Using Well Water

Discussion in 'Beginners Brewing Forum' started by YaleH, May 1, 2020.

  1. YaleH

    YaleH Member

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2020
    Messages:
    26
    Likes Received:
    28
    Trophy Points:
    13
    Location:
    Port Charlotte, FL
    I have my beer share kit ordered and reading and viewing anything I can in preparations for my first brew. My dilemma is what water to use, let me explain...o_O
    I live in SW Florida and have a shallow well for my home water, Now I grew up on this water and like drinking literately from the well tap, even though I have a water conditioner that supplies my home faucets. In some cases here in Florida there are areas that have a high sulfur content when it comes out of ground (Natural Aquifer) but mine fortunately does not. My conditioned water (inside house) is drinkable but don't really use it for drinking. The reason for this is that we just recently moved and now have the well, and where we were, I had municipal water that was crappy and had always had a 5 gal bottled water delivery service and we just kept it at new place because we were so used to it.
    (Sorry this is getting long) Anyway..... for my 1st batch should I just use the bottled water for less hassle, or should I use the water directly from the well, Or... from the tap?? I'm not sure how to test my water since it doesn't come from a Municipality?
    Thanks in advance for the help and advice, looking forward to learning a lot here!!
     
  2. Zambezi Special

    Zambezi Special Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2019
    Messages:
    315
    Likes Received:
    466
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    In the hot Zambezi Valley
    Just use the well.
    I am not hindered by too much knowledge, but I would say that if you can drink your water, you can make beer with it.
    And it will be good!
    Later, you can work on improving the water and maybe your beer gets better.
    You will have to have it tested to make adjustments though.

    By the way, I use river water :)
     
    Herm_brews and YaleH like this.
  3. YaleH

    YaleH Member

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2020
    Messages:
    26
    Likes Received:
    28
    Trophy Points:
    13
    Location:
    Port Charlotte, FL
    Thanks, Basically mine's river water also..... just underground!!! :p:
     
    Herm_brews likes this.
  4. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2012
    Messages:
    9,384
    Likes Received:
    6,613
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Aurora, CO, USA
    Too many variables there... As Zambezi says, if you can drink it you can brew with it. Results might be questionable. If possible, buy water from the supermarket. If you're using extract, no treatment necessary. If all grain you'll need to add calcium salts, gypsum, calcium chloride or both, to keep your mash enzymes functioning properly. Good luck!
     
    YaleH likes this.
  5. Yooper

    Yooper Administrator
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2013
    Messages:
    2,486
    Likes Received:
    1,566
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Female
    Occupation:
    Happily retired
    Location:
    Upper Michigan/Florida
    I live in Crystal River, FL in the winter. No way I can brew with my water. It's too alkaline, with tons of bicarbonate from all that limestone.
    If you have any idea of the water you have, it will help make the decision of whether it's decent brewing water. Have you had the well tested, and have any sort of report? One thing that helped me realize that my water is too high in bicarbonate was the white film in my coffee pot and some buildup on my shower head.
     
  6. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2017
    Messages:
    3,738
    Likes Received:
    2,972
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    IT Manager
    Location:
    Edmonton
    Well water generally won't change much over time so you could get it tested and then be laughing. Or just do a couple batches with it and see how it turns out.
     
    YaleH likes this.
  7. BrewPatgonia

    BrewPatgonia Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2020
    Messages:
    130
    Likes Received:
    388
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Controls engineer-installations of Gas Turbines
    Location:
    Chile, southern region (de los lagos)
    Hello, Florida houses usually have a conditioner, or softener to soften the hard waters, sulfur from ground water is an issue as well, although you say that it is not in your case... however, since your conditioner (I assume water softener) is inline... I think you would do better to use water that is delivered or purchased (DI water,etc.)... and add some salts (CaCl and gypsum)..especially if you are making a light colored (golden) ale. If you are making a Stout, the water content is much more forgiving... but it is always good to know with what water content you are starting. You should be able to take a sample of your water to the local health dept. to get an analysis.. if the analysis isn't sufficiently defined... specific enough.... you may look into having a private company analyze your water.. but to start with, purchased water and known salt additions will get you started correctly. Just an opinion of someone who has lived in Florida with a water softener. I always used purchased water, and I didn't have a well.... so I cannot help with any knowledge of aquifier water in Florida. good luck whichever direction you pursue.
     
    YaleH likes this.
  8. BrewPatgonia

    BrewPatgonia Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2020
    Messages:
    130
    Likes Received:
    388
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Controls engineer-installations of Gas Turbines
    Location:
    Chile, southern region (de los lagos)
    ohhh, I should have stated... that my opinion is coming from 'all grain' viewpoint. I do not have any experience with extract or kit beers. From an 'all grain' view, and being a little OCD... water profile matters. But if the goal is just something drinkable with some ABV, then it may not be as important.
     
    YaleH likes this.
  9. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2012
    Messages:
    9,384
    Likes Received:
    6,613
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Aurora, CO, USA
    Forgot to mention: Do not use the conditioned water. It's way high in sodium.
     
    YaleH likes this.
  10. Blackmuse

    Blackmuse Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2012
    Messages:
    918
    Likes Received:
    933
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Electrician (Previously a 6th grade Teacher)
    Location:
    Maine
    Home Page:
    You can have your water tested by these folks. They take smaples and for about 30 bucks they can give you what you need to know for your water in regards to brewing.

    Ward Laboratories, Inc.
    4007 Cherry Ave
    PO Box 788
    Kearney NE 68848-0788
    Phone: (308) 234-2418
    Fax: (308) 234-1940
    Toll Free: (800) 887-7645
    http://www.wardlab.com
    mailto:[email protected]

    Here is a snapshot of the report they sent me for my water. The bill came to 27.25... I think I also paid like 8 bucks to ship the sample in a small water bottle to them. You could test before and after your softener if you wanted to see the difference.
    Ward Water Report share.png
     
    YaleH likes this.
  11. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2017
    Messages:
    3,738
    Likes Received:
    2,972
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    IT Manager
    Location:
    Edmonton
    mmm Smaples.
     
  12. Craigerrr

    Craigerrr Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2018
    Messages:
    4,701
    Likes Received:
    6,900
    Trophy Points:
    113
    No Chlorine, or Chloramine, so thats good. I wouldn't use the softened water, take the water from a tap before the water softener.
    Are you brewing an
     
    YaleH likes this.
  13. YaleH

    YaleH Member

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2020
    Messages:
    26
    Likes Received:
    28
    Trophy Points:
    13
    Location:
    Port Charlotte, FL
    Thanks all, for your inputs..... I figured using the conditioned water from my tap would not be good idea, I'll check into having a sample tested at a lab for future batches, like Blackmuse suggested.
    But I think for my first brew I'm going to just use bottled spring water, and will just order a few extra jugs from my supplier. Thanks again for help, I'll keep everyone posted on progress!!
     
  14. Blackmuse

    Blackmuse Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2012
    Messages:
    918
    Likes Received:
    933
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Electrician (Previously a 6th grade Teacher)
    Location:
    Maine
    Home Page:
    Right on man! I made beer for years and years before ever checking my water or adjusting it. :)
     
    YaleH likes this.

Share This Page

arrow_white