Ask Mr. Wizard

Brewing with softened water?

TroubleShooting

Robert R. Heinlein asks,
Q

Would you please enlighten me on brewing with softened water? Also, how much salt does a softener add to 5 gallons of liquor? Should I still add some amount of salt when called for in a recipe? I have well water and brew all-grain. I have brewed with a variety of waters and am left unclear by any material I have ever read regarding use of water softeners.

 

A
Water is said to possess “hardness” when it contains ions of calcium and/or magnesium. I have never really understood the origins of this term, since hard water feels as soft as, well,
Response by Ashton Lewis.