I was reading more of John Palmer’s How To Brew book last night.
(I have been skipping around and reading chapters out of order. Maybe over the holidays I’ll make a concerted effort to read the whole thing all the way through.)
I flipped through his chapter on water, which is a very important ingredient in beer. Heck, it makes up 95% percent of the finished beer.
It does take a back seat to the other ingredients…well…because….it’s water and water isn’t as fun as say a new strain of yeast.
I’m no chemist so I don’t want to type at great length about ions and parts per million, but if you are beginner and you want to increase your chances of making a good beer the first few times around…you can do what I did.
I bought spring water. I bought five gallons of the cheapest (store brand) spring water I could get at the grocery store.
I know the credo is “if it tastes good enough to drink, then you can brew with it”…so using the water out of my tap probably would have been fine (and it has been) but I wanted to buy as much insurance as possible to make something enjoyable.
I think anytime you start up something new, you want to have some success right away to keep you interested and motivated to keep trying to get better. If you are a beginner, try using spring water. It was the advice of my late uncle and I am happy I took it.
We can get into water additives and getting an analysis of your municipality’s water supply later.