This is a question we get asked quite often. Water is a big part of the homebrewing process, so you want to make sure you are using the right water to get the best beer.

The types of water I am going to discuss are tap water, distilled water, RO Water, filtered water, well water and rainwater.

Tap Water

A lot of people drink tap water and it’s the easiest source of water to get when you are brewing. Our general rule of thumb is that if you drink your tap water then it should be okay to brew with. The main issues with tap water are that it can have a lot of chemicals in it and if your tap water has a lot of chlorine in it then I would advise against using it. That at some of the other disinfectants that are used to make it portable can impact your beer. If tap water is your only option, then use it but if you can use filtered or spring water I would recommend that.

Distilled Water

It is not recommended when you are brewing. To make distilled water is usually boiled and then condensed back down to its liquid form. If you are brewing all-grain don’t use distilled water. Now when brewing with malt extract it is a little different. Malt extract has minerals in it that will help promote yeast growth. However, we recommend to just not use it. Keep it simple just use filtered water.

RO Water or Reverse Osmosis Water

I look at Ro water as just a fancy setup for using a water filter. Basically, the RO system will just remove solid and sediment from the water by ruining it through a filter and a semipermeable membrane. We use RO water in the office as it is hooked right up and just makes it easy when brewing. Also like I mentioned earlier you are getting all those minerals you will need from the malt extract. So, RO water is good to use.

Filtered Water

I would consider this to be basically any water that is run through a single filter, like a Brita or a PUR Filtration system that you hook up to the tap on your sync. These will work perfectly for brewing as it filters your tap water and you don’t have to go out and buy spring water. When I am brewing at my house I just my Brita filter and I make sure to plan ahead so I have enough water already filtered before I start brewing.  

Bottled Water

It is perfectly fine to use it will just cost you a little extra buying 2 gallons of water each time you brew.

Well Water

The general rule of thumb is that you can use well water to brew with, especially if that is how your drinking water to your hose is supplied.  I still think the best way to brew it is with RO or filtered water but if your option is well water than you should be fine as long as it is safe for drinking.

Rain Water

While brewing super eco-friendly and brewing with rainwater it is not what is best for your beer. There can be certain chemicals found in rainwater that are absorbed from pollutions in the air. I would suggest not using rainwater.

To recap the best water to use and what we recommend is Filtered water, RO Water and bottled water. You can use tap and distilled water as well but if you have the option to use any of the other ones, that would be ideal.  

A key point to make about brewing with Malt Extract. It is much more forgiving than brewing from all-grain. The malt extract contains a lot of the minerals that are needed to promote yeast growth. There is no need to have to get your water tested or buy specials chemicals to add to your water to change the profile. Just another reason why brewing with Mr. Beer is great.