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blaze421

tap water vs boiled bottled water? Which is better to brew with?

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I'm new to the home brew scene. Got a LBK kit today, want to start the process, but i'm on the fence if I should use good ol fashioned tap water or what my fiance says and get some bottled water? Sorry about the noob question. The HME I'll be using is Classic American. Any suggestions?

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Welcome to your new hobby. I used bottled water because I have some pretty nasty well water. I hear tap water is just fine as long as it is not heavily chlorinated.

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If you aren't sure about your water, spend a couple bucks and get some store brand spring water. I'm doing that because I have city water that has enough chlorine that I can smell it. Not overly chlorinated, I reckon, but enough I don't want to lose a batch of beer over $2 worth of water.

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We have great tap water where I live, but over time I have come to recognize off flavors that can come from residual chlorine in beers. So unless I have the time to make sure chlorine is gone from my tap water before brewing, the couple of bucks for spring water is worth knowing I can brew great beer if I do everything else right.

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just boil the water and chlorine goes away. or leave out out in open containers for 24 hours and again it's gone.

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You can eliminate chlorine as Jim says, but chloramine is more common in water supplies and these techniques do not work for it. You can remove chloramine with potassium metabisulfite (Campden tablets) (use Google for details), use carbon filtration, or take the easy way of using spring water.

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Not all spring water is created equally. Some is just filtered municipal water, or just tap water that has been bottled. Avoid distilled water.  

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I use water that is run through my carbon filter when doing large batches that I know I will be boiling for awhile.  For the most part, when doing a MrB sized batch I use bottled spring water, mainly because sanitation gets drilled into you head over time and it drives me up the wall that I jump through all those hoops only to put cold tap water into the LBK.  Spring water or "drinking water" is fine.  Although it really doesnt matter when making HMEs, I stay away from distilled and reverse osmosis water since it lacks the minerals the yeasties like but that is more important when you are doing all grain than extract.

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if it tastes good and you are doing extract brewing, not all grain, tap water works.... BUT ... if your tap water has lots of chlorine or chloramine it can make rubber band aid tastes in your beer.

 

if you can filter out the chlorine without filtering out the minerals that might be in your tap water... that would be good.

 

I use either Zephyrhills mineral water  or  Publix (grocery chain)  Mineral water with a certain source code.  I got the complete water analysis from the source for this one spring and always try to grab only that publix water.  the report listed everything from radon  to minerals to chemicals from run off like pesticides etc... and it was pretty darn near pristine according to the report.

 

i'll be doing all grain soon and the publix water has a nice profile that fits much of what I would be brewing , with the need for salt additions being very few.. the extra 75 cents to a dollar per gallon is a cost I can live with.

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