Post Number: 65
|Posted on Sunday, March 20, 2005 - 10:15 pm: ||
I am having trouble deciding where to get my brewing water from. I have several options.
1.I have a whole house water softner, but not filtered.
2.I have a R/O filter after my water softner. But this a pain. It takes several days to get all the water needed, and many buckets.
3.I can use my hose water, not softned, not filtered.
My water is considered very hard. I would like to purchase one of those inline hose filters, but don't have the cash right now. Also, I have had problems in the past with chloryphenols. So, I would think filtering would be a must.
Is it true, it is a bad idea to brew with water out of your water heater?
Post Number: 619
|Posted on Sunday, March 20, 2005 - 11:34 pm: ||
Without knowing you actual water analysis, it is hard to say. Is it posted earlier? I would not use softened water.
I brewed today with water out of the water heater. I have a non-metallic tank, and my hot tap comes out at 155F, so it takes minutes to get up to strike temp. Most homes are set at 120F, though. I have no children or elderly here, so I take the risk.
Post Number: 117
|Posted on Sunday, March 20, 2005 - 11:37 pm: ||
Eric -- If your water is considered very hard then it is high in calcium (ca), and/or magnesium (mg). This is not necessarily a bad thing for your brewing water. It is important, however that you know what your bicarbonate levels are. Chances are if you have very hard water you may have high bicarbonates. Carbonates, or Bicarbonates beyond 100ppm could be trouble, and add a harshness to your lighter colored beers (most all except porters and stouts).
If you have a water report -- post it. Typically, you want to look for (ca) calcium, (mg) magnesium,(SO4-S)sulfate, (Cl)chloride, and (HCO3) bicarbonates.
There are many on this board more knowledgeable than I that can help you, as they have helped me get my water situation under control. My bi-carbonates were 298 ppm which is way too high.
It seems to me that if you do have a RO system then you have the problem solved. Maybe you could dilute your water with a portion of your RO water. Also, you could always add salts to adjust your RO water to the desired brewing style you are brewing.
Love This Hobby!
Post Number: 2739
|Posted on Sunday, March 20, 2005 - 11:44 pm: ||
In general, don't use water softened by a standard home softener. Almost all of these replace the calcium in the water with sodium (in a few cases with potassium). This is not desirable for brewing.
The RO filter will remove more than 95 percent of the dissolved minerals. Yeast need trace minerals for healthy reproduction. You might consider using a mixture of 80-90 percent RO-filtered water and tap water for styles that benefit from very soft water.
Whether you should brew with your tap water depends on the mineral content of the water and the style (primarily the color) of the beer you are brewing. Without a water analysis you are shooting in the dark. Obtain one from your local water utility or send a sample to Ward Labs for analysis.
Hard water that is high in calcium is often desirable for brewing. It's the alkalinity (bicarbonates/carbonates) that can be a problem.
A granulated activated carbon (GAC) filter will eliminate many undesirable aromas and reduce or remove added chlorine or chloramines used to kill bacteria. It will do virtually nothing about dissolved minerals.
Get an analysis of your water and post it back here. Then we can discuss intelligently what you have and what to do about it.
(Message edited by BillPierce on March 21, 2005)
Post Number: 66
|Posted on Sunday, March 20, 2005 - 11:56 pm: ||
Thanks for the info guys, I will get an analysis tomorrow, and post