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Brewing RO water

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Roddy

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Post Fri Nov 25, 2011 7:18 pm

Brewing RO water

With the extreme hard water I have, I have been told that brewing low srm beers would be difficult. This weekend I plan on brewing a low srm beer using RO water. will I need to add any salts or other additives or can I brew with straight RO? I use the batch sparge method
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chuck

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Post Fri Nov 25, 2011 7:37 pm

Re: Brewing RO water

Why don't you just buy some spring water and brew with it should be perfect without any additions.
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Beersk

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Post Fri Nov 25, 2011 7:41 pm

Re: Brewing RO water

You'll still need to add some salts to the water. Some calcium chloride, some epsom for a little magnesium, and some gypsum to add a little calcium to the water.
You just won't have to add that much. Check out Bru'n water. There are links about somewhere, I don't have one right now.
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fimbrew

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Post Fri Nov 25, 2011 10:15 pm

Re: Brewing RO water

you could also blend your tap water with distilled/RO.
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560sdl

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Post Wed Dec 07, 2011 6:43 am

Re: Brewing RO water

Can anyone provide a simple, foolproof way for me to treat my RO water before I do my first all grain batch? I know I need to get into water chemistry at some point for different styles, but I use RO and have already made the first batch stressful enough by trying to do everything just right. So treating RO water is really my last mystery.

I plan to brew a pale ale or simple IPA.
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BPBCo

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Post Wed Dec 07, 2011 9:17 am

Re: Brewing RO water

I recently started using RO water for most of my beers and I use Bru'n Water to calculate the additions, I've found that tool to be pretty straight forward and easy to use, and I'll add that I know next to nothing about water chemistry. I've also brewed several batches using spring water and that has worked great for low to medium srm beers with no additions.
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grainbelt

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Post Wed Dec 07, 2011 9:40 am

Re: Brewing RO water

You can but RO is pretty much distilled, there is trace elements in RO. You will need to add salts if you just use RO
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Sooner49er

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Post Wed Dec 07, 2011 1:01 pm

Re: Brewing RO water

I refill 1 gallon water jugs at Wal-mart for around .35 each with their Cullagan water dispenser. If it's good to drink, then it's good to brew.
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Flip

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Post Wed Dec 07, 2011 2:25 pm

Re: Brewing RO water

560sdl wrote:Can anyone provide a simple, foolproof way for me to treat my RO water before I do my first all grain batch? I know I need to get into water chemistry at some point for different styles, but I use RO and have already made the first batch stressful enough by trying to do everything just right. So treating RO water is really my last mystery.

I plan to brew a pale ale or simple IPA.

The first post in this thread over at HBT gives some good advice. http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f128/brewing-water-chemistry-primer-198460/ Short of it is Add 1 gram of calcium chloride dihydrate (what your LHBS sells) to each gallon (or 1 tsp per 5 gallons as it originally states) of water treated. Add 2% sauermalz to the grist.

When I go and do the work in Bru'n Water or EZ Water I basically come up with the same answer. I used exactly that advice to do a bitter using RO water, it turned out much better than when I had brewed it with the very hard water I've got.
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tom sawyer

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Post Wed Dec 07, 2011 2:41 pm

Re: Brewing RO water

I am brewing exclusively with RO now, and add maybe a teaspoon of calcium chloride and a pinch of sea salt for water for a 5gal batch. That seems to work for me for anything under 12SRM. I treat the entire amount of water, but I think you could add it all to the mash as an alternative.
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560sdl

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Post Wed Dec 07, 2011 5:44 pm

Re: Brewing RO water

Very helpful, thanks
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maltdog

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Post Wed Dec 07, 2011 5:46 pm

Re: Brewing RO water

FWIW
When I'm feeling too lazy to measure out tenths-of-grams of brewing salts for "soft water" beers (BoPils for exampe), I've sometimes resorted to using 1 part tap water to 3 to 4 parts deoinized (close to distilled or RO). Much simpler than "building" water, and no discernible difference in the beer that I can detect. I've also mashed malty pale lagers with 100% distilled and sparged with 1:3 or "built" water with no issues.
But 90% of the time I end up building brewing water because IME even filtered tap water usually tastes too damn nasty.

I'd be leery of blindly using spring water without at least tasting it first , or checking out mineral content on the brand's website... just because it's "natural" doesn't mean it tastes good or is good for brewing in general.
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