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View Full Version : Tap water vs. Distilled Water



MedievalForester
10-22-2008, 09:48 PM
So today while my roomate and myself were making our first mead, we forgot to use distilled water. I had 2 jugs of it sitting in the back of the car and forgot about them. So we ended up using tap water for the mead. Are there any adverse effects to using tap water?

capoeirista13
10-22-2008, 09:59 PM
Using tap water is fine, as long as you boiled it first in order to sanitize it. I think tap water (boiled) is actually better than distilled water, I read that on a wine forum.

MedievalForester
10-22-2008, 10:03 PM
Well, we didn't even think about boiling it, just kind of poured it in. But do you think there are bacteria in there anyway? We drink the water all the time with no adverse effects.

valhallaorbust
10-22-2008, 11:31 PM
so far i have used nothing but distilled water because of the ph, but im prolly gonna use boiled spring water for my next batch

wildaho
10-23-2008, 12:35 AM
It depends on the quality of your tap water. Is it high in chlorine or chloramines? How is the hardness? How does it taste? Does it have a high bacteria count?

In general, it's better to use tap, well or spring water that's a little hard rather than distilled water. Distilled water is almost too pure, lacking in minerals and other things that your little yeast beasties need to really take off. Distilled water also lacks in flavor and can give your mead a lack of depth.

Boiling your tap water will help remove chlorine and pasteurize it but it also de-aerates it. Your going to aerate your must vigorously anyway so that shouldn't be a problem. Letting your water sit for 24hours will also help remove the chlorine.

If your water is high in chloramines, however, boiling will do little to remove them. But there is hope. Treatment with campden (sulfites) can help neutralize chloramines. I'm not sure about meads but there are a lot of nasty flavors that chloramines can add to beers.

I'm fairly lucky in having decent tasting water low in chlorine with no chloramines. I've never boiled it for mead (just used it straight from the tap) and have had no problems. **fingers crossed**

Odinsson
10-23-2008, 02:33 AM
I use tap water currently but it's from a well. There has been speculation that water that is a little "hard," not too sure what that really means, can be good when clearing a mead because it participates out the solids better.

Tyred
10-23-2008, 05:15 AM
I wouldn't use distilled water as it's had most of the minerals removed from it.

Tap water (from a city supply) should be fine and shouldn't have any bacteria in it. However, it is impossible to guarantee this as there is no way of knowing the condition of the pipes that bring the water to your house. In theory it should be fine, but I have no way of knowing the level of chlorine in it. You may be able to contact the city suppliers for this information.

Angus
10-23-2008, 08:07 AM
I use tap water all the time. No boiling, no sulfites added. It works fine, and there is very little taste and never a bacterial infection. So you should be fine. The yeast will usually out compete anything that might find its way in.

Angus

liff
10-23-2008, 03:21 PM
I buy gallons of drinking water from the store. My tap water tastes bad. Add another person who does not use distilled water due to the removal of minerals.

valhallaorbust
10-24-2008, 02:12 AM
ok, well I'm a newbie, so don't follow me ;D
but from now on i will prolly be using spring water for because the lack of minerals does make sense
thanks guys for posting that because i have my first mead coming up and did have a little of a concern with that but not enough to ask so now i know

valhallaorbust
10-24-2008, 02:58 AM
ok so its not totally dead but bubbling like once every minute or two

Teufelhund
10-24-2008, 09:31 AM
I use tap water currently but it's from a well. There has been speculation that water that is a little "hard," not too sure what that really means, can be good when clearing a mead because it participates out the solids better.


'Hard water' is well/tap water that has lime, calcium, iron or/and other minerals that are not filtered out. 'Soft water' is water that has been iodized and cleaned using softener salt. Neither should affect the precipitate rate. Fermentation does that. Bottled spring water, as opposed to distilled water, still has all the minerals and such that help the yeasts.
Hope this helps.

:cheers:

DD