HOMEBREW Digest #148 Thu 11 May 1989
FORUM ON BEER, HOMEBREWING, AND RELATED ISSUES
Rob Gardner, Digest Coordinator
Homebrew Digest #146 (May 09, 1989) (ferguson ct 71078)
Novice Questions Responses (Michael Bergman)
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Date: Wed, 10 May 89 09:31:09 EDT
From: ferguson%X102C at HARRIS-ATD.COM (ferguson ct 71078)
Subject: Homebrew Digest #146 (May 09, 1989)
>From: Darryl Richman <darryl at ism780c.isc.com>
>Your kitchen tap might still have a bit of spaghetti sauce under the
>lip from yesterday's dishes--do you trust it enough to put it into the
>beautiful culture medium you've just spent 2 hours making? Some
>people get away with it--for a while.
I previously posted that I have used tap water in my brew. Two things
I forgot to mention that you and several other posters have reminded
me of -- I always sanitize my faucett and sink with bleach prior to
brewing and I had a water softener which removed much (but not all) of
the iron and other minerals.
If a homebrewer has water questions, he might try taking a one quart
sample of his brewing water to a swimming pool supply store for
testing. They will measure the ph, total alkalinity, and chlorine
content. Most such stores also have instruments for determining iron
and other solids content. It may not be as accurate as a water report
but is a good start and it's free since the pool supply place would
love to sell you the chemicals ($$) to correct any deficiencies (:-)).
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Date: Wed, 10 May 89 11:00:37 edt
From: bergman at m2c.org (Michael Bergman)
Subject: Novice Questions Responses
Date: Mon, 8 May 89 08:45:59 EDT
From: rogerl at Think.COM
Date: Fri, 5 May 89 12:01:47 EDT
From: gh0t+ at andrew.cmu.edu
Subject: More novice questions
I've noticed, in "complete joy" and elsewhere, directions that call for boiling
wort with part of the water required, and then adding the rest of the water to
it in the fermenter. I'm not exactly sure how to interpret this. In particular,
does this mean that it's OK to just add tap water to the boiled portion of the
wort, or should pre-sterilized (boiled) water be added?
Another question concerning water: is there any advantage to using anything
but tapwater? The water here in Pittsburgh is not bad, but it's not great,
either. (It took some getting used to when I came here from Oregon, where
municipal water sources are typically snowmelt. Pittsburgh water comes from the
Allegheney river, which has its source, I believe, in an oilwell upstate.)
First, remember that brews are mostly water. So the water you use
will effect the final product. If the water is particularly
unappetizing I would suggest using bottled water. The town water
where I am is safe to drink by all standards but has a strange musty
oder to it.('they' say it's algee in the supply) But we took no
changes and had an active charcol filter installed in the main into
the house. Yes, it was a bit expensive. But the way I figure it, it
has paid for itself in the 5 years we've had it based on the price of
bottled water being delivered to the house.
I lived for a while in a town that used copper sulphate to control the
algae in the water supply. Not realizing what I was doing, I used
some of this stuff to make mead. Smelled terriblly of sulphur,
and had a bit of an aftertaste. In short, be careful what water you
use. I recall Pittsburgh water as being unpleasant to drink, and
wouldn't be surprised if it had sulphur compounds and perhaps a lot of
iron--but as several people have suggested, talk to the water company.
I believe that the Allegheny is what Rolling Rock and Iron City (thus
presumably Sam Adams) use in their brew--but that they get it much
farther up the river. They may get it from a tributary anyway.
I don't think there are any oil wells upstate...the Mononghahela
passes through a number of steel mills and other unpleasant factories
on its way to Pittsburgh, but given the state of the industry, it
should be drinkable any day now...
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