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Filtering softened water

 
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rivetcatcher



Joined: 21 Apr 2016
Posts: 120
Location: Thailand

Drinking: Timothy Taylor Landlord / Hop Candy Jr

Working on: Juicy Bits


PostLink    Posted: Sat Jul 29, 2017 11:49 am    Post subject: Filtering softened water Reply with quote


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The water at my house comes from a well and is very hard. The water passes through a softener and then a filter before being distributed around the house.

I understand that water that has been through a softener must not be used for brewing. To get around this I was planning on installing an additional reverse osmosis filter in my brewery to achieve a blank slate so that I could add Epsom salts etc as required to achieve the relevant water profile.

Does anybody see any issues with this? Will the water, even though it has been softened be fine to use after RO treatment?

I think it should be but just wanted to raise the question in case I am missing something.

Cheer

Rivet
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kal
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Joined: 12 Dec 2010
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Location: Ottawa, Canada

Drinking: German Lager, Electric Creamsicle, London Pride, Kolsch, German Pils, Belgian Dubbel, Russian Imperial Stout, Black Butte Porter

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PostLink    Posted: Sat Jul 29, 2017 1:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

RO (if working correctly) should remove close to everything like you mentioned. Good to go!

Kal

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ghandlin



Joined: 09 Oct 2016
Posts: 96



PostLink    Posted: Sun Jul 30, 2017 1:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's exactly what I have going on and it works fine. Just remember that the RO process is SLOW. I have to start filling the day before. I spoke with Russ at Buckeye Hydro and built up a system for me - he is also a homebrewer and uses the same system. http://www.buckeyehydro.com/premium-ro-systems/ I picked up an extra set of filters, auto shut-off valve and TDS meter with it. But give him a call, he helped a great deal.
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George Handlin
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mjo2125



Joined: 27 Feb 2017
Posts: 238
Location: Dayton, OH

Drinking: Pale Ale, Yorkshire Bitter, Mango Blonde Ale

Working on: Retro American Lager


PostLink    Posted: Sun Jul 30, 2017 2:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Does your Buckeye Hydro system include a storage tank? Would the added cost of installing a 20 gallon tank be justified to avoid waiting for the process to catch up? I use a 15 gallon HTL.
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ghandlin



Joined: 09 Oct 2016
Posts: 96



PostLink    Posted: Sun Jul 30, 2017 4:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No, it does not. Depending on how often you brew, I would be leery of keeping untreated water around too long. It's really not a big deal to get it started the day before. I had thought of the same thing, but then there is also the need for more space.
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rivetcatcher



Joined: 21 Apr 2016
Posts: 120
Location: Thailand

Drinking: Timothy Taylor Landlord / Hop Candy Jr

Working on: Juicy Bits


PostLink    Posted: Wed Aug 02, 2017 5:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the info ghandlin. I didn't realize it would take so long. I think it may be easier and cheaper to buy water that has already been filtered through RO. There may be a lot of waste water plus the extra time to consider. I can buy RO water for approximately $1.20 per 18 liters.

Thanks

Rivet
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Kazumichan



Joined: 07 May 2014
Posts: 178
Location: Cincinnati Ohio area

Working on: Belgium golden, Dubbel, and imperial red


PostLink    Posted: Wed Aug 02, 2017 8:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The time that it take a RO to make water it dependent on what membrane you have. The one that I use is 100 gal/day membrane. So it would about 4 hours to make 15 gallons. Most RO systems have a 2-3 gallon holding tank. I have been thinking of getting a 20 gallon holding tank. I don't think that you would have any problems with holding water for awhile. Just use it more than once a month. I have also read that for every gallon of water it filters it will waste 1 gallon.
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SD Endorf



Joined: 24 Apr 2015
Posts: 86



PostLink    Posted: Thu Aug 03, 2017 2:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My unsoftened house water is unacceptable for brewing at 380 ppm alkalinity.
If you're looking for RO water simply for brewing and have no need for an in house system, why not just purchase at the store?
I get RO water at the grocery store. Six 5 gallon containers at 0.32 per gallon. I check with a TDS meter and it's always 8-12 PPM. They do a reasonable job of maintain the membrane. YMMV.....
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SD Endorf



Joined: 24 Apr 2015
Posts: 86



PostLink    Posted: Thu Aug 03, 2017 2:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

On a side note, you mentioned Epsom salts. This is rarely required.
With RO water (depending on your recipe) you will likely need some calcium chloride and gypsum.
Be cautious with Epsom.
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rcrabb22



Joined: 23 Dec 2010
Posts: 462
Location: Illinois


PostLink    Posted: Tue Aug 29, 2017 5:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a water softener and a RO water filtration post water softener. However, I tapped into the cold water line before the water softener and that supplies the cold water to my brew sink. I use that city supplied cold water for brewing. We only use RO water from a separate faucet at the kitchen sink and water supply to the refrigerator water and ice maker. My wife was concerned about excess sodium ingestion from the softened water so we got the RO system too.

My system has a 3 gallon RO holding tank and it takes about 4 -5 hours to replenish it from empty. The big rub for me is the waste water. My Culligan RO system is only 40% efficient. It would take 47.5 gallons of softened water to collect 19 gallons of RO water into my 20 gallon HLT with 28.5 gallons going down the drain.
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