Author Topic: First all-grain, water concern  (Read 1195 times)

Offline gleece

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First all-grain, water concern
« on: August 21, 2016, 03:16:36 PM »
I am eager to start my first all-grain batch but I have some concerns about water. I just moved into a new house and there is a lot to do. Not sure I have time now to read books about how to make the perfect water for my brew. We also have a water softener, which is new to me and that is something else I am trying to find the time to learn about. I don't have a water report and if I did, I wouldn't understand it. Is there some bottled water source I could use that would be ideal, such as gallons of water from Target or Wal-Mart? If I got that water, would I still need to treat the water with some additions? I was going to use some MoreBeer credit and I thought my first all-grain beer would be the American Pale Ale II kit, but I am open to other beers that would make my first brew day simpler. Thanks!

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: First all-grain, water concern
« Reply #1 on: August 21, 2016, 03:34:05 PM »
For now, using RO (reverse osmosis ) water from grocery store machines would be the best option as opposed to your unknown local water or water through a softener which is often too high in sodium for beer. I live in Indiana where the water is not good for brewing most beers to say the least. I use RO water along with Brunwater software which is excellent for helping you predict and control your pH, as well as using the right water profile for the right beer. But until you have time or inclination to get into water further, RO water is a good start. Good luck.

https://sites.google.com/site/brunwater/


Edit -  A tsp of gypsum (from your homebrew shop)added to the kettle on your pale ale is a nice addition - it helps accentuate hop character.
« Last Edit: August 21, 2016, 03:39:07 PM by HoosierBrew »
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Offline denny

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Re: First all-grain, water concern
« Reply #2 on: August 21, 2016, 03:53:38 PM »
I'd suggest using spring water rather than RO or distilled.  It at least has a few minerals that could help you out.  Add a tsp. of gypsum to the kettle for hoppy beers.  That should hold you til you have time to get into it more deeply.  Although water is important to brewing, I brewed for 10+ years and won a lot of awards before I started worrying about it.  Bottom line is that you can make really good beer without worrying to much about water and once you start getting into water they'll only get better.
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Offline Steve Ruch

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Re: First all-grain, water concern
« Reply #3 on: August 21, 2016, 04:00:09 PM »
Where are you located?
What does your water taste like?
Crescent City, CA

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with hairy old women

Offline gleece

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Re: First all-grain, water concern
« Reply #4 on: August 21, 2016, 04:24:51 PM »
Where are you located?
What does your water taste like?
I live in a little town outside of St. Joseph, MO (Northwest corner of MO). I drink from filtered fridge water, tastes ok, but I don't think I could describe how it tastes, just that it isn't bad. We have a city water supply, but I am new to home water softeners and I have to read up on how to use it. I know that so far I don't like that "slick" feeling after I wash my hands with soap and in the shower.

Offline homoeccentricus

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Re: First all-grain, water concern
« Reply #5 on: August 21, 2016, 04:56:40 PM »
I  don't think you can brew with softened water, as its calcium and magnesium has been replaced by sodium. Mineral water is a good option, but it has to be very soft. No high carbonate levels (say, over 100 ppm). Read the label.
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Offline dzlater

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Re: First all-grain, water concern
« Reply #6 on: August 21, 2016, 08:19:11 PM »
I would just get the cheapest "spring" water you can find, and not worry about it to much. I know water chem. is important but for your first all grain I wouldn't sweat it. I still just used carbon filtered tap water. Maybe a teaspoon of gypsum for hoppy beers.
Dan S. from NJ

Offline denny

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Re: First all-grain, water concern
« Reply #7 on: August 21, 2016, 09:07:38 PM »
I would just get the cheapest "spring" water you can find, and not worry about it to much. I know water chem. is important but for your first all grain I wouldn't sweat it. I still just used carbon filtered tap water. Maybe a teaspoon of gypsum for hoppy beers.

THIS^^^^^^
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Online hopfenundmalz

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Re: First all-grain, water concern
« Reply #8 on: August 21, 2016, 09:14:25 PM »
I  don't think you can brew with softened water, as its calcium and magnesium has been replaced by sodium. Mineral water is a good option, but it has to be very soft. No high carbonate levels (say, over 100 ppm). Read the label.
Frank, our bottled spring water does not have mineral content like the bottled spring or mineral water in the EU does. I miss that information.

For example. 240 ml serving size.
Seltzer Water (caffeine free)
Calories 0
Fat 0
Sodium 10mg
Carbohydrates 0
Proteins 0
All the other stuff it does not contain - sugar, vitamins, etc.

That is pretty sad, but at least it didn't say gluten free water.
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Offline homoeccentricus

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Re: First all-grain, water concern
« Reply #9 on: August 21, 2016, 10:05:25 PM »
Well, at least your water doesn't contain any proteins. That is good, no?  ;)
Frank P.

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Offline homoeccentricus

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Re: First all-grain, water concern
« Reply #10 on: August 21, 2016, 10:10:40 PM »
I've seen mineral water containing 400+ ppm bicarbonate, so all in all that's a bit scary when the information is not present...
Frank P.

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Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: First all-grain, water concern
« Reply #11 on: August 21, 2016, 10:16:45 PM »
I've seen mineral water containing 400+ ppm bicarbonate, so all in all that's a bit scary when the information is not present...


Exactly. That was the reason I suggested RO water - at least it's a roughly known quantity. RO from machines is sub 50ppm TDS, often far under that. Denny is right that spring water offers a few more minerals which could be conducive, but there can be a ton of variance in spring water in terms of minerality IME. Still, for OP's first batch, spring or RO water would work nicely.
Jon H.

Offline mabrungard

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Re: First all-grain, water concern
« Reply #12 on: August 21, 2016, 11:01:32 PM »
Spring water is not really any more suited to brewing than tap water is. The ONLY thing spring water has going for it is that it is not likely to contain chlorine compounds. One good thing about some spring waters is that they do report their mineral content and alkalinity. Then you have a hope of adjusting that reported water profile into something that benefits your beer. Using RO allows a brewer to assume that all mineral content is near zero along with the alkalinity.
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Online hopfenundmalz

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Re: First all-grain, water concern
« Reply #13 on: August 21, 2016, 11:05:14 PM »
This has had a little extra something.
http://www.selters-water.com/selters-the-analysis/
Drank a lot at my work in Germany.
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Offline juggabrew303

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Re: First all-grain, water concern
« Reply #14 on: August 22, 2016, 03:50:47 AM »
I'm no expert but make it easer on yourself and just use spring water.   It's your first AG batch, brew it and have fun


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