Hands on Review: Aquatic Life RO Buddie Reverse Osmosis Filter System – Dial in Your Brewing Water!

Why Use a Reverse Osmosis Filter for Homebrewing?

Using RO (Reverse Osmosis) or DI (Deionized) water allows you to start with a clean slate of sorts and build your water profile from the ground up using water salts.  That allows you to take control of an important aspect of your brewing, especially if you’re an all grain brewer and create exactly the water profile you’re looking for.

Water by John Palmer and Colin Kaminski, part of the Brewing Elements Series, is a great read to learn lots more about brewing water and water adjustments


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Aquatic Life RO Buddie Reverse Osmosis Systems – note that multiple variations of this product may be available, as such a different version may appear at this link


Hands On Review

Front of the box (click to enlarge)Top of the box (click to enlarge)Side of the box (click to enlarge) Back of the box (click to enlarge)Side of the box (click to enlarge)Complete Contents

Assembling the Aquatic Life RO Buddie Reverse Osmosis Filter System

The directions guide you through assembling this filter.  Here is a photo taken during that process.Certain steps along the way require flushing.  it’s important to follow each step to flush each stage without corrupting the next stage.
My Stainless Sink comes in very handy for lots of brewing-related tasks, including flushing these filters and making gallons of DI water for use around the brewery and beyond.  It probably sounds odd, but I consider a quality utility sink a homebrewing must-have.A look at the reverse osmosis membraneThe model and serial number of the reverse osmosis membrane filter I received.The finished assembly.  The top-most filter is the final/DI stage.  This particular feature has a neat feature in that it’s color changing, so you know when it’s time for a new filter cartridge.

Testing Filter Rate

This is how long it took for one of the first gallons I filtered.  This varies.  It seemed to speed up after using the filter for a while.  34 to 37 minutes per gallon is a good ball park.

Testing PPM

cln_img_1270I used a TDS (Total Dissolved Solids) [Model TDS-EZ] meter to test the effectiveness of the filter.  If you decide to start purchasing RO or DI water from the store (instead of getting a filter), I would still suggest picking up a TDS meter.  Some water processors add minerals back for flavor.  A TDS meter will allow you to make sure you’re getting what you want.cln_img_1275Back of the package and instructions.cln_img_1286Front with cap removedcln_img_1279A look a the back of the TDS MeterResults!  I took a water sample using my Anchor Hocking 5-Ounce Measuring Glass.  The reading was… 0 PPM.Filling these glass jugs with DI Water.  I also have a number of 7 Gallon Aqua-Tainer Drinking Water Containers that I can use to collect brewing water.

Conclusions

This is an easy one… I can tell you empirically (because of the meter) that this filter works really well.  It took my hard tap water down to 0 PPM.  It’s easy to use and.  I really like that it can be hooked up as needed.  Along using this water for brewing and drinking water you can also use it mix up Star San and resolve issues related to cloudy Star San [See: Testing Star San Effectiveness].

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Aquatic Life RO Buddie Reverse Osmosis Systems – note that multiple variations of this product may be available, as such a different version may appear at this link

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Make sure the components you use are compatible and rated for your intended application.  Contact manufacturer with questions about suitability or a specific application.  Always read and follow manufacturer directions.

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