Water water water!!

Production methods from starch to sugars.

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brewmaster2014
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Water water water!!

Post by brewmaster2014 » Sat Feb 20, 2021 3:45 am

Cheers everyone, first of all I like to say ,im long time home beer brewer with multiple award winning recipes,I understand the impact of water on beer brewing and taste,its mineral content,ph etc.. however what I dont understand is why would it mater at all in distilling? Recently, I watched plenty of videos on scotch and bourbon, they all start with saying thanks to our fresh water we make superb product,the bourbon video goer even further saying, if water has too much iron your bourbon will taste bitter,and calcium and lime gives it sweet taste.Now call me dumb,but how this is even possible? Distilling will not magically pick up minerals and carry them over to finished product,this is why ,when you buy distilled water in the store,is just H2o ,no minerals.Now of course the water chemical composition will have impact on fermentation, the way yeast behave and what kind of flavor compounds they produce,which will carry over,but I'm pretty sure all the minerals will stay behind in the pot,am I wrong here? Curious to see what uou guys think? Cheers

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Yummyrum
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Re: Water water water!!

Post by Yummyrum » Sat Feb 20, 2021 4:10 am

Water is used in the fermentation but also in the tempering down from Barrel to bottle strength .
I’d say most distillery “Water Wank ” has more to do with that .

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Demy
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Re: Water water water!!

Post by Demy » Sat Feb 20, 2021 4:13 am

Personally I don't think there is a valid reason to correct the fermenting water (except the ph). I think a good water helps a lot if you want to dilute your distillate to high abv (so drink that water).

brewmaster2014
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Re: Water water water!!

Post by brewmaster2014 » Sat Feb 20, 2021 4:22 am

Yeah ,this makes sense, this is why we ,most of the time anyway ,use distilled water to dilute the product,but to say it gives the final product certain test characteristics from distillation just doesn't make sense.

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Rrmuf
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Re: Water water water!!

Post by Rrmuf » Sat Feb 20, 2021 5:25 am

Here's a related question: I happen to have access to (and have been using) fantastic spring water from our cottage for my ferments. It is so good, we have. for several years now, been bottling it and bringing it back home for drinking (and now my fermentations :-) ) It requires PH correction, but I never worried about the minerals contained.

Now, I always used distilled water when lowering ABV for final distilate; I wondered about using my spring water instead. Thoughts on what I might run into?
-- Rrmuf

brewmaster2014
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Re: Water water water!!

Post by brewmaster2014 » Sat Feb 20, 2021 6:07 am

Rrmuf wrote:
Sat Feb 20, 2021 5:25 am
Here's a related question: I happen to have access to (and have been using) fantastic spring water from our cottage for my ferments. It is so good, we have. for several years now, been bottling it and bringing it back home for drinking (and now my fermentations :-) ) It requires PH correction, but I never worried about the minerals contained.

Now, I always used distilled water when lowering ABV for final distilate; I wondered about using my spring water instead. Thoughts on what I might run into?

Best way to evaluate it is yo dilute same final product,whatever it is,1 with distilled water ,second one with uour spring water,and test it side by side,another think ,will be healthful to do your water analysis, than you know what is your TDS- totally dissolved solids,alkalinity and hardness ,and mineral content like calcium sulfate ,copper iron etc.Check out Ward Labs,they are chip and effective. Also keep in mind that your water composition will slightly change with each season,if uou want predictable results, stic to distilled water or stor bought spring water which has all the mineral content listed on the lable! Let us know if you do the experiment!

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Demy
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Re: Water water water!!

Post by Demy » Sat Feb 20, 2021 1:24 pm

Rrmuf wrote:
Sat Feb 20, 2021 5:25 am
Here's a related question: I happen to have access to (and have been using) fantastic spring water from our cottage for my ferments. It is so good, we have. for several years now, been bottling it and bringing it back home for drinking (and now my fermentations :-) ) It requires PH correction, but I never worried about the minerals contained.

Now, I always used distilled water when lowering ABV for final distilate; I wondered about using my spring water instead. Thoughts on what I might run into?
As long as it's pure water I don't see any problem. There are distilleries here in Italy that claim to use their spring water to dilute the product (I speak especially of grappa and fruit distillates).I must confess that I have used tap water (drinkable) a few times and it is fine in principle but with distilled / source water the product is much more refined in the mouth, plus I believe that too many minerals can interact with the distilled creating particles that precipitate in the bottle.

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Birrofilo
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Re: Water water water!!

Post by Birrofilo » Sun Feb 21, 2021 9:00 am

I think it's mostly marketing bullstuff. Just like people claiming their beer is special because they use "three kinds of malts", or "six kinds of hops", or their beer is brewed "according to a five centuries old recipe". Some beers are sold as using "extremely pure Icelandic water" etc. Some Italian producers now put their "vintage" on the bottle (beer of the 2020 vintage). Another says that they don't use dry yeast because it contains E491, so they use liquid yeast otherwise their beer is not any more "organic". Basically, marketing claims are mostly absurd and "made up".

Water has an influence on overall taste, but water is something that you can "make", you are not bound to the water that comes out from your tap. And that is true for beer and whisky, for the mashing and for the final dilution.

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SassyFrass
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Re: Water water water!!

Post by SassyFrass » Sun Feb 21, 2021 4:06 pm

IMHO, the water is very important. Tainted water can ruin a good ferment. I've always wondered how the chemicals in "city" water affects things. But I havent experimented with it either. Im one of those folks that are lucky enough to have a good clean natural source of spring water. It's one of the natural limestone springs on my place. I've never worried about ph, minerals, etc...and have not had many problems with ferments.
I have no scientific proof, but JMHO, using a local source of natural water can maybe add a "local" flavor to you likker. IDK, but if 2 folks from different areas run the same mash bill, same rig, etc...only thing different is the water...would the finished product taste different? Might be an interesting experiment someday.
Just my .02
SF
Simple Lil' Pot Still, no temp guage, no carbon, no scrubbers, nuthin' fancy. Sometimes use a thumper, sometimes don't.

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Rrmuf
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Re: Water water water!!

Post by Rrmuf » Tue Feb 23, 2021 4:18 am

Demy wrote:
Sat Feb 20, 2021 1:24 pm
Rrmuf wrote:
Sat Feb 20, 2021 5:25 am
Here's a related question: I happen to have access to (and have been using) fantastic spring water from our cottage for my ferments. It is so good, we have. for several years now, been bottling it and bringing it back home for drinking (and now my fermentations :-) ) It requires PH correction, but I never worried about the minerals contained.

Now, I always used distilled water when lowering ABV for final distilate; I wondered about using my spring water instead. Thoughts on what I might run into?
As long as it's pure water I don't see any problem. There are distilleries here in Italy that claim to use their spring water to dilute the product (I speak especially of grappa and fruit distillates).I must confess that I have used tap water (drinkable) a few times and it is fine in principle but with distilled / source water the product is much more refined in the mouth, plus I believe that too many minerals can interact with the distilled creating particles that precipitate in the bottle.
Thanks. I think using either side by side might be the way to go. My only real objection to distilled water is the plastic packaging (and our spring water is really good!) so I will give it a try.
-- Rrmuf

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Demy
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Re: Water water water!!

Post by Demy » Tue Feb 23, 2021 4:41 am

If plastic is suitable for food I don't see any problem, it's not alcohol but water.

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Birrofilo
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Re: Water water water!!

Post by Birrofilo » Tue Feb 23, 2021 10:32 am

Rrmuf wrote:
Tue Feb 23, 2021 4:18 am
My only real objection to distilled water is the plastic packaging (and our spring water is really good!) so I will give it a try.
Problems with plastic containers arise if those are kept in the sun or in the heat. That gives a clearly perceptible chemical transfer to the content.
I buy things such as distilled water in plastic bottles when they are stored in the shade and I keep them in the shade at home.
Yes the transport might have happened in a truck left for hours on a motorway parking, but in winter that is no problem as well.
In summer, I don't brew.

43South
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Re: Water water water!!

Post by 43South » Tue Feb 23, 2021 9:22 pm

Have a read of John Palmer book “water”. Make up your own mind from there.

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