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Water and Taste

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I’m yet to try Absinthe, but from my experience with Scotch and brewing beer, I know water can effect the overall taste. I mean if you drinking something that is predominantly water <3-5 parts seems to be what im getting from reading here> does the water effect the flavour?

 

Now I know using treated water that contains chemicals is a bad idea, but what waters have you tried with your Absinthe, and how does it effect the flavour and mouth feel?

 

You have rain water <that varies from place to place> Distilled water, Mineral water, Soda water, treated water you buy at the supermarket, water from underground springs <that varies in minerals, the stuff we have here is high in Iron, down the road there’s is almost pure enough to bottle and sell>

 

I don’t think this question has come up in much detail, I did a search and had a look through some forums. Has anyone done Absinthe tasting, each glass with a different water? You would have to use the same water for ice as well. Just to see if water does make much of a difference? :huh:

 

Apologies if this has already come up,

 

Aum.

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I honestly haven't noticed much difference in taste with different waters. I think the flavors of the absinthe pretty much cover any subtlety in the water. Obviously, though, you don't want any water with a bad taste or else that will carry over. The only thing I've found noticable is that sometimes when ice cubes are left in the freezer too long, it imparts a funk that gets added to the absinthe (not just Jades!).

 

I've found that distilled water makes just as flavorful a drink as spring water, so whatever kind of water you prefer should do just fine.

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I second what AndrewT just said. Make sure your ice supply is fresh, and fill your ice trays with spring water. (Not always possible, I guess, if you have to supply ice for a large crowd.)

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Spring water seems best. You DO NOT want to use cave/underground water sources, especially if they are high in orn content. Iron kills the flavour of most drinks. Limestone is often nice, but not a lot of places have good limestoney water.

 

Clean, fresh-tasting, and COLD are your keys. The freezing of your good water for your ice is just as important. Fascinates me that people forget that step, since that ice in their fountain and such will just end up being the water in their drink as it melts.

 

Water is very important to the final drink though. I personally don't like distilled water though. It 'dead' water. Flat, tasteless, and has had a good amount of its oxygen released and lost.

 

Detroit and NYC both have decent tap waters. I have found few other cities with good tap water though.

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The only thing I've found noticable is that sometimes when ice cubes are left in the freezer too long, it imparts a funk that gets added to the absinthe.

 

 

 

AT is correct on the ice cubes. The longer ice is left in the freezer, the worse it tastes, for a number of reasons. First, it picks up any and all tastes, smells, etc that are present in your freezer. The longer it has to do this, the more concentrated these foul odors become. Second, there is just plain old freezer-burn. Works on your ice just as it does on your food.

 

A way to stall (significantly) this process? Get an Arm and Hammer freezer box. It's great for preserving your food AND your ice. Replace it every 6-8 months.

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I've only tried filtered tap water, and tap water and didn't notice a difference. But our water here is decent, I can taste the difference but it isn't undrinkable.

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I had always been told by contractor friends that the taste of the water that comes out of your tap has more to do with the pipes in your house than the flavour of the city water supply. That, by law, municipal water supplies conform to very tightly regimented and monitored standards ( much more so than bottled water, by the way, which may contain anything not proven to be poisonous )

Their point is that the water that is caught in your home's pipe system, prior to being released from a tap, acquires the strongest, most recent taste influence from your own plumbing. This is especially true if you use any water that's been in your water heater, meaning anything but the full-cold setting on your faucet.

 

I heard this from two different builders, once recently, the other more like ten years ago, and neither guy was a scientist. ( but they were also not trying to sell me plumbing )

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When I do my first tasting, I'll try two glasses of the same absinthe... one with bottled water (Poland Spring®) and one with PÜR® filtered water and see if I can detect the difference. I can taste the difference in the two waters by themselves but it's subtle.

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Sweet! Those yours? I haven't been to Worth1000 in a long time.

 

For me, a lot of the difference is not just taste, but mouth-feel. Distilled seems dry and harsh; so does our tap water unless it's either filtered or had a day or two to off-gas in the fridge.

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I've tried tap water and bottled spring water.

 

My tap water is close to most bottled spring water in mineral content so I use it.

 

It is good enough for Pale Ale, but not quite low enough in carbonate for Pils. Suliphate is low as well as chlorine. I just use carbon filtered tap water.

 

(Note: A lot of "Spring" Water is RO water :shock: with controlled amounts of minerals added back into it. Look for Purified in the description as it can be a key to this. Check the web site for your favorite "Spring Water" and see if they give a hint.)

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Interesting, well... I love the water from the filter system I have, I even like it more than store bought spring water. I may end up just using that, I usually have at least a gallon sitting in the refrigerator and the container it's in even has a handy little tap on it, call it my economy fontaine :P

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Spring water seems best.  You DO NOT want to use cave/underground water sources, especially if they are high in orn content.  Iron kills the flavour of most drinks. Limestone is often nice, but not a lot of places have good limestoney water.

 

 

A very condensed lecture:

 

As your resident geologist please allow me to make a few corrections: Spring water IS underground water. The vast majority of caves are formed in limestone. Ground water from any limestone area, cave riddled or not, will be saturated with Ca ions. You'll know if your water is rich in calcium because you will have scale on your faucets and porcelain. Any well derived water will be laden with minerals from the local rocks. Some minerals that are common in rocks and soil dissolve more readily in ground water than others. Ca, Fe, Mg are probably the most common. Trace elements beyond those dissolved elements can range all the way down the periodic table past lovely things like Uranium.

 

Municipal water is sometimes from wells (smaller systems) or more likely derived from fresh water lakes and rivers. These tend to have less dissolved salts (the minerals listed above) but more surface derived goodies. Fertilizers and manure result in lots of Nitrogen in various forms. The N encourages bacterial growth and a consequent reduction in oxygen in the water. Large water treatment plants start by using chemicals called floculants that cause particulates to settle out. Then they treat the water with Chlorine and similar to kill off the bacteria that remain after floculation. Chlorine is volatile so it tends to gas off before it reaches the pipes. Florin gets added for health (Lets avoid that debate please). In the pipes, the water picks of metals as is comes to you. Chiefly Fe and Cu, with some Pb if you are lucky enough to have lead pipes or solder in the system.

 

Taste is totally about dissolved salts in the water. Mostly Ca, Fe, Mg and Na. Some water systems add these back in. Most bottled water companies go to great lengths to control these minerals so the product is uniform. "good" tasting natural spring (or well) water is water that happens to have a decent group of salts in reasonable ratios.

 

Taste testing is interesting. Buy a carbon filter. set out a glass of filtered and unfiltered. Buy some distilled (basically free of minerals), and a couple brands of 'natural'. get them all in similar clean glasses at about the same temperature and do a comparison. You'll be surprised at the variation. The one you like best would undoubtedly be the best for your absinthe. Don't worry about oxygen in water. While it does affect the taste it would not stay in solution through the slow drip, sugar, and alcohol that the absithe ritual subjects it to.

 

Avoid for use in absinthe: tap water with sulfur (you'll know if you have sulfur), tap water overly high in iron (you'll know), distilled water, de-inoized water (we like ions although they probably do not have any effect on the absinthe), rain water unless your cistern is concrete (in which case your water should taste pretty good), any water that was transported in non PET plastic jugs - particularly any nalogene plastics (nalogene is ucky).

 

Hope this helps. I've left out tons of info for clarity, so if any water experts intend to respond please be aware that I probably agree with you before you are tempted to correct me :blink:

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Where I live, I get reddish stains around the drain and also some lime build up from our water... I've been told the red tint is iron but I really don't know for sure. I filter all the water I drink and make ice out of.

 

I'm not going to over think this... I'll just use the filtered water, it tastes fine to me.

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Red is always iron. Dark grey to black is Magneseum. Chalky/yelowish scale is Calcium. Often they come together. Your water is clearly pretty saturated with minerals. Carbon filter will help but not take it all out. Bottom line - if it tastes ok then it should be fine for other uses.

 

Cheers

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So that's what those mean. Interestingly, my shower leaves red residue, and my toilet leaves black residue.

You might check for a minor leak in your toilet's seal. Black usually means mould or mildew.

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My current water preferences are Ty Nant for Scotch, and Ice Age for absinthe. The latter has a "cleaner" taste to it than nearly all other bottled water I've tried.

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