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View Full Version : Is tap water ok to use??



Boogaloo
11-10-2011, 10:30 AM
I keep buying bottles of mineral water from the supermarket. Was wondering if anyone uses regular Tap water? If so, do you set it out a day to let the chlorine dissipate?

Any help is awesome.

~boogaloo

wayneb
11-10-2011, 12:18 PM
The general rule of thumb is if your tap water tastes OK to you (as in not loaded with iron, sulphates, or other compounds that produce funky tastes or smells) then it will be fine for making mead. Most municipal water supplies in North America don't use enough chlorine to impede yeast development at all (especially after you've vigorously stirred the stuff to get your honey dissolved in it, and to aerate the must prior to pitching your yeast), but if yours seems particularly much like a swimming pool, you can either allow it to rest in an open container for a day or two, or you can boil it for a few minutes - but if you choose to boil, do so before adding your honey to avoid boiling off pleasant honey volatile aromatics and also allow it to cool to a temperature that won't stress your yeast before actually pitching.

ZwolfUpir
11-10-2011, 12:21 PM
I've used tap water every time, except the one time I used distilled water cause I didn't have a jug to use and it's what I grabbed off the shelf at the store. I don't sit it out, I don't boil it, I don't do anything to it. Though I would think it would also depend on your local tap water. I would think if it's good enough to drink, there wouldn't be a problem.

Loadnabox
11-10-2011, 12:21 PM
I used to put my water through a PUR 3 stage filter that adds minerals to produce "Spring water" tasting water.

These days, I just use straight tap water since my municipality doesn't add chlorine or fluoride.

Medsen Fey
11-10-2011, 12:31 PM
I often use tap water.
If your tap water smells like a swimming pool, a tiny bit of KMeta (like 1 Campden tablet for 10-20 gallons) will help eliminate the chlorine compounds and won't affect yeast.

Chevette Girl
11-10-2011, 02:01 PM
I've only ever used tap water, straight from the tap. My city uses chloramines, apparently a campden tablet in 5 gallons will get rid of the chloramines adn turn them into ammonia and things yeast can eat. But I never bother with that, if straight from the tap is good enough for me, it's good enough for my wines and meads. We'll see about it when I start making beers.

Boogaloo
11-10-2011, 02:14 PM
Awesome info everyone. Thanks for the advice. My tap water seems a little too chlorinated, so either boil it off or add in a little campden tablet.

Thanks again. ;D

~boog

Chevette Girl
11-10-2011, 02:26 PM
Just leaving chlorinated water out for a couple hours will let most of it dissipate, this doesn't work as well with chloramines.

Boogaloo
11-10-2011, 02:32 PM
I've only ever used tap water, straight from the tap. My city uses chloramines, apparently a campden tablet in 5 gallons will get rid of the chloramines adn turn them into ammonia and things yeast can eat. But I never bother with that, if straight from the tap is good enough for me, it's good enough for my wines and meads. We'll see about it when I start making beers.

Sorry.. a little off topic buuuuuuut....

Wait.. did you say yeast like ammonia? Because I have an expensive hiking bag that my last cat peed on! It reeks of ammonia.... blech. I've held onto this bag for a couple of years and now am wondering...

If I prepare a large plastic storage container with sugar water, insert my bag and then introduce yeast... do you think the yeast will eat the ammonia!?

That would be flippin awesome.

Loadnabox
11-10-2011, 02:43 PM
Sorry.. a little off topic buuuuuuut....

Wait.. did you say yeast like ammonia? Because I have an expensive hiking bag that my last cat peed on! It reeks of ammonia.... blech. I've held onto this bag for a couple of years and now am wondering...

If I prepare a large plastic storage container with sugar water, insert my bag and then introduce yeast... do you think the yeast will eat the ammonia!?

That would be flippin awesome.

Yeast love ammonia, ammonia is mostly nitrogen. In fact, DAP is urea I think (someone will correct me if I'm talking out my backside on the urea part)

I wouldn't want to mix cat urine into something I want to drink because of other impurities, but I hadn't thought of it for removing cat scent.

WTH, can't hurt right? Bag's already ruined, give it a try and see what happens!

Chevette Girl
11-10-2011, 02:48 PM
Yeast love ammonia, ammonia is mostly nitrogen. In fact, DAP is urea I think (someone will correct me if I'm talking out my backside on the urea part)

I wouldn't want to mix cat urine into something I want to drink because of other impurities, but I hadn't thought of it for removing cat scent.

WTH, can't hurt right? Bag's already ruined, give it a try and see what happens!

Yeah, I'll second that! ...although be prepared, you may just end up with a bag that smells like cat pee wine, since ammonia isn't the only aromatic compound in urine :p

Have you tried a vinegar soak on the bag? Might be easier than fermenting it... I don't have cats but plain old white vinegar is the best thing I've ever used for removing rabbit pee and its associated smells from the carpet.

And yes, I think you're right, DAP can be made from urea.

Boogaloo
11-10-2011, 02:59 PM
Hahahah.. I just talked to the girlfriend and she is cracking up. She's been annoyed at me for keeping that bag around for the past 3 years and recently been really annoyed at the amount bottles I've been hording for my new mead making hobby. So the two things helping each other out is kinda funny to her.

I hope it works. Oh, and yes, I've done the vinegar thing a few times. It took down the ammonia smell a lot but it seems it's really gotten into some of the cloth netting.

I'll do it when I get home and keep you updated. Maybe I'll create a Peed Log.

Yuk Yuk Yuk. 8)

~boog

wildoates
11-10-2011, 05:25 PM
Tap water is all I ever use, but then, I drink from the tap as well, so how bad can it be?!

Soyala_Amaya
11-10-2011, 07:33 PM
To get out cat pee, mix bakking soda, dish washing soap, and hydrogen peroxide. Had a cat that had bladder stones, peed on any laundry left on the floor, only thing that helped till we could get the stones taken care of completely.

kc0dhb
11-11-2011, 02:42 AM
I've used tap water and filtered water for mead and beer. When I use a filter it is a simple inline filter (1-5gal/min rate, 1000 Gallon limit) with fittings to attach to a RV hose (maybe $40 for everything, plus a new filter every year or 1000Gallons). Removal of chloramines typically requires a flow rate of under 1 Gallon/minute through a GAC filter.

I filter every batch of beer since even _very_ low ppm of chlorine can produce chloraphenols in the mash and I'm sensitive to them (bandaid aromas and/or pool water flavors).

Every batch of mead I've made with filtered water has been amazing. Of course I've never done a side-by-side with filtered and non-filtered water and I've never noticed anything wrong with a mead done with proper nutrients. Also, my water is low chlorine, and no chloramine.

As mentioned, campden tablets will remove chlorine after 10-15 minutes (and add some sodium and SO2 which can inhibit weak yeasts (read wild) and bacteria (lactobacillus, etc)).

Boiling the water for 10-15 minutes (more for higher elevations) will also eliminate chlorine (make sure to add oxygen or shake a ton since boiling eliminates oxygen).

Sitting overnight also can eliminate chlorine (but not chloramine). I'd be hesitant to do anything that involved letting water sit if using a no heat method. I do use however use this for beer, since everything gets boiled.

Kyle

AToE
11-11-2011, 03:03 AM
I've never seen the point of the whole sitting overnight thing, since it's going to be sitting for a lot longer than that during primary anyways, and then for a good while after that during aging!

I am planning to do a 1 gallon batch with just Perrier water soon for fun, I love that mineral taste and think it might be interesting in mead.

Chevette Girl
11-11-2011, 09:58 AM
I think the theory is to let the most of it dissipate so you minimize anything that could tick off your yeasties. Definitely no need if you're using fruit and giving pectinase its 24 hours!

...and then again, I use hot tapwater to rehydrate my yeasties and they don't seem to care much...

As soon as I get more stuff bottled and off the to-do list, I want to do a water test... and Perrier is a neat idea if I find myself with an empty carboy!

Loadnabox
11-11-2011, 10:08 AM
Hahahah.. I just talked to the girlfriend and she is cracking up. She's been annoyed at me for keeping that bag around for the past 3 years and recently been really annoyed at the amount bottles I've been hording for my new mead making hobby. So the two things helping each other out is kinda funny to her.

I hope it works. Oh, and yes, I've done the vinegar thing a few times. It took down the ammonia smell a lot but it seems it's really gotten into some of the cloth netting.

I'll do it when I get home and keep you updated. Maybe I'll create a Peed Log.

Yuk Yuk Yuk. 8)

~boog


*cackle*

Please let us know how it goes.

Also, please don't abuse honey in this witchcraft :( Use cane sugar since it's cheaper and won't make the forums scream like a Televangelist on Sunday

Boogaloo
11-11-2011, 10:12 AM
Ok.. I just found out my water has Chloramines in it so I guess a small portion of campden tablet is in order. Thanks again for everyone's advice!

Boogaloo
11-11-2011, 10:15 AM
*cackle*

Please let us know how it goes.

Also, please don't abuse honey in this witchcraft :( Use cane sugar since it's cheaper and won't make the forums scream like a Televangelist on Sunday

I'll probably pick up 5 lbs of sugar tonight. Let the experiment begin!