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  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by cowdery
    Distilleries do not use distilled water when they dilute whiskey, either prior to barrel entry or prior to bottling. If the distillery uses spring water, that's what they use. If they use city water, it's typically treated--demineralized or what-have-you--but not distilled.
    Demineralized water is presumably the result of reverse osmosis. The resulting water is all but the same as distilled water. That is to say, H2O and not much of anything else. Home units typically remove 95-99% of the total dissolved solids (minerals). I imagine that commercial work at the upper end of that.

    Quote Originally Posted by cowdery
    Personally, I use tap water run through a Brita pitcher filter.
    Britas filter out much/most of the minerals via ion-exchange (substitutes hydrogen ions for metallic ions), depending on how new the filter is, though not nearly as much as RO filters do. It also has a carbon filter, which removes chlorine and other off-flavors. It's probably a pretty good choice for this.

    Since moving to the country with a well 15 years ago, I have become very sensitive to the taste of chlorine in water and find it very unpleasant. I would certainly never use water with noticeable chlorine to dilute whiskey.

    Our well water is fairly hard, so we buy reverse-osmosis (plus carbon filtered and UV disinfected) water from a dispenser at the local supermarket for $0.29/gallon. I had considered buying an under-the-counter RO unit, but I can't compete with this price, especially considering the maintenance I would have to do. I fill five gallon (19 liter) plastic jugs that fit on top of a ceramic two-gallon crock that sits on a wooden stand and has a spigot. I use this for drinking and making tea, and for diluting whiskey.

    Jeff
    "One never knows, do one?" Fats Waller, American Musician, 1904-1943

  2. #12
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
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    While RO is the most common form of commerical/industrial water treatment, I seem to recall being told that Jim Beam uses deionization, but don't hold me to that. It's a very vague memory.

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by cowdery
    While RO is the most common form of commerical/industrial water treatment, I seem to recall being told that Jim Beam uses deionization, but don't hold me to that. It's a very vague memory.
    I think that they are one and the same - it's just terminology. Other than R.O., I can't think off hand of any other way to deionize water except for distillation, which would be prohibitively expensive.

    Jeff
    "One never knows, do one?" Fats Waller, American Musician, 1904-1943

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by JeffRenner
    I think that they are one and the same - it's just terminology. Other than R.O., I can't think off hand of any other way to deionize water except for distillation, which would be prohibitively expensive.

    Jeff
    I'm in way over my head here, but I think of RO as involving a semi-permeable membrane whereas DI involves passage through synthetic polymeric resin beads.

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by cowdery
    I'm in way over my head here, but I think of RO as involving a semi-permeable membrane whereas DI involves passage through synthetic polymeric resin beads.
    That sounds plausible. That's how Brita filters work. I just didn't know that that could be used on industrial scales.

    But I'm in over my head as well.

    Jeff
    "One never knows, do one?" Fats Waller, American Musician, 1904-1943

  6. #16
    Mr. Anal Retentive Bourbon Drinker
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    I have a saltwater reef tank. Because of that I need pure, phosphate free replacement water. I own a Reverse Osmosis unit and water is finished using deionization.

    Reverse Osmosis removes about 95% of TDS(total dissolved solids); depending on the membrane used and initial state of water quality. DI, as Chuck mentioned, does use synthetic polymeric resin beads. DI cleans my water to 0% TDS. I feed my refrigerator ice machine/water dispenser with the RO water. The DI water does not taste as good as the RO water. A lot of brands of bottled water, like Dasinia, add some minerals back to the water after RO/DI processing.

    You can use DI alone but the resins will become depleted much quicker than using RO first. The resins are expensive. They can be recharged, but the process is more than average home user would want to go through. For a distiller, my guess is if the use DI only, they have a 3rd party that swaps out the resins and recharges them.

  7. #17
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    I just remembered the term the guy at Jim Beam used. (Hey, give me a break. This was 15 years ago.) "Rare Earth Deionization."

  8. #18
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    At the mention of "rare earth" I couldn't resist looking a litte deeper. I wish I had.

    Yours truly,
    Dave Morefield
    Yours truly,
    Dave Morefield

    Dog Lover, Euphonium Player, Campfire Guitarist, Marksman,

 

 

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