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Water To Use With Kits Brews

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Wax

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What water should I be using when brewing from a kit? I figure there would be some baddies in tap water which would compete with my yeast. Should I be buying spring water or can I boil up the tap water. If boiling is ok how long do I need to boil for?

Cheers
Wax
 

deebee

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It may depend on where you are, but if tap water is good enough to drink it should be good enough to add to your fermenter. Water chemistry is a bigger factor when mashing than it is in kit brewing.

I used to filter my water. I have boiled it. I have even bought bottled water. I don't bother now because it is too expensive and too much stuffing around. If you boil water you drive out all dissolved O2 and you give your yeast a hard time unless you really do some serious aeration.

I now add my concentrated wort to the fermenter already dissolved and cooled. I then top up with the garden hose nozzle set to generate maximum froth and bubble. Then pitch a big and healthy yeast starter and any other microorgs will have no chance to get a hold of your beer.

If your water tastes or smells bad then boil or filter it or buy bottled water.
 

Kai

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I run my water through a benchtop filter. Not a fan of chlorine.
 

GMK

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DeeBee

I dont like the idea of using the garden hose - sometimes get a yucky rubber taste....

I use rain water....
 

Guest Lurker

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I use the nylon hose. Also the same fitting I wash the dogs with. Sometimes a little Great Dane essence can add to a brew, especially a porter.
 

PostModern

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Guest Lurker said:
Sometimes a little Great Dane essence can add to a brew, especially a porter.
Hair of the Dog Porter... sounds great. ;) Does it make it taste a little "ruff"? Nothing to whine about, I suppose... maybe rack some into a growler?
 

Hoops

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Kai said:
I run my water through a benchtop filter. Not a fan of chlorine.
I'm no fan either. I can smell the chlorine in my water so I use an activated carbon bench-top filter.
 

deebee

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GMK said:
DeeBee

I dont like the idea of using the garden hose - sometimes get a yucky rubber taste....

I use rain water....
Ken, I'm glad you asked.

For brevity I didn't go through the process but I always water the lawn or something that needs watering to give the hose a good rinse out first. If my wife has left the hose dangling in the fish pond as she often does, then I soak the nozzle in one-shot for a while too to knock off the E.coli etc.
 

devilsaltarboy

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When I was making the transition from kit to all grain I used to obtain good chlorine free (semi sanitised) by boiling in a big pot to drive off chlorine and kill the nasties and then I would transfer to sanitised 5L aquavital bottles. I gave them a few big shakes before adding to the brew.
 

bibtracker

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Dunno about water quality, but I now tend to use a 10-litre container of spring water(the generic brand is cheap enough at Woolies) and chill it for 24 hours before a brew.
I find that pouring this in after the kit and other ingredients gets the water temperature down to pitching levels almost straight away.
Provides a useful amount of aeration, too.
 

devilsaltarboy

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bibtracker said:
Dunno about water quality, but I now tend to use a 10-litre container of spring water(the generic brand is cheap enough at Woolies) and chill it for 24 hours before a brew.
I find that pouring this in after the kit and other ingredients gets the water temperature down to pitching levels almost straight away.
Provides a useful amount of aeration, too.
Yeah forgot to include the vital point in that I do chill mine as well after boiling, spring water is supposedly good water quality in general. I do question if any nasties do get into the water though, boiling removes doubt but I did use spring water in my early brews unboiled and never had a prob
 

ghos

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I'm sure I read somewhere that historically they would turn a suspect source of water into something readily drinkable by making beer out of it. It had something to do with the fermentation process ridding the water of nasties.

Myself I just use tap water. I am far too lazy to worry about it.

Cheers.
 

Kai

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I think part of the original brewing process did indeed include a boil, which helped kill the nasties.

Even a mash at 65C will kill off some critturs, a boil after that and/or fancier mashing procedures required for less modified malts would kill 'em off efen more.

I think the two most common methods for making the water drinkable in mediaeval Britain were tea and beer, and both involved boiling.

Nonetheless, when you make beer you're right in that you are providing an environment inhospitable to growth of nasties. The beer will spoil long before it's a health risk.
 

ayellayen

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Personally when I started I just put in tap water. But my latest one copped my laziness. I just turned the hose on, watered the garden, the dog, the siblings for a little bit and filled up the fermenter.
 

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