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Old 11-15-2017, 12:27 PM   #1
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What water is best?

What kind of water do you use when a recipe calls for water? Purified? Distilled? Spring water? The tap water here in Las Vegas is very hard; our doctor thinks it’s responsible for my husband’s kidney stones! Does the type of water one uses affect any chemical reactions in cooking?

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Old 11-15-2017, 01:01 PM   #2
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I use the wet kind.

I use tap water for anything I do, including drinking (although we drink mostly from the spout on the fridge, which is filtered, but still hard). But then I live in a small town with good tasting water. Our town water comes from two wells, 300-500 ft deep. It's hard, but I've not heard of anyone having kidney stones from it. My father-in-law is 94 and has been drinking the same water his entire life with no issues.

Most of the people I've known with that problem have been heavy coffee drinkers. One friend had a real problem when his doctor told him to cut back to one cup a day. He was so addicted to the caffeine that he went through difficult withdrawals trying to cut back. He relapsed and got the stones again. I don't know if he ever kicked that habit.

I've never been a coffee drinker - water is my drink of choice, and every doctor I've had has said that is very likely part of the reason why I don't have issues with digestion or high blood pressure, despite being overweight. Never had a kidney stone either.
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Old 11-15-2017, 02:06 PM   #3
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I cook with and drink bottled water. Our tap water is so bad, it's only used for teeth brushing.
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Old 11-15-2017, 02:06 PM   #4
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We have hard water here and run a softener.
If you are on city water, there is the possibility you have some form of chlorine in the water. This kills bacteria. So if you are making cheese for instance, use distilled water so the chlorine doesn't kill the wanted cultures and it doesn't hurt the renneting action.

Ideally my water wouldn't have so much, what looks like calcium, leaving my canning jars with a white film. I usually add vinegar to the pressure canner or water bath canner and the jars come out shiny and clean.
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Old 11-15-2017, 05:06 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Kayelle View Post
I cook with and drink bottled water. Our tap water is so bad, it's only used for teeth brushing.

+1... same here.. Our tap water is ok but we don't drink it..

I drink water all day at room temp... We buy (possibly waste money) on bottled water and it works for us..

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Old 11-15-2017, 05:18 PM   #6
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I use our city tap water. It tastes fine and has never caused any problems with yeast breads. I've made fresh mozzarella cheese a few times; for that, I boiled and cooled the water to evaporate the chlorine.
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Old 11-15-2017, 05:25 PM   #7
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One thing occurred to me about chlorinated water. Adding chlorine to water is there to keep the bacteria out.

Now let's say you are a probiotic user, whether you use probiotic pills, or sauerkraut, or kimchi, or kefir, or yogurt, or any of the other natural pre and probiotics you can use to keep your gut healthy. You drink lots of water to stay healthy. Maybe you are treating yourself with healthy food for colitis, or acid reflux disease, or irritable bowel syndrome or something else. Wouldn't the chlorine in city water work against the bacteria you are trying to stabilize in your gut?

People aren't talking about that and I wonder why? Maybe they just don't know that chlorine kills bacteria and that is the same bacteria that keeps your gut healthy. Something to think about.
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Old 11-15-2017, 05:31 PM   #8
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One thing occurred to me about chlorinated water. Adding chlorine to water is there to keep the bacteria out.

Now let's say you are a probiotic user, whether you use probiotic pills, or sauerkraut, or kimchi, or kefir, or yogurt, or any of the other natural pre and probiotics you can use to keep your gut healthy. You drink lots of water to stay healthy. Maybe you are treating yourself with healthy food for colitis, or acid reflux disease, or irritable bowel syndrome or something else. Wouldn't the chlorine in city water work against the bacteria you are trying to stabilize in your gut?

People aren't talking about that and I wonder why? Maybe they just don't know that chlorine kills bacteria and that is the same bacteria that keeps your gut healthy. Something to think about.
I'm not sure the chlorine in water survives the trip through the stomach and small intestine to make it to the large intestine, where most of the water is reabsorbed. Good question for my GI doctor
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Old 11-15-2017, 05:37 PM   #9
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Then there's this:
Quote:
The more I understand about normal GI flora, the more I suspect probiotics are the wrong answer to a wide variety of medical questions. We have a complex bacterial flora in and on us. We carry with us 10–100 times more bacteria than there are cells that make us up. We may think we are the pinnacle of evolution, but we are just sentient transport and feeding machines for bacteria.

There are over a 1,000 species in the GI tract with over 5 million genes. Most of these bacteria cannot be cultured but only identified by molecular techniques.

While they are often called “good” bacteria, the constituents of probiotics are not part of the normal GI tract in significant numbers if at all. The Lactobacilli, Bifidobacteria and Saccharomyces (a yeast) found in most of the products are better-classified as “less pathogenic organisms” rather than good.
https://sciencebasedmedicine.org/gut-check/
Edited: added another quoted paragraph.
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Old 11-15-2017, 05:53 PM   #10
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I use tap water.

The water supply comes from a lake about 25 miles from my apartment. The water is technically considered untreated but it is chlorinated and filtered. The system has been fine since it was installed in 1893 but this year toxic algae blooms were spotted on the lake for the first time. If the algae can't be eliminated or at least controlled the city may need to start treating the water supply, very sad.
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Old 11-15-2017, 06:13 PM   #11
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Tap water here is safe, but it doesn't taste good. It is not so bad that it effects the taste of my food, but it is not pleasant to drink. I have a fridge tap with a filter, too, and that has a charcoal filter that takes the nasty out of the taste.

I don't use yeasts often at all, so I can't really speak to that issue. But, for my basic cooking, tap water is okay.

Having maintained backyard pools growing up, I know that direct sunlight will kill the effectiveness of chlorine, too.

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Old 11-15-2017, 07:04 PM   #12
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I have water softener in the house. That water is used for everything including cooking. I also have under the sink tank filter for drinking water.
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Old 11-15-2017, 08:16 PM   #13
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Artesian well water here, not treated with anything, just filtered. It is hard, so I use a Brita filter for the cats water and the coffeemaker. I drink large amounts of the water from the tap.
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Old 11-15-2017, 08:35 PM   #14
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When we lived on Long Island in the Bahamas, we had a 12,000 gallon rainwater cistern under the house. That was our only water supply. It filled up during the summer rainy season, and then we drew on it from November to June when we got very little rain. We generally added about a cup of chlorine bleach to the tank about every other month to keep the algae under control. We even had frogs living in the access hatch to the cistern.

We installed a reverse osmosis system under the kitchen sink to purify water for drinking and cooking. We had a line from the RO system to the fridge for ice and drinking water.
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Old 11-15-2017, 10:02 PM   #15
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Our tap water (delivered via acqueduct) is hard. It causes calcium deposits to form, so we've always used bottled mineral water (soft) for both fizzy and still water, which people here usually do anyway. About 3 years ago, our local village authorities got the old village well going again, and we get still and fizzy water from it. It's fine for putting in my iron as well - no calcium deposits at all, and the village well still water does ok too - no calcium deposits there either.

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Old 11-16-2017, 06:15 AM   #16
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I cook with and drink bottled water. Our tap water is so bad, it's only used for teeth brushing.
Thanks. We don’t drink tap water here either, for the above mentioned reason. But is your bottled water spring water, distilled water, purified water or “drinking” water? And which do you prefer for cooking?
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Old 11-16-2017, 06:28 AM   #17
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Still wondering

I’ve gotten so many great responses to my initial question, and I thank you all! But I’m not concerned much with drinking water, we’ve got that issue solved (I drink tequila and Mark drinks vodka; we use distilled water for the ice, lol). What water is the best to use for cooking? Spring water? Distilled water? Purified water? Different types of water for different recipes? Am I just stuck on minutiae? The only thing that I’m sure of is to avoid chlorinated water when making bread or other fermented foods, as it impedes the growth of bacteria. But what about stocks and broths and stews? And in bread making, does the type of water matter, as long as it’s not chlorinated?

Sweet Moss, I just read that post, and I sound obsessed! Please, forgive me! And thanks again for all of your responses!
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Old 11-16-2017, 06:29 AM   #18
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We use tap water for most everything. We have the fridge filter which is used for drinking and making mineral water (mostly) and some soda with the Soda Stream.

GG, if you put tap water in clear plastic (I use 2L soda bottles) and let it sit in sunlight for a day without the cap on the chlorine will be destroyed. I do this to provide water for reptiles.
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Old 11-16-2017, 06:51 AM   #19
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We use tap water for most everything. We have the fridge filter which is used for drinking and making mineral water (mostly) and some soda with the Soda Stream.

GG, if you put tap water in clear plastic (I use 2L soda bottles) and let it sit in sunlight for a day without the cap on the chlorine will be destroyed. I do this to provide water for reptiles.
I’m curious now, though this probably isn’t the forum for it, but how do you like your Soda Stream? Is it worth the money? My husband likes sparkling water, and so do I, but at over a dollar a bottle, it’s getting a bit pricey! Also, it’s sometimes difficult to find in small bottles, especially unflavored (the large bottles go flat way before they’re used up).
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Old 11-16-2017, 07:14 AM   #20
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We used to buy cases of San Pellegrino in 1L bottles from Restaurant Depot. Even with their prices it was getting expensive. With the Soda Stream we first started out buying the mineral mix by the 1# bag. We now by the individual "salts" and mix our own (another use of that expensive scale). Haven't calculated the cost per bottle, but it is much less expensive than the cases of water we used to buy. We also make homemade Limoncello that comes close enough to the brand we like the most. We got the cost down to around $14.50 per 750 ml bottle as opposed to $30.00 something buying it.
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