Brewing with good water is an often overlooked but very important part of the brewing process. If you are an extract brewer, you may already know that you have little or no control over the water that was used to make the malt extract. To change the water profile, you need to change your extract. For all grain brewers, your main focus is reducing unwanted elements in the water and then building it back up to make it suitable for brewing. A tube style carbon filter is a great way to strip out undesirable chemical elements such as chlorine, chloramine, lead, etc.
Once all grain brewers have a baseline for their water, they face other challenges that extract brewers don't. The biggest of which is being familiar with the water's mineral content to achieve the proper pH in the mash. There are other considerations as well, like using chemicals to establish a water profile to brew a perfect clone of your favorite beer!
Although a free water report can sometimes be requested from your local water authority, the best way to be sure of your water's content is to use a private company like Ward Laboratories. This is especially true if you are on well & septic. If you would like to find out what's in your water, use the link below and send a sample for either the W-5 or W-6 household report. They usually email the report back within a few days.