Every year I try to upgrade the home-winery; whether it be a new press, water-less bungs or a stainless steel sink. Earlier this year I had some extra money and I was trying to decide what a good upgrade would be for the homer operation, and then it dawned on me.. A Water Filter!
As winemakers, we are always doing things to prevent bad things from happening to our wine- sulfites in case of oxidation ( among other things), sanitation in case of spoilage; the list goes on and on. In this case, I wanted a filter to give my water a better taste and remove chlorine and organic flavor from the water, making it safer for the following applications:
-Fruit Wines- Yes, i use water with my fruit wines. Unlike grapes, fruits just don't provide a lot of juice. So I use a little indeed. For example 4 lbs of black raspberries per 7 pints of water. I feel flavor will be improved with filtered water.
-Yeast Starters- Yeast (the sensitive ones) can be inhibited by chlorine in the water. Though I have never experienced this myself ( I mean come on, nothing will stop EC-1118 or K1-V1116!) But as I've stated above, us winemakers have to take preventative measures to ensure a great product.
-Wine Kits- I don't typically make wine kits, for those of you who do, the kit will need diluted with water, and tap water could give the wine a poor flavor profile of chlorine and inhibit a complete fermentation.
-Stirring in Additives- I use anything from yeast nutrient, sulfites, opti-red, tannin, to sparkolloid and pectic enzyme. All of these additives need stirred in to some water (or wine) before adding to the main batch. What better medium to stir it up in than clean filtered water?!
- Hey, I Make Beer too- That's right folks, sometimes I make beer! And beer is all about the water. Many different styles of beer are made around the world and historically they were made based on the water profile of the brewery in that particular town, not because they wanted to brew pilsner or stouts. But today, any water profile can be obtained. All I'm trying to do is make a yummy IPA and start with a good base- clean, filtered, good tasting water.
The filter i chose is from morewinemaking.com (item#fil32.) In this kit you receive the filter canister, carbon block filter cartridge, vinyl tubing with a garden hose fitting and the proper barbed fittings to attach the tubing to the filter. They recommend replacing it yearly or after 800 gallons of water has passed through it-which ever comes first. I also purchased the mount to be able to fit it to the wall above my sink and I also got an extra O-ring in case this one fails and I'm in a pinch.
As I use the filter, I will report back with its performance and any quirks that come with using the unit. I hope this will inspire you to get your own water filter for your homer-operation, because you know...Any thing can happen...