Ancient Cave Water Oatmeal Stout

the_goat_Birdman

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Greetings all,

After yesterday’s brew day (and 1 too many homebrews), me and my buddies came up with a plan for our next brew day.

I understand stouts are made with hard mineral-y water, so we thought that perhaps a good idea is to harvest the water from an underground cave waterfall near us. The water is constantly running and the progenitor stream is the snow water from the Sierra Nevadas.

Is this a good idea? Will we die? Biggest fear is botulism or Giardia, however FDA recommendations show 1 minute boil is enough to kill Giardia, so it would mainly be botulism as a threat.

Anything else we should consider before embarking on this quest? Lend me your advise!
 
Greetings all,

After yesterday’s brew day (and 1 too many homebrews), me and my buddies came up with a plan for our next brew day.

I understand stouts are made with hard mineral-y water, so we thought that perhaps a good idea is to harvest the water from an underground cave waterfall near us. The water is constantly running and the progenitor stream is the snow water from the Sierra Nevadas.

Is this a good idea? Will we die? Biggest fear is botulism or Giardia, however FDA recommendations show 1 minute boil is enough to kill Giardia, so it would mainly be botulism as a threat.

Anything else we should consider before embarking on this quest? Lend me your advise!
I have hard well water now with a lot of magnesium, it actually makes a great stout just on its own no salts added so your on the right track, as far as cave water it should be similar to spring water, boiling should be fine
 
Greetings all,

I understand stouts are made with hard mineral-y water, so we thought that perhaps a good idea is to harvest the water from an underground cave waterfall near us. The water is constantly running and the progenitor stream is the snow water from the Sierra Nevadas.

Anything else we should consider before embarking on this quest? Lend me your advise!

No for a bunch of reasons. Yes, boiling will kill bacteria and likely neutralize fecal matter (bats and critters using the cave), but won't do anything for metals. Know the geology and if the cave was a mine. Does Wards Lab do metals? Yes, mineral water is great for browns and stouts.
 
@Brewer #415168 You could brew with raw sewage (solids filtered out, ideally) and it would be fine: it gets boiled. For an hour. That kills everything alive.

Heavy metals and toxic chemicals are a worry, but unlikely in cave water.

Send a sample off to Ward Laboratories if you want to be 100% certain.

Or, just add your own brewing salts? But, that's no fun...
 
I also think that it is better to send a sample to the lab to check the water quality.
We've recently moved and brought an RO system from house to house. Before buying it, we had to contact crystal rock customer service at least twice a month to order drinking water.
It is always better to check the water if you are going to drink it on a daily basis.
 
I grew up on well water, and I remember my Dad sending in water samples for testing, although I don't remember how frequently.
I would be concerned about water from a cave being safe to drink. You could send a sample to ward labs to determine the water profile, but I wonder, will they only test for what you ask them to test for?
It sounds like a cool idea to brew with "ancient" water, but I think it is safe to say that the water that we have on this planet has always been here. There is no "new" water, it is all "ancient".
The only real potential difference may be what the naturally occurring ion profile may be in water in any particular region.
The water I grew up on had an extremely high iron content. The inside of our toilet tank was lined with reddish orange fuzz!
 
I brew with bottled spring water which is from deeper in the ground, but if there isnt anything crazy in that water, and it is boiled for an hour, I would try it. My Porters turn out good with spring water, but I use a C120/Munich/Chocolate 350 mix in mine.
 
I grew up on well water, and I remember my Dad sending in water samples for testing, although I don't remember how frequently.
I would be concerned about water from a cave being safe to drink. You could send a sample to ward labs to determine the water profile, but I wonder, will they only test for what you ask them to test for?
It sounds like a cool idea to brew with "ancient" water, but I think it is safe to say that the water that we have on this planet has always been here. There is no "new" water, it is all "ancient".
The only real potential difference may be what the naturally occurring ion profile may be in water in any particular region.
The water I grew up on had an extremely high iron content. The inside of our toilet tank was lined with reddish orange fuzz!
I didn't see anything about 'ancient', but yes, the water has been around the block so to speak. In reality it is likely less than 4 months out if a passing cloud. Could even be weeks.

Edit: oh, the thread title. I read it as ancient cave, not ancient water.
 
Just think of what that water had to go through (literally) to get to the stream. Had to collect some atmospheric dust, rinse of the nighboring trees, wash the squirle pee off the grass, filter through a few ant hills, go from acidic rain to more basic as it eats its way through the limestone, drop off some of the lime as to trickles down a few stalactites, past the bat guano pile and into the cave pond where the bears swim.
 
There's a video out from years ago where a group used an ice fishing hole up north, used that water and brewed it on site, I think it was northern brewer
 

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