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Distilled Water for brewing

Captain Ed

Nov 8, 2019
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Wisconsin mid way up on the east side by some wate
First post and way way out of my comfort zone but what the heck. I am going to brew a Crumudgeon Ale clone next week and wonder about my water. I am using an Anvil foundry for the first time and I have a 17 lb grain bill. I am wondering if I should use "distilled" water for the brew but I am unsure if there is anything I may have to add to it. I do have the ability to get about 2 gallons from my home R.O. system if needed otherwise I have city tap water (dont know profiles) but its lake Michigan water on a municipal system so there is some chlorine but not detectible by nose or taste.

I can add whatever is needed to distilled water if necessary but I am sailing in a new lake here. Any help will be appreciated.


Grandmaster Brewer
Mar 16, 2013
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New Hampshire, US
If you do choose to use city water, you should treat it with campden tablets to neutralize the chlorine compounds.  Otherwise, you certainly can use distilled water and add in the water agents which will bring you to a good water profile.  My initial recommendation, if you have not done this before, is to use the water tool in your recipe and match it to a profile which represents the color and sensory aspect you want to amplify: malty (full), balanced (neutral), or hoppy (dry).  This will get you by until you can do some more learning on water chemistry.

For a bit more in depth, I highly recommend reading Martin Brungard's treatise on water chemistry which can be found at https://sites.google.com/site/brunwater/water-knowledge.  This will give you more of an understanding of how water agents affect the sensory perception as well as mash pH.  Brad also has several blog posts on water chemistry which are worth reading and podcasts which are very much worth listening to.