Author Topic: RO water good for making beer?  (Read 11652 times)

Offline Robert

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Re: RO water good for making beer?
« Reply #15 on: June 15, 2018, 04:57:11 pm »
anyone have any experience with the Brew Water Maker? 

https://www.ebay.com/itm/263753460006?ssPageName=STRK:MESELX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1558.l2649

I'm looking do dabble with RO water since my municipal water is basically garbage.

That is about twice what I paid for my RO system. It says 15 gallons per hour, which is a lot. What TDS does it deliver?

I contacted them and they said it will reduce your tds to 10% of original value. Mine would be around 25. Is that good?
My system cost half that as well, and my TDS is coming out at 3ppm, down from ~300ppm.  25 is not impressive, and what remains may well be largely Na and HCO3.
Rob Stein
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Offline Phibiche

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Re: RO water good for making beer?
« Reply #16 on: June 19, 2018, 03:30:20 am »
We use RO water for all of our beer, mainly because our water changes from up to seven different sources. Some of them would be great for brewing, some are terrible. So we take everything out and add back in what we need, this makes for a consistent product, and gives us some flexibility in our recipes.

As I recall, your water was on the hard side, but not overwhelmingly so. One nice thing is that it gets rid of nitrites as well as other undesirable minerals.

We bought ours for about 4000 usd, but that also included a water softener to pre-treat the water. Ours operates between 2.5 gpm and 4.5 gpm depending on the water temp.





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« Last Edit: July 16, 2018, 04:29:45 am by Phibiche »

Offline Buckeye Hydro

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Re: RO water good for making beer?
« Reply #17 on: July 05, 2020, 03:00:15 am »
The component in an RO System that removes TDS (total dissolved solids) is the RO Membrane.  This is true for residential scale systems as well as commercial systems.  Good quality membranes run at something near factory spec pressure should remove somewhere between 95% and 99+% of the TDS present in the feedwater.  There are lots of variables that can affect this, but one thing you can do as a consumer is to carefully consider the fine print re the RO membrane that comes in a new system, or any replacement membranes you buy.

Russ

Offline fredthecat

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Re: RO water good for making beer?
« Reply #18 on: July 08, 2020, 05:29:54 pm »
anyone have any experience with the Brew Water Maker? 

https://www.ebay.com/itm/263753460006?ssPageName=STRK:MESELX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1558.l2649

I'm looking do dabble with RO water since my municipal water is basically garbage.

im curious as to what you mean by your water being garbage? do you know what the issue is?


i moved here about 8 months ago and i have tried tweaking the water profile but i am still just not happy with it and im not sure what the issue is.

Offline Buckeye Hydro

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Re: RO water good for making beer?
« Reply #19 on: July 09, 2020, 05:28:43 am »
Fred - call your water utility - they typical can provide, free of charge, the results of a lot of lab testing they do.  The secret to figuring out what's wrong with your water is a chemical analysis. 

Russ

Offline goose

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Re: RO water good for making beer?
« Reply #20 on: July 09, 2020, 07:37:46 am »
I assume you mean to say that you have been brewing for years with RO water modified by the addition of minerals, not straight RO water. I personally would no longer call it RO water after adding stuff to it.


yes some minerals are added.

For the OP. The main additives I have are Gypsum (CaSO4), CaCl2, Phosphoric Acid or Lactic Acid, and Baking Soda. Pickling Lime (CaOH2), Epsom Salt, and non Iodized Table salt are also on the shelf. You can find most of those at the Homebrew Shop, and some at the grocery store.
*******************************************************************************
Or, as the OP, I might find some at the Winery, where I work as Assoc. Winemaker and do a lot of lab work daily. :)   Never thought about pickling lime, calcium hydroxide for calcium additions.  Anything ending in "hydroxide" is very basic, and raises pH.  We also have this fluffy calcium at work, precipitated Calcium carbonate, that we use when we need to de-acidify wine grape juice to an acceptable level.  Old idea call X-Acid, but basically take some of the juice, and so much precipitated calcium and in a procedure, completely de-acidify the portion and then rack off the juice next day back into the main batch.  Leave the residue.  It is like adding water for dilution, but even more so, and will drop the acid of a too high juice like Vignoles, from 1.200  down to at least 0.900 (or whatever you calculate it too) without too much fuss.  Once it's at a manageable level, we add superfoood, and yeast and ferment it then as normal.  It can always have Tartaric acid added later on during cold stabilization to lower pH and shift the acid up a bit if necessary.   Last time I ordered Tartaric acid it was around 1200 lbs, and about 1500 lbs of Malic that we use in our cider production.

Pickling Lime iis one I like if I run high on Na or don’t want Na in a beer. The Ca is flavor neutral, the. OH ions take the pH up nicely.

If I’m touring the west side I will have to stop in sometime.

I used to use Calcium Carbonate (chalk) but it is not very soluble in water (esddpercially when the water is cold).  I switched to Calcium Hydroxide (pickling lime) everal years ago and it works just well and is easy to disolve.

One thing that was mentioned about a year ago by Rob Stein on this forum is that you need to test your pickling lime from time to time to make sure that it hasn't detereiorated to calcium carbonate.  I am not sure of the reaction without further research, but it might have to do with exposure to moisture and CO2 in the air which miuxed together would make carbonic acid (feel free to chime in here, chemistry people).  A drop of phosphoric acid on the lime will tell the story.  If nothing happens, you are OK.  If it starts to bubble it has deteriorated.  I tried it once and replaced my pickling lime with fresh stuff.
« Last Edit: July 10, 2020, 06:55:05 am by goose »
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Offline fredthecat

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Re: RO water good for making beer?
« Reply #21 on: July 09, 2020, 10:27:06 am »
Fred - call your water utility - they typical can provide, free of charge, the results of a lot of lab testing they do.  The secret to figuring out what's wrong with your water is a chemical analysis. 

Russ

excellent, wierdly enough i never thought of that.

my city has a hard to find page showing mineral concentrations and hardness and stuff, so i went off those numbers and adjusted with BRU-N water but it seemed really wrong. Half of my city gets water from one very different source, the other half another source.

Offline Silver_Is_Money

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Re: RO water good for making beer?
« Reply #22 on: July 09, 2020, 01:48:33 pm »
With my budget RO unit my well water TDS went from 856 by meter to 46 by the same meter.  As to my $8.50 TDS meter's accuracy, Ward Labs says my actual well water TDS is 720.
« Last Edit: July 09, 2020, 01:50:24 pm by Silver_Is_Money »

Offline mabrungard

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Re: RO water good for making beer?
« Reply #23 on: July 09, 2020, 07:55:07 pm »
Goose, the chemistry is this: Pickling lime will revert to chalk when in contact with moisture in the air. Adding an acid to pickling lime just produces heat, but adding acid to chalk produces CO2 bubbles. So you can test your lime by dropping acid onto it and watching to see if bubbles form. No bubbles=good, Bubbles=bad (or going bad).
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Offline Silver_Is_Money

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Re: RO water good for making beer?
« Reply #24 on: July 10, 2020, 04:13:41 am »
In the very latest Brulosophy Exbeeriment the tester could not distinguish a "Blonde Ale" brewed with straight RO water from one with added minerals.

Quote
I was confident I’d be able to tell these beers apart, but I couldn’t, they tasted exactly the same to me.

http://brulosophy.com/2020/07/06/water-chemistry-straight-vs-adjusted-ro-water-in-a-blonde-ale-exbeeriment-results/
« Last Edit: July 10, 2020, 04:15:20 am by Silver_Is_Money »

Offline erockrph

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Re: RO water good for making beer?
« Reply #25 on: July 10, 2020, 05:51:00 am »
In the very latest Brulosophy Exbeeriment the tester could not distinguish a "Blonde Ale" brewed with straight RO water from one with added minerals.

Quote
I was confident I’d be able to tell these beers apart, but I couldn’t, they tasted exactly the same to me.

http://brulosophy.com/2020/07/06/water-chemistry-straight-vs-adjusted-ro-water-in-a-blonde-ale-exbeeriment-results/

The mineral additions to that beer were on the low side (Ca 55 | Mg 5 | Na 0 | SO4 72 | Cl 59), so that doesn't surprise me all that much.
Eric B.

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Offline goose

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Re: RO water good for making beer?
« Reply #26 on: July 10, 2020, 07:42:05 am »
Goose, the chemistry is this: Pickling lime will revert to chalk when in contact with moisture in the air. Adding an acid to pickling lime just produces heat, but adding acid to chalk produces CO2 bubbles. So you can test your lime by dropping acid onto it and watching to see if bubbles form. No bubbles=good, Bubbles=bad (or going bad).

Thanks for the input, Martin.  I know that moisture in pickling lime is a bad thing but could not get CaCO3 out of just Ca(OH)2 and H2O.  If the moisture has CO2 disloved in it like rain water or humidity in the air does, then the equation would balance.  Ca(OH)2 + H2O + CO2 => CaCO3 + 2 H2O.  Double check my stoichiometry and charge balance.  I get everything to balance.  Brings back memories of my college chemistry!  I love it. 
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Offline denny

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Re: RO water good for making beer?
« Reply #27 on: July 10, 2020, 07:53:10 am »
Goose, the chemistry is this: Pickling lime will revert to chalk when in contact with moisture in the air. Adding an acid to pickling lime just produces heat, but adding acid to chalk produces CO2 bubbles. So you can test your lime by dropping acid onto it and watching to see if bubbles form. No bubbles=good, Bubbles=bad (or going bad).

Great tip, Martin!  Thank you!
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Offline denny

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Re: RO water good for making beer?
« Reply #28 on: July 10, 2020, 07:53:39 am »
In the very latest Brulosophy Exbeeriment the tester could not distinguish a "Blonde Ale" brewed with straight RO water from one with added minerals.

Quote
I was confident I’d be able to tell these beers apart, but I couldn’t, they tasted exactly the same to me.

http://brulosophy.com/2020/07/06/water-chemistry-straight-vs-adjusted-ro-water-in-a-blonde-ale-exbeeriment-results/

Single data point.
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

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"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts." - Bertrand Russell

Offline denny

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Re: RO water good for making beer?
« Reply #29 on: July 10, 2020, 07:54:03 am »
In the very latest Brulosophy Exbeeriment the tester could not distinguish a "Blonde Ale" brewed with straight RO water from one with added minerals.

Quote
I was confident I’d be able to tell these beers apart, but I couldn’t, they tasted exactly the same to me.

http://brulosophy.com/2020/07/06/water-chemistry-straight-vs-adjusted-ro-water-in-a-blonde-ale-exbeeriment-results/

The mineral additions to that beer were on the low side (Ca 55 | Mg 5 | Na 0 | SO4 72 | Cl 59), so that doesn't surprise me all that much.

Exactly.
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

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The best, sharpest, funniest, weirdest and most knowledgable minds in home brewing contribute on the AHA forum. - Alewyfe

"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts." - Bertrand Russell