Type of Water

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chip
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Type of Water

Post by chip » Thu Nov 08, 2012 3:47 pm

I was wondering if it matters what kind of water I have to use to make whiskey. Up until now I have only been using distilled water but was wondering if it could just use tap water?
Thanks

frozenthunderbolt
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Re: Type of Water

Post by frozenthunderbolt » Thu Nov 08, 2012 6:32 pm

Ditilled water is probably lacking mineals for your yeast.

Depends whats in your tap water - if there is chlorine, either airrate and leave to stand for 24 hours, boil and then airrate to reintroduce oxygen and/or pitch some vit C as all of these will get rid of the chlorine that may impeade your wash.

If your tap water contains Chloroamines your boned as i'm yet to hear of a sensibel homescale way to get rid of them and you will have to put up with slower ferments.
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Re: Type of Water

Post by Buccaneer Bob » Fri Nov 09, 2012 1:04 am

+1 on what frozenthunderbolt said.

Some guys also use rainwater.

And you could consider running whatever water you choose through a good filtration system. A lot of guys use those.

Keep in mind that your water will have a big effect on the starting-pH of your wash/mash.

A lot of guys overlook pH as a factor in their ferments, but starting-pH can can either make or break a ferment.

Higher pH might increase your chances of a runaway bacterial infection. Or if it's too high, it could lead to a really sluggish ferment, followed by a runaway bacterial infection.

If your pH is too low starting off, the additional acidity that results from fermentation could hinder or kill the yeast in the final stage of fermentation.

Most peoples' drinking water is somewhere in the ballpark, but you want to check it to know where you stand and tweak the starting-pH of your ferments if necessary.

chip
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Re: Type of Water

Post by chip » Fri Nov 09, 2012 7:21 am

Thanks for the info. Yeah ph is something that I didnt pay attention to on my first 2 runs. I'm going to run to the brew shop today and i'll pick some up. Its good to know that I can just use tap water.

Prairiepiss
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Re: Type of Water

Post by Prairiepiss » Fri Nov 09, 2012 7:58 am

frozenthunderbolt wrote: If your tap water contains Chloroamines your boned as i'm yet to hear of a sensibel homescale way to get rid of them and you will have to put up with slower ferments.
Chloramine can be removed with the addition of campden tablets (potassium metabisulfite). 1 tablet to 20 gallons will work supposedly. But useing the dose recommended for a wine wouldn't hurt anything. I use carbon filtering and campden tablets (potassium metabisulfite) in my water.

Also remember boiling water will remove the much needed oxygen. So airating is required for yeast health.
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Durace11
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Re: Type of Water

Post by Durace11 » Fri Nov 09, 2012 7:59 am

frozenthunderbolt wrote:If your tap water contains Chloroamines your boned as i'm yet to hear of a sensibel homescale way to get rid of them and you will have to put up with slower ferments.
sodium metabisulfite and/or potassium metabisulfite will both remove chloramine from water, 1 camden tablet can treat up to 20 gallons.

From BYO newsletter:
Although many reducing agents can be used to dechlorinate water, the ones that are most accessible to homebrewers are sodium metabisulfite or its cousin, potassium metabisulfite (commonly found in the Campden tablets used by winemakers). These compounds will remove chlorine from both sodium hypochlorite (bleach) and chloramine treated waters. The reaction converts chlorine into chloride and the sulfite is converted to sulfate. Chloride has no affect on aroma, is found in most water and is added by many brewers in the form of calcium chloride. Likewise, sulfate is a normal constituent of water and is added in the form of calcium sulfate by brewers. When this reaction occurs with chloramines, there are also ammonium ions released into the water. Again, this is no big deal because ammonium ions are found in a brewers mash and come from the malt. Keep in mind, we are talking about very low concentrations of all of these reaction products due to the low concentrations of chlorine and metabisulfite involved in the reaction.
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frozenthunderbolt
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Re: Type of Water

Post by frozenthunderbolt » Fri Nov 09, 2012 1:09 pm

Durace11 wrote:
frozenthunderbolt wrote:If your tap water contains Chloroamines your boned as i'm yet to hear of a sensibel homescale way to get rid of them and you will have to put up with slower ferments.
sodium metabisulfite and/or potassium metabisulfite will both remove chloramine from water, 1 camden tablet can treat up to 20 gallons.

From BYO newsletter:
Although many reducing agents can be used to dechlorinate water, the ones that are most accessible to homebrewers are sodium metabisulfite or its cousin, potassium metabisulfite (commonly found in the Campden tablets used by winemakers). These compounds will remove chlorine from both sodium hypochlorite (bleach) and chloramine treated waters. The reaction converts chlorine into chloride and the sulfite is converted to sulfate. Chloride has no affect on aroma, is found in most water and is added by many brewers in the form of calcium chloride. Likewise, sulfate is a normal constituent of water and is added in the form of calcium sulfate by brewers. When this reaction occurs with chloramines, there are also ammonium ions released into the water. Again, this is no big deal because ammonium ions are found in a brewers mash and come from the malt. Keep in mind, we are talking about very low concentrations of all of these reaction products due to the low concentrations of chlorine and metabisulfite involved in the reaction.
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dis-still-in
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Re: Type of Water

Post by dis-still-in » Sun Nov 18, 2012 2:33 pm

Depending on your location, if you are using municipal water, you can usually go to their website and find the ppm breakdown of the various minerals and chemicals in the water. A second option is to contact a local water treatment company. They will come out and test your water for you (in the hopes that you will be a treatment system from them.) I had my water tested and the chlorine content was higher than the standard for swimming pools, so it is worth the phone call.

As far as PH, I used to work at a brewpub and the the Brewmaster was very insistent that the industry standard for the starting PH of a mash should be 5.4.

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Re: Type of Water

Post by boda getta » Sun Nov 18, 2012 3:03 pm

I know the ole timey guys paid a look of attention to the stream where their water came and supposedly could tell by the plants that grew around the stream whether or not the water would make "good likker". I guess I've been lucky, I have always used water right out of the tap for my washes and mashs and the only problem I ever had was a 3-4 gen UJSSM that stalled because of two much back-set; a little baking soda got it back on track.

On the subject of water: I swear I remember someone posting here that they would never use distilled water for proofing, but I can't find the post. Anyone have thoughts on this?

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midnightmaraude
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Re: Type of Water

Post by midnightmaraude » Thu Dec 06, 2012 9:42 am

Ugh, I lug 7 gallons of spring water up 6 flights of stairs to make my wash. Between that and the pounds of sugar and ice I buy, I'm not only making great likker but also getting a workout. I buy the local supermarket brand for .50 a gallon.

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Re: Type of Water

Post by Prairiepiss » Thu Dec 06, 2012 10:52 am

midnightmaraude wrote:Ugh, I lug 7 gallons of spring water up 6 flights of stairs to make my wash. Between that and the pounds of sugar and ice I buy, I'm not only making great likker but also getting a workout. I buy the local supermarket brand for .50 a gallon.
I would be using tap water. And what is the ice for? :wtf:
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rad14701
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Re: Type of Water

Post by rad14701 » Thu Dec 06, 2012 6:14 pm

Prairiepiss wrote:
midnightmaraude wrote:Ugh, I lug 7 gallons of spring water up 6 flights of stairs to make my wash. Between that and the pounds of sugar and ice I buy, I'm not only making great likker but also getting a workout. I buy the local supermarket brand for .50 a gallon.
I would be using tap water. And what is the ice for? :wtf:
+1 :think:

qball
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Re: Type of Water

Post by qball » Thu Dec 06, 2012 6:28 pm

I buy cases of Crystal Springs water from Costco. The a case of 6 gallons is about $4.50. It is very good water for brewing/mashing right out of the box...

beerkegbilly
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Re: Type of Water

Post by beerkegbilly » Thu Dec 06, 2012 7:57 pm

I don't buy water I got a spring near my house it is so clean you can drink with out boiling it I use it for my brandy wash.

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