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Soft water for stout

Hey Guys: I’m going to make my first batch of stout since putting in a water softener. Anybody got any idea how much gypsum I should add to my water? :?

Are you brewing with water that went through the water softener? I thought that was a no-no.

Also, I’m not a stout head and my water is on the hard side but I thought you wanted to add chalk (Calcium Carbonate CaCO3) for a stout.

[quote=“Ken Lenard”]Are you brewing with water that went through the water softener? I thought that was a no-no.

Also, I’m not a stout head and my water is on the hard side but I thought you wanted to add chalk (Calcium Carbonate CaCO3) for a stout.[/quote]

I agree with Ken about using water from a softener; it’s supposed to add sodium.
Do you have a report for your untreated water? Were flying blind when it comes to recommendations for adjusting it.

i have naturally soft water and i add about 1 tsp chalk to a 5 gal batch

Don’t know where you might’ve heard it’s a no no. I’ve been using it for a long time with no ill effects nor has anyone I know had any problems. I think it’s a matter of it’s being adjusted properly. Think I’ll just toss in a couple of tspoons of gypsum and see what happens. :cheers:

Oh hey, is this extract? If so, you’re good. I guess most of the caveats I have heard about brewing with water that has gone through a water softener has to do with all-grain brewing. I don’t pretend to know because I don’t have a water softener but this is just something that I have heard over and over again. Something about too much sodium and not enough of the ions that were stripped out (unless you replace them, I suppose). Cheers.

Can’t you just by pass the softer? The softner should have a by-pass valve on it that you can turn off to gather water.

If its anything like my house (and from most people I hear), you can take water from an outside faucet that likely is likely in the series before the water softner and should be straight “unsoftened” water. It would then be like brewing with the water you have always used.

Sorry, I should have specified that. Yeah extract. I pretty much gave up all-grain years ago. Like I said, I work in a winery and do a lot of fermenting, testing, transferring, bottling, etc. etc. there. To me the six hours or so it takes to measure out the grain, grind it, mash it, boil it et al is just like work. I know I’ll probably stimulate outrage but, except for the very, very light beers and specialties like rye beer, I can’t really tell the difference that much. I’ve been doing this stuff since it was considered moonshine back in the late fifties and early sixties. The experimental urge died out about 1975. :wink:

6 hours? i can kick out a 5 gal batch in 3.5 hrs and 10 gal in 4.thats all inclusive.

I try hard not to spread bad info and you have been in the game long enough to know that your water is okay to brew with. If a newbie was trying to make AG beer with water that had gone through a softener I would want to warn him to at least do some homework about it first. Brew on, Beerheads! :slight_smile:

The kitchen cold water tap & outside hose bibs draw from before my water softener. Village water here is pretty soft compared to the rental I lived in for 3 years before we bought this house, and there is a noticable difference between what I brewed there, and am brewing here. I’ve been tempted to talk to my old landlord and get water from the well down there when I brew.

6 hrs for a batch? wow
Anyways, softeners are a no-no in my experience. You can turn them off but then not idea how long to run oyur water to get it all out of the lines. Also where are you getting the water from? Just because you have a water softner doesnt mean it all goes through it. Usually outside spigots and such do not even go through the softeners

I believe the risk is that water softeners add sodium and high levels of sodium and sulfate makes hops taste harsh (according to John Palmer). So, I’d avoid adding gypsum and stick with malty beers. Or you could use the unsoftened water, add calcium, then boiling should drop the carbonate out of solution.

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