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?

  • 2
    mostly, it just contaminates our precious bodily fluids.
    – baka
    Oct 12, 2011 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, 2011 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, 2011 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? Oct 13, 2011 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. Jan 30, 2014 at 11:45

1 Answer 1


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.

  • I wouldn't imagine the concentrations in municipal water are high enough to matter. Oct 12, 2011 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, 2011 at 20:31
  • + 1 Thanks for the well thought-out answer.
    – WT_W
    Oct 13, 2011 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.
    – user6375
    Jan 30, 2014 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, 2014 at 20:20

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