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Comparing Different Types of Water for Homebrewing | How to Make Great Wine

Water is important when brewing your own beer or wine.

By mass, water composes 90% to 95% of beer and wine batches, which makes it the most substantial ingredient in the process. The chemistry of the water can and will influence, not only the taste, but the brewing efficiency of your beer or wine as well. If you want to brew your own beer or wine at home, first of all, avoid chlorine in your home’s water. As excessive chlorine can greatly affect other beer ingredients, resulting in a harsh aroma and bad flavor. Fluoride is also added in municipal water to help the community fight tooth decay with the power of chemistry as an additional increase to the standard of living. On the other hand, water that’s high in iron and other hard minerals will also need to be filtered by activated charcoal first. Minerals are necessary for the yeast fermentation and growth process, but there can be, and most likely are, other particulates and organisms that can taint the winemaking process.

Different types of water you may use in winemaking:

Tap Water – City or Municipal Filtered Water

Tap water may be people’s first option as it is as simple as walking over to the kitchen faucet and twisting a knob. However, tap water in the city is pressurized by the local municipality. As part of the water filtering and purification process, chlorine is added to keep bacterial levels low enough for human consumption. Unfortunately, the chlorinated water that saves your life, kills your wine. If you can smell or taste chlorine in a glass of tap water, then you will also smell or taste the chlorine in the wine.

Our Suggestion: Do not use tap water for winemaking

Well Water

Well water may be an easily accessible water source for some people. Although it is abundant with minerals which are necessary for the yeast fermentation and growth process, other particulates and organisms in well water will probably taint the winemaking process. If you have to use well water, we recommend that you get it chemically tested so that you know what you’re working with. Most likely, it will be high in iron and other hard minerals. Therefore, you will need to use an activated charcoal filter to remove these particles. Moreover, silver-impregnated version of activated charcoal can help remove bacteria.

Our Suggestion: Do not use well water for winemaking.

Distilled Water

Distilled water is water from which all the minerals have been removed, either by distillation or through reverse osmosis processing. Using distilled water can cause big problems for winemaking. There are key chemical elements that yeast uses in order to produce wine. The most important minerals are magnesium and potassium, which are important in the biochemical process of yeast converting sugars into alcohol, ethanol fermentation, and phosphate, which is necessary for yeast growth. If you insist on using distilled water when making wine from a kit, we recommend adding a little yeast nutrient to ensure the yeast can get a good start.

Our Suggestion: Do not use distilled water for winemaking.

Purified (non-distilled) Water

Purified water that is non-distilled is normally the suggested way to go. It is relatively inexpensive to acquire at large volumes. With adequate minerals kept, filtered water is perfect for brewing wine with great flavor.

Our Suggestion: Use purified (non-distilled) water for winemaking.

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