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General Category => General Homebrew Discussion => Topic started by: Bel Air Brewing on February 18, 2020, 02:29:17 PM

Title: Beer Water
Post by: Bel Air Brewing on February 18, 2020, 02:29:17 PM
After brewing for 20+ plus years, we have simply used RO water for 100% of the beers we have made. That is, no additions. No minerals at all. None.
And guess what? The beers have all been extremely good.
 
Just finished up another Czech Pils, triple decoction mash, with 100% RO water.
Our next brew will be a German Pils...something like a Bitburger. Might use a 50/50 split of RO plus regular local tap water (charcoal filtered).

I honestly think you can brew excellent beers with whatever water you wish to use, or whatever is available to you.
Title: Re: Beer Water
Post by: denny on February 18, 2020, 03:01:23 PM
After brewing for 20+ plus years, we have simply used RO water for 100% of the beers we have made. That is, no additions. No minerals at all. None.
And guess what? The beers have all been extremely good.
 
Just finished up another Czech Pils, triple decoction mash, with 100% RO water.
Our next brew will be a German Pils...something like a Bitburger. Might use a 50/50 split of RO plus regular local tap water (charcoal filtered).

I honestly think you can brew excellent beers with whatever water you wish to use, or whatever is available to you.

Glad it works for you, but my own experience contradicts your last sentence.  I make a lot of my beers without needing water treatment, but some styles are much better if I treat the water.  IIRC, you brew German lagers almost exclusively. I think if you brewed other styles your experience would be different.
Title: Re: Beer Water
Post by: hopfenundmalz on February 18, 2020, 03:09:34 PM
I make a lot of light lagers and ales. My water is terrible for that. Can I make a drinkable beer - yes. Does that beer taste right for the style - NO.

I use RO water, and just enough minerals and acid to hit my target pH, and get the flavor I want.

On brewery tours one can often observe shipping pallets  with bags of Gypsum and/or Epsom Salt.
Title: Re: Beer Water
Post by: Bel Air Brewing on February 18, 2020, 03:14:04 PM
After brewing for 20+ plus years, we have simply used RO water for 100% of the beers we have made. That is, no additions. No minerals at all. None.
And guess what? The beers have all been extremely good.
 
Just finished up another Czech Pils, triple decoction mash, with 100% RO water.
Our next brew will be a German Pils...something like a Bitburger. Might use a 50/50 split of RO plus regular local tap water (charcoal filtered).

I honestly think you can brew excellent beers with whatever water you wish to use, or whatever is available to you.

Glad it works for you, but my own experience contradicts your last sentence.  I make a lot of my beers without needing water treatment, but some styles are much better if I treat the water.  IIRC, you brew German lagers almost exclusively. I think if you brewed other styles your experience would be different.

Historically speaking, the European brewers used the local water. This might be true for the Brits also.
It is doubtful that the early (18th / 19th century) breweries did much if any water treatment.
So the beer was made with whatever was locally available. Yes, that did (and does) influence the flavor profile.

Soft water being prevalent in these styles, what do I need to make a decent Stout? It can be Irish, British, or American.
What do you recommend? Do we need hard water?
Title: Re: Beer Water
Post by: narvin on February 18, 2020, 03:21:49 PM
No acid additions?

You can make good beer a lot of ways.  You might be getting a pH drop from the decoctions.  For a czech pilsner you might actually like the wort darkening from the high boil pH.  But in general, for beers under 20 SRM I think distilled by itself is a terrible choice.  I haven't like the results for german pilsners or IPAs, on two different ends of the style spectrum.

Edit: I don't particularly like distilled water for darker beers either, however at least the pH is generally closer to what I want using soft water.
Title: Re: Beer Water
Post by: hopfenundmalz on February 18, 2020, 03:39:21 PM
Historically the Beer of Munich was Dunkel, today they adjust the water to brew more Helles than Dunkel.

This is by Martin Brungard, who posts here too. Reading this might take awhile, but once you get through it, many of your questions should be answered.

https://www.brunwater.com/water-knowledge

Time to shovel some snow, which I'm becoming tired of doing.
Title: Re: Beer Water
Post by: Bel Air Brewing on February 18, 2020, 04:01:32 PM
Historically the Beer of Munich was Dunkel, today they adjust the water to brew more Helles than Dunkel.

This is by Martin Brungard, who posts here too. Reading this might take awhile, but once you get through it, many of your questions should be answered.

https://www.brunwater.com/water-knowledge

Time to shovel some snow, which I'm becoming tired of doing.

Shoveling snow? I spent the first two decades of my life doing that, in Northern Iowa. Brutal winters. But good water!
Thanks for the link.
Title: Re: Beer Water
Post by: Kevin on February 18, 2020, 04:11:44 PM
I found this in one of Ron Pattinson's articles on English brewing history from the mid 1800's...

Water-treatment was recommended for those with water that was too soft. "When waters run off moors and fens, and the brewers in certain districts are compelled to use them for want of better, it will be found desirable to impregnate them second hand with gypsum, or with such limestones as are easily procurable." (Source: "The Theory and Practice of Brewing" by W.L. Tizard, London, 1846, page 118.)

Water chemistry was well known and well studied in the 1800's. The industrial revolution after all began in the mid to late 1700's so they weren't buffoons stumbling around in the dark in the 18th and 19th century. However, while they certainly knew what was in the local water, their treatment was pretty basic as indicated in the above quote.

It was the late 1800's when brewers in the UK began to create specific water profiles to match the beers they wanted to produce. In this article Ron reproduces an article from a brewing trade publication from 1893... https://barclayperkins.blogspot.com/2018/04/the-salts-of-brewing-waters-part-two.html



Title: Re: Beer Water
Post by: Bel Air Brewing on February 18, 2020, 04:27:14 PM
I found this in one of Ron Pattinson's articles on English brewing history from the mid 1800's...

Water-treatment was recommended for those with water that was too soft. "When waters run off moors and fens, and the brewers in certain districts are compelled to use them for want of better, it will be found desirable to impregnate them second hand with gypsum, or with such limestones as are easily procurable." (Source: "The Theory and Practice of Brewing" by W.L. Tizard, London, 1846, page 118.)

Water chemistry was well known and well studied in the 1800's. The industrial revolution after all began in the mid to late 1700's so they weren't buffoons stumbling around in the dark in the 18th and 19th century. However, while they certainly knew what was in the local water, their treatment was pretty basic as indicated in the above quote.

It was the late 1800's when brewers in the UK began to create specific water profiles to match the beers they wanted to produce. In this article Ron reproduces an article from a brewing trade publication from 1893... https://barclayperkins.blogspot.com/2018/04/the-salts-of-brewing-waters-part-two.html

Thanks, good to know.
Just got off the phone with the local water company. They are going to provide a full analysis of the chemical composition of our tap water, every two months.
Title: Re: Beer Water
Post by: denny on February 18, 2020, 04:35:30 PM
I found this in one of Ron Pattinson's articles on English brewing history from the mid 1800's...

Water-treatment was recommended for those with water that was too soft. "When waters run off moors and fens, and the brewers in certain districts are compelled to use them for want of better, it will be found desirable to impregnate them second hand with gypsum, or with such limestones as are easily procurable." (Source: "The Theory and Practice of Brewing" by W.L. Tizard, London, 1846, page 118.)

Water chemistry was well known and well studied in the 1800's. The industrial revolution after all began in the mid to late 1700's so they weren't buffoons stumbling around in the dark in the 18th and 19th century. However, while they certainly knew what was in the local water, their treatment was pretty basic as indicated in the above quote.

It was the late 1800's when brewers in the UK began to create specific water profiles to match the beers they wanted to produce. In this article Ron reproduces an article from a brewing trade publication from 1893... https://barclayperkins.blogspot.com/2018/04/the-salts-of-brewing-waters-part-two.html

Thanks, good to know.
Just got off the phone with the local water company. They are going to provide a full analysis of the chemical composition of our tap water, every two months.

I'll be curious to see it.  Most water companies don't provide all the info you need for brewing.  Thats why many of us get an analysis from Ward Labs.
Title: Re: Beer Water
Post by: hopfenundmalz on February 18, 2020, 04:59:46 PM
They will report the primary requirements as required by law. We want the secondary, which are often not reported. I sent water to Ward labs.
Title: Re: Beer Water
Post by: PORTERHAUS on February 18, 2020, 05:00:23 PM
I brew more middle of the road beers...Pale/Amber Ales, Bitters, Porters, Stouts which my water does very well with but I still have to acidify or add alkalinity depending and I have gotten away from chasing any water profiles or doing any more adjustments then necessary. I do not brew many light beers, pale beers, lagers but when I do I certainly have to adjust for those. Beer is pretty forgiving, if you enjoy the end result now, makes you wonder how much better they could be or maybe not. Have you ever checked mash ph or boil ph to see where you are ending up for these lagers?

On a side note, my last Kolsch I pre-boiled the water and I swear I made one of the best beers I ever have, certainly better than any other Kolsch where I only adjusted the mash with acid. I don't really know if the processes are doing something different, but I seem to have experienced different results.
Title: Re: Beer Water
Post by: Silver_Is_Money on February 18, 2020, 05:23:05 PM
Bavarian or Czech Pilsner via triple decoction implies the use of water that is very close to being RO, so I can see where you have been generally satisfied with using RO for this style.
Title: Re: Beer Water
Post by: hopfenundmalz on February 18, 2020, 07:43:11 PM
Bavarian or Czech Pilsner via triple decoction implies the use of water that is very close to being RO, so I can see where you have been generally satisfied with using RO for this style.

Not all water in Bavaria is soft, or close to RO. The water in the Bamberg area is hard enough that you don't get much soap lather. One guy told me had had a water softener and blended, then I saw it in the corner of the brewery.

Some Brewers have deep Wells to access better water. The one at Ayinger is 603 meters deep! They do blend with a shallow well for more alkalinity when brewing dark beers.

Traunstein has a deep well, I saw water bubbling up in a courtyard and the guide said it was water from their deep well (artesian?). Augustiner is said to have one too, but they don't do tours.
Title: Re: Beer Water
Post by: denny on February 18, 2020, 08:20:27 PM
Bavarian or Czech Pilsner via triple decoction implies the use of water that is very close to being RO, so I can see where you have been generally satisfied with using RO for this style.

Not all water in Bavaria is soft, or close to RO. The water in the Bamberg area is hard enough that you don't get much soap lather. One guy told me had had a water softener and blended, then I saw it in the corner of the brewery.

Some Brewers have deep Wells to access better water. The one at Ayinger is 603 meters deep! They do blend with a shallow well for more alkalinity when brewing dark beers.

Traunstein has a deep well, I saw water bubbling up in a courtyard and the guide said it was water from their deep well (artesian?). Augustiner is said to have one too, but they don't do tours.

Isn't it amazing how these myths persist?
Title: Re: Beer Water
Post by: Robert on February 18, 2020, 08:25:15 PM
I am extremely skeptical of any reported water profile for historical or famous brewing centers.  The municipal supply is quite possibly not the breweries' source,  and the brewers almost certainly amend their water.  Interestingly, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Thausing, in his monumental textbooks, published many analyses of actual, contemporary brewing waters.  It is enlightening that, for example, he provides analyses of many different brewing waters just for the several breweries at Pilsen, none of which bears much resemblance to the profiles perpetuated as gospel in homebrew circles.

The takeaway for me is that a brewer should use water that first meets the requirements for successful mashing, clarification, and fermentation in whatever systems we employ, and, secondarily, may adjust it further to elicit nuances of flavor at their own discretion.   This is precisely what the brewers whose products we are trying to emulate have done.  Unless we have actual brewhouse records detailing source water analysis and treatment, any supposed water reports or recommended profiles are meaningless.
Title: Re: Beer Water
Post by: hopfenundmalz on February 18, 2020, 08:26:20 PM
Bavaria has soft water to very hard, depending on the location.(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20200218/655dbcab218c4df6e8a04c3f2d13597d.jpg)


Bamberg would be due north of Erlangen. Note Munich.

Some of the well known industrial Brewers are in Hesse, soft water, but I lived in Wiesbaden, where it was hard and mineraly.
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Title: Re: Beer Water
Post by: hopfenundmalz on February 18, 2020, 08:30:09 PM
How about England.(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20200218/76e62089227fd4f833947813aaf41de2.jpg)

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Title: Re: Beer Water
Post by: Richard on February 18, 2020, 10:09:55 PM
I am extremely skeptical of any reported water profile for historical or famous brewing centers.

I am also skeptical about the quality of historical beers. I have no way of knowing, but I just have this feeling that what seemed wonderful and popular in 1600-1700 might taste foul, or at least not particularly good, to us today.
Title: Re: Beer Water
Post by: ynotbrusum on February 18, 2020, 10:20:18 PM
I don't shoot for particular historical styles very often; instead I brew with modern techniques and ingredients, almost exclusively (a few exceptions in the English realm).  My water is RO, modified for pH and flavor by adding brewing salts (and lightly at that); I also use acidulated malt in the pale lagers and light ales.  An interesting read, however, is Andreas Krennmair "Historic German and Austrian Beers for the Hombrewer":

https://www.amazon.com/Historic-German-Austrian-Beers-Brewer/dp/1980468524

I think Denny and Drew interviewed this fellow.  Definitely worth the read for how different those beers were!
Title: Re: Beer Water
Post by: Bel Air Brewing on February 18, 2020, 10:23:04 PM
Here is what the H2O dept. sent:

mg/liter

CA = 39.19
MG = 3.92
CaCO3 = 97.86 (Calcium)
CaCO3 = 16.14 (Magnesium)
Total Hardness = 114

No less than 24 different values were sent. I just posted the main ones.
Title: Re: Beer Water
Post by: ynotbrusum on February 18, 2020, 10:31:03 PM
Here is what came back from Ward Labs when I sent in my RO sample:

pH 6.4
Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) Est, ppm 26
Electrical Conductivity, mmho/cm 0.04
Cations / Anions, me/L 0.3 / 0.4
ppm
Sodium, Na 7
Potassium, K < 1
Calcium, Ca 0.4
Magnesium, Mg < 1
Total Hardness, CaCO3 < 1
Nitrate, NO3-N < 0.1 (SAFE)
Sulfate, SO4-S < 1
Chloride, Cl 1
Carbonate, CO3 < 1.0
Bicarbonate, HCO3 21
Total Alkalinity, CaCO3 17
Total Phosphorus, P < 0.01
Total Iron, Fe < 0.01
"<" - Not Detected / Below Detection Limit
Title: Re: Beer Water
Post by: HopDen on February 18, 2020, 10:33:02 PM
Why bother with all of that? IMHO and from my experience, once I put a RO system in the brewery, I add the salts needed to make any beer style I desire.
With RO water, I've found that you do not need to add salts to the sparge water. I would recommend testing the pH as you sparge for the  first few but found that's not necessary. RO is the way to go!!
Title: Re: Beer Water
Post by: HopDen on February 18, 2020, 10:35:35 PM
Here is what came back from Ward Labs when I sent in my RO sample:

pH 6.4
Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) Est, ppm 26
Electrical Conductivity, mmho/cm 0.04
Cations / Anions, me/L 0.3 / 0.4
ppm
Sodium, Na 7
Potassium, K < 1
Calcium, Ca 0.4
Magnesium, Mg < 1
Total Hardness, CaCO3 < 1
Nitrate, NO3-N < 0.1 (SAFE)
Sulfate, SO4-S < 1
Chloride, Cl 1
Carbonate, CO3 < 1.0
Bicarbonate, HCO3 21
Total Alkalinity, CaCO3 17
Total Phosphorus, P < 0.01
Total Iron, Fe < 0.01
"<" - Not Detected / Below Detection Limit

I posted my comment prior to reading yours. My comment was not targeting your post. :)
Title: Re: Beer Water
Post by: Bel Air Brewing on February 18, 2020, 10:47:58 PM
Ok...guess some typing is in order.

These values are in mg per liter. Looks like this is actually ppm in the values given.

AL = .027
NH3 = .552
BICARBONATE = 91.78
CALCIUM = 39.19
CaCO3 = 97.86
MG = 3.92
CaCO3 -= 16.14
TOTAL HARDNESS = 114
CHLORIDE = 16
FLOURIDE = .24
IRON = .14
pH = 7.3
SODIUM = 22.9
SULFATE = 33
TOTAL ALKALINITY = 92
POTASSIUM = 5.31

Are these numbers bad, good, or it does not matter?
Title: Re: Beer Water
Post by: Robert on February 19, 2020, 01:37:47 AM
I am extremely skeptical of any reported water profile for historical or famous brewing centers.

I am also skeptical about the quality of historical beers. I have no way of knowing, but I just have this feeling that what seemed wonderful and popular in 1600-1700 might taste foul, or at least not particularly good, to us today.

Here's a nifty tidbit.   Best practices recommended (see the Wahl-Henius Handybook) for American lager brewers at the turn of the 20th century  -- mind you, the bulk of our modern brewing science and technology was in place at this time, and we're talking light, adjunct lagers -- included the addition of 50 lbs of common salt (NaCl) per 100 bbl in the boil.  This was said to improve the break, and improve the flavor of the beer.  Yep, that's a lot:  0.254 oz/gal, adding 748 ppm Na+ and 1154 ppm Cl-.  Can I just say, yikes?

Title: Re: Beer Water
Post by: Bel Air Brewing on February 19, 2020, 02:22:44 AM
I am extremely skeptical of any reported water profile for historical or famous brewing centers.

I am also skeptical about the quality of historical beers. I have no way of knowing, but I just have this feeling that what seemed wonderful and popular in 1600-1700 might taste foul, or at least not particularly good, to us today.

Hard to tell, as we were not there. The brews of the 1850's through the 1930's were probably pretty good, if you could get a fresh example.

But the Bud Light crowd would definitely turn their collective noses up at any pre-prohibition beer from any of the American breweries.
Title: Re: Beer Water
Post by: denny on February 19, 2020, 04:14:58 PM
Ok...guess some typing is in order.

These values are in mg per liter. Looks like this is actually ppm in the values given.

AL = .027
NH3 = .552
BICARBONATE = 91.78
CALCIUM = 39.19
CaCO3 = 97.86
MG = 3.92
CaCO3 -= 16.14
TOTAL HARDNESS = 114
CHLORIDE = 16
FLOURIDE = .24
IRON = .14
pH = 7.3
SODIUM = 22.9
SULFATE = 33
TOTAL ALKALINITY = 92
POTASSIUM = 5.31

Are these numbers bad, good, or it does not matter?

Actually, that's not bad at all
Title: Re: Beer Water
Post by: goose on February 19, 2020, 04:45:34 PM
Ok...guess some typing is in order.

These values are in mg per liter. Looks like this is actually ppm in the values given.

AL = .027
NH3 = .552
BICARBONATE = 91.78
CALCIUM = 39.19
CaCO3 = 97.86
MG = 3.92
CaCO3 -= 16.14
TOTAL HARDNESS = 114
CHLORIDE = 16
FLOURIDE = .24
IRON = .14
pH = 7.3
SODIUM = 22.9
SULFATE = 33
TOTAL ALKALINITY = 92
POTASSIUM = 5.31

Are these numbers bad, good, or it does not matter?

PPM is mg/l.
Title: Re: Beer Water
Post by: goose on February 19, 2020, 04:56:01 PM
Why bother with all of that? IMHO and from my experience, once I put a RO system in the brewery, I add the salts needed to make any beer style I desire.
With RO water, I've found that you do not need to add salts to the sparge water. I would recommend testing the pH as you sparge for the  first few but found that's not necessary. RO is the way to go!!

Agreed.  I just adjust the pH of my sparge liquor (RO water) to closely match the pH of of the mash (or at least to get below 6.0).
Full disclosure:  Usually the mash will also buffer the sparge liquor to keep the pH during the sparge from rising too high but I am a bit anal retentive and have always acidified my sparge liquor to be safe.
I then calculate the difference between the mash volume and kettle full volume and add any additional salts needed to he kettle to "season" the wort in the kettle.  It works for me.
Title: Re: Beer Water
Post by: Bel Air Brewing on February 19, 2020, 08:43:24 PM
So...my tap water pH is 7.3
How much RO water do I need to add to get it down to 5.2? And this would be for a 14 gallon volume.
Title: Re: Beer Water
Post by: denny on February 19, 2020, 08:49:53 PM
So...my tap water pH is 7.3
How much RO water do I need to add to get it down to 5.2? And this would be for a 14 gallon volume.

Water pH doesn't really matter since adding grain will bring it down.  Mash pH is what counts.  I use Bru'nwater to figure out how much of what to add.
Title: Beer Water
Post by: BrewBama on February 19, 2020, 08:50:06 PM
+1

I don’t concern myself with the pH of the strike water.  I plug the grain into Bru’n Water and let it give me a prediction of pH after it’s mixed with the water. I adjust (if required) based on that prediction. Generally, I shoot for 5.4-5.6 at room temp which will get me ~5.2 at 152*F.


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Title: Re: Beer Water
Post by: majorvices on February 19, 2020, 09:03:28 PM
No one mentioned it that I saw, but you want at least 50ppm calcium in your water for proper yeast health and flocculation. So add a little calcium chloride or gypsum to that RO water if all you are using in RO water.
Title: Re: Beer Water
Post by: Silver_Is_Money on February 20, 2020, 12:21:55 AM
Isn't it amazing how these myths persist?

Funny how the Pilsner Urquell website states that they brew it today just as they did in 1842, and then it directly states this about the ingredients and the water they use (capital letters are theirs, not mine):

Quote
SWEET MORAVIAN BARLEY,
BITTER SAAZ HOPS, SOFT
PLZEN WATER
Title: Re: Beer Water
Post by: dbeechum on February 20, 2020, 12:58:07 AM
RO is the way to go!!

I don't use RO, because I don't trust the RO vendors to maintain their equipment and I really don't trust myself to deal with the hassle/expense of maintaining one for myself.

Not to mention that if you follow what Martin's talked about, Chloramine is a bear for filtration removal.

So I use an RV hose, know what my water is and work from there. Takes less than 5 minutes on brew day.
Title: Re: Beer Water
Post by: HopDen on February 20, 2020, 01:09:06 AM
RO is the way to go!!

I don't use RO, because I don't trust the RO vendors to maintain their equipment and I really don't trust myself to deal with the hassle/expense of maintaining one for myself.

Not to mention that if you follow what Martin's talked about, Chloramine is a bear for filtration removal.

So I use an RV hose, know what my water is and work from there. Takes less than 5 minutes on brew day.

I haven't found it to be a hassle in the least bit or expensive. Every 5 or so brew sessions remove the filters and rinse. After 30 brew sessions replace the RO membrane.
Depending on how a the water treatment plant, chloramines are only present when both chlorine and ammonia are used for disinfection but I would defer to Martin on that.
 Can you elaborate on what an RV hose is and what kind of water you use?
Thanks
Title: Re: Beer Water
Post by: hopfenundmalz on February 20, 2020, 01:18:19 AM
RO is the way to go!!

I don't use RO, because I don't trust the RO vendors to maintain their equipment and I really don't trust myself to deal with the hassle/expense of maintaining one for myself.

Not to mention that if you follow what Martin's talked about, Chloramine is a bear for filtration removal.

So I use an RV hose, know what my water is and work from there. Takes less than 5 minutes on brew day.

I'm my own RO vendor.

No more lugging 5 gallon jugs around, in and out of cars.
Title: Re: Beer Water
Post by: Bel Air Brewing on February 20, 2020, 02:24:13 AM
RO is the way to go!!

I don't use RO, because I don't trust the RO vendors to maintain their equipment and I really don't trust myself to deal with the hassle/expense of maintaining one for myself.

Not to mention that if you follow what Martin's talked about, Chloramine is a bear for filtration removal.

So I use an RV hose, know what my water is and work from there. Takes less than 5 minutes on brew day.

I'm my own RO vendor.

No more lugging 5 gallon jugs around, in and out of cars.

This. We have a built in RO system under our kitchen sink. It gets serviced by a water company on a regular basis.
Title: Re: Beer Water
Post by: BrewBama on February 20, 2020, 02:25:03 AM
I buy distilled water off the shelf in 2.5 gal jugs from the local grocery. Add minerals based on Bru’n Water. Cheap n Easy.


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Title: Re: Beer Water
Post by: Bel Air Brewing on February 20, 2020, 02:30:01 AM
I buy distilled water off the shelf in 2.5 gal jugs from the local grocery. Add minerals based on Bru’n Water. Cheap n Easy.


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Picked up a new countertop charcoal activated filter, with a one micron cartridge. This water will supplement our RO water. The plan now is to go with a 50/50 blend.
Title: Re: Beer Water
Post by: Bel Air Brewing on February 20, 2020, 03:31:33 AM
There are some universal truths here:

    1. If it is good to drink, it is good to brew.

    2. Duplicating classic styles requires water similar to the original source .

    3. Any amount of chlorine, chloramine, iron or magnesium is always too much but not always so much to not be tolerated.

    4. Homebrewers don't need to follow anyone's rules.

    5. At least some mineral content is needed for all grain, distilled water is acceptable with extract.

    6. Understanding water science is an important consideration if you intend to produce a specific beer but is also not all that important if you just
        want to make good beer.     

    7. Water chemistry for brewing is an advanced topic that only gets more complex the more you learn.
Title: Re: Beer Water
Post by: BrewBama on February 20, 2020, 03:46:55 AM
Your gonna get arguments with those universal truths. Dudes here will pick that apart like a chicken on a June bug.

For example: duplicating water from a specific source really doesn’t matter because you don’t know what the brewer did to the water to create their brewing liquor.

...and on and on... right down the line.


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Title: Re: Beer Water
Post by: Bel Air Brewing on February 20, 2020, 04:04:17 AM
Your gonna get arguments with those universal truths. Dudes here will pick that apart like a chicken on a June bug.

For example: duplicating water from a specific source really doesn’t matter because you don’t know what the brewer did to the water to create their brewing liquor.

...and on and on... right down the line.


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The other interesting stat I found is that 55% of home brewers do nothing to their water. Guess I’m in that group. Brewing for 20 plus years and the only thing we do is filter our tap water.
Title: Beer Water
Post by: BrewBama on February 20, 2020, 04:26:51 AM
Yep. We all fall along a spectrum of involvement.

...for a whole lot of people ‘good’ is good enough. Might even be ‘pretty good’ or even ‘great’. Nothing wrong with that at all.

Others are a bit more meticulous about every nuance of every Nth degree. They’re seeking perfection. Nothing wrong with that either.

Happiness is in the eyes of the beer holder.

Just the word ‘universal’ coupled with ‘truth’ will probably start a range war.

Good luck my friend.

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Title: Re: Beer Water
Post by: Wilbur on February 20, 2020, 04:35:19 AM
Your gonna get arguments with those universal truths. Dudes here will pick that apart like a chicken on a June bug.

For example: duplicating water from a specific source really doesn’t matter because you don’t know what the brewer did to the water to create their brewing liquor.

...and on and on... right down the line.


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The other interesting stat I found is that 55% of home brewers do nothing to their water. Guess I’m in that group. Brewing for 20 plus years and the only thing we do is filter our tap water.
My tap cones in at 300-600 ppm tds (400 as of last weekend), not doing anything isn't really an option where I'm at.

I believe the RV hose Drew is talking about is a white, food grade garden hose, rather than a run of the mill hardware store garden hose.

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Title: Re: Beer Water
Post by: dbeechum on February 20, 2020, 05:41:53 AM
Depending on how a the water treatment plant, chloramines are only present when both chlorine and ammonia are used for disinfection but I would defer to Martin on that.
 Can you elaborate on what an RV hose is and what kind of water you use?

I believe the RV hose Drew is talking about is a white, food grade garden hose, rather than a run of the mill hardware store garden hose.

Wilbur got the hose - it's just a white potable water hose sold for RV use (bought mine at the ACE near my house). Don't use water passed through a regular old green garden house! (Also, Wilbur, sorry about your water.. that's a hard situation.. sorry about the word play too [not really])

For me I use good old fashioned Los Angeles Metropolitan Water District water. Given the amount of miles that stuff is running, you best believe they're using chloramine for sanitation.

Mine reads:
Ca: 47.0
Mg: 12.0
Na: 51.0
BiCarb: 187.0
Carb: 0.7
Sulfate: 78.0
Chloride: 35.0
Title: Re: Beer Water
Post by: HopDen on February 20, 2020, 11:18:42 AM
Happiness is in the eyes of the beer holder.

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
MY NEW MOTTO!!
Title: Re: Beer Water
Post by: Bel Air Brewing on February 20, 2020, 12:46:11 PM
Happiness is in the eyes of the beer holder.

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
MY NEW MOTTO!!

Guess we are lucky, as the water we have appears to be suitable for brewing a variety of beers, sans treatment. Our brews are primarily lighter beers, mostly lagers.

But we are quite anal about yeast health, pitching rate, sanitation, quality (fresh) ingredients, and temperature control. This probably has contributed to our overall brewing success as much as the water quality.

There was an interesting post on Brulosophy about water treatment. Showing that a number of tasters could not differentiate between beers with treated vs. untreated water.

http://brulosophy.com/2018/10/25/water-chemistry-treated-vs-untreated-in-new-england-ipa-the-bru-club-xbmt-series/
Title: Re: Beer Water
Post by: denny on February 20, 2020, 03:20:54 PM
Happiness is in the eyes of the beer holder.

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
MY NEW MOTTO!!

Guess we are lucky, as the water we have appears to be suitable for brewing a variety of beers, sans treatment. Our brews are primarily lighter beers, mostly lagers.

But we are quite anal about yeast health, pitching rate, sanitation, quality (fresh) ingredients, and temperature control. This probably has contributed to our overall brewing success as much as the water quality.

There was an interesting post on Brulosophy about water treatment. Showing that a number of tasters could not differentiate between beers with treated vs. untreated water.

http://brulosophy.com/2018/10/25/water-chemistry-treated-vs-untreated-in-new-england-ipa-the-bru-club-xbmt-series/

As always, I must say that's a data point, not a conclusion.  I've participated in tests that were the opposite.
Title: Re: Beer Water
Post by: narvin on February 20, 2020, 03:40:04 PM

There was an interesting post on Brulosophy about water treatment. Showing that a number of tasters could not differentiate between beers with treated vs. untreated water.

http://brulosophy.com/2018/10/25/water-chemistry-treated-vs-untreated-in-new-england-ipa-the-bru-club-xbmt-series/

This is interesting, but not my experience either.  My mash pH before acid additions for that grist would be at least 5.7, which leads to wort darkening and harsher bitterness.  I remember a long time ago someone testing out Rahr for base malt and saying that it came in lower than the expected 5.8 distilled mash pH.  Perhaps it's better suited for beers with minimal water additions.

I do think Cl:SO4 ratio is blown out of proportion.  But I can definitely tell the difference in a beer with 80ppm chloride and 0 sulfate, which is my well water by default, vs one with less extreme amounts.
Title: Re: Beer Water
Post by: hopfenundmalz on February 20, 2020, 04:04:57 PM
I like the taste of Gerolsteiner. I wouldn't brew with it.(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20200220/15916a93aa4889f7d6f3ea12c1926d72.jpg)

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Title: Re: Beer Water
Post by: Bel Air Brewing on February 20, 2020, 05:23:22 PM
Yes...water that tastes bad would not make good brewing water. Water that tastes good might make good brewing water. Then again, it might not.

In our case, the charcoal filtered tap water tastes very good, and will make excellent beer. Yes, we are fortunate.