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Local spring water Vs Tap Water Melbourne

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Damn

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I've read only few discussions but are still unsure about using local spring water. I vaguely remember reading that using spring water opens up to inviting the local organisms into your brew and therefore not suggested. My tap water from time to time has a chlorine smell so I try to get my quantity the day before to allow it to clear. But on talking to another local he claims he knows of another local who makes homebrew using the local spring water and claims it makes a big difference in quality of the beer. I'd like to hear some others opinon's on using spring water?
 

manticle

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How are you making your beer? Full mash or kit/extract?

Melbourne water from all the various reservoirs is pretty clean and soft. Chlorine can be driven off by preheating or allowing to sit overnight (so long as it is around 20 deg C).

Firstly water needs to be potable (drinkable) secondly, if full mashing, it needs appropriate levels of certain minerals. If kit/extract, don't worry about the mineral content so long as the water isn't full of sodium or bicarbonates or somesuch.
 

Damn

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I'm doing partials at the moment. I do about 10-15L boil typically. So I'm thinking of the quality of my top up water, but also my brew water if it makes a difference.
 

manticle

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Partial mash as opposed to steeping spec grains? (many confuse the two).

At this point I still wouldn't worry too much about mineral content unless you have an easy way of analysing what's in it.

If it's drinkable/non toxic just have a crack. Do 2 brews the same but each with different water. Mid coloured, average hopped, average abv. See which you prefer and why.

No-one can (or at least they shouldn't) advise you on the spring water itself unless they know what's in it.
 

Feldon

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Damn said:
My tap water from time to time has a chlorine smell so I try to get my quantity the day before to allow it to clear.
Leaving tap water to stand overnight, or even for several days, does almost nothing to remove the chlorine.

Best way to remove chlorine in water to be used for brewing is to boil it then allow to cool.
 

manticle

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Feldon said:
Leaving tap water to stand overnight, or even for several days, does almost nothing to remove the chlorine.

Best way to remove chlorine in water to be used for brewing is to boil it then allow to cool.
If it's above 20 degrees, my understanding is that chlorine will start to come out of solution. Below that (and the weather in Melbourne now makes that unlikely I guess), not much will happen.

The hotter the water, the quicker it will come out of solution with 0ppm being left at 100 deg C
 

Feldon

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We've been down this track before in a previous thread...

http://aussiehomebrewer.com/topic/64057-chlorine-removal-time-versus-temp/page-2?hl=%2Bfeldon+%2Bchlorine#entry902574 (my post with link to some research is on p.1)

Evan at 25 degrees C chlorine remains in the water, even after several days.

(the link to the original research paper mentioned in the above thread is now at http://hendryutilities.com/plus/docs/Chlorine_Removal_Report_Final_080817.pdf )

Another key point is that the absence of a smell of chlorine gas does not mean there is no chlorine in the water.
 

manticle

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The original paper is about aeration as an effective removal technique and as mentioned, some of the tests are performed well beloew 20 and some only a touch above.

However I take your point that it needs to be well above in order to be removed in an efficient time frame (eg overnight or sooner).
 

Damn

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I'm pretty sure I'm doing a partial mash.....In esky at 64-66c, then sparging those grains through a sieve with more 66c water into my kettle.

Well, if I have no worries about microorganisms then I'll taste this said spring water and give a go in one of my regular pale ales.
 

manticle

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If you are using base grain (pale, ale, pilsner, munich, vienna, maris otter, etc) to get part of your fermentables , it is a partial mash.
 

Feldon

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Just to clarify, "aeration" in the study only meant leaving the test water exposed to air - does not mean agitation of the water. (Test samples were held in both capped and uncapped containers in a range of controlled temps from freezing to 26 degrees C).

This is little different to a brewer leaving a pot of water containing residual chlorine overnight in the false expectation that all the chlorine will be gone by morning. Almost all the residual chlorine will still be there even after 3 days at 26 degrees C.

Screenshot - 10_04_2013 , 16_06_42.jpg
 

Degraves

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is chlorine bad for beer? never tasted it. I use Melbourne tap water. I once tasted Bendigo water and it was like a public swimming pool, should we add chemicals to the swimming pool or the beer.
 

Edak

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Why doesnt anyone use a charcoal filter like brita? I use one and it removes chlorine taste and smell completely...
 

djar007

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Off topic: Does it matter if you boil the chlorine out before you mash in. I currently boil water. Mash and then boil again . Does it affect the beer if I dont boil first? Just wondering if I can speed up the brew day. Because the chlorine would be released during the boil after mashing. Just a question I have been thinking about.
 

Damn

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Wow, seems like I hit a nerve with the chlorine concern. Looks like I've been wasting my time aerating it overnight. The smell from our taps is more noticeable on occasions and on those occasions I don't want that water in my beer. Up in the hills I think they dump chlorine in the water once every one or two months. When they do, you can notice it when you get a glass of water. The water comes out all cloudy then clears up fairly rapidly and that's when I can smell it. I might look at trying out a charcoal filter for home.

Edak said:
Why doesnt anyone use a charcoal filter like brita? I use one and it removes chlorine taste and smell completely...
On a further note, this subject was on my curiosity at trying my local spring water for a brew. As no one has cautioned me on using spring water I think I'll give it a bash.
I understand in whisk(e)y brewing its all about the water, but maybe that's all hype. I don't want to get too far out my depth (ph, mineral content,etc) just try something simple to improve my brew. Mind you, with my simple palate, brewing mostly Pale Ales I have not had any chemically tasting beers yet.
 

Greg.L

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I think if you have access to local water that isn't full of cow shit you should use it. I always brew with creek or dam water, never caused any infections.
Gives your brew "terroir".
 

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