Historic brewing styles have developed in certain regions because they worked well with the local water chemistry, long before folks knew there were rocks dissolved in their water. I had the advantage of repiping my plumbing myself when I installed a dual resin tank softener (with a dual tank, they alternate recharging, you still have water pressure while one tank recharges). I put the outside spigots on non-softened water, and also ran non-softened water to an activated carbon filter (removes chlorine) that serves the 'fridge's ice maker, the cold water side of the kitchen faucet, and a boiling-hot tap also at that sink. Any brewing water comes from the cold side or the boiling hot tap.
I'll try to offer a shortened version of my usual water rant. If you have a well, get the water tested 1x per year and have them do a full mineral profile in addition to the hazardous chemical analysis if you brew with that water. It's not easy to get where you want to be if you don't know from where you're starting. if you have municipal water, call the water department, ask for the chemist, and they should be able to tell you more about your water than you may want to know. They'll be impressed that someone cares about what they do, and they'll think homebrewing is pretty cool, too.
On deck: a clone of Carolina Beer Co's Rye Stout, clone of Breckenridge's Vanilla Porter,
Secondary: Dortmunder, Hopweizen
Keg Conditioning: Dunkelweizen, Roggenbier, Okto, Ord. Bitter
On tap: Alt, Hefeweizen, Cigar City Maduro clone, Mild
Bottled: Mead, Quad Rajet, Granola Bar Braggot
Too much of everything is just enough.
- J. Garcia