Author Topic: using bottled water  (Read 2523 times)

Offline gigatropolis

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using bottled water
« on: January 26, 2011, 11:10:31 PM »
I have been using straight bottled water for brewing my last 6 or so batches and don't think there has been any negative effects. I buy good quality bottled water and only use the bottle just after opening. I do extract brewing so will pour several gallons into the wort when in the fermenter.

  What are your thoughts on this? Is it normal to use bottled water or maybe I've been very lucky so far?

   Thanks,

Offline euge

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Re: using bottled water
« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2011, 11:26:00 PM »
Perfectly acceptable. Especially with extract brews. I've made some fine brews doing just as you describe. In fact, I've just used straight unboiled tap water to top up the fermenter before without incident.

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Offline phillamb168

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Re: using bottled water
« Reply #2 on: January 27, 2011, 02:07:22 AM »
I do the same thing, but try to use spring water, as it tends to contain more minerals, etc. It's also way easier to fill up the HLT - the system I have now requires that I disconnect the water connection to my mash tun and re-route it upwards. Usually ends up spilling all over the place, but if I use bottled, I don't have that problem. Plus, I can re-fill the empty 1-gallon jugs and use them as receptacles for blowoff tube gunk.
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Offline mabrungard

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Re: using bottled water
« Reply #3 on: January 27, 2011, 06:19:39 AM »
I caution the use of Euge's topping off procedure.  Although there is only a small chance of infection, the reason that there is such a low chance is that all municipal water systems in the US have to maintain a disinfection residual in the water lines.  For most places, that means chlorine or chloramine. 

I strongly recommend that removal of these compounds is critical to producing good beer.  So hopefully Euge just failed to mention that he does that.
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Offline tomsawyer

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Re: using bottled water
« Reply #4 on: January 27, 2011, 08:36:03 AM »
I occasionally top up with municipal treated water, and haven't experienced chloramine problems.  Thats going to be something that varies by locality though.  To be safe a bit of potassium metabisulfite (or a crushed Campden tablet) is a good idea.
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Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: using bottled water
« Reply #5 on: January 27, 2011, 08:51:24 AM »
I've topped with tap water in the past, but in the WAY past before I was aware of the chlorine/chloramine problems.  I do not recommend using straight tap water.

You will even get a significant difference in coffee flavor if you brew it with straight tap water.  Give it a test.  Not something I want to risk in my beer.

I do, however, keep old bottled water bottles and fill those with filtered water to top up my fermenter.  It's not much more work than using straight tap water and is far less risky.
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Offline euge

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Re: using bottled water
« Reply #6 on: January 27, 2011, 12:21:21 PM »
I caution the use of Euge's topping off procedure.  Although there is only a small chance of infection, the reason that there is such a low chance is that all municipal water systems in the US have to maintain a disinfection residual in the water lines.  For most places, that means chlorine or chloramine. 

I strongly recommend that removal of these compounds is critical to producing good beer.  So hopefully Euge just failed to mention that he does that.

As far as I'm aware chlorine and chloramine are primarily contraindicated when all grain brewing. I treat my mash water with a campden tablet or let the water sit out overnight. Topping up a couple gallons for an extract batch in the fermenter shouldn't cause any problems. It never has for me. Additionally, if one pulls some water off the tap and it reeks of chlorine then that might cause some medicinal off flavors. Be wary of that or cleaning fermenters with bleach. So if this is the case I advise just using bottled water.

I knew there'd be some flack over the statement. Emphasis on "used". It's ok to do it. Not part of my regular brewing procedure since normally I do all grain and the odd extract batch is also done full-boil with RO water.
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Offline a10t2

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Re: using bottled water
« Reply #7 on: January 27, 2011, 12:55:33 PM »
As far as I'm aware chlorine and chloramine are primarily contraindicated when all grain brewing.

I was under the impression that the main concern associated with chlorine is that it will bind with phenols and produce chlorophenols. In which case the phenolic compounds would primarily be a result of yeast metabolism, and independent of the wort source.
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Offline hokerer

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Re: using bottled water
« Reply #8 on: January 27, 2011, 01:42:47 PM »
As far as I'm aware chlorine and chloramine are primarily contraindicated when all grain brewing.

I was under the impression that the main concern associated with chlorine is that it will bind with phenols and produce chlorophenols. In which case the phenolic compounds would primarily be a result of yeast metabolism, and independent of the wort source.

+1  That's my understanding as well.  It's the yeasties doing their thing that'll generate the chlorophenols regardless of how you created the wort you're fermenting.
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Offline punatic

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Re: using bottled water
« Reply #9 on: January 29, 2011, 12:10:28 AM »
I use water straight from the tap for all of my brewing, meadmaking, winemaking and washmaking.  But, my household water is supplied by rainwater catchment.  It is filtered through a 30 micron filter, a five micron/gac filter and then passes through a ultraviolet disinfection system.  No chemicals at all.  pH around 5.5, but no buffering so all I have to do is whisper, "hydroxide" over it and the pH jumps right up into the basic range (just kidding).

It is great having a private water rainwater catchment system.  Disinfected water with no chemicals straight from any tap in the house.  pH 5.5, conductivity = 15.0µS/cm, total coliform <1 cfu/100mL (absent), enterococcus <1 cfu/100mL (absent), HPC <0.2/mL... a blank slate straight from the tap.  Disinfected rinse water straight from the tap.

It's great to have your own water quality lab too.
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Re: using bottled water
« Reply #10 on: January 29, 2011, 08:40:37 AM »
I use water straight from the tap for all of my brewing, meadmaking, winemaking and washmaking.  But, my household water is supplied by rainwater catchment.  It is filtered through a 30 micron filter, a five micron/gac filter and then passes through a ultraviolet disinfection system.  No chemicals at all.  pH around 5.5, but no buffering so all I have to do is whisper, "hydroxide" over it and the pH jumps right up into the basic range (just kidding).

It is great having a private water rainwater catchment system.  Disinfected water with no chemicals straight from any tap in the house.  pH 5.5, conductivity = 15.0µS/cm, total coliform <1 cfu/100mL (absent), enterococcus <1 cfu/100mL (absent), HPC <0.2/mL... a blank slate straight from the tap.  Disinfected rinse water straight from the tap.

It's great to have your own water quality lab too.

Yeah, yeah and I suppose it's great to go surfing in the morning and volcano watching in the afternoon......
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Offline bluesman

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Re: using bottled water
« Reply #11 on: January 29, 2011, 09:04:14 AM »
I use Poland Spring water for all of my brewing as my tap water is awful. Eventually I'd like to purchase an RO system and treat my water from there but it keeps falling down on the priority list. I can say that spring water with minor tweaks makes awesome beer. I't very reliable and I have not made a bad batch of beer using it.
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Offline gigatropolis

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Re: using bottled water
« Reply #12 on: January 29, 2011, 09:33:15 AM »
I used Trader Joes' Pure New Zealand Artesian water for last batch and it is really good for brewing. Tasted great and had a little lower PH that the Crystal Geyser and Arrow Head which I also use.

Offline tom

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Re: using bottled water
« Reply #13 on: January 29, 2011, 09:52:06 AM »
How does your tap water taste?
Do you know if it has chlorine or chloramine?
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Offline gmac

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Re: using bottled water
« Reply #14 on: January 29, 2011, 10:20:58 AM »
Does the chlorine evaporate during a full boil?  My water is chlorinated but I haven't noticed it to be overwhelmingly "bleachy" in character.  Getting bottled water just seems to add yet another thing to do in the process.  It's not impossible but I don't live in an area where I can easily get large volumes of bottled water.  Our small village has a municipal water system but not a store that sells anything bigger than 1 L bottles.

Is it the end of the world to use tap water?  I know that leaving it sit over-night or running a fish tank bubbler through it will remove a lot of the chlorine.  Is this good enough?