Take the 2-minute tour ×
Homebrewing Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for dedicated home brewers and serious enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I live in a city that puts fluoride in the drinking water.

I am in the habit of boiling all water before storing it (and allowing it to cool) for brew day.

Will fluoride effect the brew in any way?

Will boiling the water before using mitigate this effect? If not, is there any known way to mitigate this?

share|improve this question
2  
mostly, it just contaminates our precious bodily fluids. –  baka Oct 12 '11 at 11:18
1  
and reduces dental infections that have been linked to heart disease in adults and tooth/gum loss in children –  drj Oct 12 '11 at 15:40
    
me ... I just filter it out and drink more wine and cider to get the heart benefits I'm missing :-) –  drj Oct 12 '11 at 15:42
    
There seems to be a lot of disagreement about whether systemic fluoride (vs. topical) is effective at preventing dental carries. For my part, I think medicating the water supply is a bad idea, if for no other reason than that it's impossible to control dosage. Isn't there plenty of fluoride in most toothpastes? –  Dustin Rasener Oct 13 '11 at 22:08
    
I thought fluoride was used to keep the drinking water cleaner/safer from the odd leak on its journey to your tap. –  Another Compiler Error Jan 30 at 11:45
show 1 more comment

1 Answer 1

up vote 4 down vote accepted

Fluoride isn't easily removed by boiling. Using an activated charcoal filter system is the most efficient way to remove it (Pur or Brita are common ones, I use the Brita).

You have to distill the water to remove the fluoride with temperature-based methods.

But I am not aware of any negative effects of fluoride on brewing other than if the concentration gets very high. I've done some research on this in the past and haven't found any non-anecdotal reports.

Fluoride inhibits the action of lipase that is important in malting grains. If lipase is allowed to act during malting, it forms compounds that will ultimately produce poor shelf-life and some production of off-tastes. ( see http://www.scientificsocieties.org/jib/papers/1996/1996_102_1_039.pdf ). But this probably doesn't really effect typical home-brewing.

I just filter my brewing (and drinking/cooking for that matter) water on principle as a chemist.

share|improve this answer
    
I wouldn't imagine the concentrations in municipal water are high enough to matter. –  Adam Shiemke Oct 12 '11 at 18:30
    
that's the primary concern about fluoridation, that there is little control of the concentrations. To inhibit lipase, the concentrations are low enough to what would be found in treated water (that was the point of the research). –  drj Oct 12 '11 at 20:31
    
+ 1 Thanks for the well thought-out answer. –  WT_W Oct 13 '11 at 0:46
    
fluoridealert.org/content/top_ten Sorry mr/mrs chemist, your brita filter is useless for this task. All mainstream breweries in Australia don't filter their water. Coopers are the only ones that have a reverse osmosis machine that I know of. –  Brewer Jan 30 at 2:35
    
An activated charcoal filter won't remove fluoride. To remove fluoride you'd need an activated alumina filter, or reverse osmosis, or deionizer filter. –  Graeck Jan 30 at 20:20
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.