Friday 28 June 2024

Homebrewery - Undersink Water Filter Installation

There's no disputing the importance of water when brewing your own beer - being the single biggest ingredient, it's critical you're using quality and good tasting water when making your beer. Unsurprisingly, if you're water quality and taste is poor, then this will likely have a detrimental impact on your beer.

We had a water outlet installed in our garage as part of your new house build specifically for brewing purposes, and we've finally gotten around to installing a water filter to be able to treat our brewing water prior to use.

The tap water itself is pretty ordinary straight out of the tap - with a very strong chlorine taste and smell. We've been using our built in fridge water filter for drinking and brewing water, which is only a basic, single stage filter, so we figured something similar should be all that's required to treat our brewing water - and will save us carting 30 odd litres of water from the kitchen to the garage every time we want to brew!

We opted for the Britani Undercounter Single Stage Filter kit - selling for around $90 at Bunnings. It comes with a tap which we've opted not to use for now, but may come in handy later as we could potentially install it into the industrial sink we've installed in the garage.

The kit comes with everything you need to install using the tap, but since we're opting for a slightly different installation, we opted for an additional ball valve and some extra line/tubing - more on that shortly.

Installation was super easy, with push in fittings that were familiar in operation to us as we almost exclusively use Duotight push in fittings for all our brewing connections.

The filter housing itself is mounted using four included screws onto the wall. Handy tip though, make sure you unscrew the housing and remove the plastic wrap from the filter itself located inside (we didn't realise this was required and nearly blew the housing apart when we first turned it on!)

Here's how the final installation looks - and while it could arguably be done a bit neater, we were hindered a little bit by the fact that the water flows from right to left through the filter, where we really needed it to flow from left to right.

From the T-piece adapter on the tap, you can see the hose then connects to a flow restrictor/non-return valve, and then loops around and into the right side of the filter housing. The hose then comes out of the left side of the filter housing.

Here's a close-up of the included adapter which screws straight onto the existing wall outlet. The existing hose for the regular kitchen tap screws back onto the top, and the white line is then connected via push-in fittings to the water filter as outlined above. There's also a handy shut off valve you can see there that is recommended be switched off if the filter is not going to be used for more than a day or so and gives an element of protection against a push-in fitting failure or blow out.

As previously mentioned, we fitted a ball valve which also uses the same push in fittings so we can easily open/shut the flow of water without needing to use the main shutoff valve we mentioned in the previous photo. After a couple of brews this has worked incredibly well, as we bought a 3m length of tubing that gives us good flexibility so we can fill our BrewZilla and Digiboil units in-place in the garage without needing to lug them around when they're full of 20L of water.

A simple clamp on the top of the unit holds the hose in place whilst filling - which does take some time but certainly faster and easier than carting water from the fridge water filter.

The included filter is a 5 micron carbon filter which removes chlorine flavours/odours, as well as sediment, but doesn't change the ion content of the water. This works well for us and leaves us with chlorine-free, great tasting water to use as a base for our brewing. We may look at replacing the cartridge in the future with one that filters out a bit more but we're certainly happy with the performance we're getting from this one.

It's well worth considering a water filter system like this if you aren't currently using one to help improve the quality of your brewing water. It's also super easy to install and setup, especially if you don't need to use an actual tap and are happy with a simple ball valve solution for controlling the flow of water from the filter.

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