Observations on Water.
Distillers cannot be too particular in selecting good water for distilling, when about to erect distilleries.
Any water will do for the use of the condensing tubs or coolers, but there are many kinds of water that will not answer the purpose of mashing or fermenting to advantage; among which are snow and limestone water, either of which possess such properties, as to require one fifth more of grain to[Pg 118] yield the same quantity of liquor, that would be produced while using river water.
Any water will answer the distillers purpose, that will dissolve soap, or will wash well with soap, or make a good lather for shaving.
River or creek water is the best for distilling except when mixed with snow or land water from clay or ploughed ground. If no river or creek water can be procured, that from a pond, supplied by a spring, if the bottom be not very muddy will do, as the exposure to the sun, will generally have corrected those properties inimical to fermentation. Very hard water drawn from a deep well, and thrown into a cistern, or reservoir and exposed to the sun and air for two or three days, has been used in mashing with success, with a small addition of chop grain or malt. I consider rain water as next in order to that from the river, for mashing and fermentation. Mountain, slate, gravel and running water, are all preferable to limestone, unless impregnated with minerals—many of which are utterly at variance with fermentation. With few exceptions, I have found limestone, and all spring water too hard for mashing, scalding or fermenting.[Pg 119]
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