Author Topic: Spring Water  (Read 653 times)

Offline rail

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Spring Water
« on: August 11, 2010, 07:45:23 AM »
I have two natural springs on the property, I want to use the water from the springs to brew Bock and Vienna Beer. Does anyone else use natural spring water in their brewing?

Offline susanr

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Re: Spring Water
« Reply #1 on: August 11, 2010, 08:10:14 AM »
I have two natural springs on the property, I want to use the water from the springs to brew Bock and Vienna Beer. Does anyone else use natural spring water in their brewing?


Have you had the water analyzed at all?  My guess is that it will be fine but the Bock would be best with water that is higher in CaCO3 - as this brings out a more malty profile.  Every natural spring is going to be different so you really can't go by what someone else uses.

If you can't get it analyzed - how does it taste?  If it tastes high in minerals or you can visually see iron in it then it wouldn't be so good for either of these styles.  Another thing in taste - depending on how "natural" you are talking (hooked up to well or just surface ground water) - does it have Algae - common this time of year - this will definitely come thru in the flavor of the final product.

If it tastes good to you and you don't want to spend the time/money for a water analysis - brew with it and see - my guess is you will make a great beer.

Cheers,
Susan


Cheers,
Susan

Homebrewing is not my hobby - it is my lifestyle.

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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Spring Water
« Reply #2 on: August 11, 2010, 08:18:17 AM »
Ward Labs test W6 ($16.50) would be good, but does not have iron, there is another test that includes that for a few more $.  If you are OCD like I can be at times, you would test both.  One might be better than the other, or one might be good for style X, the other may be good for style Y.

The cheaper way to test would be to look at Kai's site, there are test that aquarium keepers use.  Gives you some of the important information.  Here you go:
http://braukaiser.com/wiki/index.php/At_home_water_testing



Jeff Rankert
Ann Arbor Brewers Guild, AHA Member, BJCP Certified
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Offline majorvices

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Re: Spring Water
« Reply #3 on: August 11, 2010, 08:40:16 AM »
What these guys said. Not the best idea to use any water for AG without testing it first (though you can get away with it, its far from ideal) For extract brewing you are better off using RO water.
Keith Y.
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Offline wingnut

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Re: Spring Water
« Reply #4 on: August 18, 2010, 10:09:25 AM »
What these guys said. Not the best idea to use any water for AG without testing it first (though you can get away with it, its far from ideal) For extract brewing you are better off using RO water.

+1, but I would use 5.2 stabilizer from 5-star if using "unknown" water in all grain.  It does a pretty darn good job of buffering all grain, regardless of water condition. 
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Offline mabrungard

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Re: Spring Water
« Reply #5 on: August 21, 2010, 01:50:07 PM »
Spring water is NOT an indicator of good drinking water or good brewing water.  There are plenty of springs that are not suitable for drinking.  I'm assuming that this is a shallow spring that is seeping from the ground.  They are the most susceptible to contamination from biologic and chemical contaminants.  A deep well that is flowing could be safer, but even that is not a guarantee. 

Give the water a sniff test first, then a taste test if you dare.  If it tastes good and doesn't have metallic flavors, then I would send it off to a lab to determine its major ions with respect to brewing suitability.  You'll still be in the dark with respect to chemical contaminants unless you pony up big bucks for testing. 

Since I have an extensive history in water supply and groundwater, I am less amorous for unknown water supplies.  Better safe than sorry.  Unfortunately with chemical contamination, low levels that are not acutely poisonous (kills you immediately) can still produce a chronic toxicity that may eventually kill you if you drink enough of it.

Spring water is NOT a guarantee of good water. 

Martin Brungard
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