Back to Shopping at NorthernBrewer.com

First Brew/First Question

I’ve been browsing this forum for a week or so and learned a great deal. I finally started my first batch Sunday night and have a question.

It seems to me that two huge things are sterilizing and temp control (which I need to work on). The directions for my Caribou Slobber say to sterilize the Carboy while im waiting for my wort to cool then add 2 gallons of tap water. After I spend so much time sterilizing this thing why do I pour tap water into it? Shouldn't I at least boil the water first? I also end up adding more tap water after I add the wort to bring the volume up to 5 gallons. Thanks in advance, I'm getting some books and have started watching brew TV so I promise to limit my New B questions as much as possible.

[quote=“RobnCO”]I’ve been browsing this forum for a week or so and learned a great deal. I finally started my first batch Sunday night and have a question.

It seems to me that two huge things are sterilizing and temp control (which I need to work on). The directions for my Caribou Slobber say to sterilize the Carboy while im waiting for my wort to cool then add 2 gallons of tap water. After I spend so much time sterilizing this thing why do I pour tap water into it? Shouldn't I at least boil the water first? I also end up adding more tap water after I add the wort to bring the volume up to 5 gallons. Thanks in advance, I'm getting some books and have started watching brew TV so I promise to limit my New B questions as much as possible.[/quote]

I went to the LHBS last week with the exact same question. I was told that if you are using municipal water, you are OK. They said well water may be a different story. I buy spring water for my mashing and boils, but I rinse using un-boiled tap water and so far had no problems. I you feel better by boiling your make up water by all means do so. :cheers:

Personally, I would not ever use straight tap water for anything on the cold side. I would use boiled water if I was going to top off a fermenter, or at the very least, bought UV treated springwater. Also, I do not “rinse” anything you sanitize. Use Star San and don’t rinse it.

You may be fine, but sooner or later you are probably asking for trouble using tap water.

I used to boil my water I used for top up, then decided to quit doing it and never had any problems.

What I was doing was putting a few gallons of water in the freezer in the morning if I was brewing at night. That way, I could chill my wort to 100F or so, then add the cold water to get it to pitching temps. Helped save a bit of time.

Yikes. I’d be worried about chlorine/chloramine in your tap water if it’s municipal, or contaminants if it’s from a well.

When I do partial boil, I use bottled RO water to top off. I don’t worry about boiling the water as long as I’m opening a sealed container. If you’re not sure about the quality of your water I’d either use bottled water to top off or boil & cool it first.

I had the same question when I first started brewing. The fact of the matter is that you won’t be infecting the batch with tap water. By sanitizing everything, you are limiting the amount of microbes that will be in contact with the wort. As long as you sanitize (not sterilize :wink: ) everything and pitch enough yeast, the yeast will out compete the bugs that happen to make it in the wort, even those from the tap.

:cheers:

Thanks for the tips everyone. I like the idea of putting some water in the freezer the morning before. That would help me speed up getting the temp down on my wort, since as for right now I’m just doing the Ice bath in the sink.

Have you looked up swamp cooler? You can keep your ale temps down with a storage bin filled with water and ice jugs. It’s also the same method I use as an ice bath…just lot’s more jugs of ice!

Have you looked up swamp cooler? You can keep your ale temps down with a storage bin filled with water and ice jugs. It’s also the same method I use as an ice bath…just lot’s more jugs of ice![/quote]

Thanks, I will check it out

[quote=“RobnCO”]

Thanks, I will check it out[/quote]

see the links in my signature line.

Welcome to the OBSESSION !

My first batch still resides in the Primary until this Saturday, so I have no experience either. I did have the city I live in provide me with a water analysis (they are required to give you this if you ask) a few years ago and was surprised that there was no chlorination being done here. Only if there is a line break then they chlorinate temporarily to isolate and clean up the break “area”. So I don’t worry about that, but I too worried about adding straight tap water to the prepared wort for topping off purposes. But what the hell, I drink it from the tap and its pretty good so I went ahead and did it. In the back of my mind was the experience of drinking boiled water back in USMC basic training and how shitty it tasted after a 10 minute boil.
Anyway, I hope my first batch is at least half way decent. I was very, very, careful about sanitation, so I’d hate to muck it up by adding water… :evil:

Back to Shopping at NorthernBrewer.com