Brewing with river water.. Good/bad idea

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MonkeyMick

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On a visit to Alston this weekend, I've noticed the river water is incredibly soft, but peaty.

If I gathered some of this water, would it be an issue in an all grain beer, given it would be boiled for at least an hour?

Has anyone tried this, and what flavour could I expect from the peaty water....
 

Clint

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It could contain slurry,pesticides,chemicals...I wouldn't bother.
 

hop-a-long

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If I were to use water like that, I'd first filter it using my combined micro/activated carbon filter.

I always use that when I'm camping!
 

Cwrw666

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I've used water out of the stream behind our house but there again our house water comes from the bog up the hill that's basically the start of the stream and there's nothing up there but sheep and mountain ponies.
 

peebee

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Stepping back from the possible off-putting remarks of what us humans have tipped in it ...

Peaty water? I guess it has poured off some peat bog somewhere? It'll be brown then? Water isn't stained brown because peat is brown, it's brown because the organic acids it has extracted (humic acids, etc.) are brown. Goodness knows what that stuff does to all these water calculators for determining mash pH. The water companies go to some trouble to get it out (iron salts precipitate it I think) because for one; people complain if their water is brown.

You can read more about it >here<.
 

mathorp

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Like Clint, I would be nervous about pesticides and chemicals from the land upstream. Slurry concerns me less since upland rivers are very good at cleaning up through natural processes. So it all depends on how much you know about what is happening upstream.

My local stream runs clear unless there is heavy rain which makes it cloudy. The land it flows from has very little peat, so there is no brown colour. Most of the time it is clear and, apart from the lack of chlorine, exactly the same as tap water. I prefer to drink the stream water.

Peaty water might be great in all grain beer. The best way to find out would be to try it, using a filter as suggested. I suspect it will vary seasonally and with the weather.
 

strange-steve

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Thought for most brews hard water was best?
You're better off with soft water. Give you a base to add salts to your desired profile. Not a fan of hard water for lighter beers.
I suppose it depends on what you mean by best or better off. Soft water is easier to treat and customise, but hard water generally makes better beers.
 

An Ankoù

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On a visit to Alston this weekend, I've noticed the river water is incredibly soft, but peaty.

If I gathered some of this water, would it be an issue in an all grain beer, given it would be boiled for at least an hour?

Has anyone tried this, and what flavour could I expect from the peaty water....
Without rejecting anything said above, why not satisfy your curiosity and make a small batch? If it's great then great, but what are you going to make? I think I'd go for something dark if it's peaty. Anyway, get it out of your system.
 

Joust

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Would you drink from the river if you boiled it?
Would you drink 40 pints of it?

It probably won't kill you. It's probably worth a pop.
 

Cheshire Cat

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Between me and central Warrington there are 3 sources of local water
1. The Bridgewater canal
2. The Manchester ship canal.
3. The river Mersey.
I wouldn't drink water from any.
 

MonkeyMick

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Hahaha.. I was looking at fast running water from the South Tyne, very close to the source.

I'm still in 2 minds as I would still drink the water after boiling it, although the slurry and fertiliser issue is nagging at me a touch..
 

foxy

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Hahaha.. I was looking at fast running water from the South Tyne, very close to the source.

I'm still in 2 minds as I would still drink the water after boiling it, although the slurry and fertiliser issue is nagging at me a touch..
In Australia folk use tank water for brewing, will definitely contain possum **** maybe even a dead possum. What puts me of using my tank water is chemicals coming down with the rain chemicals or insecticides cant be boiled off. Chinese use human waste on their crops, was done in England years ago but now with all the drugs, chemotherapy, that can't be a good idea.
Sensible thing to do use your tap.
 

An Ankoù

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Hahaha.. I was looking at fast running water from the South Tyne, very close to the source.

I'm still in 2 minds as I would still drink the water after boiling it, although the slurry and fertiliser issue is nagging at me a touch..
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No offence intended, but this sprang to mind and I couldn't resist. :laugh8:
 
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