How much effort do you put into your water source?

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Benoit
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How much effort do you put into your water source?

Post by Benoit » Sun Apr 19, 2015 10:29 am

After failing miserably with the search function here I thought I'd bite the bullet & just ask!
I'm reading a lot of beer making forums who are condemning the use of tap water because of the chlorine & other such additives, saying they add to certain off flavours in the beer but I'd like to hear the opinions here. Do you just use tap water? Spring water? Distilled water?
Do any of you have different favourites for different purposes/recipes and your reasons why?

Benoit

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Re: How much effort do you put into your water source?

Post by DeepSouth » Sun Apr 19, 2015 10:50 am

I use tap water for my mashing and fermenting, and distilled water for proofing. I have pretty good tap water. Do you have a water report from your municipality? This is a pretty good thread on water:

http://homedistiller.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=53859

You'll find some helpful links within the thread that can help you. Until you have a water report, it's impossible to give any good recommendations on water adjustments, or if they are even necessary at all.
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Re: How much effort do you put into your water source?

Post by rager » Sun Apr 19, 2015 10:53 am

Benoit wrote:After failing miserably with the search function here I thought I'd bite the bullet & just ask!
I'm reading a lot of beer making forums who are condemning the use of tap water because of the chlorine & other such additives, saying they add to certain off flavours in the beer but I'd like to hear the opinions here. Do you just use tap water? Spring water? Distilled water?
Do any of you have different favourites for different purposes/recipes and your reasons why?

Benoit

personally I haven't looked to much into my water.... yet. the one thing I do know is I think I have low ph water. one of my possible reasons of why ferments like to stall at times (could be other factors as well)

Im on city water. seems to work well for the most part. my ph issues are completely different story. ive never need anything to DROP ph by any means. (backset, citric acid , ect)

I really should look into the town water , and the results of what the testing as to offer as far as the mineral make up of it.

spring water is supposed to be the "best" as the old timers took their water straight from a creek or river. I have a river a hundred yard from my house, wouldn't eat the trout out of it. so no go for me. plus I got water come out of the tap

I only use Poland spring distilled water to cut my likker down to drinking proof with ZERO cloudiness or any random problems that often pop up here of "why is my distillate has things floating in it"

cheers

rager

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Re: How much effort do you put into your water source?

Post by Benoit » Sun Apr 19, 2015 11:43 am

Thanks guys, upon investigation I have slightly alkaline or hard water with 25mg/l of chlorine in it so that doesn't seem too bad at all. I was planning on buying spring water to mash/ferment with but now it doesn't seem so worth it, obviously I will need to keep an eye on the pH but was planning on using backset anyway.
I do like the use of something a little more special for bringing the proof down though, will definitely be borrowing that one!

Benoit

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Re: How much effort do you put into your water source?

Post by Danespirit » Sun Apr 19, 2015 11:51 am

I use just plain tapwater, as it is really good here. For proofing anyways i use distilled..we have a lot of limestone in the tapwater, so i'm affraid the spirits might turn cloudy.
I don't have any experience with chlorine in the water, but my take on it would be a fermenting problem as chlor kills bacteria and fungus, thus yeast.
Boiling your water should get rid of that chlor in it.
But...as i wrote i have no experience with it, so maybe a distiller would chime in on this..?

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Re: How much effort do you put into your water source?

Post by Bushman » Sun Apr 19, 2015 12:18 pm

I am on an artisan well and I have it tested every year.

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Re: How much effort do you put into your water source?

Post by CR33G3R » Sun Apr 19, 2015 12:23 pm

I don't put any thought into my water anymore. I used to but after never having any issues I never give it any thought.
I do get yearly reports and am lucky to live in an area that is said to have some of the best tap water in the country...so they say
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Re: How much effort do you put into your water source?

Post by bearriver » Sun Apr 19, 2015 12:26 pm

Use tap/well water for ferments. Declorinate it if you wish by boiling it or leaving it sit for 24 hours.

Do you like the taste of your tap/well water? When mixed with alcohol, will your tap water precipitate out the dissolved solids or turn cloudy?

If yes to the first question and no to the second, use your tap/well water for dilutions. If not then buy distilled water.

There are entire books written on water for brewing. Look into Brew Strong podcasts and books from John Palmer if you want some excellent, and in depth information.
Last edited by bearriver on Sun Apr 19, 2015 12:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: How much effort do you put into your water source?

Post by Appalachia-Shiner » Sun Apr 19, 2015 12:26 pm

I always use my own Spring water for mashing; and usually for drinking.. Its free so i run my condenser off it also.If y'all knew what they put in at the water treatment plant, you wouldn't use it either. I also use distilled water for cuts.

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Re: How much effort do you put into your water source?

Post by ranger_ric » Sun Apr 19, 2015 12:38 pm

If you can set your tap water out for 24-36 hours most of the chlorine will be gone. If you can set it in sunlight it will leave faster than that.
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Re: How much effort do you put into your water source?

Post by Paulinka » Sun Apr 19, 2015 1:13 pm

Our tap water is chlorine-free, it comes from prehistorical underground limestone-caverns that the river Danube carved millions of years ago. It is alkaline (pH 7.2) and has a moderate amount of calcium ions, and no sulphur-, metal-, phosphate/nitrit compounds. Best water in Hungary, right here, under the middle of the desert. :)

I'm using it for proofing too, although I boil it and strain it first through a silk mesh.

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Re: How much effort do you put into your water source?

Post by Benoit » Sun Apr 19, 2015 3:02 pm

So many lucky people sitting on natural springs! Letting the water sit seems like the easiest way to improve the tap water, certainly easier than trying to boil it all & cheaper than buying gallons of bottled water from the supermarket.
I'll test some in a store bought whiskey & see if it clouds up or not as well, general consensus seems that tap water will be good enough to get me started.

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Re: How much effort do you put into your water source?

Post by MitchyBourbon » Sun Apr 19, 2015 4:37 pm

I just use tap. Whenever I have moved in the past I always have requested a city water report. The city I live in now puts a report on the interweb annually. The water here comes from an aquifer, not treated river water. It does have the usual stuff most cities add. The water I use comes from an unfiltered unsoftened tap in my garage. I typically draw my water a day before I mash. Unless I see something in the report that I don't like, I will continue to use tap water.
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Re: How much effort do you put into your water source?

Post by S-Cackalacky » Sun Apr 19, 2015 5:12 pm

I've never had my well water analyzed. I can either take it after it goes through the conditioner, or I can draw it straight out of the pressure tank (unconditioned). If I draw it directly from the pressure tank, it has a slight rotten egg smell (hydrogen sulfide). I fill up a few five gallon buckets the day before I mix a ferment and by that time the smell is gone. I've never checked the PH of my water and I've never had a stalled ferment. My ferments always seem to go well, so I don't worry too much about it. I use distilled water for diluting.

I wouldn't worry too much about what your beer brewing friends say. You're not making beer to drink, you're making it to distill, so whatever water might carry over in the distillate will also be distilled and without those things that might cause a beer to have an off flavor.
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Re: How much effort do you put into your water source?

Post by rad14701 » Sun Apr 19, 2015 5:59 pm

I use filtered and softened water from a shallow cistern...

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Re: How much effort do you put into your water source?

Post by bellybuster » Mon Apr 20, 2015 1:52 am

i simply run my tap water through a carbon filter, same one I use to top up my hot tub. It takes care of allot of the chlorine. (hot tub is chemical free)
Beer on the other hand is a different story, I filter then dechlorinate with different products. Hydrogen peroxide can be used, takes very little and the effect is instant.

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Re: How much effort do you put into your water source?

Post by MyUncleMo » Mon Apr 20, 2015 11:32 am

After my first 2 runs using filtered tap water - I switched to a local community accessible artesian well.
My wife calls it the SECRET SAUCE and claims to taste the difference.
For my end of it - I noticed a better ferment. Tasty and smelled better. The finishing time was about the same.
There is a little bit of effort to getting the well water - filling up 5 gallon jugs and transporting them home. It's worth the little effort it takes.
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Re: How much effort do you put into your water source?

Post by S-Cackalacky » Mon Apr 20, 2015 12:05 pm

MyUncleMo wrote:After my first 2 runs using filtered tap water - I switched to a local community accessible artesian well.
My wife calls it the SECRET SAUCE and claims to taste the difference.
For my end of it - I noticed a better ferment. Tasty and smelled better. The finishing time was about the same.
There is a little bit of effort to getting the well water - filling up 5 gallon jugs and transporting them home. It's worth the little effort it takes.
peace
Thought about doing that. There's a couple of those near me coming out the side of mountains. Might at least try it once to see if there's any taste difference.
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Re: How much effort do you put into your water source?

Post by Jimbo » Mon Apr 20, 2015 12:16 pm

Im on a well with shitty hard iron filled water. I soften it first, put it through an RO, then rebuild the water for whatever profile I need. Whiskey, beer style etc. RO can remove 98% of cloride, but iron will kill an RO membrane, thats why I soften it first.
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Re: How much effort do you put into your water source?

Post by Swedish Pride » Mon Apr 20, 2015 2:12 pm

tap water for the wash, tap water for diluting, not a stalled wash as of yet nor any cloudy spirits, I guess I'm lucky that way.
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Re: How much effort do you put into your water source?

Post by jedneck » Mon Apr 20, 2015 2:32 pm

Hook up the hose to the spicket and turn it on. I'm on my own personal mountion spring.
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Re: How much effort do you put into your water source?

Post by Hound Dog » Mon Apr 20, 2015 4:51 pm

I use well water from here in the mountain to ferment. I use distilled water to proof with. This prevents clouding from some of the minerals.
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