RO water filter

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hopit
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RO water filter

Post by hopit » Thu Jul 18, 2019 6:21 pm

Can anyone recommend a RO water filter for me? I see there are different numbers of stages but not sure how necessary more stages are for normal homebrew use and also not sure where best (cheapest) to buy from.

Is it worth looking at other suppliers or just get it from the usual homebrew outlets?

Also how much water do they waste? I am on a water meter unfortunately.

Cheers

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Re: RO water filter

Post by guypettigrew » Thu Jul 18, 2019 6:32 pm

Before buying a RO machine you may want to consider buying RO water from a local aquarium shop, if you have one.

My local shop charges 14p/litre. £7 for 50 litres, in other words. You avoid having to do any plumbing or install anything. Plus you don't waste any water.

Looks like a good RO system will set you back over £100. Plus replacement bits as necessary over time. About 750 litres of RO water from a fish shop.

All depends on how much you'll need, really.

Guy

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Re: RO water filter

Post by IPA » Thu Jul 18, 2019 6:53 pm

Try to think out of "the American box" and treat your tap water !
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Re: RO water filter

Post by guypettigrew » Thu Jul 18, 2019 7:41 pm

IPA wrote:
Thu Jul 18, 2019 6:53 pm
Try to think out of "the American box" and treat your tap water !
Also an excellent plan!

Should have asked; why do want RO water? How will you use it in your brewing?

Guy

hopit
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Re: RO water filter

Post by hopit » Thu Jul 18, 2019 8:17 pm

I do treat my water. I live in London and my water is super hard. I've tested it using those kits and adjust using loads of CRS, a bit of a Camden tablet and sometimes chuck a bit of gypsum or other things in. I almost always hit my mash ph. I am not sure exactly what the mineral content is as my water report doesn't include all the bits but it's been a while since I tried to work it all out. I reckon it would be pretty high. I'd need to look at my notes.

Recently I made a kolsh with adjusted RO water from an aquarium and it was really good. Also made a hefe that was good using adjusted RO water.

I am quite interested in using softer water with less mineral content and being able to dial in stuff like chloride and sulfate ratios. I think it'll suit my preferred juicy or pale beer styles. Also I'm no chemist and starting with a blank slate sounds easier generally!

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Re: RO water filter

Post by guypettigrew » Thu Jul 18, 2019 8:38 pm

It might be worth you getting your tap water tested by Wallybrew on here. He'll give you a full analysis. Then, using Graham Wheeler's water treatment calculator, you can adjust your alkalinity, sulphate and chloride ratios etc, etc.

It can seem a bit daunting at first--or at least it was for me! But after a while it becomes second nature. My alkalinity is 204ppm, so I start by chucking in about 45ml of CRS to 60 litres of hard tap water in the HLT. Then test it with a salifert kit and add more CRS if necessary. Having got the alkalinity roughly where I want it (being super exact isn't necessary) I use GW's calculator to work out how much of which salts need to be added. In my case the salts go in during the sparge. My water is 102ppm calcium, enough to ensure a good mash.

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Re: RO water filter

Post by vacant » Thu Jul 18, 2019 9:15 pm

hopit wrote:
Thu Jul 18, 2019 6:21 pm
Can anyone recommend a RO water filter for me? I see there are different numbers of stages but not sure how necessary more stages are for normal homebrew use and also not sure where best (cheapest) to buy from.

Is it worth looking at other suppliers or just get it from the usual homebrew outlets?

Also how much water do they waste? I am on a water meter unfortunately.

Cheers
I brewed a couple of times with RO water from the aquarium dept at the local garden centre and got fantastic results.

After that I bought a three stage system off eBay for £36, that was August 2015.

Plumbing in was easy as it came with an attachment the same as a washing machine hose. It just screws on. I had an unused washing machine supply but if you don't have that you can buy a splitter to share the supply with your washing machine (or disconnect the appliance for a bit).

I'm on a water meter in the expensive south west. I use 10% tap water (270 Alk) and 90% RO for my pale beers. I therefore need around 31 ltr RO to build 34 ltr. This generates approx 120 ltr "waste" water. But it isn't wasted. I run a long waste pipe outside and collect the water in a couple of large plastic storage containers. On brew day, a small £5 aquarium pump helps get that water through my immersion chiller and I collect the heated water again for cleaning the kit.

I don't know how much your water costs per cubic meter, but I think you'd be using 200 ltr i.e 1/5th cubic meter - maybe 50p's worth?

I bought a cheap TDS meter to check the RO water and I do a Salifert test on the liquor before I brew. So far I've not replaced any bits of the filter.
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hopit
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Re: RO water filter

Post by hopit » Thu Jul 18, 2019 9:45 pm

Hmm, interesting stuff. Might get my water tested as I am interested anyway whatever I end up doing.

Vacant, is it the sort of thing you could connect to a garden tap?

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Re: RO water filter

Post by hopit » Thu Jul 18, 2019 9:49 pm

Also I've noticed that Camden tablets are not included in any of the calculators. Do they affect the mineral make up at all? It's all this type of stuff that scrambles my head.

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Re: RO water filter

Post by vacant » Thu Jul 18, 2019 9:53 pm

hopit wrote:
Thu Jul 18, 2019 9:45 pm
Vacant, is it the sort of thing you could connect to a garden tap?
Yes, e.g. this one, you select the connection type.

Forgot to mention, my system has a flush valve but I don't think that is absolutely required.
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Re: RO water filter

Post by hopit » Thu Jul 18, 2019 10:19 pm

What are the different GDP values for? Which one have you got?

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Re: RO water filter

Post by vacant » Thu Jul 18, 2019 10:31 pm

gallons per day. I got the smallest and just leave it running unless we leave the house.
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Re: RO water filter

Post by hopit » Thu Jul 25, 2019 9:34 pm

It got it! Looking forward to using it.

The tap connector they supplied is 3/4" bsp. I got a brass 1/2" bsp to 3/4" bsp tap connector but it doesn't fit my garden tap (what thread is the damn thing?!? Its very close to a 1/2").

I have a bunch of old plastic ones in shed that fit but I'm not sure if they are food safe. Does it matter if I used a random plastic connector as the water is subsequently filtered anyway and its water (not acidic)? Anyone got any thoughts?

I've got a TDS meter arriving tomorrow hopefully.

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Re: RO water filter

Post by vacant » Fri Jul 26, 2019 7:50 am

hopit wrote:
Thu Jul 25, 2019 9:34 pm
I have a bunch of old plastic ones in shed that fit but I'm not sure if they are food safe.
Brewing a few times with such a non-food safe component while you source a metal replacement isn't a problem. Think of toddlers in a paddling pool, happily drinking copious amount or water that has passed through the entire length of a non-food safe garden hose!
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hopit
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Re: RO water filter

Post by hopit » Fri Jul 26, 2019 8:37 am

Yeah that's what I figured, also the water then goes through the filter so surely any bad stuff would get removed? That's one of the reasons people use these things right?!?

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