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Author Topic: RO water pH of 5 good for brewing?  (Read 9507 times)

Offline Wort-H.O.G.

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Re: RO water pH of 5 good for brewing?
« Reply #15 on: October 27, 2015, 02:28:51 pm »
RO water can actually have fairly low pH that can easily be lower than distilled water. The reason is that some water supplies have dissolved gases, such as CO2, in them. Dissolved gases can easily permeate through the RO membrane into the treated water. That can drive the pH of RO water very low. In most cases, the gas content is minor and there is little problem. Some water supplies have to be run through an air-stripping tower to reduce that gas content to avoid this problem.

would this ^^^^^ impact how your software accounts for impact RO water, salts, and malts has on expected PH of the mash?
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Offline Village Taphouse

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Re: RO water pH of 5 good for brewing?
« Reply #16 on: October 27, 2015, 04:39:46 pm »
I have mentioned this many times on many boards but probably not here... RO water can be all over the place.  Many brewers have told me that RO water is close enough to distilled water that you should just treat it like distilled.  I'm sure that's true in some cases.  I used to get bulk RO water from the grocery store... bring empty, blue 5-gallon bottles and fill it up.  I was treating it like distilled but my results were really discouraging.  I took some of that RO water and sent it to Ward Labs and found that there were still some high numbers including bicarbonate at 50ppm, high dissolved solids, etc.  I'm sure that most homebrewers who have an RO system in their home are careful about system maintenance, etc.  The point is that distilled should be pretty much ZERO across the board while RO may have numbers that are higher.
Ken from Chicago. 
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Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: RO water pH of 5 good for brewing?
« Reply #17 on: October 27, 2015, 04:47:11 pm »
I have mentioned this many times on many boards but probably not here... RO water can be all over the place.  Many brewers have told me that RO water is close enough to distilled water that you should just treat it like distilled.  I'm sure that's true in some cases.  I used to get bulk RO water from the grocery store... bring empty, blue 5-gallon bottles and fill it up.  I was treating it like distilled but my results were really discouraging.  I took some of that RO water and sent it to Ward Labs and found that there were still some high numbers including bicarbonate at 50ppm, high dissolved solids, etc.  I'm sure that most homebrewers who have an RO system in their home are careful about system maintenance, etc.  The point is that distilled should be pretty much ZERO across the board while RO may have numbers that are higher.

You're right. That's why I carry a TDS meter to the store when I fill my RO jugs. If a store's machine reads much above 25ppm TDS, I go to a different store. Brunwater does account for the difference between RO and distilled, within reason. This assumes water within the acceptable TDS range. I definitely wouldn't buy RO without a TDS meter. I went to buy RO on my last beer and the water was well over 50ppm TDS - I went elsewhere.
Jon H.

Offline Stevie

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Re: RO water pH of 5 good for brewing?
« Reply #18 on: October 27, 2015, 04:55:20 pm »
I bring my TDS meter with me as well.

Offline Village Taphouse

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Re: RO water pH of 5 good for brewing?
« Reply #19 on: October 27, 2015, 05:22:14 pm »
I bring my TDS meter with me as well.
Smart.  These stores must think "you can't tell what's in the water by looking at it so it must be good!".  :|
Ken from Chicago. 
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Offline brewday

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Re: RO water pH of 5 good for brewing?
« Reply #20 on: October 27, 2015, 05:27:47 pm »
+3 to the TDS meter.  I "shopped around" with it at 3-4 stores and settled on one that is consistency < 10.

Offline Stevie

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RO water pH of 5 good for brewing?
« Reply #21 on: October 27, 2015, 05:30:26 pm »
I find the units maintained by Glacier are often very good at 5-15ppm. I have a random icehouse nearby with an attached RO machine that does vary, but it's cheaper and pours heavy. I try the random machine first and if it is high I go at a glacier machine.

For reference, the TDS of my tap water is 250+

Offline brewday

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Re: RO water pH of 5 good for brewing?
« Reply #22 on: October 27, 2015, 05:33:49 pm »
My regular purchase is from a Glacier machine, 39 cents/gallon.  It's also the closest one to my house.

Offline 69franx

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Re: RO water pH of 5 good for brewing?
« Reply #23 on: October 27, 2015, 05:34:48 pm »
4 local groceries here (all same Big K brand) all carry RO machines from Glacier. I buy at the one that has almost always been serviced within 2 weeks of my visit. That machine is almost always sub 5 tds with my meter(thanks for that tip Jon) while the others have been as high as 55-60 and generally not serviced recently.
Frank L.
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Offline Stevie

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Re: RO water pH of 5 good for brewing?
« Reply #24 on: October 27, 2015, 05:40:26 pm »
One time I had to use a machine inside a Kroger that was terrible, but my only option. Buddy lived 20 minutes away from anything. The machine way pouring 40ppm and wasn't the typical coin-op. It poured one gallon at a time, had to cycle between pours, and I payed at the checkout. Took a long time to get my 18 gallons for our 10 gallon IPA.

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: RO water pH of 5 good for brewing?
« Reply #25 on: October 27, 2015, 05:48:11 pm »
I wish the Glacier machine near me was as reliable. It had a servicing sticker of a week prior and was the machine that read 60ish ppm TDS. Pissed me off. Pretty sure that 'servicing' was pencil whipped.
Jon H.

Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: RO water pH of 5 good for brewing?
« Reply #26 on: October 27, 2015, 05:56:01 pm »
One place has been between 3 and 7 ppm  TDS, $0.44/gallon, it gets used for lagers. Surface water source.

Another place runs 42-47 ppm TDS, 0.27/gallon, used for ales where I will add a lot of salts. Ground water source.
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Offline 69franx

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Re: RO water pH of 5 good for brewing?
« Reply #27 on: October 27, 2015, 06:13:35 pm »
My kroger is $0.39/gallon. The machine has double spouts so I can put 2 big blue 5 gallon jugs on it at once, but it does only dispense 1G at a time. I have to hit each dispense 5 times to get 5G. I also think it pours a little lite, so I top it off
Frank L.
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In keg: Nothing (Double UGH!)
In the works:  House IPA, Dark Mild, Ballantine Ale clone(still trying to work this one into the schedule)

Offline brewday

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Re: RO water pH of 5 good for brewing?
« Reply #28 on: October 27, 2015, 06:21:24 pm »
Mine is a free-pour with two spouts, but only one bottle fits at a time.  It's right next to the chips, and I always seem to wind up with a couple of bags in my cart during the second bottle fill.

Offline mabrungard

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Re: RO water pH of 5 good for brewing?
« Reply #29 on: October 27, 2015, 07:38:25 pm »

would this ^^^^^ impact how your software accounts for impact RO water, salts, and malts has on expected PH of the mash?

Unfortunately, that high dose of carbonic acid is not accounted for in Bru'n Water. The carbonic acid would likely affect the pH result and leave you with a lower than estimated mash pH.
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