[quote=“Dan S”][quote=“Glug Master”]There’s a good thread at HBT on water:
I adopted the water treatment plan laid out in this thread 5 recipes ago and have had very good luck with it. I buy RO water from Wal-Mart (which comes to less than $4 per 5-gallon batch) and build from there. I think I got all of the sauermaltz, gypsum and calcium chloride I will need for the next year (brewing 1-2 times month) for around $10. I am a complete novice when it comes to water chemistry, but from first-hand experience I can recommend this regiment as a low-cost way to get into treating your brewing water (it’s very cheap and easy to implement). It costs me a few extra dollars per recipe, but I at least know what the water content is now and can take this information into consideration when troubleshooting.[/quote]
You are turning you $1 beer into a $1.25. I think that this is a waste if your just using the end product for your friends/family/self. That stuff can add up, but that is my opinion. Plus, just adding some additives to the water is not going to really give you a perfect water profile anyway, as all RO water is processed after the fact by different means.
Water chemistry is guess work at its easiest and a science experiment at its hardest. Why not just add something to your water at home? Then it will be $1.15 per beer, rather than $1.25. You will probably need to add less items as well. If you think about it, 25c is not much more for a beer, but if you’re going through 2 batches a month, that is $25 dollars a month. I would rather save that for a few months and buy a monster mill. Or do another batch each month.
Flavors are dependent on water chemistry, but I guarantee you that there is a beer out there that works with your water. There is a recipe that can be built to accommodate your tastes without the use of RO water and additives. Flavors are more defined by the ingredients you use, and how efficient your process is.