So, as I mentioned previously, I bought a R/O system. That’s Reverse Osmosis, which forces water, under pressure, through membranes that operate on the microscopic level, rejecting certain sized molecules. Essentially it strips water clean, allowing only H2O through the other side. There is a downside, that is 2:1 rejection water. That water is super concentrated from the source and must be rejected to wash away the encrustations of contaminants from the filter, or it would quickly clog up. De-Ionization is another step (that I chose not to take) that will completely eliminate any ions or anions in the output.
Fortunately, my water is pretty soft, just saturated with bicarbonate (chalk) which creates real problems reaching effective mash pH levels. Before the RO system, pH was 8.4-8.6. After – I am coming in around 6.2-6.4 pH. Measurements taken at room temperature.
Since my Houston We have a Pale Ale 1.0 tap water batch is done, and kegged today, I will rebrew it with RO water and some salt adjustments later this week. Will note those adjustments after some additional research. Early tastes of the 1.0 put it right on the edge of a pale ale flavor and an IPA. Today’s sip, flat, tasted surprising like Bell’s Two Hearted – smooth bitterness and rich hop flavor and aroma. So I may have gotten more IBU efficiency than I planned! Or, I am guessing it is the sulfate/chloride levels in the tap with a small gypsum and calcium chloride bump.
So we will see. Will try to do a side by side comparison and maybe get some expert tastebuds in the mix.
If you would like to see the discussion on Homebrewtalk.com, it’s here! HUGE thanks to AJ and Martin for their input… it helped me to hone in on the right solution at the right price and still allow me to DIY the project!