Author Topic: Natural Spring water vs Distilled water  (Read 2693 times)

Offline justinrice1127

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Natural Spring water vs Distilled water
« on: February 15, 2013, 11:59:44 AM »
I am brewing an IPA extract clone and have both Ozarka natural spring water and Ozarka distilled water in the gal jugs. Are there any differences between the two when it comes to extract bewing? If so, would you recommend using one over the other?

I am wanting to switch to all-grain brewing soon.  Is one water better for all grain brewing, just for future reference?

Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Natural Spring water vs Distilled water
« Reply #1 on: February 15, 2013, 12:47:37 PM »
You can find the mineral content on page 17 and some more for total hardness and alkalinity. Distilled is just wet, the spring water is almost RO. Use what is cheapest.

https://eservice.ozarkawater.com/Documents/oz_BrandWaterQualityReport.pdf
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Online kylekohlmorgen

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Re: Natural Spring water vs Distilled water
« Reply #2 on: February 15, 2013, 02:38:27 PM »
I use a 50/50 blend, mostly because spring water is cheaper.

Does your tap water taste good? If so, just run it through a Brita filter. It gets to be a PITA to buy 10 gallons of water before every brew!
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Offline justinrice1127

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Re: Natural Spring water vs Distilled water
« Reply #3 on: February 15, 2013, 02:59:32 PM »
I use a 50/50 blend, mostly because spring water is cheaper.

Does your tap water taste good? If so, just run it through a Brita filter. It gets to be a PITA to buy 10 gallons of water before every brew!

My tap water tastes pretty bad.  I can usually find the natural spring water for $1/gal and the distilled for about that or $1.50/gal.  I usually only buy 6-7 gal per batch, but yeah, it just adds onto the already not so cheap brewing expense. 

Offline justinrice1127

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Re: Natural Spring water vs Distilled water
« Reply #4 on: February 15, 2013, 03:04:29 PM »
You can find the mineral content on page 17 and some more for total hardness and alkalinity. Distilled is just wet, the spring water is almost RO. Use what is cheapest.

https://eservice.ozarkawater.com/Documents/oz_BrandWaterQualityReport.pdf

Distilled is usually just a bit more expensive, but not by too much.  Thanks for that website!  My IPA recipe calls for adding gypsum to the boil.  Would you still recommend one over the other, or a mix of both per the following info......

{referring to pages 17 & 18}:

Natural Spring:
Calcium = Not detected
Sulfate = 1.4 - 5.7 ppm
Sodium = 2.4 - 11.2 ppm

Alkalinity = Not detected - 9.2 ppm
Hardness, Calcium = 5.6 - 8.6 ppm
pH (units) = 5.6 - 6.3 ppm

Distilled:
Calcium = Not detected
Sulfate = Not detected
Sodium = Not detected

Alkalinity = Not detected
Hardness, Calcium = Not detected
pH (units) = 5.7 - 6.2

*Natural spring water also contained: Barium, Bicarbonate, Bromide, Chloride, Fluoride, Magnesium, Nitrate, & Potassium



Online morticaixavier

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Re: Natural Spring water vs Distilled water
« Reply #5 on: February 15, 2013, 03:04:49 PM »
I use a 50/50 blend, mostly because spring water is cheaper.

Does your tap water taste good? If so, just run it through a Brita filter. It gets to be a PITA to buy 10 gallons of water before every brew!

My tap water tastes pretty bad.  I can usually find the natural spring water for $1/gal and the distilled for about that or $1.50/gal.  I usually only buy 6-7 gal per batch, but yeah, it just adds onto the already not so cheap brewing expense.

Try to find a water machine in a supermarket or something. I buy 15 gallons of water in 3 5 gallon jugs for each 10 gallon batch and it's about $0.34 per gallon so really I am adding less than the cost of a yeast package to my brew and I can know more or less exactly what my water profile is because anything in there was added by me. Cheaper than a pH meter and a TDS meter for a quite a while anyway.
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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Natural Spring water vs Distilled water
« Reply #6 on: February 15, 2013, 05:50:20 PM »
You can find the mineral content on page 17 and some more for total hardness and alkalinity. Distilled is just wet, the spring water is almost RO. Use what is cheapest.

https://eservice.ozarkawater.com/Documents/oz_BrandWaterQualityReport.pdf

Distilled is usually just a bit more expensive, but not by too much.  Thanks for that website!  My IPA recipe calls for adding gypsum to the boil.  Would you still recommend one over the other, or a mix of both per the following info......

{referring to pages 17 & 18}:

Natural Spring:
Calcium = Not detected
Sulfate = 1.4 - 5.7 ppm
Sodium = 2.4 - 11.2 ppm

Alkalinity = Not detected - 9.2 ppm
Hardness, Calcium = 5.6 - 8.6 ppm
pH (units) = 5.6 - 6.3 ppm

Distilled:
Calcium = Not detected
Sulfate = Not detected
Sodium = Not detected

Alkalinity = Not detected
Hardness, Calcium = Not detected
pH (units) = 5.7 - 6.2

*Natural spring water also contained: Barium, Bicarbonate, Bromide, Chloride, Fluoride, Magnesium, Nitrate, & Potassium

Look up the water profiles recommended for many beers, and you will see calcium in the 50-150 ppm range and Sulfate from 0 to 350 ppm. Do you think those small numbers for the spring water make a differnece?

As far as the other trace elements, Chloride, Magnesium, and Bicarboante are in most all the waters. Mg is good for the yeast, as is a little Potassium. The others are at low levels and are well under federal specs.

Do you know that the water for Los Angeles has trace amounts of Uranium? Under the federal limit.

Use what you want, but consider the price and that it is all safe to drink.
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Offline euge

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Re: Natural Spring water vs Distilled water
« Reply #7 on: February 15, 2013, 09:12:48 PM »
I say use distilled or RO if you are using straight extract. BTW I seem to recall that extract has a lot of sodium in it in addition to the other minerals already in the syrup.

The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman

Offline dmtaylor

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Re: Natural Spring water vs Distilled water
« Reply #8 on: February 16, 2013, 12:12:46 PM »
I agree with euge.  I always recommend 100% distilled water for extract brewing, because the process of manufacturing extract already concentrates salts in the extract, so by using anything other than distilled water in an extract beer you are in effect doubling the amount of salts compared to the average all-grain batch.  This *might* even be a contributor to the infamous "extract twang" flavor -- just a theory and I have not tested this.  But anyway... I always recommend all distilled, not spring water, for extract beers.
Dave

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Online garc_mall

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Re: Natural Spring water vs Distilled water
« Reply #9 on: February 16, 2013, 02:37:41 PM »
Reading those numbers, I would go with the cheapest water. 11ppm isn't going to make much difference. I would also add a tsp or so of gypsum to the beginning of the boil.

YMMV.
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Online kylekohlmorgen

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Re: Natural Spring water vs Distilled water
« Reply #10 on: February 18, 2013, 05:56:45 AM »
My tap water tastes pretty bad.  I can usually find the natural spring water for $1/gal and the distilled for about that or $1.50/gal.  I usually only buy 6-7 gal per batch, but yeah, it just adds onto the already not so cheap brewing expense.

Dude - $1.50/gal? I think I get mine for $0.80-0.95/gal.

Still, it gets expensive after you start scaling up (I bought 16 gallons for a double-batch last weekend).

I think I'm going back to the 5 gallon refillable jugs (one of our local grocery stores has a water filling machine). Those come out to $0.25/gal or so.

...now if I can just get rid of the propane...
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Offline micah h

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Re: Natural Spring water vs Distilled water
« Reply #11 on: February 28, 2013, 04:31:35 AM »
I use a 50/50 blend, mostly because spring water is cheaper.

Does your tap water taste good? If so, just run it through a Brita filter. It gets to be a PITA to buy 10 gallons of water before every brew!

My tap water tastes pretty bad.  I can usually find the natural spring water for $1/gal and the distilled for about that or $1.50/gal.  I usually only buy 6-7 gal per batch, but yeah, it just adds onto the already not so cheap brewing expense.

Try to find a water machine in a supermarket or something. I buy 15 gallons of water in 3 5 gallon jugs for each 10 gallon batch and it's about $0.34 per gallon so really I am adding less than the cost of a yeast package to my brew and I can know more or less exactly what my water profile is because anything in there was added by me. Cheaper than a pH meter and a TDS meter for a quite a while anyway.


I have an artisan well that pumps spring water out of a pipe in my home town. It's free and I trust artisan as a water source. But I do add a Tsp of Gypsum to my water before it boils.

Would distilled water be better?

Offline dmtaylor

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Re: Natural Spring water vs Distilled water
« Reply #12 on: February 28, 2013, 06:08:53 AM »
Depends on how hard it is.  Might be worthwhile testing it.  Of course, if your beer tastes just fine the way you do things now then it might not be worth fretting about at all.
Dave

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Offline euge

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Re: Natural Spring water vs Distilled water
« Reply #13 on: February 28, 2013, 08:28:22 AM »
The best thing to do with the well water is to send off samples for testing for each season. Don't remember who does it- think they are called Wards. This way one will know the mineral makeup of their water and then can plug the info into bru'n water or palmer's spreadsheet.
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman

Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Natural Spring water vs Distilled water
« Reply #14 on: February 28, 2013, 08:31:22 AM »
I use a 50/50 blend, mostly because spring water is cheaper.

Does your tap water taste good? If so, just run it through a Brita filter. It gets to be a PITA to buy 10 gallons of water before every brew!

My tap water tastes pretty bad.  I can usually find the natural spring water for $1/gal and the distilled for about that or $1.50/gal.  I usually only buy 6-7 gal per batch, but yeah, it just adds onto the already not so cheap brewing expense.

Try to find a water machine in a supermarket or something. I buy 15 gallons of water in 3 5 gallon jugs for each 10 gallon batch and it's about $0.34 per gallon so really I am adding less than the cost of a yeast package to my brew and I can know more or less exactly what my water profile is because anything in there was added by me. Cheaper than a pH meter and a TDS meter for a quite a while anyway.


I have an artisan well that pumps spring water out of a pipe in my home town. It's free and I trust artisan as a water source. But I do add a Tsp of Gypsum to my water before it boils.

Would distilled water be better?

Distilled water would be a clean slate. RO water is almost as good, and cheaper.

A water report on the artisian well water would let you know what you have, otherwise you are guessing. It may be good to brew with, but what style is it best for?

It needs to be pointed out that just because the water is gushing out from the ground, can it be trusted? Posted the following a while back as a goofy thing, but look at this water's content.
http://www.homebrewersassociation.org/forum/index.php?topic=11711.msg146431#msg146431

You want W-6 for brewing minerals. $16.50 last I looked.
https://producers.wardlab.com/default.aspx?ReturnUrl=%2f

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