What Water Should I Use For My Homebrew?

Question:

In my first batch I used boiled tap water to make an Amber and it turned out pretty good. In my two subsequent batches I used bottled spring water. The second batch didn’t turn out well and I just bottled my third batch of IPA.

As of today I’m only using extracts, do I need to worry what kind of water I should be using? I have read differing opinions on what kind of water I should be using for brewing (boiled tap, bottled, even distilled). I want my brew to taste the best it can be and I want to used the best water. Thoughts?

Answer:

Ideally you want your water to be dechlorinated (1 campden tablet in 80 litres, or an in-line charcoal filter, both do the trick). If there is any question whatsoever about the safety of your water, then boil it first.

Any water used after fermentation should be boiled to remove the oxygen. Well water may or may not be good – if it is very hard then probably not. And softened water is generally no good because the softening process adds salts that you do not want. If in doubt about your well water, have it tested and a full analysis done.