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What water do you use to brew?

The tap water here on base sucks to say the least. I use Walmart purified drinking water water at 88 cents a gallon. Is there a cheaper method as far as getting decent water to brew? What water do you all use?

I use the so called Ro water at those refill stations in food stores. I know that there are concerns about quality with those things but I have found the one I use is pretty good. I have tested Ph and it is low , about 6 and if the water was not almost pure like Ro it would not test that low of Ph.
I do add gypsum and calcium chloride to the water before mashing with it. its only 39 cent a gal.

39 cents a gallon, I might start using those refill machines.

I’ve used Walmart Spring Water in gallon jugs, Walmart Distilled Water in gallon jugs and Deer Park Spring Water in 2.5 gallon jugs. Our tap water sometimes smells like chlorine. I’d rather spend the money on bottled water than risk an off flavor from our tap water. I buy distilled water for StarSan.

[quote=“grainy”]I use the so called Ro water at those refill stations in food stores. I know that there are concerns about quality with those things but I have found the one I use is pretty good. I have tested Ph and it is low , about 6 and if the water was not almost pure like Ro it would not test that low of Ph.
I do add gypsum and calcium chloride to the water before mashing with it. its only 39 cent a gal.[/quote]
PS I do a test of this water from time to time. take a cup of it and boil in a clean ss pan till its almost gone. if you see white deposits forming around the edges where the water has evaporated it is not Ro water and what ever it is it has minerals in it.

Purified drinking water is kind of meaningless for brewing. It could have any degree of mineralization and alkalinity which could trip you up. If they report those basic ion concentrations for that water, then you can figure out what you might do to treat the water for brewing. But don’t think that just because its ‘purified’, that its better to brew with. You probably still need to a few things to that water to make it better suited to your brew.

Those of you using the RO vending machines, be very careful! Sometimes the water does NOT have low mineralization like RO should have. Be sure to get yourself a TDS meter so that you can verify that the water has LOW TDS like RO is supposed to have.

[quote=“mabrungard”]Purified drinking water is kind of meaningless for brewing. It could have any degree of mineralization and alkalinity which could trip you up. If they report those basic ion concentrations for that water, then you can figure out what you might do to treat the water for brewing. But don’t think that just because its ‘purified’, that its better to brew with. You probably still need to a few things to that water to make it better suited to your brew.

Those of you using the RO vending machines, be very careful! Sometimes the water does NOT have low mineralization like RO should have. Be sure to get yourself a TDS meter so that you can verify that the water has LOW TDS like RO is supposed to have.[/quote]

Thanks Martin. I was unaware of TDS meters, and plan to buy one since they are quite affordable. Can you tell us approximately how many ppm of dissolved solids that RO water suitable for brewing should be?

Per a little online research, I see one source finds the “acceptable” range for RO water as 0 - 50 ppm of TDS, but that is for general purposes, not as related to brewing beer.

Yes, the 0 to 50 ppm range is probably acceptable for RO performance. However, a properly operating machine is likely to produce less than 25 ppm TDS. I would have second thoughts about a machine that vends water with more than 25 ppm TDS.

Thanks! This is awesome, since I now have the means to appropriately source my RO water to meet the needed standard for brewing such beers as Czech pilsners, when I need to add a % of RO to my hard tap water.

I use good old tap water which is Detroit City water. It comes from the Great Lakes. I add a bit of Campden to remove the chloramines and I’m good to go.

I use filtered (Pur filter) tap water, and then also buy 1 or 2 gals of RO water from the store depending on light/dark beer styles to help with my hard water. But I do partial mashes that also make up part of my beer.

What I’ve seen people do is get one of those water line cartridge filters and put some adapters on it so you can just run it from your sink faucet. Run it through a charcoal cartridge and your good. Probably pay for its self in a few batches and you can take it with you no matter where your stationed. Heck you can filter the water for drinking also.

We have hard water

If I am making anything dark I use a charcoal filter (RO for the mash water)

Anything light and I use pure RO water from a vending machine.

I have been thinking of building one of these. It is extremely affordable. I plan on getting a water test after filtering to get a full understanding of what my water contains.

http://byo.com/stories/item/399-build-y ... r-projects

I used to buy drinking water but finally gave that up and just use tap water with a campden tablet.

I use a Culligan RVF-10 Level 1 Recreational Vehicle External Water Filter. It hooks up to my hose and provides basic carbon filtration. I found mine on Amazon for ~$20.

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