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General Category => General Homebrew Discussion => Topic started by: andylovesburritos on October 31, 2011, 02:55:30 AM

Title: sanitized water
Post by: andylovesburritos on October 31, 2011, 02:55:30 AM
sorry if this has been brought up, but i couldn't find anything in the search, but when i go to top up my fermenter or whatever i usually top up with pre boiled water which is time consuming and can be somewhat cumbersome when transferring water from the boil kettle to the carboy and takes a lot more water to sanitize all equipment used. anyways my question is would it be more practical to use a uv filter light to sanitize/sterilize the water? it's way faster and easier and just makes more sense from my perspective unless i'm missing something. any opinions other than cost?
Title: Re: sanitized water
Post by: euge on October 31, 2011, 03:20:43 AM
You'll be fine with that. I don't even bother anymore to boil water before a top-up. No problems.
Title: Re: sanitized water
Post by: bo on October 31, 2011, 03:23:54 AM
Depends on your water. I wouldn't top off with well water. For some it may be fine. Can you not top off in the boil kettle or is it just too small?
Title: Re: sanitized water
Post by: bluesman on October 31, 2011, 11:36:53 AM
I usually top off with Poland Spring water with no problem. Most bottled water will be fine.
Title: Re: sanitized water
Post by: a10t2 on October 31, 2011, 01:46:30 PM
You could always plate your tap water and find out for sure. Just make sure you get a sample from whatever faucets/hoses/etc. you'd be using for the top-off water.

You don't need to use pre-boiled water to make up a batch of sanitizer though. The sanitizer itself will kill off anything that's in there.
Title: Re: sanitized water
Post by: andylovesburritos on October 31, 2011, 02:18:29 PM
thanks for the replies. i usually lose a little water when i rack to the secondary or go to bottle, not much and perhaps i'm being too anal about it. i use distilled water, but i've been saving up for an RO system and i'm considering a UV filter attachment too. it's just a pain in the rear to boil a gallon, wait for it to cool, sanitize a funnel and a carboy and then transfer.
Title: Re: sanitized water
Post by: malzig on November 02, 2011, 01:33:11 AM
it's just a pain in the rear to boil a gallon, wait for it to cool, sanitize a funnel and a carboy and then transfer.
Don't you need to already have a sanitized funnel and carboy to put the beer into?  As far as the water, back when I made extract beer, I learned to boil the top-up water the night before and allow it to cool on the stove overnight, so I didn't have to wait for it after brewing.  You can even transfer it to the fridge, before you go to bed, using it to help cool the wort the next day.
Title: Re: sanitized water
Post by: punatic on November 02, 2011, 01:55:41 AM
My whole house is supplied with filtered and UV disinifected rainwater.  I've been using rainwater catchment for my household water for over seven years now.  I have a water lab and regularly test my household water for total coliform and E.coli bacteria.    I've also tested for enterococcus and have run many heterotrophic plate count samples on my household water. In seven years I have never had a single positive test.  Ultraviolet light is very effective at disinfecting filtered water.

It is quite convenient to have disinfected, chlorine free water at the turn of a tap, any tap in the house.  I use it as brewing, cleaning, and rinse water.  Rainwater is very low in TDS, so I add salts to match what I am brewing.

Title: Re: sanitized water
Post by: andylovesburritos on November 02, 2011, 03:04:48 AM
Don't you need to already have a sanitized funnel and carboy to put the beer into?  As far as the water, back when I made extract beer, I learned to boil the top-up water the night before and allow it to cool on the stove overnight, so I didn't have to wait for it after brewing.  You can even transfer it to the fridge, before you go to bed, using it to help cool the wort the next day.

dont need to sanitize anything if it is coming straight from the tap.

i live in small quarters and having a few gallons in the fridge over night won't work so well, it seems a lot easier to just top off from the tap
Title: Re: sanitized water
Post by: tschmidlin on November 02, 2011, 03:18:21 AM
dont need to sanitize anything if it is coming straight from the tap.
That's not necessarily true.  Just because it's safe to drink doesn't mean it's safe for your beer.  Not to mention chlorine/chloramine in the water can create off flavors.
Title: Re: sanitized water
Post by: malzig on November 02, 2011, 03:19:43 AM
i usually lose a little water when i rack to the secondary or go to bottle,...
I see now that you are talking about adding water at secondary or bottling.
This water would need to be boiled to remove oxygen, or you risk oxidizing your beer.
Title: Re: sanitized water
Post by: euge on November 02, 2011, 06:04:25 AM
i usually lose a little water when i rack to the secondary or go to bottle,...
I see now that you are talking about adding water at secondary or bottling.
This water would need to be boiled to remove oxygen, or you risk oxidizing your beer.

I was only thinking topping up prior to primary fermentation. After that one needs to be mindful of introducing contaminants.
Title: Re: sanitized water
Post by: bluesman on November 02, 2011, 01:26:18 PM
i usually lose a little water when i rack to the secondary or go to bottle,...
I see now that you are talking about adding water at secondary or bottling.
This water would need to be boiled to remove oxygen, or you risk oxidizing your beer.

This is a key step to ensure good beer flavor quality.
Title: Re: sanitized water
Post by: richardt on November 02, 2011, 03:36:56 PM
Ideally, anything that contacts your wort after flameout (or turning off the burner) must be sanitized.

I agree with Tom--don't use tapwater unless you know:
1.) it has no chlorine/chloramines,
2.) it has the desired water profile of the finished beer (not the case for my local water)
3.) it has been boiled (and cooled) before topping off to get final volume in the fermenter.

Dryhopping is a different matter as it is done when the wort has turned into beer (lower pH is inhibitory to most bacteria, and almost all the fermentable sugars have already been consumed by the yeast).  Plus, the hops have antibacterial properties, as well.  So it doesn't need to be sanitized (some feel differently on this).
Title: Re: sanitized water
Post by: bo on November 02, 2011, 04:45:20 PM
Ideally, anything that contacts your wort after flameout (or turning off the burner) must be sanitized.

I agree with Tom--don't use tapwater unless you know:
1.) it has no chlorine/chloramines,
2.) it has the desired water profile of the finished beer (not the case for my local water)
3.) it has been boiled (and cooled) before topping off to get final volume in the fermenter.

Dryhopping is a different matter as it is done when the wort has turned into beer (lower pH is inhibitory to most bacteria, and almost all the fermentable sugars have already been consumed by the yeast).  Plus, the hops have antibacterial properties, as well.  So it doesn't need to be sanitized (some feel differently on this).

You're okay until you get down to the 160 range, but yeah, that's a good rule to live by.
Title: Re: sanitized water
Post by: andylovesburritos on November 03, 2011, 04:08:29 PM
sorry i forgot to mention that i'm not pulling directly from the tap... i know better than that, i just bought an RO system with a UV light attachment and that is where my original question comes into play. is an RO system with an attached UV light sanitary enough for racking and/or bottling?

i didn't consider oxogen in the water though...
Title: Re: sanitized water
Post by: richardt on November 03, 2011, 04:39:40 PM
Once it leaves the realm of the UV light, everything downstream is a potential source of contamination unless regularly cleaned and sanitized which I doubt that it is.
Title: Re: sanitized water
Post by: punatic on November 03, 2011, 06:17:52 PM
sorry i forgot to mention that i'm not pulling directly from the tap... i know better than that, i just bought an RO system with a UV light attachment and that is where my original question comes into play. is an RO system with an attached UV light sanitary enough for racking and/or bottling?

i didn't consider oxogen in the water though...

I'm guessing your RO/UV treated water is delivered at your sink via a gooseneck spigot.  It will be fine to top up with that water. 
Title: Re: sanitized water
Post by: andylovesburritos on November 03, 2011, 09:11:24 PM
I'm guessing your RO/UV treated water is delivered at your sink via a gooseneck spigot.  It will be fine to top up with that water. 

that is correct, thank you.