I've found that our Michigan tap water is a pretty good starting point for brewing. I add some campden tabs to get rid of chloramines, and then fine-tune according to BrunWater - usually fairly minor additions depending on style and grain bill.
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I know I'll need a couple of quick disconnects, and some lines as well. Why are there so many options here?
Do you also need some sort of clips or clamps for the gas/ beer lines?
If changing won't make better beer, why change? Great question!
At some point this question might come up. If person A is doing something that works great for them, why would person B be so adamant that person A should change? Especially if person B has nothing riding on it and will never try person A's beer. If A is struggling and looking for a remedy, I get it.
And I believe kludge is in the eye of the beholder guys. Just sayin...
I agree with you Jim. My responses to Lee were based on his assertions that pumps and a sparge arm are necessary to continuous sparge, and that anything short of a complex setup when continuous sparging was a kludge.
If I were to go to fly sparging, I'd need a pump, some valves, hoses and a sparge arm, or some sort of Rube Goldberg kludge.
I continuous sparge in my kitchen without a pump or a sparge arm in the cold winter months. In fact, I have never used a pump to continuous sparge, and I have been continuous sparging since 1993. I place my hot liquor back (HLB) on my counter. My mash/lauter tun (MLT) rests on a chair, and the vessel in which I collect runoff sits atop an insulator on my kitchen floor. While nice to have, a sparge arm is not a "must have" when continuous sparging. All one needs to do is maintain the liquid level in one's MLT such that it is about an inch above the top of the mash bed, which is easily accomplished by running tubing from one's HLB into one's MLT and adjusting the HLB and MLT flow rates such that they match. The end of the tubing from the HLB can be left danging in the MLT.
Chlorophenolic off flavors are a very common result when folks top off with tap water, more often than infection.
I highly recommend treating all water to remove chlorine/chloramine before brewing with it. Campden tablets are cheap and effective in this regard. A half an aspirin-sized campden tablet is effective in removing the chlorine compounds in 10 gallons of water. A packet is usually only a couple of dollars.
If you want towers and don't mind some extra work, you could build the towers into your bar. Then place the keezer nearby and connect it to the tower with beer lines run through flexible, insulated tubing. You'll need to rig a fan to keep cold air flowing through that tubing. Then you have the best of both options.