Author Topic: RO Water instead of the crap from my tap  (Read 564 times)

Offline soymateofeo

  • Cellarman
  • **
  • Posts: 70
    • View Profile
RO Water instead of the crap from my tap
« on: April 02, 2018, 01:51:31 PM »
I have been brewing since the 90's.  I was talking to my buddy about this "homebrew" flavor I was having in my beer and he didn't know what the hell I was talking about. I had his beer and thought, "Hey man.  Where's that flavor?" 

SOOOO, I went to my buddies house to help him brew his first batch and, after doing research, went with purified drinking water with no additions other than some yeastex in the boil. The beer finished and was super clean without that "homebrew" flavor and was ridiculously delicious.  I went home and tasted my beer and tasted my tap water (why have I never done this before) and realized my water is crappy and I think I was tasting chlorophenols mixed with uranium, radon, feces, and all kinds of other los angeles water grossness. 

I used my tap water in Los Angeles that was filtered through charcoal and treated with campden tablets for years.  Today, I will be going back to bottled water like I did when I brewed extract.  I am going to brew an American stout and will be using the AJ Delange water primer strategy of adding 1 tsp of cacl2 and gypsym per 5 gallons. or I might just use RO water with yeastex.  I'm not interested in learning about the finer details of brewing water.  After hearing Drew Beechum talk about his limited water chemistry knowledge and all he knows is CaCl2 and gypsum.  I can do that and enjoy brewing. 

What do ya'll think?

Online hopfenundmalz

  • Global Moderator
  • I must live here
  • *****
  • Posts: 8960
  • Milford, MI
    • View Profile
Re: RO Water instead of the crap from my tap
« Reply #1 on: April 02, 2018, 02:42:06 PM »
I have used RO for years. For some beers you want Gypsum for others CaCl2. AJ mainly brews Czech Pilsners, so he uses CaCl2.

Keep it simple. Read this if you want to understand more.
https://sites.google.com/site/brunwater/water-knowledge
Jeff Rankert
Ann Arbor Brewers Guild
AHA Governing Committee
BJCP National
Home-brewing, not just a hobby, it is a lifestyle!

Offline scrap iron

  • Assistant Brewer
  • ***
  • Posts: 105
  • K.C.
    • View Profile
Re: RO Water instead of the crap from my tap
« Reply #2 on: April 02, 2018, 03:03:14 PM »
I have used RO for years. For some beers you want Gypsum for others CaCl2. AJ mainly brews Czech Pilsners, so he uses CaCl2.

Keep it simple. Read this if you want to understand more.
https://sites.google.com/site/brunwater/water-knowledge
  +1 to this. Most water companies today use chloramines. Chloramines are ammonia added to chlorine and are used for longer times of disinfection as the water moves through the main lines. These are not filtered out with charcoal  or campden tablets. Your best and cheapest bet is RO water at places like Wal-mart etc. that sell in bulk at store machines. All you really need is Calcium chloride and Gypsum. Gypsum and a small amount of Cal chloride for dryer beers and the opposite for malty beers. I too suggest Brunwater, it's not too hard to figure out and you can play with salt amounts to see how ph is affected. It also has brewing water suggestions for different style of beers.
Mike F.                                                                               "I am what I am and that's all that I am" Popeye the sailor

Offline knut

  • 1st Kit
  • *
  • Posts: 4
    • View Profile
Re: RO Water instead of the crap from my tap
« Reply #3 on: April 05, 2018, 12:46:05 AM »
I've used RO water for years with great results. A little Ca and or Acid Malt and I'm good to go with most out our beers. After years of lugging bottles, finally got a decent RO system with H.O. which handles the beer and the Reef Aquarium just fine...

Offline PutnamBrewer

  • 1st Kit
  • *
  • Posts: 22
  • CT Homebrewer
    • View Profile
Re: RO Water instead of the crap from my tap
« Reply #4 on: April 09, 2018, 02:37:25 PM »
I never addressed water chemistry in the 5 years I've been brewing because I didn't understand it and thought it was overwhelming to learn.

I was generally happy with the beers But sometimes, they would not turn out how I hoped. So this weekend I'm going to build my own water profile from distilled and see how well it turns out, now that I understand it all.

Offline narcout

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1795
  • Los Angeles, CA
    • View Profile
Re: RO Water instead of the crap from my tap
« Reply #5 on: April 10, 2018, 12:13:20 AM »
I'm in LA as well.  I brewed with tap water successfully for a few years (treated with Campden, which I believe does remove chloramines), but then switched to RO/distilled. 

Give it a shot. 

 
It's too close to home
And it's too near the bone

Offline scrap iron

  • Assistant Brewer
  • ***
  • Posts: 105
  • K.C.
    • View Profile
Re: RO Water instead of the crap from my tap
« Reply #6 on: April 11, 2018, 02:33:37 PM »
After some research I found articles that said chloramines can be removed by campdon but you might have to use a little more, so my bad. They also state that GAC filters will work if passing through slowly. After years of lugging containers full of RO water from the store I finally bought a home RO system. I am in my last home after moving at least 10 times in the  last 30 years and have the RO system mounted on a basement wall under the kitchen. This saves room in the kitchen cabinets and a pump isn't needed if within 10 feet of the faucet.
Mike F.                                                                               "I am what I am and that's all that I am" Popeye the sailor