Water?

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DuaneS

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I have done about a dozen BIAB brews so far, I would like to start making things better.

Does water have a major effect on the brew?
Tap water or tank water?
Filtered?
boiled?
PH adjument? if so with what?
 

Kingbrownbrewing

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The best 70 bucks I EVER spent was on a carbon and sediment water filter..
Such an improvement in my beers and drinking water in general.
 

NickB

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Indeed, for my beers that are 'delicate' such as lagers and Pils, then the best thing I've ever got was my RO filter. $200 all up for a 5-stage RO filter with 15L storage tank.

Mind you, if your tap water isn't crappy and undrinkable, a carbon filter as per Dan's above would be more than sufficient, unless you want to delve deeply into water chemistry....

Cheers
 

manticle

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Yes water makes a difference, as does yeast, hops and malt.

For my money, soft water with subtle ionic adjustments via salt additions.

If your water is hard, soften it via filtering or RO or whatever then build a subtle profile according to the desired characteristics of the beer you are making.
 

DuaneS

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My tank water is reasonable, PH about 6.2, Town water, quite hard 7.8+.
Tank water concerns me a little, dunno what is crawling around in it

Played around a lot years ago with RO water systems, breeding soft water fish, but i sold the RO unit dammit
 

manticle

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If you are brewing full volume, the boil or even strike water heating should get rid of most things crawling around in it.

If kit brewing and concerned, boil your water the night before.
 

DuaneS

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OK..thanks

So if i want to start improving my brew, what are the first steps i should look at, Yeast, I have only used US-05 to this stage
 

Spork

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Hard for anyone to answer that without knowing your processes.
You BIAB, and that can make great beer, but what else? Do you have temperature control for fermentation? Do you use any kind of finings? Do you whirlpool? Do you squeeze or no-squeeze? Do you chill or no-chill...
 

DuaneS

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Sorry

BIAB, NC in 20 litre cube
Tip in fermentor, add US-05, ferment at 18deg, tempreture control STC-100, dry hop at approx 4 days, crash chill after fermentation done
Filter, keg, condition for week, drink

I guess i fairly much follow the initial steps, laid out for me by Ross at CB to begin BIAB brewing
 

manticle

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Do you know what your water is like in terms of temporary and permanent hardness, calcium, sulphate, chloride, sodium and magnesium levels?

Do you know its affect on your mash in terms of pH?

Find and download Tony Wheeler's article on water chemistry for a basic and well explained understanding of what is going on inside the mash and what salts to add and why.
 

katzke

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Sorry

BIAB, NC in 20 litre cube
Tip in fermentor, add US-05, ferment at 18deg, tempreture control STC-100, dry hop at approx 4 days, crash chill after fermentation done
Filter, keg, condition for week, drink

I guess i fairly much follow the initial steps, laid out for me by Ross at CB to begin BIAB brewing
When brewing ales your best improvement would be to let them ferment for 10 to 14 days or longer, then dry hop. I have let beers set for a month and they turn out great.

If you want to look at water read some books on brewing that include sections on water. The reading will also improve your general knowledge. Lots of good articles on the net and some bad ones. The more you read the better you will be able to sort out the good from the bad. There is some bad info out there that has been copied from one or more authors and just gets repeated.
 

cam89brewer

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My tank water is reasonable, PH about 6.2, Town water, quite hard 7.8+.
Tank water concerns me a little, dunno what is crawling around in it

Played around a lot years ago with RO water systems, breeding soft water fish, but i sold the RO unit dammit

This may be in my ignorance but I thought that PH wasn't directly related to general water hardness but a measure of calcium and small amounts of magnesium measured in ppm or mg/l?
 

[email protected]

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This may be in my ignorance but I thought that PH wasn't directly related to general water hardness but a measure of calcium and small amounts of magnesium measured in ppm or mg/l?
Yes

High PH does not necessarily mean the water is hard, hard water does have a high PH though.

My rainwater for example has a high PH, 8 to 8.5, but this is only from free carbonates and the water is still very soft, not much mineral content, so PH is easily adjusted by minute amounts of acid.

There is also permanent and temporary hardness, the latter can be boiled resulting in carbonates precipitating out of solution leaving the water softer.
 

seamad

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We only have tank water at home. General house water goes through a 10 micron filter. Kitchen tap runs through a carbon filter. With a tds reading get max 25 ppm, so basically pretty clean. Had a reverse osmosis filter for sterilizer at my surgery which came up as 0 ppm tds, but it rejected half of the water so am happy with the carbon filter at home.
If you want to start with water additions get yourself a pH meter preferably measuring to 2 decimal places and do a bit of research , some excellant info to be found.
Cheers
 

cam89brewer

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Yes

High PH does not necessarily mean the water is hard, hard water does have a high PH though.

My rainwater for example has a high PH, 8 to 8.5, but this is only from free carbonates and the water is still very soft, not much mineral content, so PH is easily adjusted by minute amounts of acid.

There is also permanent and temporary hardness, the latter can be boiled resulting in carbonates precipitating out of solution leaving the water softer.

I used to have a marine reef tank and have all the water testing stuff so I suppose it would all work the same? I can test for General hardness GH, Carbonate hardness KH and ph. Are there any other tests that may be handy in knowing your water chemistry?
 

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I used to have a marine reef tank and have all the water testing stuff so I suppose it would all work the same? I can test for General hardness GH, Carbonate hardness KH and ph. Are there any other tests that may be handy in knowing your water chemistry?
It would be preferable in the perfect world to get water fully tested by lab ect ect, $$$$

I tested my water with the same kind of kits, IMO they give you a good enough idea about the the water you are working with and what adjustments if any you should make to your brewing water.
 

DuaneS

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Does you water condition, hardness, PH, etc remain fairly constant? or does raion or other envirmental conditions make it fluctuate
 

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Does you water condition, hardness, PH, etc remain fairly constant? or does raion or other envirmental conditions make it fluctuate
I assume that my water stays pretty much the same, i used up my last test kit ages ago.

Stored in Poly tanks, i do my best to keep gutters and screens clean as possible.
Unless i get a thousand birds sitting on my roof every day for a few weeks i dont see any massive changes happening.
I usually run my water through a brita filter, although the last few brews i have not bothered and dont see any difference, it all gets boiled anyway.
Always filter and boil repeatedly for water that will be used for sanitation purpose.

I have concrete tanks as well, but generally dont use that water in an around the house. The water sits in them for some time and will leach limestone from the concrete.
 

DuaneS

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OK...thanks, i have both tank and town water available, town water is very chloriney and its quite hard, PH will bounce back overnight>
I downloaded a few of the articles manitcle suggested in an earlier post, will have a read of them and conduct a few experiments and see what i come up with
 

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