Use Tap Water to Make Beer

waterIf your tap water tastes good, your beer will taste good. Just try it. You will not notice a difference. And you will save time and money. If you are worrying about water, you are probably worrying about the wrong thing. On brew day, the first thing I do is fill my brewing vessel with 6 gallons of hot water directly from the kitchen tap. Yes, hot water. Then, I brew the beer and it tastes good.

I admit, for my first few batches I used filtered water, because I took a tour of Bell’s Brewery and the lady said that Bell’s essentially uses a giant Brita filter. So I did. That’s fine, but I’m not making commercial beer. And it was a huge pain in the ass. I had one of these half gallon Brita filters that goes in your fridge. Fill it up, wait for it to filter, pour; fill up, wait to filter, pour. It took like 15 minutes just to begin brewing, spilling water all over the fucking floor like a clown.

If you are making a historical beer (like a British Porter from the 1700’s or something) – sure, go for it. Or, if your water sucks, then go buy it. All I’m saying is this: first try tap water and see how it tastes. Second: don’t try to act like commercial breweries all the time.

3 thoughts on “Use Tap Water to Make Beer

  1. Micha says:

    That’s something you repeat over and over in this blog: “If you start with cold water, stop being stupid.” Well, there is quite a body of literature about the toxicity of water sitting in water heaters, or more generally, on hot water going through pipes. The EPA itself recommends not using it, be it for cooking, drinking, let alone brewing. ( I’d certainly not give this time saver a chance, and stay on the stupid train.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Matt Smith says:

      Stupid is an exaggeration. Sorry bout that, Micha. Don’t mean to offend anyone. I respect anyone who does not use the shortcuts that I use. And I realize there is a body of literature that goes against pretty much everything that I’m doing. I am not worried about lead in my hot water, as the EPA article talks about (I don’t have lead pipes, not sure if that’s relevant). All I can say is that I have tried it both ways, without a perceptible difference in quality. My brewer friend also uses hot water for all his beers.


      • Micha says:

        Thanks—I was in no way offended by being tagged as dumb, that is in fact pretty accurate ☺. Just to be clear: I’d definitely go with hot tap water if I knew more about the piping in my building; if you do, that is great, and definitely a time saver. I’d simply refrain from advertising a technique that can come with health issues. As for the other time savers, their impact on the quality of the final product are debatable (and we all love the Brülosopher for his invaluable work towards debunking quality-related myths) but at least they don’t pose any sanity concerns. Cheers!

        Liked by 1 person

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