Water Quality / Filtration of Water for Dilution (Gin/Vodka)

edited May 2018 in Usage

Hi all,

I am just getting my distillation business up and running and I have a question regarding water quality and filtration I hope you can help to answer.

I have my own well with good quality water (Lab tested) that I will use for distillation and dilution of my Gin/Vodka. However the carbonate hardness is a little high. I am thinking of installing a Brita PURITY Quell ST filter to reduce the hardness.

What are your thoughts regarding water for Gin/Vodka production and what are you using?

Any one with experience in carbonate hardness in relation to taste of the finished products?

Best regards,


  • Instead of worrying about just the hardness, install a reverse osmosis cartridge after a 3-stage filter that has a particulate, and two carbon block filters. Use RO water to dilute as it will only have a few PPM of total dissolved solids, and not interfere with the spirits.

    Dean Palmer - Director of Rum - Cotherman Distilling - Dunedin, FL

  • Or go off the deep end and use RO/DI - which is basically lab grade high purity water.

  • edited May 2018

    Or you have some heads you want to purify, delute to 5 %, cut away the new heads, turn reflux off and run for water, its easier to justify then just destilling water. There should be close to zero tails in that stuff but 2-3 % alkohol. But dont run it dry Please. But you will needs some significant amount off heads to do it.

  • We used to make and use distilled and de ionised water at a large Satellite Earth Communications Station I ran the mechanical services at . Used to carry 60% of Australia's total overseas telecommunications in its big days. Water was distilled then circulated through, from memory, SK1B Atomic grade resin which deionised it. Was used as cooling water in large high voltage amplifiers for the transmission to space. Was a simple process. Cant remember the final ppm we ended up with but we did do an electrical breakdown test before it was used. Was a closed loop so we were not using that much quantity though. Dont think I would bother for dilution water - just distilled would be fine. Or as @Oswald said.

    @trkprivate while the process is not for everyone dilute your brew down to 18%, with the water you have, then run your final product run. Your water will be distilled in the process and you will not have to water down your final brew - just distill down till you have your desired product desired ABV average. Of course for this to work you will be redistilling a very clean base and will not be doing any cuts on this run.

  • edited May 2018

    Salt softeners are ion exchange. They remove hardness ions (calcium and magnesium) and replace them with sodium.

    Ion exchange resins remove the Ca and Mg cations (positively charged ions) and replace them with hydrogen ions, acidifying your softened water. GD50 used Mitsubishi ion exchange resin. I used to use Dow ion exchange resins for demineralizing boiler makeup and condensate polishing back in the day.

    Reverse osmosis is good, but the TDS of your permeate is a function of the TDS of your feedwater. The membranes remove a set fraction of the dissolved minerals (salts). Membrane manufacturers claim 98% salt rejection with new membranes, but 92-95% is more realistic. What this means is if your well water has 1000ppm TDS your product water will have 50ppm TDS (at 95% salt rejection) with new membranes. Membranes loosen up as they age and the salt rejection rate declines.

    IMHO rainwater is the way to go for dilution water. Naturally distilled. Push it through a 5 micron filter to remove any suspended soilds that it may have picked up as dust in the air, or in your collection and storage system, and you're good to go. Guaranteed not to cause mineral loucheing

    I'm more like I am now than I was before.

  • If you actually check the PPM of salt softeners it is actually a little higher after processing as the softer sodium has replaced the calcium and magnesium and generally left a little extra sodium behind. Soap works a lot better though.

    Good quality rain water is, as @Kapea said, the way to go unless trkprivate's well water has interesting properties.

  • edited May 2018

    Calcium and magnesium ions carry a 2+ ionic charge. Sodium is 1+. Two sodium ions are released for every one calcium or magnesium ion captured.

    The term hardness comes from an orignal reference to soap. The more calcium and/or magnesium ions in the water, the "harder" it is to make soap lather with it.

    I like to joke, "That water is so hard, you get bruises when you shower in it!"

    I'm more like I am now than I was before.

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