What do you use to filter your tap water?

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galacticbrewing12

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I was wondering what solutions people have found in order to filter your tap water. The solution on a small scale is just using your typical Brita filter, but that is not scalable when you are trying to filter enough water for a 5 gallon all-grain batch. Any suggestions or success stories regarding what you use to help filter a lot of tap water I would love to hear about being that I am looking to transition away from using spring water to help reduce my brewing costs.
 

Nomad

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I use an RV filter attached to my outdoor spigot that cost me under $20 on Amazon. Flow rate is fast, and the filter has a long life. Water tastes sweet and no chlorine smell. Will not work for Chloramides (sp).
 

Wynne-R

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This is the one I use. Lifetime guarantee, good quality, nice people.
http://www.purewaterproducts.com/model77.htm

It takes standard 9.75" X 2.5" Cartridges. You’re supposed to replace the cartridge annually, but I’ve used the same one for years, I just clean it.

My water supplier uses ozone, so I don’t have to worry about chloramine.
 

jhoyda

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This with an activated carbon cartridge. It made a noticable difference in the taste of my water. I plumbed it directly in to the spigot I installed in my garage for brewing. I also put a bypass so I'm not using filtered water for my chiller.
 

whoaru99

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I have an undersink filter (similar to the whole house previously shown, albeit with smaller in/out connections) that has a carbon/charcoal element. Flowrate isn't a gusher, but it'll do just a bit under 1 gpm though the 1/4" id tubing it's connected with. Maybe would do a bit more but I usually don't open the valve all the way because then the stream pressure is enough I have to restrain the tubing.
 

ArcLight

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I was wondering what solutions people have found in order to filter your tap water. The solution on a small scale is just using your typical Brita filter, but that is not scalable when you are trying to filter enough water for a 5 gallon all-grain batch. Any suggestions or success stories regarding what you use to help filter a lot of tap water I would love to hear about being that I am looking to transition away from using spring water to help reduce my brewing costs.
What are you trying to filter out?

If its Chlorine, just fill up some pots, and aerate them over 25 hours.

If its Chloramine, use 1/2 a Campden table (costs you 1.5 cents).

Particulate matter?
 

daksin

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Yea, many carbon filters won't help with chloramines (some will, just be sure to check). I don't filter my extremely hard water at all, just campden.
 

revco

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Most of us build one of these as you've seen. It's pretty simple and, depending on which filter you go with, should cost well under a $100.

The beauty of these is that you can select different filters for more or less results. A .5 micron will get most of the nasties out, but you can also get a level 4 filter for it which will clear out almost anything. It's not an RO system, but will still give you easy access to filtered water. I'm on a well, so I'm more concerned about sediment than I am chlorine and chloramines.
 

BrewerinBR

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I just use the water as is ... out of the tap into the HLT. I did send a sample to Wards and use the results to add some CaCL2 and CaSO4 and some acid depending on what I am brewing ... my water is wonderful, right straight out the ground.
 

Laurel

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We have great water in the Seattle area. In the past I treated with camden tabs, but the last (and most successful AG batch I've done) I forgot the camden this time and had no issues with anything wonky going on.
 

Xpertskir

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Most of us build one of these as you've seen. It's pretty simple and, depending on which filter you go with, should cost well under a $100.

The beauty of these is that you can select different filters for more or less results. A .5 micron will get most of the nasties out, but you can also get a level 4 filter for it which will clear out almost anything. It's not an RO system, but will still give you easy access to filtered water. I'm on a well, so I'm more concerned about sediment than I am chlorine and chloramines.

I built one of these. I'm switching to an RO set up soon to control my water chemistry. One of the guys in my club builds his own water profiles and I'm pretty certain it's the Je ne sais quoi in his beer. At any rate, its my next step for sure.
 

diS

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RO made great shift to my beers, I think it is worthwhile $80 I spent for it.
Water chemistry is interesting aspect of brewing and every thing you learn will pay you back in better beer.
 

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I picked up one of these systems and had it installed under the kitchen sink. I use it for ALL my drinking, brewing, and cooking water. The third filter stage goes down to .2 microns which will filter out pretty much everything you don't want in the water. My previous setup was a two stage that only went to .5 microns.

The filter might be over-kill, but I've yet to have any issue. I'd rather filter to this level for everything than have a separate filter just for brewing.
 
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ktraver97ss

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Nada, been using our lake michigan tap water for years with fish tanks, and a few years brewing and have never had a chlorine issue. I had it tested a long time ago and there was very low ppm but i dont remember the exact # anymore.
 

dbrewski

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Mcmaster part #4448K39 filters out for taste, odor, and chlorine...and is $30 including filter. Just add some hose barbs and garden hose fittings. Lake Michigan water is good for brewing chemistry, but if the water tastes better filtered, the beer will too.
 

Golddiggie

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Mcmaster part #4448K39 filters out for taste, odor, and chlorine...and is $30 including filter. Just add some hose barbs and garden hose fittings. Lake Michigan water is good for brewing chemistry, but if the water tastes better filtered, the beer will too.
Had a system that used, essentially, two of those in tandem to filter my drinking (plus cooking and brewing) water at my old place. How good a job it does depends, entirely, on the filter you use in it. The filters with a smaller opening (.5 micron) are more expensive than the looser ones (5 micron). IF I was to get something like that again, I'd want a dual filter setup, or three filter. The filters, very often, can cost more than the housing will.

BTW, the McMaster-Car page only lists filters down to 5 microns (or up to 20 microns). IMO/IME, 5 micron is a decent first stage, but no where near good enough for the second, or final. IF you only have a single filter housing setup, then (IMO/IME) you're going to want a finer filter. .5 micron would be my minimum requirement. Obviously, my current system uses a .2 micron final stage, which I'm very happy with. Water tastes great coming from it, which is important.
 

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This is good. I had done some research and decided on the Everpure H-1200 because I thought it said it removes Chlorine and Chloramines. Then I did some more research and found it actually said it removes Chlorine taste and odor, and Chloramine taste and odor. A little further research (kind of hard to find out what it actually does, but I finally found this statement) removes aesthetic chlorine and chloramine. (Bolding is mine.) So it's great tasting water, and I like using it in my coffee maker, but gotta stick with Campden tablets.
 

Xpertskir

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I am SHOCKED at how many people in here use their water straight from the tap. Unless you have well water and a water table with minerals friendly to brewing the styles you like, I would seriously question your ability to make beer I want to drink.
 

modernlifeisANDY

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I am SHOCKED at how many people in here use their water straight from the tap. Unless you have well water and a water table with minerals friendly to brewing the styles you like, I would seriously question your ability to make beer I want to drink.
Why would you "question" it? Plenty of people can make delicious beer true-to-style without needing to add tons of minerals to their water. Maybe you've had bad experiences with town/tap water in the past, but that doesn't mean everyone does. I can make great beer using water right from the tap here in MA. I'd challenge you to taste the difference in a beer I make using my tap water v. a beer using filtered, treated water.
 

Golddiggie

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I am SHOCKED at how many people in here use their water straight from the tap. Unless you have well water and a water table with minerals friendly to brewing the styles you like, I would seriously question your ability to make beer I want to drink.
I was surprised how some people in my area reported filtering for drinking water (a pitcher filter) but use tap water to brew. You won't find me doing that. IF I'm not willing to drink the water, I'm not going to cook, or brew, with it.

I did read the water report (much more information than I had when living in MA) and don't see chloramine listed in it, at all.
 

Laurel

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I am SHOCKED at how many people in here use their water straight from the tap. Unless you have well water and a water table with minerals friendly to brewing the styles you like, I would seriously question your ability to make beer I want to drink.

Interesting. I happily drink water straight out of the tap. It doesn't have detectable chlorine flavor and my water district doesn't treat the water with chloramines. I am SHOCKED that you will happily judge one's ability to make decent beer by their willingness to use their own tap water (regardless of the quality and mineral makeup of it)to brew it. Many of the local breweries use tap water for brewing with no negative issues.
 

ktraver97ss

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Why would you "question" it? Plenty of people can make delicious beer true-to-style without needing to add tons of minerals to their water. Maybe you've had bad experiences with town/tap water in the past, but that doesn't mean everyone does. I can make great beer using water right from the tap here in MA. I'd challenge you to taste the difference in a beer I make using my tap water v. a beer using filtered, treated water.
x2 I agree, doubtful you could tell the difference with most styles of beer.
 

Xpertskir

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Why would you "question" it? Plenty of people can make delicious beer true-to-style without needing to add tons of minerals to their water. Maybe you've had bad experiences with town/tap water in the past, but that doesn't mean everyone does. I can make great beer using water right from the tap here in MA. I'd challenge you to taste the difference in a beer I make using my tap water v. a beer using filtered, treated water.

Because I have made beer, and tasted other peoples beers made without filtering the water, or even letting the water stand and/or boiling the water before brewing use.

The conclusion I have come to is that good beer cannot be made with water that contains chlorine and/or chloramine. Removing them from my brew water is far and away the most important thing I have done to make drinkable beer.

I am not even talking about minerals, just chlorine and chloramine.
 

modernlifeisANDY

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Because I have made beer, and tasted other peoples beers made without filtering the water, or even letting the water stand and/or boiling the water before brewing use.

The conclusion I have come to is that good beer cannot be made with water that contains chlorine and/or chloramine. Removing them from my brew water is far and away the most important thing I have done to make drinkable beer.

I am not even talking about minerals, just chlorine and chloramine.
This is just flat-out wrong. My current town's water supply does not have either chlorine or chloramine, but my previous town's supply did. I made tons of great beer at that location - great beer, not just "drinkable" beer. I sincerely doubt your judgment.
 

Monster Mash

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This is just flat-out wrong. My current town's water supply does not have either chlorine or chloramine, but my previous town's supply did. I made tons of great beer at that location - great beer, not just "drinkable" beer. I sincerely doubt your judgment.
Actually he is absolutely correct in most cases, you just got lucky. I've tasted many beers brewed with unfiltered water and very few didn't have an off flavor from the water. In some cases the brewer didn't even know it until it was pointed out to him.

To say you don't need to filter your water because you didn't have a problem does not help most brewers.
 

modernlifeisANDY

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Actually he is absolutely correct in most cases, you just got lucky. I've tasted many beers brewed with unfiltered water and very few didn't have an off flavor from the water. In some cases the brewer didn't even know it until it was pointed out to him.

To say you don't need to filter your water because you didn't have a problem does not help most brewers.
Similarly, saying that it is nigh-impossible to make decent beer without filtering doesn't help most brewers.
 

dbrewski

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Golddiggie said:
BTW, the McMaster-Car page only lists filters down to 5 microns (or up to 20 microns). IMO/IME, 5 micron is a decent first stage, but no where near good enough for the second, or final. IF you only have a single filter housing setup, then (IMO/IME) you're going to want a finer filter. .5 micron would be my minimum requirement. Obviously, my current system uses a .2 micron final stage, which I'm very happy with. Water tastes great coming from it, which is important.
Chicago water is pretty good anyway, I use the 5 micron and it seems to work great. No chlorine taste at all, and I get great throughput...I can get 5 gallons in 90 seconds.
 

Golddiggie

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Chicago water is pretty good anyway, I use the 5 micron and it seems to work great. No chlorine taste at all, and I get great throughput...I can get 5 gallons in 90 seconds.
Personally, if that's the only filter I used, I'd either get the water report (from your source) or send some out for testing. I wouldn't trust the 5 micron filter to do all that much, besides getting the larger items out. I believe cysts and other nasties, are only caught when you go to tighter filters.

I'm not concerned about getting water out fast. I'm more interested in having a single system to filter all the water I use. Since I'm renting, a whole house filter is out of the question. I put about 5 gallons into a bucket at a time (graduated to 22qts) to get into the mash tun and HLT. Only need to carry the bucket maybe 20 feet (if that) to where I setup. So, it's not an issue, for me.

I'd also say that if you're happy with what you're getting out of fermenter, you're good. BUT, if you enter a competition and you get notes back about off flavors caused by the water, you'll probably want to address that. I've yet to enter any competitions, but I might soon.
 
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