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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

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

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.

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

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.

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.

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

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.

[quote=“560sdl”]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.[/quote]
The first post in this thread over at HBT gives some good advice.

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.

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.

Very helpful, thanks

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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