Subject: Homebrew Digest #145 (May 06, 1989)
Date: 1989-05-05 16:01:47 GMT
>So my question is, can I add either cold tapwater to the fermenter OR
>cooled pre-boiled water without too great a risk of contamination?
Yes, unless you live in Mexico or someplace where the water could kill
you it is safe to add tap water. Charlie Papazian's (sp? -- TCJOH)
approach to putting the hot wort into the carboy is to pre-fill the 5
gal. carboy with about 3-1/2 gallons of cold tap water before sparging
the wort into it. I would urge you to try it, especially given your
comments about the difficulty you have had in cooling your wort to
room temperature. I use it and it works great. Usually my fermenter
is at 76-78 degrees as soon as I finish sparging and I can add the
I have also added extra tap water after sparging to top-off the
carboy*. I haven't noticed any ill effects. The water I have used in
all my brewing was Minnesota well water (I had my own well). It was
rich in iron and other minerals and was never chlorinated, florinated,
or anything else.
>Another question concerning water: is there any advantage to using
>anything but tapwater?
I can't help you here. All I have ever used is tap water.
>Last question: Could some of you who know of good sources be so kind
>as to email me addresses and phone #'s, please? <mail order>
I would suggest calling your local brewing supply store. It seems
like no brewery or wine-making supply outfit can survive unless it
also has a mail-order business going. The Pittsburg stores may do the
>Thanks in advance. I really enjoy this bboard. peole seem much nicer
>on it than on some of the others I read. I guess the posters on those
>others just haven't had enough homebrew. 8-)
>email@example.com (works sometimes when "reply" doesn't)
Amen. This is certainly the most laid-back group of net-posters.
Chuck Ferguson Harris Government Information Systems Division
(407) 984-6010 MS: W1/7732 PO Box 98000 Melbourne, FL 32902
* War story follows: My first batch of homebrew basically followed
Papazian's beginners approach. My fermenter was a 5 gallon glass
carboy fitted with a rubber stopper and 3/8 inch diameter blow-off
tube. I used a pelletized hops which disentigrated in the wort.
Quite a bit of "hops fines" made it through my strainer and ended up
in the fermenter. There was about 5 inches of air space above the
brew in the fermenter with a decent layer of hops fines on the
surface. I put the carboy on my kitchen floor, stuck the blow-off
tube apparatus in the bottle and went to bed. During the night the
thing bubbled and foamed nicely. Only problem was the hops fines
collected in the blow-off tube and solidified. Around 2 AM the fines
formed a solid plug and the pressure in the fermenter blew the
blow-off tube and probably 1/2 gallon of brew onto my kitchen ceiling.
What a mess! I cleaned it up but my kitchen stilled smelled like a
brewery for a while. Since this episode, I have begun straining out
most of my boiling hops and other solids while they are still in the
brewpot. I also top-off the fermenter with tap water until the brew
level is right under the stopper of the blow-off tube. That way there
is no place for foam (kreusen?) to accumulate and solidify.
Funny thing is, the brew still turned out OK (RDWHAH :-)). Another
lesson learned from this episode was that homebrewing is almost a
bullet-proof endeavor. I have since talked to a homebrewer that makes
beer in a musty basement in a bucket covered by a scrap of old plywood
and then bottles the stuff in plastic 2 liter pop bottles (with those
cheap screw-on caps no less!). He has been doing this for years and
has only made one bad batch of beer. Not bad.
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