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Water Hardness

I’m wondering how much water hardness/softness matters to those of you doing partial mashes. Specifically, I think I read somewhere that it effects hop utilization.

I brew intermittently, so not a brewing fiend, but I have a good number of batches under my belt. I have incrementally improved my process and equipment to a point that I’m happy with. My problem is that I don’t seem to get a good crisp hop flavor. I get the same sort of hazy hop flavor, but nothing close to what a commercial beer would taste like.

I have very soft water. Could this be the problem?

Likely so, but without a water report it’s hard to tell. You could take one of your beers and add a 1/4tsp of gypsum, get it to dissolve, then taste it. If it helps then that’s your problem.

What’s your water source?

If you don’t brew often, how do you feel about buying distilled? Either straight distilled if you brew extract, or built up distilled for all grain. Try it once to see if it improves things. I use 100% distilled for every all grain batch.

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I have well water, and I do have a recent hardness report that I am looking for. I know it said “Soft water” but I don’t remember the exact numbers reported. So If I am understanding you correctly loopie, the gypsum would bring out the flavor in an already brewed batch? I was under the assumption that the gypsum might help while brewing, but it would be a finished product after that.

uberculture, distilled water might be a good option. I’ll have to check out the cost. Can’t be that much right?

$.88 gallon at Target…

Such a deal. I’ll try that next.

Yep, you can add it to finished beer. Add slowly to minimize foaming,

Did look for water. At a supermarket. Think here to expensive. A gall water. 4.50$ kind of funny. They use desalnated water here. The osmoses. Way. But went to their office. They dont want to give me. A report. But did buy water tester. The ph runs inbetween. 5 .6. To 6.5. Do use some burton salt. Further nothing.

If I were you I’d send a sample of your well water to Ward Lab for anaysis. “Soft water” is not necessarily a bad thing and could be a good thing. My water is a bit “hard” for lighter styles but I generally make it work, in some cases by cutting with or using distilled.

Depending on where you live distilled could be less than a dollar a gallon but why pay if what comes out of your tap is fine?

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