Water, water everywhere, nor any drop to brew with...

Grains, malts, hops, yeast, water and other ingredients used to brew. Recipe reviews and suggestions.

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Water, water everywhere, nor any drop to brew with...

Postby BarleyMan » Sat Jul 03, 2004 5:40 pm

Hi gang,

It's been a while but I'm back with another ridiculous, er... good question.

I live in mid-Missouri where the water is very hard. How hard, we've lived here for a year and we're replacing our coffee machine due to unyielding hard water deps.

The other frustration is that my recipes, tried and true in NJ are not working here. They range from too "thin" and watery to WAY too hoppy. I like hops by the way, but these recipes are over the top (ooo! new brew name, "Over the Hop Ale"). Yes, I could/can reduce the hops used, but I'm not sure if that's the real issue.

I'm thinking of using either Deionized or distilled water, maybe half and half with my regular tap water. I would love to hear any tips, tricks, or suggestions that the Brew-rus (that's brew-gurus) here might have.

Thanks fellows (and any fems on the site) and have a drink and a laugh today. Can't be unhealthy.

S.P.
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Similar problem

Postby fitz » Thu Jul 08, 2004 9:59 am

I have a similar problem in that I have some minerals, or salts in my water that makes it not good brewing water. I have been told that if I use the RO and Greensand softener on my water, that I'll strip any character that my brew would have. It has been suggested to use a mineral water, since distilled water takes out the hardness to a great degree. If you can find spring water in your area that is good, try that.
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Try boiling your water

Postby WallyJoe » Sun Jul 18, 2004 12:42 pm

One procedure I have read about is:
(1) fill a large pot with all the water you need, make sure it aerates as it fills.
(2) bring the water to a solid boil.
(3) let cool
(4) remove clear water, leaving mineral deposits

This is from "Brew your own British Real Ale" by Graham Wheeler, Roger Protz
<http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/1580171028/002-8025717-8542456?v=glance>

If you find a lot of precipitation when you boil water on the stove top, this method should be effective. It will not work if your water is salty,
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This is what I do

Postby Dr Strangebrew » Fri Jul 23, 2004 7:32 am

I have moderately hard water. I have found a water quality report on my city's website. I use this information with a chart in,"Beer Captured" by Tess and Mark Szamulski. The chart has mineral additions according to style. I don't pay attention to this. All I pay attention to is a tap water to distilled water ratio on the chart. Without knowing your water profile it is hard to say, but some beers are actually better when brewed with hard water.

Nate
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Postby DreamWeaver » Sat Jul 31, 2004 8:59 pm

I have hard water also. I run all of my brewing water thru a Brita Filter more for chlorine than the perm hardness but it helps. When I do 10 gallon batches I get a 5 gal jug of Culligan drinking water from my father-in-law & mix them. I don't like buying water to brew with so maybe a water filter is the answer. My coffee pot was limed up too but the Brita stopped that.

Just a thought.
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Missouri

Postby toadswarts » Wed Aug 25, 2004 10:21 pm

What part of Missouri do you live in ? i know if you live North of the Mighty Moe the water is very hard. I on the other hand dont. i just boil the water up to 212* and cool and brew. i will however check into what my water really is for you
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Re: Water, water everywhere, nor any drop to brew with...

Postby Push Eject » Tue Sep 14, 2004 7:05 pm

BarleyMan wrote:I'm thinking of using either Deionized or distilled water, maybe half and half with my regular tap water. .

I have to say that after farting around with my tap water, additives, distilled water, etc... I now use my local supermarket's "Drinking Water" for brewing. It's cheap and easy and hasn't let me down.

I still throw gypsum and the like in if a recipe calls for it, but for my house brews it has always worked like a charm.

Cheers,
Charlie
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Barleman

Postby toadswarts » Wed Sep 15, 2004 1:43 am

If your going to buy you water the cheepest place i have found is Walmart for 58 cents a gallon (Spring water)
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Postby nbfdc4 » Fri Jan 07, 2005 4:33 pm

dont know how verse you are in plumbing but you can also add a small cartrige filter in you feed for your house. just make sure you add valves before and aft so you can isolate the filtrer system so you can change the filter easy
drink if you can, drink if you must but always brew your own.
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Bitters are your best bet.....

Postby Brewer2001 » Thu Jan 13, 2005 3:42 am

Barley Man,

You hit the nail on the head. Hard water (Burton) is the reason that English Bitters were brewed. Hard water lends itself to thinner beer that is very bitter. The hard water enables the extraction of alpha acids from the hops and more tannins from the mash (during sparge).

The things that you can do have been explained in the previous messages. I did not brew when I lived in N.J. but our water was bad as well.

Most brewers (home and craft) do not realize that water is the primary ingredient in beer. I would get a source of "neutral" water and dose in your tap water for minerals and rebalance your recipies.

Good brewing,

Tom F.
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Well water

Postby Sapper » Sun May 15, 2005 12:58 am

One of the best batches of beer I ever made was when I used water from my mother-in-law's well. That water is very hard. It is loaded with limestone and my pale ale was excellent.

Why'd she have to move back to the city?

I live in Louisville KY.
I have no problems using water straight from the tap (adding a little gypsum). I visited the water plant and got the lowdown on the water quality and it gives me excellent results.
Amazing, considering it comes from the Ohio River.
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Re: Similar problem

Postby Annady17 » Sat May 23, 2009 12:09 am

[quote="fitz"]I have a similar problem in that I have some minerals, or salts in my water that makes it not good brewing water. I have been told that if I use the RO and Greensand softener on my water, that I'll strip any character that my brew would have. It has been suggested to use a mineral water, since distilled water takes out the hardness to a great degree. If you can find spring water in your area that is good, try that.[/quote]
You have really done a nice post with an useful information!
I am still hoping that this will not be the last post you will make!
Good luck for your next post!



_________________
[url=http://www.ep-filters.com/]Everpure Filters[/url]
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Postby MFoster75 » Thu Apr 29, 2010 8:40 pm

I have a similar problem, and have solved it by paying 25 cents a gallon for "Natural Spring Water" from a roadside stand... Haven't had that mineral-y taste since...
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