I posted in the water report thread, and Denny helpfully sent me a link to a site where I could study. I read a lot last night.
My water is fine for the most part, but the report says I have 0.68 ppm of iron. I'm on a well, and the pipe that extends above the ground is either steel or iron. Maybe that's the source.
The water doesn't taste or smell funny. It's not the best-tasting water there is, but it's no worse than distilled, which is not the best-tasting, either. It doesn't taste bad at all, but I've had tap water that tasted better.
I don't have rust stains on any of my plumbing, although I do get a lot of off-white scale from other minerals.
Should I really be concerned, if I can't taste or smell the iron in the water? I know sometimes brewers overthink things.
Buying distilled water will nearly double the cost of a batch of beer, and I would also have to add chemicals. I can get purified water, but purified water has minerals added back to it, so I would not have any idea what was in it. It's possible to get a cheap Chinese distiller from Amazon and distill a gallon of water at a time. It would eventually be cheaper than buying jugs.
I returned to brewing in January. I used to brew with city water. I haven't made enough beers here to draw firm conclusions about every recipe, but I know a few things. My stout, which is a little like Murphy's but with an FG of about 1.015, is perfect. I make a 1.084-OG ale with about 37% wheat, and it's dynamite. I'm drinking a cloudy 73%-wheat ale right now, and it may have a little bit if a harsh edge to it. It's only four days in the keg, though.
I don't know what to do. I don't want a $2000 filter, but I don't know how to deal with bottled water, either.