squeaky wrote:Do people normally de-chlorinate in Toronto? I've never bothered.
Slipping in a late post ...
I've brewed the same recipe using straight Toronto tap, carbon filtered, sediment + carbon filtered, and deionized water.
In general, I prefer deionized water + gypsum / calcium sulphate with a bit of calcium chloride. Since most of the beers I like skew dry and / or hoppy, I find the combination makes the flavours and aroma pop a bit more.
Mind you, the difference isn't really mind-blowing; Toronto's tap water has a neutral profile for brewing. The shift isn't like moving from extract to all grain for making a saison. It's more like a refinement in your technique.
FWIW, astringent flavours can also be picked up from over-sparging (different brewers measure this differently, but when your run-off drops below 1.008 or to 10% or your first runnings for big beers, you should stop), letting your mash get too hot (80ish), or from rising pH in your mash (again, different strokes for different folks, but 5.4 is a good place to start,). One of these factors (including chlorinated water and forceful hopping) is probably not enough to make a beer astringent -- you usually need to hit at least a couple of these to make a beer stand out.
If you're using bottled water, you can poke around http://www.bulkreefsupply.com/bulk-reve ... stems.html
, and find reverse osmosis systems that aren't particularly expensive (even if you factor in shipping and exchange). And you can put together a sediment + carbon filter that hooks up to a tap for about $100US that will filter thousands of litres of water.
If you're going the RO route, you're looking at getting, maybe, 10l of water an hour in Toronto, so it's not like you can roll out of bed and start mashing a half hour later. With the sediment + carbon filter, you're going at about half the speed you would from just your tap.