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Reverse Osmoses

Discussion in 'Partial Mash Brewing' started by churchy, 16/2/09.

 

  1. churchy

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    Posted 16/2/09
    Hi guys been searching a few threads and just wanted some feadback.Am I right that the consenses seems to be that filtered water is the best?I have accses to a reverse osmoses plant at work so I can grab as much water as I want.Does filtered water taste any better than tap water.Is it the small suttle differences that make better beer?
    What do ya rekon.




    Andrew
     
  2. Back Yard Brewer

    I HAVE A WIFE THAT UNDERSTANDS

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    Posted 16/2/09

    Use straight out of the tap, water. Never had a problem. I have access to R.O water as well but don't bother.

    BYB
     
  3. Goofinder

    Wild Elephant Brewery

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    Posted 16/2/09
    From what I recall, RO water isn't all that good for brewing as some of the minerals help in the mash. It's a good starting point if you want to re-create water from a specific brewing region, but I can't really see the point in that.

    As long as your tap water tastes OK it should be fine. I'm assuming that as this is in the Beginner Partials/AG section you're new to AG, in which case I would be concentrating on getting other parts of your process sorted before messing with water.
     
  4. Adamt

    Too busy (lazy) to brew.

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    Posted 16/2/09
    I'm assuming you're mashing...

    How to Brew Chapter 15

    Basically it depends what you're brewing, RO water is a blank slate to develop your own water profile.
     
  5. unterberg

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    Posted 16/2/09
    I should think that normal water will just be fine. The bits of minerals in it wont hurt but rather help the yeast feeling comfortable.
    Yeast nutrient is in the end just some amino acids, minerals and extracts like yeast extract, peptone and so on.
     
  6. matti

    Swedes Bryggeri

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    Posted 16/2/09
    It all depends on what water you have in tap.
    I haven't heard anything bad about Perth water supplies.

    It also depends on what stage you are in your brewing practices.

    Burton beer require a little harder water and so does some of the German lager to.
    Dortmund and Vienna lagers uses hard water.

    If you desire to brew pilsner Go for it.

    Matti
     
  7. Guest Lurker

    Big Dog Brewing

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    Posted 16/2/09
    Depends what sort of brewing you are doing, but for kits, RO water will be much better than Beechboro water due to the amount of chlorine in it, while for beer made using only grain, RO water plus some minerals, or tap water with the clorine removed is the go.
     
  8. newguy

    To err is human, to arrr is pirate

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    Posted 16/2/09
    It largely depends on your tap water. The city where I lived when I first started brewing had horrible tap water - pH of 8.9 - which is ridiculously high. In order to avoid astringency (tannin leaching from mash), I had to use at least ~50-60% RO water, or I had to add a lot of acid to the water to get the pH down. I did once try 100% RO water and it was awful. Truly awful - the minerals definitely play a role in the finished beer, and believe me you'll miss them if they're gone.

    If you draw your water from a municipal source, try to get a water analysis report. Many cities will publish their daily/weekly/monthly water quality reports online. If you find the report and can't make sense of the numbers, post back here. If you draw your water from a cistern (rain sourced), you're good to brew with it. Rain water is really good for brewing.
     
  9. eamonnfoley

    FoleybraĆ¼

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    Posted 2/3/09
    Anyone know where the water on the Bayswater side of Maylands (Perth) is sourced? Tastes ok but seems to vary a bit, sometimes tasting a bit chlorinated.

    Got a persistent problem and I am starting to wonder if the water has something to do with it.
     
  10. litre_o_cola

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    Posted 2/3/09
    Yours is a combo of Desal plant and Mundaring Weir where as mine is Desal and Serpentine Dam.
    I have noticed that Swan View is bad for this, like when you boil the kettle and get a massive wiff of chlorine out of it.
    I am fortunate that down here it seems to be used in a lower amount.
     
  11. eamonnfoley

    FoleybraĆ¼

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    Posted 2/3/09
    cheers for that advice. I'm guessing mine should be ok for brewing then?
     
  12. PhilA

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    Posted 2/3/09
    :D For the chlorine why not try Campden tablets to strip chlorine and leaves minerals
     
  13. Guest Lurker

    Big Dog Brewing

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    Posted 2/3/09
    Hi Foles

    I am on the Maylands side of Bayswater. If I dont use camden tablets to drop the chlorine I can taste chlorophenols, especially in cascade type beers. The water has a pH well over 8 and is well buffered, so for light beers I add some acid as well.
     
  14. Spartan 117

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    Posted 2/3/09
    +1

    yeah was gonna say pretty much the same thing all RO does is remove any sort of dissolved particles that way you can add any sort of salts you want in any sort of concentration

    Aaron
     
  15. RdeVjun

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    Posted 2/3/09
    Or blend your RO and tap water perhaps?

    Our town water here in Toowoomba is a bit iffy IMO, so I use boiled, chilled rainwater. I boil it because the state of the gutters and tank leave a lot to be desired biologically. Then I chill it to get the fermenter temp just about right to pitch straight away when its mixed with a 4 litre hot wort of extracts. But occasionally I don't have enough chilled, so rather than use unboiled rainwater, I just use tap water to make it up to full, a few litres at most. So, sometimes I end up with a blend. Oh and yeah, I reoxygenate it by pouring from height. Works great.

    To address one of the OP's questions, I think water quality can make a significant difference, but I haven't tested that thoroughly to see for sure, however there are plenty of anecdotes. Also, RO water probably shouldn't be used directly as, according to other anecdotes, it can be so devoid of dissolved minerals that in the digestion and elimination process it actually removes them from the body, I'm guessing by a similar osmosis process that generated it. I guess too that the RO water you'd get domestically from reticulated supply and the RO water that Andrew has access to from his workplace are two completely different things, quality- wise. If you've got access to low- EC (conductivity) RO water Andrew, I'd blend it back at least to coastal rainwater strength, say about 20- 30uS/cm and erring on the stronger side would be best- for you, your brews and the yeast would probably benefit too.

    Slightly- :icon_offtopic: - This thread reminds me of something that probably every one of us have seen at one point or other:
    Assmosis: A process through which an otherwise stupid and unworthy individual attains high standing and success by sucking up to superiors and stepping on colleagues to attain undeserved superior status in a corporate workplace "It was plain for all to see that X's success was not gained through posession of a superior intellect, by hard work or having experience. No, it was achieved through simple assmosis."
     
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  16. KegLand-com-au

    www.KegLand.com.au - A Land of Stainless Steel AHB Sponsor

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    Posted 23/9/19
    I know it's been a long time since this thread has been active but have you guys used any RO systems? Would be keen to get your feedback from different states? Our water is pretty good in Melbourne but would be keen to know if many brewers in other states are using RO for brewing?
     
  17. bbqzookeeper

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    10 Years.

    I'm looking into getting a RO System, but from what I've read everywhere, PSI water filters are the way to go.
     
  18. wozzie

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    Posted 24/9/19
    Something im looking more into. Canberra water is great for the most part as a base to build on. I would like to reduce the alkalinity as it sits around 40-55 (not high by any means), would like it to be around 20 max
     
  19. Josh Dodd

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    Posted 24/9/19
    I have a six stage RO/DI (Reverse Osmosis and De-ionisation) filter setup I just installed a few weeks ago. There's a split line in the middle of the system and a presure tank. The water passes through three filters, then the RO filter and then either goes into the 3 gal storage tank and then out through the carbon filter into a tap on the sink for drinking/brewing/freshwater aquarium use (99% pure); or I can use a seperate tap to pass it from the RO filter into the De-Ionisation filter then out through a seperate tube for saltwater aquarium use (99.9% pure). It's not reccomended to drink DI water because you've taken TOO much out of the water, but Marine Aquariums want water as pure as possible.
    From my understanding, using DI water for brewing wouldn't be worth it as the brewing process add's back plenty of adjuncts and proteins and contaminants so it defeats the purpose. Likewise not advised for Freshwater tanks as it strips out the beneficial minerals the plants and animals need. Marine tanks are different as you are mixing up saltwater with a carefully balanced mix so you want ultra pure so you know exactly whats going in.
    It's a complicated setup ad takes up a lot of room under the sink but gives me pure water for drinking for the family, pure water for brewing and carbonation for soft drinks, and for topping up the freshwater tank and then ultra pure water for my saltwater tank setup.
    If you're not keeping fish, better to skip the last DI filter setup and go straight RO. My setup was AU$300 plus additional international shipping (purchased from US through eBay). Just shy of $400 all up. Local sellers where considerably more expensive. RO setup on it's own is a bit cheaper.

    I will point out that an RO filter slows the passage of water quite a bit. You need to have a pressurised storage tank as part of the setup. The filter system keeps the tank permanently topped up and the tap draws from that. My system has a 3.2 Gal/12 litre tank. That means a standard brew for a 19l corny or for 23L worth of bottles, will drain the tank fully and you have to wait for it to refill to finish filling for the brew. Depending on the rating of your RO filter it can take some time to refill the tank. Mines rated at 100 gal/378 litres per day so a little under an hour to refill the tank. It just means that filling your kettle or fermenter can take a while and is a two step process.

    Additionally, bear in mind replacement cost for filters - RO should be done every 2 years depending on usage. The other filters every 12 months. You can source cheap filters online, and the fittings are an international standard so any filter brand should fit. But four to five filters every 12-24 months can add up. Bulk buying the filters is a good option to invesitgate.

    Final consideration is your home water pressure. If it's too low you need a booster pump to push it through tthe filter, Too high and you need a pressure control valve to slow it down.

    It's a bit complicated and there'ssome testing and research before deciding exactly what you want, but once you have that, installation is easy (did it all myself). An RO system does takle up a LOT of space under the sink though, because of the storage tank.

    One thing that KL should consider when stocking these is that, technically, I think your supposed to get them fitted by a licenced plumber? The process is actually really easy, and only required drilling a single drain hole in the waste pipe and a hole for the tap in the sink, everything else was push in fittings similar to the duotight fittings. But if the local regs state you need a plumber to install, that's an additional cost on the purchaser. Buying from a local water filter company often includes installation in the price.

    Previous brews I did just using a standard 3 stage water filter (not RO) or even just using tap water (our previous house only had 3 stage, and I did two brews in the new place before installing the new setup) I honestly didn;t notice that much different. A three or four stage filter purifies your water a lot and is probably enough for the average user. The RO is an extra stage for those who really want to go pure. Personally, I wouldn't have bothered if I didn't need the ultra pure RO/DI water for my reef aquarium. I would have just got a cheaper, smaller and simpler 3 stage filter.
     
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  20. KegLand-com-au

    www.KegLand.com.au - A Land of Stainless Steel AHB Sponsor

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    Posted 24/9/19
    No worries. I will contact PSI Water Filters. We might end up stocking one of these.
     

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