not that stuff that comes out of the tap. If you boil for 20 min you will get the chlorine out for the most part. now different types of bottled water is not completely 100% clean. some brands do add some other chemicals to get the water "taste" they are looking for. so look up there profiles if you really want to get regionally specific. I am just starting to experiment with water profiles in my partial mash brews. hope that helps..hopefully a more knowledgable mod can help with this
 

cubbies

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I wouldn't use hose water personally. You never know what is going on inside your hose. Most likely, your hose has spent some time hooked up and in the sun. Standing water + heat = not something I want going on in my brew. Now, if it was a new hose, then I am sure there wouldn't be much of an effect, but just use tap water; you will be fine with that.
 
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T-SULLI

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Well I wasnt planning on using hose water that was just another example of different water I could think of. Haha.
 

the_bird

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Don't use distilled water unless you're going to rebuild it. Pretty much any water that tastes OK is fine for brewing (especially for extract), until you get to a real advanced stage (well beyond where I'm at) and want to re-create particular water profiles to match a beer style's historical origins.
 

the_bird

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Well, that's when you start adding calcium, etc. back to distilled water to get the profile that you want. I don't know jack about the process, other than using pure distilled water doesn't work (especially for AG brewing) since it doesn't provide enough nutrients for the yeast.
 

hefeweizen

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Just asking as I used distilled water for my first brew. It fermented fine...the jury is still out on the taste.
 

cglkaptc

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Well I hear the water does make a difference, but my first batch, not knowing that, I topped off with shower water. It probably wasn't the most sanitary, but it turned out fine. I have a brita filter on the faucet to my sink, so I use that now.
 

GearBeer

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I was wondering about this myself. Is there a kit or something to analyze the brew-relevant mineral profile of your tap water? I'm on a well for the first time in my life and its all very foreign to me. It tested and tastes fine so I'm not worried, just curious.
 

abracadabra

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There is a realitvely new hazard in water that creates an off taste in beer and it's called chloramine. Many municipalities are starting to use it because it's more stable than chlorine which makes it cheaper too because it won't boil out or disipate like chlorine.

Chloramine in made by combining chlorine and ammonia.

Check early and often with your local water provider as this method of water treatment is rapidly becoming the disinfectant of choice.

So the old adage that if your water tastes ok to drink then it's ok to brew with is no longer a truisum. Because there's no chlorine taste or smell associated with chloramine.
 

GearBeer

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Found out that the tap water in Midland, MI uses Chloramine this weekend. Good thing I waited till I moved to Clarkston to brew...
 

cubbies

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cglkaptc said:
Well I hear the water does make a difference, but my first batch, not knowing that, I topped off with shower water.
Shower water? Wowzers. Dont think I would have gone that route.

Sure makes for a nice story though :mug:
 

CBBaron

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For extract brewing if it tastes good and you have removed most of the chlorine and chloramine from the water then it is good to brew with.
For AG brewing it gets more complicated because of the reactions of the enzymes and other chemicals in the malt with the ions in the water. And those enzymes only work in a certain pH range. So for AG distilled or RO water is not suggested. Very hard water can also be difficult to brew with. Most tap water is fine and 5.2 buffer can be used to provide a safety margin.

Craig
 

cglkaptc

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Yeah shower water was a bad idea, but I was pretty saucey at the time :drunk: and the shower water topped off the five gallons very quickly. And I was hungry so fast was good.
 

paranode

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If you're going to use store-bought water I would use spring water instead of distilled water. I have used regular tap water in several brews and they came out just fine. However when I have the patience for it I at least try to use the water that runs through my fridge filter. I think the lighter the beer is, the more it's going to matter in the final taste.

For mashing I always use Five Star 5.2 so I'm not super worried about pH.
 
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T-SULLI

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There was actually a big story on the news this morning about a study that found a lot of bad stuff in our water There was like 5 things they said they found, the only one I can remember was a sex hormone. Since i started this thread last night I was trying to pay attention to what they were saying about water but I had just woken up so I couldnt really keep up hahaha. If anyone saw this on the news this morning or read it in the paper please write down what you remember, I think it would be important to let all of our home brewers know, considering water is key when making beer...

Anyway...... 5.2 is kinda the magic pH I hear, so I guess im going to have to pick some up. It changes the water too?
 

fifelee

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hefeweizen said:
How do you rebuild distilled water?

-Ron
I am a rather new brewer but happen to have RO water in my house so I have been looking into building water. BreWater 3.0 is the best thing I have found. The program tells you what to add. Pulse the help menus are very informative as to he entire water building process.

http://home.elp.rr.com/brewbeer/
 
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