Since I started brewing, I’ve always lived in places with very soft water. I’m now looking for a new place, and found a house with well water that is overall very soft, but has elevated iron content (0.47 ppm). Anyone know how this will affect my beer and country wines?
RC obviously there are others on here with more insight, namely @mabrungard. But I did find this interesting:
too much iron in water? | Homebrew Talk - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Forum
Thanks for the link Loopie; very informative.
That level of iron would likely be tasted as a metallic, bloodlike flavor in beer and maybe mead. But I’m not sure if a lot of water is used in creating country wines.
If the water is otherwise soft, you may find that a typical salt-based water softener could reduce iron to acceptable level. Because the water is soft, you shouldn’t incur too much sodium in the product water. There are other iron filters and techniques, but the softener may be easiest.
Hm, metalic and bloodlike. Not typically the flavor elements I look for.
Country wines use variable amounts of water depending on the base fruit. Typically, the juice is diluted with water to bring the acid levels in line, or depending on the winemaker, to increase the yield from the fruit. Apple wine might not use any water, while currant wines (the most popular country wines in Finland) can be over 75% water. You can make currant wines in black, red, white, green, or apparently if using this well water, bloody versions.
Thanks for the advice Martin. I won’t count on being able to use the well for brewing if I end up in this house.
I have a lot of iron in my well water. Can’t remember how much but you can’t use it for anything without treating with a water softener. When I started brewing I installed a green sand iron filter and this solved the iron problem.
I have what’s called “clear iron” in my well water. I’m no expert but my beers always turn out great. Done some partial boils then topped off with distilled water with no issues. My water is crystal clear but if it sits overnight there a slight bit of sediment on the bottom that can’t be seen until it sits for a while. I would say if it tastes good it should make good beer…IMHO.