Sanitizing using Well Water

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Sanitizing using Well Water

Postby Gumper » Sun Jan 12, 2003 8:14 pm

Does anyone have any tips on using well water(that is very 'irony and sulphury') for sanitation? I have brewed just a couple of batches and though not disappointed, I want better.... I use bottled water for the wort, but was wondering if anyone has any thoughts on how I should be sanitizing. I am currently using BTF Idophor and feel that I am very careful about current sanitizing. I am not sure if using the well water will really make a difference in the sanitation process. Thanksfor the advice!
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I would filter.

Postby Brewer2001 » Sun Jan 12, 2003 10:55 pm


You want water that is 'neutural', both biologically and chemically. Then you can add compounds to create the profile that you need (carbonates, bicarbonates, salts, etc.). If you start with water high in minerals you may need to remove them before using the water to brew. Most of use municipally supplied water where chlorine or chloromides are the big problem. You are on the other end of this problem. Don't add any 'raw' (unboiled tap )water to your cooled wort (post boil). However if you boil your water you may concentrate the iron. The iron content may give your beer/ale a metallic flavor. I have a carbon filter that I use for all of my brewing ansd sanitizing water. I wash my equipment in plain tap water (this is what we did in the brewery).

I have found that the Star brand of cleaning chemicals are real good. PBW (Powdered Brewery Wash) for cleaning and StarSan for sanitizing. StarSan is a no rinse phosphoric acid sanitizer that will not impart any flavor to the finished beer/ale. Idophor impart a taste to the beer if it is in high enough concentrations and it stains, StarSan does not. There is a good article in the January edition of BYO.

Good brewing,

Tom F.
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No-rinse sanitizer

Postby jeff » Mon Jan 13, 2003 4:09 am

Iodophor is a no-rinse sanitizer which means that at a concentration of 1 tablespoon to five gallons all you need to do is let your equipment drip dry. This way your untreated well water never comes in contact with your sanitized equipment.
I use iodophor myself with good results. First I clean my equipment with a percarbonate cleaner, then rinse, then sanitize with iodophor. I try to shake off as much sanitizer as possible, and then allow some time for more to evaporate.
I have done three batches this way and have been very happy with the results.
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Well Water

Postby fitz » Mon Jan 13, 2003 5:22 am

I have well water also. It has just a tinge of sulphur in it, but not iron. If you let the water sit overnight, the sulphur disipates, but I would think the iron would still be there. I use one step, a no rinse sanitizer and it works well for me. I couls see where the iron could be a problem for you. If you get a Brita type filter, you can get rid of just about any off flavor. Since it is well water, make sure you change the cartridge often(There is no clorine to kill the bacteria that may start in the brita filter) I have been brewing this way since 98 with good results.
Good luck
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Thanks for the help

Postby Gumper » Tue Jan 14, 2003 7:11 pm

Thanks guys. I'll probably try the filter first(or maybe get some more bottled water) to see if my results are any different
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