Soft or Hard Water?

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by jeffpn, Oct 14, 2017.

  1. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

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    As previously discussed, I’ve moved my brewing operation almost entirely to my basement. One of the biggest advantages so far is that I’ve eliminated the trip down a flight of stairs carrying a scalding hot 6.5 gallon full brew kettle.

    I currently get my brewing water from upstairs. It’s a 2 stage carbon filter connected to a hard water line. I am very happy with that water. I do not do any changes to water chemistry when I brew. I’m not interested in that. My results are good, and I’m happy.

    I’m considering getting water from my basement, to reduce carrying water. The laundry sink that I use for washing and chilling has soft water on it. The hard water line that goes upstairs to the filter is right there, but I would have to do a bit of plumbing to make it available at the sink in the basement.

    Would I see an improvement by using filtered soft water? I know some pilsners use soft water. Is it worth a small plumbing project to continue to use filtered hard water? If I make a switch, it’ll be all or nothing. I’d like some input from those who know. Which would generally be better? Filtered hard water or filtered soft water?
     
  2. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    I wouldn't use salted soft water for brewing, use the filter but not the water softener, it changes the taste drastically and removes calcium
     
  3. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

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    You’d be surprised at the white scaly stuff in my sparge water pot. I’m guessing it’s calcium that the filter doesn’t remove. Doesn’t seem to hurt my beer though.
     
  4. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    could be chloramine, its common in water, I use a campden tablet to remove it
     
  5. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    Are you on a well
     
  6. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    could also be lime
     
  7. chub1

    chub1 Active Member

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    Here in London the water is 'rock' hard.Scale on everything. Good as i understand it for stouts and porters,not so for lighter beers.
    Have taken to adding C.tablet to mash water for my lighter beers.Not sure at this point if it is making any great changes however.
     
  8. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

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    Lime is probably it. City water, no well. Again, I’m not particularly interested in water chemistry. Something I’ve never messed with, and I see no reason to start now.

    I think I can just tee into my filtered water and run a tube back through the floor where it goes up to the kitchen in the first place. It’s right over my laundry tub.
     
  9. The Brew Mentor

    The Brew Mentor Well-Known Member

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    use a couple shark bite fittings. No soldering required. Just shut down the water, drain it back, cut the lines, shove in a fitting and turn it back on again.
    And I d stay away from the softened water too.
     
  10. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

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    #10 jeffpn, Oct 15, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2017
    Sounds like Pex. I don’t mind soldering this if needed. It’s a very short run. I’m more interested in the hard versus soft water debate. And if I keep the filtered hard water, I won’t need anything but 10’ of plastic line, a tee barb, and a valve. Done!
     
  11. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Definitely avoid the softened water - way too much sodium.
     
  12. The Brew Mentor

    The Brew Mentor Well-Known Member

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    With pex you need a crimping tool. Sharkbites are the shit! Nothing quicker and easier for repairs in an existing system.
     
  13. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

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    Maybe it is an off brand then, I thought it was Pex, even though I knew some of their fittings required a crimping tool. I used it when I lived on your side of the state (The right side, in Steubenville.)
     
  14. Gledison

    Gledison Active Member

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    If you are happy with your hard water so far...Keep it! why changing an wining Team ? :)
    you said you dont want to go into water chemistry Details, but if you could share how is the Ions composition of your soft water, you might get different answers.
     
  15. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

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    The point of my thread is that I have a soft water faucet in my basement now, but I’ve been using filtered hard water for brewing. I was just wondering, generally speaking, which is better to use, filtered hard water or filtered or unfiltered soft water? It would take a small plumbing project to get filtered hard water available where I’m now brewing, and that is what I intend to do.

    As for the last part of your post, what’s an ion? (That is a rhetorical question. I don’t care about water chemistry.)
     
  16. Gledison

    Gledison Active Member

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    ehheeh, perfect. than you already have the answer. Good luck with the DIY project
     
  17. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    what I do is use a food grade RV water hose then I bought a hose valve and quick connect, when I need water I just connect to the quick connect on my outside hose faucet, your way is actually cheaper
     
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  18. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

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    My filtered water system is already in place. I need to cut the existing line and tee it so I can run additional line below.
     
  19. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

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    #19 jeffpn, Oct 17, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2017
    Thes four pics show the entire hose run, minus about 10 inches. Filtered hard water, same as I’ve been using the past several years since I’ve been brewing here. The hose under the sliding cabinet is the end of it. I’ll slip a vinyl 3/8” hose over the PE hose when I fill my kettle. And if that hose ever springs a leak under the cabinet or in the basement, there are already flood sensors in each of those locations which will shut off the water to the house.
     

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