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Brewing Water...What do you do?

I recently purchased five gallons of spring water from a grocery store to use for brewing the black IPA. It was only 84 cents a gallon but I want to know what most people use for brewing water?

I was thinking of using the empty gallon jugs and filling them with water from our refrigerator which is filtered, has anyone done this?

Purchasing spring water is relatively inexpensive but wanted to know if anyone else has used filtered water from their refrigerator or a Brita filter.

Started using tap water but felt it may be contributing to mild off flavors.


I use tap water, but I am figuring out it is no good for IPAs. I have a lot of carbonates in the water and I definitely get a soapy finish in my IPAs. Everything else has been fine with tap water, but I will likely buy distilled and build from their.

i boil my tap water and use that. i also add salts to my water.

your fridge would work for filtering chlorine. hard to tell without your water report

You need a water profile for your tap water and then you can decide what’s best for a particular style. For example, Austin water is very hard with ~10 pH, so I usually cut it 50/50 with DI water after carbon-filtering and treating with campden to remove chlorine and chloramine. But for the occasional really light beer, I’ll use 100% DI water and add salts (what a PITA though - hauling 40 gallons of water from the store is a lot of work!).

I use tap water and throw in a campden tablet

You really do need to know your tap water composition and then you need to determine what styles it’s best for and then try to determine what to do for styles outside of that area. Buying spring water is okay for softer styles but you still don’t know what’s in that spring water. For beers in the 12-17 SRM range, my tap water is good. For beers lighter than that, I may cut my filtered tap water 50/50 with bulk RO water from the store or possibly use 75% RO. In all cases, I need to bump my calcium because I only get 34ppm from the tap water and if I dilute, I cut the calcium too. Step 1, get a W6 household water analysis from Ward Labs. Step 2, get a water spreadsheet like EZ_Water or Bru’N’Water and punch your water numbers into it. That will tell you what your water is good for. Some people are blessed with soft water which is the best water for making beer. Making additions fo styles that need it is EASY, diluting harder water to make it softer is a PITA. There is a BREWING WATER page on my site, link below.

I use Bru’n water and brew with reverse osmosis water. Then I add whatever salts I need to get my water to the profile I want for the beer I’m brewing. I have a 5 gallon plastic jug and a 3 gallon plastic jug that I fill at the grocery store for $.25 a gallon. It’s cheap. I brew 4 gallon batches so I usually have a gallon or two left over for using for sanitizer, coffee, or drinking water.

I use free DI water from work. Mix with my well water 2:1, add a little CaCl. Yes, I had my water tested by Ward Labs first.

I use straight tap water, I think at the very least a chlorine filter is recommended, admittedly I don’t use one yet. I did obtain a water composition chart from my local power & water. Luckily our water comes from the tap reasonably pure (nice drinking water) - slightly higher levels of chlorine would be the exception.

I set up two water profiles in Beersmith - Pale and Dark, and from this I add either to a recipe and the minerals are added automatically. On brew day it’s just a matter of sorting the mineral aditions into the HLT.

I could go one step further and add a profile for various types of beer, but so far haven’t felt the need.

I hook up an inline charcoal filter on my water supply when I am brewing all water used for beer goes thru that filter prior to use on brew day and I use the needed salts and minerals and what not to add back in to get to the levels needed according to the style I am brewing. I actually sent in a sample of my water after it runs thru a new filter so I know my baseline and can adjust from there.

I am curious if anyone who is handy with water would care to take a look at a profile and suggest a treatment regimen:

The only time I have ever added anything it was burton salts and it came out awfully.

Campden? Gypsum? I have the numbers but am not sure what they mean.

If I read Ken’s posted EZ chart, looks like my tap water is well within the acceptable range for each category. Score.

That should cover everyone in East County San Diego.

@ spykeratchet - This a good link from Brad Smith (Beersmith) … d-or-soft/

Shows the 6 main ions you need to be concerned with in terms of brewing quality and some approx specs to adjust. You can compare your water report with Brads suggestions and see how it shapes up.

[quote=“spykeratchet”]I am curious if anyone who is handy with water would care to take a look at a profile and suggest a treatment regimen:[/quote]

This water is rather hard, it would benefit from cutting it with RO 2:1 (2 parts RO to 1 part tap). Also carbon filter or treat with campden to remove the chlorine byproducts.

I am very lucky where I live, the water is very soft and low dissolved mineral content. Perfect for light styles. I run my brew water through a carbon filter and use gypsum in the mash (1 teaspoon for every 5 gallons of mash water)

I must be fortunate. I use the tap water here in Cheyenne, and all of my beers, whether lager, or ale have turned out great. I’m sure it’s a matter of perspective, since I like the tap water here, and all my beer loving buddies do too! They definitely have no problem knocking a few of mine back!


I’ve been thinking that maybe I should start filtering my water for brewing, good topic here. If I pull a glass of tap water it certainly has a chlorine odor. It doesn’t taste that bad but I’m sure it can be doing things to my brews I wasn’t thinking of. Anyone install a charcoal filter inline in say a garden hose type setup or on their utility sink? If I could do a garden hose setup then I dont need to go back inside anymore. I had been filling from the fridge’s water filter before. Last batch I did pure tap no filtering. I guess a trip to the orange big box might be in order. Garden hose hookup would be perfect since my chiller hooks the same way. I use a marine hose outside which is safe for drinking water. Anyone do this or have suggestions on what filter to use?

I picked up a handheld cartridge filter (carbon block) from MoreBeer for something like $36. I connect it to my outdoor spigot and collect whatever amount of water I need and filter it into buckets. It does a great job on chlorine and is also supposed to strip out organic flavor and particles down to .5 micron. We use the big, blue 5-gallon Ice Mountain drinking water and when we’re out of that and before the delivery comes again, I used to fill those bottles with tap water. Then came the complaints… Ew, this tastes like chlorine!… so now I will filter some ordinary water through the carbon block into a blue bottle and put that on the dispenser and it’s much better. This is how I know the chlorine gets filtered out nicely… no one can tell the difference. Of course, there is still plenty of bicarbonate in that water compared to the drinking water.

That is exactly what I do. I use 2 short RV water supply hoses with one of those under-sink mount carbon filter housings hooked up to it. I had to buy a couple of fittings in order to fit the hose to the filter housing but it works great to remove the chlorine and other stuff from the water.

I’ve been using these based on recommendations from other brewers that use them. Fairly economical. I hook up on RV hose on the input and just let it drain from the unit into my kettle. ... gMethod=rr

I stopped by Lowes on my way home and picked up a whirlpool filter. It has a filter that goes down to 2 microns and looked easy to put inline. I got some brass fittings for each end for garden hose hookup, tested it out, and am all set now I think. Need to run a few gallons and then take some taste tests but if this gets rid of my chlorine (filter swears it will) then I will be a much happier camper with my beer.

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