Tap Water or Sterile Water

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Tap Water or Sterile Water

Postby daryl » Sat Jun 14, 2014 12:24 am

When brewing, to achieve the desire O.G., it is common to add water.

If/When you do this, do you add water direct from the tap or do you add sterilized water?

If you use sterilized water, how do you sterilize it?
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Re: Tap Water or Sterile Water

Postby whitedj » Sat Jun 14, 2014 8:58 am

I personally use RO water to top up.
Brew texts suggest using tap water that is boiled and cooled to sanitize. If using tap water watch out for chlorine and chloramides... Camden tablets help.
Some others in the club use city tap water for starters directly without issues so bacteria typically isn't am issue.
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Re: Tap Water or Sterile Water

Postby bf514921 » Sat Jun 14, 2014 10:27 am

Speaking of water does anyone use a charcoal filer to remove other things like chlorine and other chemicals?
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Re: Tap Water or Sterile Water

Postby Steven P » Sat Jun 14, 2014 8:29 pm

I have whole house filter. I.don't find that using it makes a damn bit of difference. I.top up sometimes with spring water from hy vee.
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Re: Tap Water or Sterile Water

Postby daryl » Sat Jun 14, 2014 9:27 pm

I live in rural Springville; we have a whole house filter (I agree, probably does not make a difference); and a water softener where we use potassium chloride.

I have not had the well tested in sometime; but we only have had bacteria issues when ground water gets into the system.

For the next batch, I think I might use un-softened water and see if that makes a difference.
In the Fridge/On Tap: Salted Caramel Porter
In the barrel/conditioning:
In the bucket: P-nut Brittle Ale, Blueberry and Blk Rasp. Mead; Tangerine Wheat; Spont. Funk; Swarthy Beagle
In the queue: Pils Urquell Clone, American Wheat
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Re: Tap Water or Sterile Water

Postby czubak » Mon Jun 16, 2014 9:36 am

bf514921 wrote:Speaking of water does anyone use a charcoal filer to remove other things like chlorine and other chemicals?

I use a filter like this with a carbon filter http://www.homedepot.com/p/GE-3-4-in-Inlet-Whole-House-Water-Filtration-System-GXWH04F/100471282?N=5yc1vZaqz5. Unsure of it's benefits, I run it real slow (~1 gal/min). We have a water softener in Marion and I have always ran my brewing water from the outside faucets so I am not brewing with soft water.
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Re: Tap Water or Sterile Water

Postby Steven P » Mon Jun 16, 2014 11:11 am

Just for giggles I'm running my filter today
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Re: Tap Water or Sterile Water

Postby czubak » Tue Aug 12, 2014 7:47 am

To not start another thread, and I have seen the water quality reports, but really am clueless on water since I have never tested mine or added anything. I just have used my filter (last few batches).

In Marion, have a softener, but that is not going to my hose bibs outside where I collect my water. Can anyone point me to a simple way to treat my water without getting too fancy. Camden tablets seem pretty common.
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Re: Tap Water or Sterile Water

Postby fargo41 » Tue Aug 12, 2014 12:47 pm

I'm in Marion and I have been doing the same running non-softened water through a carbon whole house filter very slowly and use Camden tablets. The last few batches I've been adding lactic acid to my mash while checking the ph with a ph meter.
Marion has really high alkalinity so the ph of the mash after dough in would be 6-6.4 so I add lactic acid stir wait and check again and add more till the ph is in a good range (5.2-5.4). I also test the sparge water and bring it down to 6 since that is recommended to reduce tannin extraction.

So I feel like those step have helped my beer taste better. I have Marion's detailed water report so I might start to mess with cutting my water with RO to match profiles.
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Re: Tap Water or Sterile Water

Postby czubak » Tue Aug 12, 2014 2:35 pm

fargo41 wrote:I'm in Marion and I have been doing the same running non-softened water through a carbon whole house filter very slowly and use Camden tablets. The last few batches I've been adding lactic acid to my mash while checking the ph with a ph meter.
Marion has really high alkalinity so the ph of the mash after dough in would be 6-6.4 so I add lactic acid stir wait and check again and add more till the ph is in a good range (5.2-5.4). I also test the sparge water and bring it down to 6 since that is recommended to reduce tannin extraction.

So I feel like those step have helped my beer taste better. I have Marion's detailed water report so I might start to mess with cutting my water with RO to match profiles.

Thanks Craig, I am trying to avoid a PH meter for some reason (why I have no idea, I love gadgets) :lol:

I see there is stuff called 5.2 Stabilizer, which aims to the "set it and forget it crowd" like me
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Re: Tap Water or Sterile Water

Postby carrisr » Tue Aug 12, 2014 2:48 pm

Don't waste your money on that 5.2 stuff. People who really understand water chemistry say that it's bogus at best.
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Re: Tap Water or Sterile Water

Postby Steven P » Tue Aug 12, 2014 3:07 pm

Exactly. 5.2 is a waste of money
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Re: Tap Water or Sterile Water

Postby whitedj » Tue Aug 12, 2014 7:16 pm

I'm in marion.... my advice is build water up from RO. Bru'n water.
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Re: Tap Water or Sterile Water

Postby Matt F » Wed Aug 13, 2014 7:12 am

While I have not used Marion water I did use to only use RO water and build up from there. I switched to using CR tap water years ago which is pretty good brewing water as is for a lot of beer. I may try some RO vs CR water brews in the near future. I sometimes think the RO water, then build up, is still better but need to experiment to see if that is true.
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Re: Tap Water or Sterile Water

Postby czubak » Wed Aug 13, 2014 7:43 am

Guess I need to learn water chemistry :lol:
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