So my wife made me turn on the water softener… should I be buying water to brew with now? The stuff feels slimy now, so I have a ton of fears about drinking/brewing with my tap water. Am I just being paranoid?
don’t use water from a softener ,it has alot of salt in it. you’re better off with bottled water.
+1 - no water from the softener.
Option #1 - if you want to use your tap water - often, some faucets are not hooked to the softener. In particular, outdoor faucets. That is what I do for using any of my tapwater. I have a foodgrade hose hooked up to an outdoor faucet right outside my brewroom window and just run the hose in the window and through a carbon filter. The water does not go through the softener.
Option#2 - just buy RO water at the store. If you refill jugs it is cheap.
Ok, I have never herd of soft water having salt in it. The salt is used to remove the minerals and deposits from the desicants in the softener. It sould not leave a lot of salt in water. As far as using this water for brewing, I have always used water from my sink spicket, although it is filtered under the sink which eleminates oder and taste, other wise you should be ok. :cheers:
Water softeners do not leave ‘salt’ in the water. They work by replacing minerals such as iron, copper & manganese with sodium via ion exchange. It’s fine for extract brewing, but not for all-grain. You’ll lose your calcium & magnesium in the softening process which are needed for proper mash chemistry.
But the elevated sodium level is not good for beer flavor.
Depending on the pre-softened sodium & sulfate levels. Also note that I used the word ‘fine’ instead of great.
I got that information directly from Palmer & A.J. DeLange.
No point settling for “fine” beer to save .39 cents a gallon on R.O. water.
I had my water tested by ward labs from an outdoor hardwater spigot and indoor softwater spigot
Calcium went from 60ppm to 0, Mg went from 22ppm to 0. And, the Bicarbonate levels stayed at 270.
Sodium went from 5 to 125ppm with the softened water.
Don’t use water from the softener. Denny is right.
Sodium from 70-150ppm will round out a beer & accent malt sweetness. It’s above 200ppm when you should start to worry about a salty-type flavor.