Author Topic: How do you get your water??  (Read 5669 times)

Offline waltsmalt

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Re: How do you get your water??
« Reply #15 on: August 29, 2019, 08:48:09 pm »



I don't use so-called RO or other bottled water because you don't get a lot analysis, and have no way of knowing what's in it.

A TDS meter is dirt cheap.  As long as it shows, say, 10 ppm or under, what's in it is probably insignificant.   A good precaution for those who do buy their water.

+1 Purchased a TDS meter and just carry it along when I get my water for peace of mind.  If I had the time to brew more than 10-12 10 gallon batches per year, I would install an RO system to skip the lugging.  That gets old during peak brewing season (mainly Fall).

Offline AzBruin

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Re: How do you get your water??
« Reply #16 on: August 29, 2019, 11:29:26 pm »
I purchased a 4 stage portable RO system from Amazon for ~$70. It was advertised as producing 0 ppm. Since I don't believe most advertising, I also bought a TDS meter, and much to my surprise, it does actually produce 0 ppm water. Some supermarket gallons get pretty close to that, but not all. As far as the "fill your own jug" machines, I haven't found any good ones.

Offline Kevin

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Re: How do you get your water??
« Reply #17 on: August 30, 2019, 06:59:19 am »
Water straight from my well. Got a Ward Lab Brewers test and used that info to create a base water profile in Beersmith 3. Then I add whatever water agents are needed to match the given profile I select for the beer I am making.
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Offline charlie

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Re: How do you get your water??
« Reply #18 on: August 30, 2019, 06:36:57 pm »



I don't use so-called RO or other bottled water because you don't get a lot analysis, and have no way of knowing what's in it.

A TDS meter is dirt cheap.  As long as it shows, say, 10 ppm or under, what's in it is probably insignificant.   A good precaution for those who do buy their water.

Total dissolved solids doesn't mean squat.

Charlie
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Offline Robert

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Re: How do you get your water??
« Reply #19 on: August 30, 2019, 06:53:44 pm »



I don't use so-called RO or other bottled water because you don't get a lot analysis, and have no way of knowing what's in it.

A TDS meter is dirt cheap.  As long as it shows, say, 10 ppm or under, what's in it is probably insignificant.   A good precaution for those who do buy their water.

Total dissolved solids doesn't mean squat.

Charlie
How so?  True, you don't know the breakdown,  but if there's very little of anything, then there's not enough of any given ion to make it worth counting as you plan water treatment.   If it's 5-10 ppm TDS, it might as well be treated like DI as far as I'm concerned.  Anything present won't push my profile out of tolerance. Moreover, if you're buying alleged RO water and it tests higher, you can assume that the store does not adequately maintain the machine, its output will be highly variable and not to be trusted, and you should just find another source.  Am I missing something of practical import, Charlie?
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Offline Andy Farke

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Re: How do you get your water??
« Reply #20 on: August 31, 2019, 08:49:32 am »
I use tap water, RO water, or a blend of the two depending on what I'm brewing.

Our local water (southern California, Los Angeles Basin) is generally quite hard, but I'll use it straight (with Campden tablet treatment) for most dark/amber beers. I learned fairly early on through taste tests that this water is *not* good for particularly light beers like blonde ales, pilsners, etc.

I have a local mom-and-pop water store that has quite affordable RO water, and I will build up from that for really light beers. I spot-check the water with my TDS meter from time to time, and it clocks in pretty close to zero quite consistently (yes, yes, yes, I know that is only a general proxy for "true" mineral content...). Sometimes I'll blend tap+RO water.

Water calculators are pretty helpful for all of this, of course!

One thing I haven't done yet is spot-check my tap water chemistry at different times of year. I'm curious how much variation there is from the yearly averages for our water system.
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Offline Gian Sartor

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Re: How do you get your water??
« Reply #21 on: September 10, 2019, 03:05:04 pm »
I use tap water and hit it with a campden tablet to get rid of the chloramines and have brewed decent beer with that. I've toyed with the idea of using RO water but my goal right now is to figure out how to brew great beer using my tap water with appropriate additions.

Offline jeffy

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Re: How do you get your water??
« Reply #22 on: September 10, 2019, 03:14:37 pm »
This summer I finally got my well water tested at Ward Labs and threw a little money to Martin for his Bru'nwater program.  I had been blending my well water 1:3 with Glacier D.O. water from the machine at the grocery store until now.
I have some sulphur aromas from my well water (Tampa, Florida), but it didn't show up in the Ward Labs test.
My latest beer was 100% well water and salts calculated per Martin's program.
Now I need to get a new pH meter since my old one is inconsistent.  Or maybe with the spreadsheet I don't need one.
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Offline mabrungard

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Re: How do you get your water??
« Reply #23 on: September 10, 2019, 06:29:49 pm »
I have some sulphur aromas from my well water (Tampa, Florida), but it didn't show up in the Ward Labs test.


Compounds like hydrogen sulfide aren't reported on typical water reports. The smelly stuff is volatile and more specialized sampling and testing protocols are required to properly detect and report them.

There are also compounds that present themselves more as flavor impacts. Certain metals and some organic compounds are typical taste impacts. Again, many typical water tests won't detect or report those things.

Remember: "If the water tastes bad, you probably can't brew with it"
(that's sort of the more correct form of the antonym "If the water tastes good, you can brew with it"
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Offline brian_welch

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Re: How do you get your water??
« Reply #24 on: September 12, 2019, 09:53:37 am »
This summer I finally got my well water tested at Ward Labs and threw a little money to Martin for his Bru'nwater program.  I had been blending my well water 1:3 with Glacier D.O. water from the machine at the grocery store until now.
I have some sulphur aromas from my well water (Tampa, Florida), but it didn't show up in the Ward Labs test.
My latest beer was 100% well water and salts calculated per Martin's program.
Now I need to get a new pH meter since my old one is inconsistent.  Or maybe with the spreadsheet I don't need one.

I lived in Tampa in the late '70s/early '80s and we moved out to the country out by Odessa to a house with a well and boy did we have more than "some sulphur"! We installed a big filter system for all the water coming into the house but I can still remember the water, the smell of the shower[!], before that.  Unbearable.  The local convenience store made slurpees with untreated water.  The only flavor they served was rotten egg.  The locals must've been used to it but it was absolutely undrinkable.

I just got my water results back from Ward on Tuesday.  Our town has great tasting and very soft water from a local reservoir.  The town puts out a detailed water report every year which I dutifully update in Bru'n Water.  The Ward report was very consistent with the the town water report, although the pH number is more precise now  (7.3) since the town report only says "just above neutral."
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Offline jeffy

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Re: How do you get your water??
« Reply #25 on: September 12, 2019, 12:45:11 pm »
This summer I finally got my well water tested at Ward Labs and threw a little money to Martin for his Bru'nwater program.  I had been blending my well water 1:3 with Glacier D.O. water from the machine at the grocery store until now.
I have some sulphur aromas from my well water (Tampa, Florida), but it didn't show up in the Ward Labs test.
My latest beer was 100% well water and salts calculated per Martin's program.
Now I need to get a new pH meter since my old one is inconsistent.  Or maybe with the spreadsheet I don't need one.

I lived in Tampa in the late '70s/early '80s and we moved out to the country out by Odessa to a house with a well and boy did we have more than "some sulphur"! We installed a big filter system for all the water coming into the house but I can still remember the water, the smell of the shower[!], before that.  Unbearable.  The local convenience store made slurpees with untreated water.  The only flavor they served was rotten egg.  The locals must've been used to it but it was absolutely undrinkable.

I just got my water results back from Ward on Tuesday.  Our town has great tasting and very soft water from a local reservoir.  The town puts out a detailed water report every year which I dutifully update in Bru'n Water.  The Ward report was very consistent with the the town water report, although the pH number is more precise now  (7.3) since the town report only says "just above neutral."

Fortunately my well's sulfur smell dissipates pretty quickly.  At least I think it does.  Sometimes one gets used to smells if they are continually immersed in them, but I can't smell it in the kettle after the water has been collected.
 
Jeff Gladish, Tampa (989.3, 175.1 Apparent Rennarian)
Homebrewing since 1990
AHA member since 1991, now a lifetime member
BJCP judge since 1995

Offline cuehappiest

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Re: How do you get your water??
« Reply #26 on: September 26, 2019, 03:46:01 am »
I use Seattle Tap to get my water.

Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: How do you get your water??
« Reply #27 on: September 26, 2019, 06:19:23 pm »
I use Seattle Tap to get my water.

You have super good water up in the PNW.

I wish!
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Offline HopDen

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Re: How do you get your water??
« Reply #28 on: September 27, 2019, 01:00:05 pm »
I have an RO system in the brewery. I clean the filters every 5 or so brews and recheck TDS and to see if any ions are remaining.

Offline Richard

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Re: How do you get your water??
« Reply #29 on: September 27, 2019, 03:30:56 pm »
At the moment my municipal water is excellent. It comes from the Hetch Hetchy system which catches snowmelt in the Sierra Nevada mountains and delivers it to local reservoirs for chloramine treatment and distribution. I have had it tested by Ward Labs and all the minerals are very low. It is high pH (8.6 - 9.6) but that isn't a problem. I am somewhat boggled that we use this outstanding water for flushing our toilets at the same time that farmers and fish are competing for water from the same rivers and fresh water is sometimes in short supply.

Now there is talk that our local water agency may start to use recycled wastewater. Cities could sign up to deliver wastewater to be purified and then delivered back to them in times of need. Many local cities already used recycled water for landscaping but not for consumers. I'm not sure how I feel about this. It would almost certainly change how I need to treat my water for brewing, but it seems as if it is inevitable and, if done right, a good solution to our water shortages.
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