Need advice on RO Filters

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Stuart99

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My filtration needs are a bit different from the usual here as I'm looking for a filter that removes fluoride, not just chlorine. This is for drinking and cooking water although water for brewing would be a bonus. I'm leaning towards a countertop RO unit like this one
https://www.psifilters.com.au/count...-stage-countertop-reverse-osmosis-system.html

That unit is claimed to have a 400gal or 100litre/day flow rate and a 1:1 waste ratio. The flow rate sounds impressive until you realise it would take you 15+ minutes to fill a1 litre kettle or 4 min for a glass of water, and that's at a pressure of 50psi and at a temperature of 25 degrees C, any lower and flow drops! I guess the best solution would be to fill an 8-10 litre dispenser on the countertop and dispense from there. Optional accessories with this unit are a membrane flush valve and an alkalyzer cartridge for the 4th stage to re-mineralise the water. The alkalyzer is basically a container of calcite (calcium carbonate). I've heard that drinking RO water straight isn't a good idea as the lower osmotic pressure will draw minerals out of your body into the GI tract. Sounds reasonably logical but I don't know if it's true.

Since I know a number of members here use RO systems does anybody have any advice re flow rates, alkalyzer and how necessary a membrane flush valve is? Would it be a good idea to get a TDS meter to determine when necessary to replace the cartridges? Any other points I've missed? Anyone have advice on good or bad suppliers in Oz, particularly if you had a bad experience with one?

Thanks in advance, Stuart.
 

TheBeerBaron

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76 views and no reply! Anyone?
RO set ups for drinking have additional 'stages' to add back in minerals which are stripped in the first membrane stages (2 I think?) RO water is not good for drinking as you mention. PH is off and no minerals etc. so it leaches these back from your body if you were to only drink RO.

For brewing, you really only need the first 2 or whatever membrane stages, then you add back your minerals per the water additions calcs of beer smith etc.

For drinking, you get the multi stage, 5 etc. with charcoal and all that stuff.

This is my understanding anyway
 

Meddo

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No insight to contribute but curious why you want to remove fluoride?

Mineral leaching in the body sounds like pseudoscience to me to be honest, but happy to be corrected.
 

TheBeerBaron

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Mineral leaching in the body sounds like pseudoscience to me to be honest, but happy to be corrected.
Might be one of those things like if you only drank RO water and nothing else it's no good.. I am not sure.
 

scomet

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Hello Stuart99, you raise a lot of comments / questions in your post I will try and answer them as I feel competent; Firstly, there is huge debate on the interwebs re drinking RO! Personally I wouldn’t use RO for drinking water, our bodies requirement for minerals in very small quantities is extremely complex. I know some people are hyper-sensitive to chemicals and to me that is an issue that has to be dealt with individually.

With regards to using RO for making beer, a good RO system will give you virtually distilled water which you can then remineralise, so yes it will remove fluoride, and everything else.

psi Filters is the best supplier I could find, Peter seems very knowledgeable in his subject. I use a tds meter, it has just gone to 2ppm out, I use the flush valve after each use and a larger flush every once in a while. Look at his chloramine systems. A lot of 'bs' sales people will say 'our RO membranes are designed to give you a tds of 10!! ' thats because they’re made in China and are $hit quality…..

Water was the last big thing I tackled in my brewing ops! Did it make a difference YES, would I suggest a new brewer buy an RO unit - no -

Where I live the scheme water is bad (for making beer anyways) I brew ales my brews now hit fg 1004 which has given them a whole new taste, your kitchen and family requirements needs to be looked at separately imo - Cheers, scomet

ps. Thanks for the endorsement Reg, I take that as a compliment :-}
 

damohb

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Can you expand more on the relationship between RO water and low FGs?
 

scomet

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Can you expand more on the relationship between RO water and low FGs?
Damohb

My brewing, like a lot of people here, has developed slowly over a large number of years - I used to read about people hitting fgs <1010 that I thought were just impossible to achieve. In terms of brewing, my focus has gone from sanitation to malt to hops to yeast to process to packaging to water in that order. One of the positives I have noticed is that at every stage my fg has continually dropped. I love a well fermented bitter ale, 1004 is what I regularly hit now.

So sorry, I cant give you a direct relationship between RO and fg, a lot of brewing is subjective. If I had to pick 2 from above I would say sanitation and process. Process includes, Ph, temperatures, time, which also has to include RO water and minerals….

So many variables, So much beer to drink :-}
 
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Damohb

My brewing, like a lot of people here, has developed slowly over a large number of years - I used to read about people hitting fgs <1010 that I thought were just impossible to achieve. In terms of brewing, my focus has gone from sanitation to malt to hops to yeast to process to packaging to water in that order. One of the positives I have noticed is that at every stage my fg has continually dropped. I love a well fermented bitter ale, 1004 is what I regularly hit now.
I was only thinking about this the other day, when first starting to brew, it was just brew the beer and drink it. Gradually a real interest starts to emerge along with a thirst for knowledge and going through the brewing process as best as you possibly can, and the thing is no matter how high you aim there is always another target above it.
Another thing that crossed my mind. When I was learning to play chess our teacher told us that the combination of games from the 32 squares could never be counted.
I was thinking the same thing just about English bitters, or for any style, the combinations of the malt and hops available would beat the chess games.
Sorry for going off topic.
 

damohb

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Damohb

My brewing, like a lot of people here, has developed slowly over a large number of years - I used to read about people hitting fgs <1010 that I thought were just impossible to achieve. In terms of brewing, my focus has gone from sanitation to malt to hops to yeast to process to packaging to water in that order. One of the positives I have noticed is that at every stage my fg has continually dropped. I love a well fermented bitter ale, 1004 is what I regularly hit now.

So sorry, I cant give you a direct relationship between RO and fg, a lot of brewing is subjective. If I had to pick 2 from above I would say sanitation and process. Process includes, Ph, temperatures, time, which also has to include RO water and minerals….

So many variables, So much beer to drink :-}
Thanks for the reply! was only curious as you mentioned it in the same sentence as your town water being bad, so figured you were making a connection between your water improving and fg dropping, rather than the whole process improving
 

scomet

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I have come to believe that all things in beer are connected so yes I do believe that crappy town water and higher fg are connected, but so is everything else - makes it fun to try and understand :-} f* more beer to drink!
 

rude

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Damohb

My brewing, like a lot of people here, has developed slowly over a large number of years - I used to read about people hitting fgs <1010 that I thought were just impossible to achieve. In terms of brewing, my focus has gone from sanitation to malt to hops to yeast to process to packaging to water in that order. One of the positives I have noticed is that at every stage my fg has continually dropped. I love a well fermented bitter ale, 1004 is what I regularly hit now.

So sorry, I cant give you a direct relationship between RO and fg, a lot of brewing is subjective. If I had to pick 2 from above I would say sanitation and process. Process includes, Ph, temperatures, time, which also has to include RO water and minerals….

So many variables, So much beer to drink :-}

Well I have had the opposite since using R/O water my FG has gone up a touch and thats with yeast nutrient
but only pouring cube in to the fermenter no O2

Having said that I wouldn"t go back to my tap water as it is high in Na and cl2

!004 you say ? is that with a saison yeast at 30°c mashed at 62°c with dex in it ?

I agree with you that psi filters are a good place to buy them from though but R/O water wont bring your FG down IMHO
 
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