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Rain Water Tank Filter

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Oz-Brewer

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Company of one

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Hi All,

I'm looking at using the water from my rainwater tanks. Was wondering what filters, if any, people use for brewing? I brew all grain on a 3 vessel herms.

I've been looking at this one: https://waterfilterforfridge.com.au/under-sink-filters-/1638-sediment-prefilter-housing-system.html

Was wondering if this is a good choice, or do I really need one.

I "feel" like I need one, for peace of mind, but maybe I should just get over that!!!

Thanks....
Hi Oz.
I'm on tank water also, was once a city kid so when I moved to the country and on to tank water I hooked up my water supply to a Big Blue filter system.

Like this: https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/5-Micro...e=STRK:MEBIDX:IT&_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2648.

I don't know if it is completely needed when brewing due to the wort being boiled but from the get go I couldn't get my head around birds crapping on the roof then drinking it.

I have voted to use a filter.

Cheers.
 

Oz-Brewer

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Ok - So I've looked a little further and rang the company, think they have a call center fielding calls. Anyway, they did respond back with an email. They also suggested this system: https://waterfilterforfridge.com.au...block-and-5-micron-sediment-water-filter.html

This new system they suggest is: "It is a sediment filter first – so it will take out all the dirt, rust, sediment, followed by Carbon filter – which improves taste and odour."

So, I don't have any odour on the tank water that I can detect, and I've tried a small sample and no taste issues either.

So the way I figure it, is that, I'm only really concerned with sediment, silt etc. The filter is 5 micron's which seems good, therefore I don't really need a second carbon filter, and not really up for paying $200.

I think the first filter is good enough.

@Company of one, it seems similar enough to yours as well. I'm guessing you are having no problems.
 

Peregrine

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I think you need to be clear about what you're trying to achieve. If the water smells and tastes good then you shouldn't be getting any untoward effects on your beer. If you're worried about faecal matter (bird or possum shit) then you can get a water test done, specifically for E. Coli. However a 5 micron filter isn't going to sort that out I wouldn't think. The professional answer I've been given is to chlorinate the tank. (No thanks...) In any case for brewing your boil will well and truly sort out any real or imaginary pathogens. If the water is bright with no evident sediment after an hour in a glass I don't think you should have any problems. If so the answer is probably to put a filter in before your pump and replace/clean it often. In the long term (years) build up of leaf matter at the bottom of the tank can slightly change the colour of the water and if disturbed can contribute to coarse particles in the water which settle quickly. The answer here is to have the tank cleaned out every now and then. I've been living with unfiltered tank water all my life and brewing for a long time and I can't see any problems. The thought of brewing with metropolitan chlorinated water brings me out in a cold sweat but maybe that's just a prejudice.
 

altone

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If your only concern is sediment, then the first filter you mentioned will probably suit well.
Although I'd probably spend the extra on the carbon filter just to help reduce heavy metals and such.

If you're worried about bird/possum poop or other nasties living in your tank well the expensive link I put up before, or an RO system.

Are you wanting this for drinking/cooking and brewing water? If so the bigger filters are the go.
 

Batz

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I live without town water, so that means tank water only. I don't filter it, I drink it, brew with it, shower in it or anything else. Done this since I was a kid.
Don't need tampons either.
 

altone

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I live without town water, so that means tank water only. I don't filter it, I drink it, brew with it, shower in it or anything else. Done this since I was a kid.
Don't need tampons either.
We used to play in the dirt, eat stuff after it fell on the floor, got physically bullied at school, not media posts, and my whole family made it through.
OP was concerned, so just pointing out the most complete options.
I do like to get rid of some of the chlorine put in our city water with a filter though as it tastes better to me.
I use a basic under sink 2 stage unit on one of those small taps.
 

Lionman

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I grew up on a farm where we used water from a dammed spring. We had chalets on the property so we needed to treat the water before it was consumed (health regs I think).

We had a tank that was kept full from the dam, then before the water entered the pressure pump on its way to the house/chalets it passed through a filter and UV steriliser to kill any microbes.

It's not that cheap to set up. I think You can get a smaller UV steriliser for about $200-$300. We wouldn't have bothered if it was just for us, it was some of the cleanest water in the world. It is an option though if your worried about the safety of the tank water you have.
 

raturay

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I've only ever used tank water to brew. No filters and no issues. However the tank does have a first flush system on it and the tap I draw from is about 600mm from the bottom of the tank so should be drawing from a sediment free source. Despite all this, and like many others who have commented, I was raised on tank water without all the precautions of today. No issues so far, so far, so far!!!
I thought about filters originally and couldn't see the need to go to the bother and the expense.

Cheers
 

Oz-Brewer

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Thanks everyone....

I was only really concerned with sediment. I'm using the water for brewing. It appears I didn't call that out specifically, sorry about that. Anyway, wasn't concerned about pathogens due to the 60/90 minute boils i do.

Great advice.

I bought the first one I linked to. I think it's just a peace of mind thing.
 

mischa6262

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Hi Oz.
I'm on tank water also, was once a city kid so when I moved to the country and on to tank water I hooked up my water supply to a Big Blue filter system.

Like this: https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/5-Micron-Coconut-Carbon-Block-Water-Filter-10-x-4-5-Whole-House-Big-Blue/141957709384?ssPageName=STRK:MEBIDX:IT&_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2648.

I don't know if it is completely needed when brewing due to the wort being boiled but from the get go I couldn't get my head around birds crapping on the roof then drinking it.

I have voted to use a filter.

Cheers.
20" filters are overkill for his application (fyi i have worked in water treatment for high purity water systems)
 

mischa6262

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Thanks everyone....

I was only really concerned with sediment. I'm using the water for brewing. It appears I didn't call that out specifically, sorry about that. Anyway, wasn't concerned about pathogens due to the 60/90 minute boils i do.

Great advice.

I bought the first one I linked to. I think it's just a peace of mind thing.
Just my 2 bobs worth mate;
Id have gone with the twin filters first one having a 5 micron polyspun filter and secondary carbon block for taste and odour.
As far as pathogens go in tank water your only worried about ecoli and coliforms, these can easily be eradicated IF its found you have them , and if you got birds and animals crapping in it then you DO have them, chlorine dosing your tank should assist, we used to dose tanks holding up to 80000 L with about 2 litres of pool chlorine so the amount needed is very small to have a sanitizing effect , (ohh by the way i speak from experience working in manufacture of high purity water systems for hospitals and path labs)
 
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I've only ever used tank water to brew. No filters and no issues. However the tank does have a first flush system on it and the tap I draw from is about 600mm from the bottom of the tank so should be drawing from a sediment free source. Despite all this, and like many others who have commented, I was raised on tank water without all the precautions of today. No issues so far, so far, so far!!!
I thought about filters originally and couldn't see the need to go to the bother and the expense.

Cheers
I agree totally with this post. I grew up on a farm with tankwater serving everything except for the garden which was bore water (pretty minerally too). If you have grown up with all the bugs taken out of the water (town supply) then you may possibly have issues. But then I don't know if any nasties survive an hour or so of boiling. I maintain if you can't make a good cup of tea from the water, you shouldn't make beer out of it neither. I find tank water is bright, sweet and sparkly in nature. Town water is dead by comparison and makes revolting tea where I come from. That said, I was very impressed with the water in Canberra, which has a very similar taste profile to our tank water. I normally take water with me when traveling, but won't bother next time I visit Canberra.
 

Frothy Boi

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I filter drinking water thru a 3 stage filter from bunnings ($130) and then thru a 6w uv steriliser from ebay ($51). Similar to set up posted above but more cost effective. Flow rate for uv filter to be effective is around 1L /min so prep water in advance.
 

mischa6262

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I filter drinking water thru a 3 stage filter from bunnings ($130) and then thru a 6w uv steriliser from ebay ($51). Similar to set up posted above but more cost effective. Flow rate for uv filter to be effective is around 1L /min so prep water in advance.
Sounds nice but it calculates at 1.8 L/min min flow to be effective, and are you filtering after uv? if not then you risk endotoxins still being in the water that are dangerous to humans we would filter post UV with a 0.2um absolute filter to remove endotoxins (coming from my exp in high purity water treatment systems)
 

peterlonz

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Here is my take based on over 40 years of home brewing:
1) A good clean reputable town supply of water is fine - 99% of the time; & you won't taste anything objectionable in your brew. Here in Qld on the Gold Coast the town supply is as good as it gets; no chlorine taste, ( to our family anyway) & no detectable sediment despite the use of a 5 micron polyester filter. Conclusion: zero need to filter!
2) Because we happen to have a 5000 litre rain catchment tank we can supply our goldfish with zero chlorine content water (essential for their long life & health). It's also very easy to observe that in a 250 litres water change there is no visible sediment. Of course there is zero need to filter this water & we don't.
3) Bear in mind that birds do shit on the roof as do the local big fruit bats. This is not a scenario I wish to worry about in brewing; so for brewing I use the (excellent) town mater supply.
4) We happen to have inherited a kitchen under-sink twin filter fitted with the 5 micron polyester "first filter" mentioned above; and a second "coconut carbon block" filter rated at 0.5 micron. Such units are relatively low cost both for the complete unit & replacement filters. So as a routine I use only water from the filters in brewing. This means in practical terms I need not boil all water used, in fact I boil only sufficient to dissolve malt & to extract hops. This simplifies & speeds up the brewing process.
5) Have I ever had infections? No not within the last 30 years, prior to that most home brewing was subject to risks for a variety of reasons; yes I had failures but filtering my water I believe was one change that helped long term gradual improvement.
6) If you are a serious brewer you need good equipment, the reliable techniques & the right attitude, compromising in any way on water is unwise.
 

mischa6262

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Here is my take based on over 40 years of home brewing:
1) A good clean reputable town supply of water is fine - 99% of the time; & you won't taste anything objectionable in your brew. Here in Qld on the Gold Coast the town supply is as good as it gets; no chlorine taste, ( to our family anyway) & no detectable sediment despite the use of a 5 micron polyester filter. Conclusion: zero need to filter!
2) Because we happen to have a 5000 litre rain catchment tank we can supply our goldfish with zero chlorine content water (essential for their long life & health). It's also very easy to observe that in a 250 litres water change there is no visible sediment. Of course there is zero need to filter this water & we don't.
3) Bear in mind that birds do shit on the roof as do the local big fruit bats. This is not a scenario I wish to worry about in brewing; so for brewing I use the (excellent) town mater supply.
4) We happen to have inherited a kitchen under-sink twin filter fitted with the 5 micron polyester "first filter" mentioned above; and a second "coconut carbon block" filter rated at 0.5 micron. Such units are relatively low cost both for the complete unit & replacement filters. So as a routine I use only water from the filters in brewing. This means in practical terms I need not boil all water used, in fact I boil only sufficient to dissolve malt & to extract hops. This simplifies & speeds up the brewing process.
5) Have I ever had infections? No not within the last 30 years, prior to that most home brewing was subject to risks for a variety of reasons; yes I had failures but filtering my water I believe was one change that helped long term gradual improvement.
6) If you are a serious brewer you need good equipment, the reliable techniques & the right attitude, compromising in any way on water is unwise.
Please don't take this the wrong way, just my two cents worth so to speak (ie High purity water treatment experience) but filtering alone will not remove bacteria from a water source, a 5 micron pre filter will remove sediment, the 0.5 micron carbon block will only remove taste and odors and any chlorine remaining, as there is always chlorine in town water. Sediment is not an indication that a water source is clean and healthy.
Even after filtering you will still have the potential of ecoli and coliforms in your tank water if its not being chlorinated to sanitize it.
do yourself a favor and have it tested if you dont believe me, ALS labs https://www.alsglobal.com/au?gclid=...4rCh3V2woMEAAYASAAEgKQ9fD_BwE#chooser-section
can do it for a reasonable price and peace of mind
once again just my 2 cents worth
 

altone

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Please don't take this the wrong way, just my two cents worth so to speak (ie High purity water treatment experience) but filtering alone will not remove bacteria from a water source, a 5 micron pre filter will remove sediment, the 0.5 micron carbon block will only remove taste and odors and any chlorine remaining, as there is always chlorine in town water. Sediment is not an indication that a water source is clean and healthy.
Even after filtering you will still have the potential of ecoli and coliforms in your tank water if its not being chlorinated to sanitize it.
do yourself a favor and have it tested if you dont believe me, ALS labs https://www.alsglobal.com/au?gclid=...4rCh3V2woMEAAYASAAEgKQ9fD_BwE#chooser-section
can do it for a reasonable price and peace of mind
once again just my 2 cents worth
Just out of interest, don't the UV water treatment units remove/neutralize e-coli etc?
I was under the impression they did.
Not an issue for me as I'm on town water - my issue is more removing Chlorine/Chloramine and if I can Flouride
 
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