What do you use to filter your tap water?

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Golddiggie

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"Suspended particles and materials of high molecular weight are unable to pass through the 0.2 micron UF membrane, leaving you with only fresh clean water and dissolved minerals."

:ban: WINNING!! :ban:

Minerals we like for brewing, the rest gets left behind. :rockin:
 

ktraver97ss

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Meh, I know several master brewers from different micro-breweries in the chicagoland suburbs and none of them do anything to the water. They make some damn good beer too.
 

dbrewski

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Maybe I'll move up to 10 microns, let in a few more cysts for flavor. I hear spores compliment IPA's quite well too. What size are those?
 

Monster Mash

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Meh, I know several master brewers from different micro-breweries in the chicagoland suburbs and none of them do anything to the water. They make some damn good beer too.
All breweries in So Cal use industrial carbon filters for their water. Brewers that don't filter are trusting their supplier to keep the chlorine/chloramine levels low, with a filter it doesn't matter what the levels are because it will get removed.

ALL brewing books and brewing schools state you should remove chlorine/chloramine from your water, those who don't must be smarter than the experts.
 

Golddiggie

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IMO, the risk (with my water source) of having a negative impact on my brews is higher than I'm comfortable with. For the little money it took to get the filter system, and have it installed, I have zero concerns about something getting into my water. Be that from a fluke incident, or by design.

Of course, people get lucky with different water all the time. I'm just not willing to roll the dice on this.
 

Laurel

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Maybe I'll move up to 10 microns, let in a few more cysts for flavor. I hear spores compliment IPA's quite well too. What size are those?
Cysts and spores are definitely terribly dangerous, especially when the wort has spent an hour boiling.
 

Laurel

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All breweries in So Cal use industrial carbon filters for their water. Brewers that don't filter are trusting their supplier to keep the chlorine/chloramine levels low, with a filter it doesn't matter what the levels are because it will get removed.

ALL brewing books and brewing schools state you should remove chlorine/chloramine from your water, those who don't must be smarter than the experts.
I'm willing to bet that the SoCal water quality is notably lower than water you'd find in somewhere like the PNW or Alaska.
 

FTG-05

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I'm willing to bet that the SoCal water quality is notably lower than water you'd find in somewhere like the PNW or Alaska.
By FAR the worst tap water I've ever tasted came out of CA. There's a reason every street corner had drinking water stations to fill up drinking water containers.

This was in the Lompoc area in 2004.
 

Cromwell

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All breweries in So Cal use industrial carbon filters for their water. Brewers that don't filter are trusting their supplier to keep the chlorine/chloramine levels low, with a filter it doesn't matter what the levels are because it will get removed.

ALL brewing books and brewing schools state you should remove chlorine/chloramine from your water, those who don't must be smarter than the experts.
After doing a little reading on the subject, it doesn't seem that carbon filters will remove chloramines. Am I wrong?
 

Cromwell

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By FAR the worst tap water I've ever tasted came out of CA. There's a reason every street corner had drinking water stations to fill up drinking water containers.

This was in the Lompoc area in 2004.
Actually, water in most of So Cal, is awful, but water from the MWD (Los Angeles) is very good. It's because we steal... er... get it from the Sierra Nevadas.
 

Monster Mash

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Some of the best beers come out of California so the water can't be that bad, and most breweries only filter for Chlorine...
 

dbrewski

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Laurel said:
Cysts and spores are definitely terribly dangerous, especially when the wort has spent an hour boiling.
Did I really need to label this as sarcasm? [/sarcasm]
 

Cromwell

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I did some more research on chloramines, and found this: http://www.wqa.org/pdf/TechBulletins/TB-Chloramine.pdf
Which says: A) chloramine molecules are small, so it's "difficult" for carbon filters or RO filters to remove Chloramines.
B) The most effective method of chloramine removal is activated charcoal, which does not adsorb it, but rather acts as a catalyst to break it down. Some ammonia is created, but mostly it does this: 2NH2Cl + CO*= N2 + 2Cl(-) + 2H(+) + H2O + C*
C) A bed contact time of 10 minutes or greater is required for complete catalysis of chloramines.

Probably we're not aiming for 100% reduction in chloramines, so the bed contact time could be shortened, but any flow-through filter for home use doesn't have anywhere near 10 minutes of bed contact time. If you have a .5 GPM filter, and your filter volume is about a quart that implies a bed contact time of no more than 8-10 seconds.
What am I missing? Is the quoted 10 minutes incorrect?
 

SpentGrains

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Cysts and spores are definitely terribly dangerous, especially when the wort has spent an hour boiling.
FYI botulism spores can survive boiling temperatures, that is why we pressure can low acid foods. Not an issue with beer but just sayin'.
 

Rbeckett

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I use a 5 stage Reverse Osmosis set up with a de-ionizer too. The water that comes out is pure water only. No salts, chemicals or particulates at all. I found this RO system really cheap on Ebay and added a 7 gallon surge tank and a 65 PSI boost pump to improve the quantity of filtered water I was getting in a shorter amount of time. The boost pump is switched into the RO set up, so the system never sees any greater than 65 PSI when the pump is on and I am filtering water. The additional pressure definately helps the membrane be more efficient and produce enough water fast enough so there is no waiting.
Wheelchair Bob
 

dbrewski

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I did some more research on chloramines, and found this: http://www.wqa.org/pdf/TechBulletins/TB-Chloramine.pdf
Which says: A) chloramine molecules are small, so it's "difficult" for carbon filters or RO filters to remove Chloramines.
B) The most effective method of chloramine removal is activated charcoal, which does not adsorb it, but rather acts as a catalyst to break it down. Some ammonia is created, but mostly it does this: 2NH2Cl + CO*= N2 + 2Cl(-) + 2H(+) + H2O + C*
C) A bed contact time of 10 minutes or greater is required for complete catalysis of chloramines.

Probably we're not aiming for 100% reduction in chloramines, so the bed contact time could be shortened, but any flow-through filter for home use doesn't have anywhere near 10 minutes of bed contact time. If you have a .5 GPM filter, and your filter volume is about a quart that implies a bed contact time of no more than 8-10 seconds.
What am I missing? Is the quoted 10 minutes incorrect?
I am not a water chemistry expert. I have heard that you can't really filter out chloramines. That's with a filter based system, not RO. RO takes everything out.

On the other hand, not every water district uses them [chloramines]. I don't think mine does and have never experienced the telltale symptoms. If you are concerned about it toss a campden tablet in there and you are golden, removes both chlorine and chloramines. I filter for taste and removal of chlorine flavor which is very evident in my water.

Cheers.
 

FATC1TY

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Great links and ideas here..

He's one, who uses the water from their garden hoses? I can't use mine because of the "hose" taste... So better question is.. What do you guys use there, in conjunction with the RV filters and whatnot?

I get RO filtered water, that cost me 1.50 for 5 gallons. It's cheap, and easy to fill my 5 gal jugs, but I want the flexibility to use my tap water, filter it, and continue to treat it like I do now with my RO water.

Any idea on hoses that are good for drinking water, or have a reduced taste effect of it? I'd use it strictly for brewing.

Are the RV drinking water hoses good enough? If so, then for under 30-40 I could get a hose and filter and move to something easy. It would pay for it's self in just 10 brews.
 

porcupine73

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Hard well water here, I use a KDF (now I forget whether it is 55 or 85) first in line, then a catalytic gac, and finish with uV. I specifically did not use RO because my well water is quite hard, and RO membranes will not tolerate that, plus, I believe there are specific health benefits to good hard water. However hydrogen sulfide smell is not nice, and the pair of filters mentioned above take care of it nicely.
 

FTG-05

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RV water hoses are food grade for potable water, they shouldn't impart any taste to the water.

I get my brewing water from the kitchen sink. I use only hot water so there is less time to getting up to temp. The local water utility here does not use chloramine but they do use chlorine. I was under the impression that heating and boiling the water would eliminate all the chlorine. Is this not true?
 
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galacticbrewing12

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Well I decided to buy the Culligan HF-360A Whole House Sediment Filter on Amazon.com. It has a 5 micron filter, which from what I can tell is very good. I know some people feel like you need a .5 micron filter, but there are just too expensive. I got my filter for only $31 and compared numerous options, but feel like this will help resolve my issue. Then to help remove the chloramides I will be using campden tablets.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000BQUPZ8/?tag=skimlinks_replacement-20
 
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Huff360

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Well I decided to buy the Culligan HF-360A Whole House Sediment Filter on Amazon.com. It has a 5 micron filter, which from what I can tell is very good. I know some people feel like you need a .5 micron filter, but there are just too expensive. I got my filter for only $31 and compared numerous options, but feel like this will help resolve my issue. Then to help remove the chloramides I will be using campden tablets.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000BQUPZ8/?tag=skimlinks_replacement-20
Not sure what your issue is, but be aware that is only a sediment filter. It will only remove "chunks" of stuff and will have no affect on VOCs. You are going to see very little difference in water before and after this filter if you are on the city water system.

Following that filter up with a nice very fine mesh carbon block like the .6 micron here http://www.bulkreefsupply.com/10-matrikx-carbon-block.html will yield some really nice clean water. Still throw the campden tablet in there to remove the chloramine post filtering as you already planned to do.
 
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galacticbrewing12

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Not sure what your issue is, but be aware that is only a sediment filter. It will only remove "chunks" of stuff and will have no affect on VOCs. You are going to see very little difference in water before and after this filter if you are on the city water system.

Following that filter up with a nice very fine mesh carbon block like the .6 micron here http://www.bulkreefsupply.com/10-matrikx-carbon-block.html will yield some really nice clean water. Still throw the campden tablet in there to remove the chloramine post filtering as you already planned to do.
I bought a 20 and 5 micron filter with it, so I think that will be plenty good.
 

Aspenextreme

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I use a rv hose, rv water filter and then a campden tablet or my GA water. Was doing it without the campden but it did not cut it and the tablet made a world of difference. No RO as that is down the line even though i pretty much have everything else in my arsenal.
 
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Great links and ideas here..

He's one, who uses the water from their garden hoses? I can't use mine because of the "hose" taste... So better question is.. What do you guys use there, in conjunction with the RV filters and whatnot?

I get RO filtered water, that cost me 1.50 for 5 gallons. It's cheap, and easy to fill my 5 gal jugs, but I want the flexibility to use my tap water, filter it, and continue to treat it like I do now with my RO water.

Any idea on hoses that are good for drinking water, or have a reduced taste effect of it? I'd use it strictly for brewing.

Are the RV drinking water hoses good enough? If so, then for under 30-40 I could get a hose and filter and move to something easy. It would pay for it's self in just 10 brews.
there is lead in garden hoses,,,you need to get a(lead free) Marine/RV hose..
 
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galacticbrewing12

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Based upon the comments I received and further research I decided to return the Culligan sediment filter and got a Camco EVO water filter that filters up to 5 microns. Thanks for the feedback everyone.
 

Huff360

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Based upon the comments I received and further research I decided to return the Culligan sediment filter and got a Camco EVO water filter that filters up to 5 microns. Thanks for the feedback everyone.
Good deal! Also remember that running your spigot, hose bib, tap, faucet, or whatever your part of the country calls them, at full blast will cause the effectiveness of the filter to be greatly reduced. The GAC needs contact time with the water to work it's magic.

I can't find any data from Camco on what the rated GPM is, but a safe bet we be to run it around 1.5 or so gallons per minute. That is usually plenty fast that it is not a pain to wait on 10 gallons, and plenty slow that the filter can do it's thing.
 
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galacticbrewing12

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Good deal! Also remember that running your spigot, hose bib, tap, faucet, or whatever your part of the country calls them, at full blast will cause the effectiveness of the filter to be greatly reduced. The GAC needs contact time with the water to work it's magic.

I can't find any data from Camco on what the rated GPM is, but a safe bet we be to run it around 1.5 or so gallons per minute. That is usually plenty fast that it is not a pain to wait on 10 gallons, and plenty slow that the filter can do it's thing.
From what I read it said it has a 2.5 GPM rate.
 

BxBrewer

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Been using NYC water right out of the tap with no filter.
 

whoaru99

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Both of those are still just sediment filters, right?
5 micron is some pretty damn fine sediment. AFAIK, the point here isn't a microbiological filter. That's what boiling/sterilization and sanitization is for.
 

Huff360

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5 micron is some pretty damn fine sediment.
Agreed. But mechanical filtration of municipal water is not that big of a deal. There's rarely anything in it anyway. Maybe some occasional scale from a pipe.

Oddly enough, the most common thing mine catches is eyelashes. I have 4 or 5 in there now... Weird.

AFAIK, the point here isn't a microbiological filter. That's what boiling/sterilization and sanitization is for.
Yeah, I wasn't suggesting that a microbiological filter was needed. I was suggesting a carbon filter of some sort for chemical filtration.

If I were on a municipal supply and was only going to do 1 stage of filtration, I would do chemical only as opposed to mechanical only as the OP was originally doing.
 

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I've only used Reverse Osmosis up to this point. I've put it into my head that in the near future I'm going to brew with 'regular-ole-city-water' simply ran through a carbon filter .... or 10. Being in the water industry for many years I have been told that one certain water is the best, but being that I am who I am, I'm going to be doing some batches in the near future comparing my fancy RO water against city water ran through some carbon filters.
 

eauclairedan

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What are you trying to filter?

Although I am new to brewing, I am a water chemist for a large municipal utility. I'd be happy to help!
 

sudbuster

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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 am an ex- Seattle resident. People living along the North Pacific coastal region are enjoying water of almost RO quality. Without doubt there are other localized regions with equally acceptable water quality fresh from the tap.

I recently got an RO unit. Love it.
In my case, I have to agree, at least with the water in this local. RO is the way to go. RO does not remove chorimines though. Further treatment for chlorimines is required.

After doing a little reading on the subject, it doesn't seem that carbon filters will remove chloramines. Am I wrong?
High grade granular carbon will remove choramines but at a trickle rate unacceptable for most brewing setups, at least IMO.

I use a 5 stage Reverse Osmosis set up with a de-ionizer too. The water that comes out is pure water only. No salts, chemicals or particulates at all. I found this RO system really cheap on Ebay and added a 7 gallon surge tank and a 65 PSI boost pump to improve the quantity of filtered water I was getting in a shorter amount of time. The boost pump is switched into the RO set up, so the system never sees any greater than 65 PSI when the pump is on and I am filtering water. The additional pressure definately helps the membrane be more efficient and produce enough water fast enough so there is no waiting.
Wheelchair Bob
The only problem with RO treatment is the terrible waste of water. It usually takes about 8 gallons of water to produce 1 gallon of RO water. The remainder goes down the drain. IMO, not a pleasing picture. If the RO waste water were used on a garden, then that might be productive, especially in a drier region.
 

Huff360

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The only problem with RO treatment is the terrible waste of water. It usually takes about 8 gallons of water to produce 1 gallon of RO water. The remainder goes down the drain. IMO, not a pleasing picture. If the RO waste water were used on a garden, then that might be productive, especially in a drier region.
Mine goes into the clothes washer. I can make about 7 or so gallons of water and wash a load. Make another 7 and wash another load.
 
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