Filter water before brewing?

Customer_QuestionCustomer_Question Member Posts: 26
edited October 2011 in Frequently Asked Questions
Hi, I am now the proud owner of one of your micro-brewery kits and can’t wait to get going. However, I have one question before I begin. When we make a cup of tea or have a glass of water, we use a Britta water filter jug first to reduce limescale etc (we live in Oxford and the water is a bit on the hard side!). I wondered if I should really be filtering all the water that I use in making the beer, or if this is a pointless step? Obviously it would be rather time consuming to filter 40 pints of water!


  • HBO_StaffHBO_Staff Administrator Posts: 2,115
    edited July 2012
    Thanks for your order. Regarding different water in different regions affecting the taste of beer. It can do slightly but there’s nowhere in the UK now that has water unsuitable for home brewing, in the 70’s and 80’s there were some areas where fluoride and other additives were put in the water in large quantities which affected the taste too much.

    It is sometimes recommended with home brew wines to use bottled spring water for the best possible results. Using filtered water would only improve your beer as the chlorine and impurities that the filter will remove should help the quality of the beer but as a general rule it isn’t really necessary. Good luck with the brewing.

    A good tip and compromise is to fill your fermenting vessel with water and leave overnight. This will allow the chlorine to evaporate, improving the water.
  • stanleybagpussstanleybagpuss Member Posts: 1
    I was wondering about this I want to use my Britta water filter But do I need to sterilise the jug before or is it fine as it is (it gets used ever day and filter changed regularly anyway)
  • HBO_StaffHBO_Staff Administrator Posts: 2,115
    Hi Stanleybagpuss, it may be a good idea to give the jug a clean with a good cleaner such as VWP from time to time, it will just ensure it is free from any contaminants. Perhaps not the filter itself though, changing it as recommended by the manufacturers is best for that.
  • CelticTwilightCelticTwilight Member Posts: 28
    Interesting discussion topic. I once considered using water from a natural spring but it was too far away to be realistic. I have actually used water from my britta filter when making single gallon (6 bottle) wine kits but not for the 5 gallon 30 bottle kits they being the close equivalent volume to most 30/40 pint beer and cider kits are. I figured that whilst I was waiting for each jug full of water to filter, I would have to replace the lid and thus delay the mixing process which (in my ignorance) might have an effect on the original gravity or something else.

    I had actually forgotten that I used my filter for that wine until reading this discussion. I would have to sit and carefully compare one kit against another the exact same to spot any noticeable difference but that is not possible at the moment. I can't honestly say that I have noticed a significant difference that has made me sit up and exclaim to the positive or negative and I have some of that (filter water) wine on the go at the moment whilst drinking a small amount of tap watered beer or wine most evenings. Water where I am is medium to medium hard.

    Standing the water overnight to evaporate the chlorine is an interesting and useful piece of information especially if it came to light that levels had significantly increased in any region.

    Some of the earliest kits I made (we're talking nineteen-eighties here) instructed to first boil all the other ingredients (with the exception of yeast) together in a pan before transferring the completed stage to a bucket before adding cold water. I can't see that it would be too much of an inconvenience/difference to at least mix the stuff up this way and then add it to a prepared bucket of water. I just tend to pour a bit of cold in at a time whilst maintaining a regular stir out of habit.

    I will be making my next batch of beer over the weekend so going to give this a try. I shall feedback any relevant observations. I tend to use spraymalt these days so that will most likely be the trickiest part of the operation - clumping varies enormously IME.
  • CelticTwilightCelticTwilight Member Posts: 28
    Just to add that mixing the way I outlined in my previous post worked fine. In fact so far it has worked better. The airlock was bubbling away nicely this morning after mixing up late afternoon the day before. I plan on doing a review for this brew so will save any repetition of detail for the finished article.
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