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Water

Is there a better type of water to use rather then tap water. I wqs wondering if you get a better taste from using a cleaner water.

You can use RO water but you will have to either dilute some with your water or add some salts back in. Without getting a water report to see what is in your water its hard to tell what you have. Unless you are going to go with 100 percent RO, spring or distilled then you can just build from there.

If your referring to extract brewing Irish, the composition of your water is not a huge issue as the mashing and other done at the maltster has left the extract prime for brewing you just need to reconstitute it with “good” water.

Any tap water is typically A-OK there are a few rare cases such as people that have municipals that are subject to high organic residuals and you would know it because certain times of the year the water becomes darn near putrid even though its been chlorinated to high hanna. The only thing to be concerned about is Chloramine/ chlorine. Most all muni’s use chloramine now and you need either activated charcoal to filter it first or you can use Kmeta/ Potassium metabisulfite/ campden tablets to eliminate this concern too. Although when using Kmeta you want to use a very small amount. In 20 gallons you would use only 1 campden tablet.

If you dont want to de-chlorinate your tap water or have high residual organic then as said above DI or spring water is the way to go. Also many grain brewers myself included use tap water every single brew and de-chlorinate such as described but we adjust it due to mashing needs only.

Thanks for help guys, I am new at this and appreciate it. I will probably go with the tap water for one batch and maybe try the spring water for another. I wasn’t sure if they put something in the bottle water to preserve it that might effect the fermentation process.

If the water tastes good right out of the tap it will probably make decent beer. If it doesn’t taste good without filtering or treating it your finished beer will suffer. If you have a municipal water supply it is very likely that you could get a water report from the supplier; larger municipalities usually have this information published somewhere on a municipal/water supplier web site. Where are you located? Local geology and precipitation patterns can sometime be used to guesstimate probable water chemistry.

I am in Central PA. The water is descent out of the tap, So I will probably just go with it.

Do consider dechlorinating though as it will lead to medicinal/ band aid aromas and flavors in the finished beer if you have high ppm in your muni. If it is listed as low (IE:<1.0-1.5 ppm or mg/l) you might be OK, but anything above this means highly chlorinated tap water.

When I mentioned Kmeta earlier it is a simple as pie process. I use a pill cutter to quarter campden tablets and dose my water with a crushed quarter campden tablet to each 5 gallons of water I use and that’s it. The powdered campden tablet then helps the muni water by eliminating chlorine.
You can buy campden tablets at any LHBS ( $2.00 for 100 will last forever, plus there good to have around for mead/ wine making) or powdered Potassium metabisulfite (which is 10 times stronger than campden and therefore should be accurately measured.)

Here are a good couple of wiki clips about it also, So you understand the widespread brewing usage.
This product is also used to eliminate both free chlorine, and the more stable form, chloramine, from water solutions (i.e., drinking water from municipal sources)
When used only for the purpose of dechlorinating tap water before brewing, one tablet will effectively treat 20 gallons of water.”
The level of active sulfur dioxide diminishes rapidly as it reacts with chlorine and chloramine
Main wiki page:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Campden_tablets

The taste test is ok - but my water “tastes” good, and it is great for brewing dark beer - but it is terrible for making hoppy/light ales because of its high bicarbonate. As mentioned earlier - extract or all grain? If you are making extract, I believe that the extract already has all the minerals in it that are needed (correct me if I am wrong on this.) So, if you are doing extract - I would simply buy R.O. or drinking water at a grocery store or walmart.

Our local tap water has some off-flavors (like pond water with chlorine) so when I first started extract brewing I would buy a couple of 2.5 gallon carboys of “drinking water” from the local grocery store. All sanitized and ready to go. One carboy went in the brew pot, the other in the carboy.

I"ve also tried “spring water” and I’ve noticed no difference between it and “drinking water” in my brews. I was told to stay away from distilled water, though, as it lacks nutrients essential for good yeast growth.

Now I used a salvaged undersink water filter system and attached it to my brewing rig to filter my tap water. It works great for removing the off flavors and chlorine.

If you have any doubts about your local tap water, a Pur or other type of activated charcoal water filter for your tap water is a relatively cheap solution, like the little units that screw onto the faucet. Takes a little longer to collect your brewing water, but worth the time.

Sounds like a plan. I think I will get a water filtration system for my kitchen sink. I have been wanting to get one of these and now I have a good excuse. Plus the Brita would take way to long.

We have such a high iron content in our area’s well water that we had to go with a manganese greensand filter. After seeing a stark difference with the municipal water in our previous townhouse, we also tacked on a simple whole-house, canister filter, too. I would recommend it to anyone.

I was in such a hurry to brew my first beer that i said screw it and just bought 5 gallons of spring water from the grocery store. At a dollar apiece i didn’t care. Having said that there are probably some more cost affective solutions as already mentioned in the above posts.

$$$$$$$$ If your made of money sure grab a $500 system.

I guess a lot of the follow up posters kind of glazed past my post regarding the use of campden.

The most cost effective and bottom line ease factor is to simply use tap water and De-chlorinate with some form of potassium metabisulfite on the fly, campden being the most readily available and easy to dose. Honestly why pay $300-1000 for a three stage plus filter system with no real benefits? Your best systems out there have typically only a 5gallon reserve tank and the flow rate is very slow so if you only need 2-3 galls cool but why not have vast amounts of tap available and drop in some cheap powder folks? Municipals use some pretty fancy techniques and filtering these days that delivers more than 50% of the time depending on location>> pretty good water. If you need to remove minute VOC’s and fluoride levels that remain in tap then sure get an RO unit.

The only reason to not use tap or well is when you have high iron such as just mentioned. High organic residuals. Extremely hard tap or well water. Soft tap(not softened) in between 0-150TDS is perfect for the majority of brewing including all grain. Or you are a all grain brewer that wishes to build from the ground up then you would need minimum 10-15 gallons of RO which 4-5 stage systems have, but then you either store up carboys of water or obtain a 20+ gallon reservoir.

I just made a Cherry Wheat and used tap water. I will see how it turns out.

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