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Water softener

I may be thinking about this the wrong way, but here goes. I have a water softener in my house which uses salt to take impurities out of the water. I would assume that this would take all of the same stuff out of the water no matter where you live, leaving you with the same water no matter where you live. Therefore, I was wondering if anyone out there brews with water that comes from a water softener, and if I should do something to build it up?


I don’t suggest brewing with softened water. Softeners remove calcium and magnesium, replacing it with sodium or potassium. The other minerals remain unchanged, however the chlorine is removed.

With extract it’s not as big of a deal. You’re better bet is to use an RO after the softener and re-build your water. This is what I do so I’m able to build the profile I want and target a certain pH.

Water softeners are just nasty. Bottled distilled, then building up is not a big deal, and will serve you better than that slimy, itchy sodium loaded crap.

Curious, have either of you two tried brewing with soft water? Sneezles61

I haven’t, but the first thing I heard when starting to brew was if your water tastes okay, you’re fine. Softened water smells/tastes bad, so that’s a no go for me.

A very good friend that I brew with uses his softened water. Always ales, a toss up betwixt IPA and porters… Never had a bad brew from him… never. As a curious side show, check out “how beer saved the world”. They did a duck pond brew and had peeps try it… no-one new it was from some… crappy water… Just saying’… Sneezles61

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True. it’s possible to make safe, drinkable beer from otherwise unpotable water. That’s usually referring to some of the nasty biological stuff in bad water. Disentary and microbes from fecal matter, lots of gross stuff. Just boiling for an hour will also take care of most of that.

Most of the water chemistry stuff people talk about today is about making beer tasty, not about making duck poop safe to drink.

Just saying…

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I have for extract. I will admit it didn’t turn out bad. When I moved to AG I had water tested and it was very high in sodium. I never used it due to the fact that it would have been difficult to build the water profile as adding back minerals would only result in higher sodium levels.

As far a adjusting it, I haven’t a clue. I know my brew buddy doesn’t do anything to his water. Sneezles61

I believe a water softener should only be hooked up to your hot water lines. Not certain, but if you’re getting cold water from the tap it shouldn’t be after the softener. Maybe a Culligan Man can weigh in.

Hey…Culligan Man???

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Mine is hooked up to the main line coming into the house. Water is hard whether it’s hot or cold.

^^^^^^You mean… soft? :neutral_face: Sneezles61

Of course all water coming into the house may be hard. The idea with a softener is it treats water that you shower with and water your appliances use. You don’t want to be drinking water that has gone through a softener. Again, I’m not a professional, this is just my understanding.

I’m not arguing with you, just sharing my experience. My brother who installed it has installed, serviced, and sold softeners for 14 years so he better know what he’s doing!
Edited to add: I understand what you’re saying but you would essentially be rendering your softened water useless if you didn’t soften both hot and cold as the water would mix coming out of the faucet.

I was referring to the water ENTERING the residence.

Well there ya go. I will certainly go with what he says.

Not sure what just having the way on the hot side would accomplish. Has anyone tried something like the scale buster. I’ve heard they work good for treating hard water.

Certain styles can accommodate a fair amount of sodium, stouts come to mind/dark roasty styles. But a helles or pilsener, not so much. Just goes to show that water is only a small part of the big picture, compared to say fermentation temperature control

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…and the bazillion other variables (moon phase, position of Jupiter, background music, starting fermentation temperature, finishing fermentation temperature, cooler color, etc., etc., etc.) I’ve learned as newbie that affect the outcome of beer! LOL :joy:

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