Tap water

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Tap water

Postby Ferguson » Wed Dec 04, 2013 8:21 pm

My local tap water is known for making great beer.
But a check on the municipal website shows that it contains both flouride and chlorine.
Some reading here suggests vitamin c can neutralize chlorine, or leaving it sit overnight.
So what should i do about the flourine?
What do you guys do for your mash water?
Set some out the night before then add a crushed up vitamin?
Is it necessary to distill my water before beginning the fermentation?
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Re: Tap water

Postby F6Hawk » Wed Dec 04, 2013 8:31 pm

http://chemistry.about.com/od/chemistry ... uoride.htm

I'd let it sit out overnight to get rid of the chlorine. Distilled water has no nutrients in it for the yeast, so you'd have to feed them extra. Yech, distilled!! (good for watering down final product, though, without imparting flavors).

The question is... how MUCH fluoride do you have?

EPA has set an enforceable regulation for fluoride, called a maximum contaminant level (MCL), at 4.0 mg/L or 4.0 ppm.
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Re: Tap water

Postby Ferguson » Wed Dec 04, 2013 9:49 pm

Ours is only 1.0 ppm.
However if i leave it out overnight, aren't i inviting wild yeast and bacterial strains? Should i then boil it?
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Re: Tap water

Postby MitchyBourbon » Wed Dec 04, 2013 10:29 pm

I let my tap water sit out overnight. I don't think infection is much of an issue.

Well if you are mashing around 150 F that will kill most bugs. If you are boiling corn you will kill them all. If you pitch a healthy starter right away at the appropriate temp the yeast will overtake most bugs. If you run a clean shop there will be fewer bugs in the air. If you follow these procedures, getting an infection is not likely. If after all this and you still get an infection, be sure to sanitize everything including your work area. If you don't you will likely get the same infection again.
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Re: Tap water

Postby googe » Thu Dec 05, 2013 12:05 am

You lot would have a heart attack at my fermenting ways!!, don't think ive cleaned a fermenter in a few months now :lol: . I use water straight from the tap, ive never had a off or stalled wash. . I'm curious though, what does letting the tap water sit do to the final product?, can you taste a difference?cheers
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Re: Tap water

Postby aj2456 » Thu Dec 05, 2013 12:25 am

dont think the chlorine will make a big difference here-

however v important in beer as it plus the hop oils makes a horrible taste- btw sitting out only gets the chlorine not the chloramines (need a campden tab to shift that stuff but thankfully not in every water supply)
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Re: Tap water

Postby jholmz » Thu Dec 05, 2013 12:29 am

i just use tap water straight out of the tap for fermenting havnt had any problems with it. use distilled water for proofing
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Re: Tap water

Postby heartcut » Thu Dec 05, 2013 6:28 am

In the Houston area, I've found light hydrocarbons, including HRVOC's and alcohols (not the type we like) in the water. (I do chemical analysis for a living). The sterilization agent is chloramine, which doesn't respond to vitamin C or overnight exposure. After running through an RV style carbon filter, the water makes good spirit wash and beer. My wife buys bottled Ozarka to make her wine.
I do think an interesting mineral profile can enhance the taste and unique character of our products, it's worked well in several famous breweries, wineries and distilleries. Houston isn't one of those areas.
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Re: Tap water

Postby Hound Dog » Thu Dec 05, 2013 6:53 am

googe wrote:You lot would have a heart attack at my fermenting ways!!, don't think ive cleaned a fermenter in a few months now :lol: . I use water straight from the tap, ive never had a off or stalled wash. . I'm curious though, what does letting the tap water sit do to the final product?, can you taste a difference?cheers


+1. I rinse my ferment barrels out real good with the garden hose! Heck, I am fermenting some panela right now and all the bugs parts and dead flies have floated to the top. :sick: I guess they are added protein! :mrgreen: I can't say much about being sterile though. :think:
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Re: Tap water

Postby Prairiepiss » Thu Dec 05, 2013 7:57 am

Chlorine is easy to remove. Boiling (will also remove needed oxygen), airating, and just letting it sit out for 24 hours. Or just filter it through a carbon filter. Depending on how much is present? It is more of a yeast problem then anything. It will hinder the yeast health. And kill some off prematurely. During the time you want the colony to grow good. So you have a good ferment. The fermentation process will dissipate the chlorine. But at what cost? Longer lag time? Off flavors from stressed yeast?

Clorimide is a different story. Many municipal water systems use clorimide instead of chlorine. It doesn't dissipate naturally. That's why its used. It has to be removed chemicaly. Adding campden tablets will remove it. This is what I have to do. I use a carbon filter then add campden tablets.

Some have good results with tap water. Some don't. Only one way to find out. And only takes one failure to stop using it.
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Re: Tap water

Postby DAD300 » Thu Dec 05, 2013 1:35 pm

My local water system just changed to chloramine...if you don't know what it is, you had better look it up!

For one thing it isn't removed as easily as chlorine. Chlorine will evaporate from an open container in hours, chloramine will not. That's one reason they are starting to use it. The other is it's cheaper. Imagine that...
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Re: Tap water

Postby Prairiepiss » Thu Dec 05, 2013 1:44 pm

DAD300 wrote:My local water system just changed to chloramine...if you don't know what it is, you had better look it up!

For one thing it isn't removed as easily as chlorine. Chlorine will evaporate from an open container in hours, chloramine will not. That's one reason they are starting to use it. The other is it's cheaper. Imagine that...


Chloramine is what I was referring to above. Campden tablets will remove it. I can't for the life of me remember the ratio to use. But if you search you cam find it.
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Re: Tap water

Postby googe » Thu Dec 05, 2013 2:47 pm

Lol hound dog, you sound like me!.
How does one tell that the stuff in tap water is doing your wash harm?, can someone give me an example of how the end product might differ?. is it more of a quantity issue rather than a quality issue?.
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Re: Tap water

Postby Prairiepiss » Thu Dec 05, 2013 2:49 pm

I already posted examples.
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Re: Tap water

Postby googe » Thu Dec 05, 2013 3:19 pm

No worries, I don't know what stressed yeast tastes like in the finial product. I'll do some searching.
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Re: Tap water

Postby MitchyBourbon » Thu Dec 05, 2013 5:07 pm

googe wrote:

You lot would have a heart attack at my fermenting ways!!, don't think ive cleaned a fermenter in a few months now  .


Thats, ok googe I'll just keep my defibrillator handy.

I got one for you... I have a thermometer on my pot still. I also secretly pm all the noobs on how to correctly use the thermometers on their pot stills. :mrgreen:
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Re: Tap water

Postby F6Hawk » Thu Dec 05, 2013 5:28 pm

Chlorine doesn't stress your yeast so much as it kills it. That's why it's added, right? To kill bacteria and other "bugs" that otherwise might make us sick (all those things that people with wells love about their wells, and would never treat the water because of this fact!).

Chlorine dissipates quickly as it is exposed to the air. It remains in solution when inside the pipes, but escapes into the air as it sits open. Aquarium owners frequently "treat" tap water (without chloramine) this way before adding it to an aquarium, where chlorine would destroy the bacteria in the ecosystem. Leave it out for 24 hours, or until you are comfortable with the smell/taste of it, and can't detect the chlorine any longer.

Will it "go bad" sitting out? Yeah, in a few weeks. Consider that my tap water has no chlorine in it, and sits for days sometimes before I use it. Not a huge deal. A few wild yeast and bacteria may intrude, but hopefully your yeast can overcome them easily.
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Re: Tap water

Postby bearriver » Thu Dec 05, 2013 6:07 pm

Edit: I probably worded myself improperly. I had to fix it to make this not sound like advice.

If I felt the need, I might consider using some food grade 35% h2o2 that I have laying and add it. Here is why its laying around my place, and what im thinking.

It should oxidized the chlorine and some other chemicals quicky, also kill any possible organisms. There are no stabilizers in the 35% stuff to worry about. After a few hours the h2o2 dissipates into dissolved oxygen, then into the air. The small amount of oxidized organisms and chemical are now nutrients similar to what is found in miracle grow. Some of the oxidized chems in my water sink to the bottom of my 55 gal resivours as salts. Then I rack off what I need for my indoor garden, and discard the last few gallons and solids.

Honestly I think a few ppm of chlorine isnt gonna hurt at all. It might even help the yeast keep an edge against infection. Common chlorine is one of 13 micronutrients (for plants) neccessary for growth. Life actually uses this stuff when its not condensed into bleach.
Last edited by bearriver on Thu Dec 05, 2013 7:03 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Tap water

Postby F6Hawk » Thu Dec 05, 2013 6:24 pm

That's great, if you are trying to reduce the pH drastically with hydrochloric acid. Plus, it's rather costly.

Cl + H2O2-->HCl + H2O
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Re: Tap water

Postby bearriver » Thu Dec 05, 2013 6:31 pm

I agree its probly 100% uneccessary. I have all this stuff available and I wont be caught trying it. New ideas usually suck. Mr. Piss sudjested very good options tested and true in many different applications.

My garden has had treated many thousands of gallons with it. 1 gallon jugs I get for 20$ is then diluted to 4ml per gallon and produces a ph shift only just detectable by my equipment. Which is a well maintained and calibrated bluelab guardian.

H2o2 could be an awful idea, but not beacuse it will make the ph drop drastically, or be expensive.
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Re: Tap water

Postby F6Hawk » Thu Dec 05, 2013 9:48 pm

Well at that price, and for the amount you use, I take back all that I said, except the HCL part. But HCL may not be a bad thing... washes need to be acidic to begin with, as yeast prefer acid, just as they prefer cow manure (ok, not really, but fertilizer, anyway). Sorry I assumed incorrectly. But I gotta ask where you get 35% H2O2 for $20 a gallon?

Also, don't most plants prefer a slightly acidic soil? IIRC, then you are serving up water they prefer. Guess I can stop watering my mint with lemon water. :lol:
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Re: Tap water

Postby F6Hawk » Thu Dec 05, 2013 9:58 pm

And while I'm asking about it, do you take the stuff for health, as in the One Minute Miracle?
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Re: Tap water

Postby Prairiepiss » Fri Dec 06, 2013 7:27 am

googe wrote:No worries, I don't know what stressed yeast tastes like in the finial product. I'll do some searching.


Well there isn't a specific taste from stressed yeast. It can ne anything from an absolute horrid taste to a slight off taste that just doesn't sit right with the drinker. You basically note never know its there. Till the one day you make a batch that it isn't. And then realize what you had been missing.

And F6hawks you are right. It will kill off some of the yeast. But if fermentation does start. It didn't kill it all off. Worse case scenario. It kills off all the yeast. And it never starts fermenting. Usually this doesn't happen. And only a portion of the yeast die off. And what is left is stressed and left to work harder. Making them weaker then they should be.

Chlorine and chlorimine are easily removed. One small little extra step. So why wouldn't you at least give it a try. Or add it to your process. Something as easy as adding a cheap carbon filter inline of your water supply. Or adding a campden tablet to the water.
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Re: Tap water

Postby bearriver » Fri Dec 06, 2013 5:37 pm

Yeah being ph is logarithmic, I bet h2o2 would make no detectable shift in the 4.0-5.5 range diluted properly.

Tried doing research on this. Didnt find much. What little I came up with says h2o2 and brewing just dont mix.

Get me 5 gallons at a time lasts years unless I find other uses. Comes from a green house supply warehouse a few miles away from where im at. Lots of commercial greenhouses round here in my neck. Its sold from 8oz containers to 5 gals.

I treat tap water before storing it for my indoor garden and I just havent ponied up the 1500$ usd for a proper hobby level water treatment plant. But now im increasing the priority giving my interest in this hobby.

I just get by with some diy. Cheap filters, h202, airstones, decanting for 24 hours, and a few other dangerous chemicals. The plant needs inline meters for in and output, uv filters, float valve, 5 stage 1,000 GPD filters...gets expesive....but damn that tap water! I wish I had a well. My future brew and gardening plans will love me for it however.
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