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Adding minerals to distilled water

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  • David Jul 17, 2005 07:16 PM

I'm curious if anyone has ever tried to make distilled water drinkable by adding some type of mineral packet.

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  1. Distilled water isn't drinkable?

    7 Replies
    1. re: SuzyInChains

      It's perfectly safe to drink, but it's not really "palatable" which is what I assumed the OP meant. Distilled or even reverse-osmosis-purified water tastes totally flat and well, just "wet" -- it's actually kind of odd to drink, even if you're used to very soft tapwater.

      Since it's usually expensive to buy or distill, I can't imagine being in the position of actually needing/wanting to drink it, but if I found myself with large quantities of distilled water and no use for it other than drinking it, I'd probably just add back some tap water - exactly how much would depend on the natural mineral content of my regular water source.

      NYC water, which is only about 50 ppm total dissolved solids, tastes great minus the chlorine, if that's any guide to what you want to end up with.

      1. re: MikeG

        Thanks - the question is, what exactly would one add to get a nice tasting water and where would one get the minerals?

        The nice thing about distilled water is that you know it's ocmpletely free of bacteria/chemicals/etc - whereas many brands of bottled water are somewhat questionable.

        1. re: David

          Whatever you do, remember to aerate it. That will do more for taste than anything else. You might try adding a small amount of tap water for flavor.

          1. re: David

            You can get a product called ConcenTrace Trace Mineral Drops. They sell them at health food stores.

            1. re: David

              While in China I had the same problem with taste less water for tea.
              http://www.pocketmail.com/journal/?ca...

              I can't say that for distilled water this would help much, but for already filtered (via my trusted Multi Pure) NY tap water, the Muyu stone cups did wonders.

              Muyu (literally "wooden Fish") stones are from Shantong province in China. The stones were under the ocean 500 million years ago(if I'm understanding the Chinese info correctly). It contains over 10 various minerals. In china it was all the rage for a few years as people use it to drink tea and water, until unfortunately some people started use fake stones to manufacture copies, which made the consumers unable to trust the product...Anyway, I didn't know any of this when I bought mine in China. It's only now that I'm looking into the legend behind the stone. When I got mine, it was because I liked the dark purple/brownish stone. I hope mine are real...

              So, today I catch the filtered water with the tall stone cup before pouring it into the tea kettle to make tea.
              The result is a full spectrum taste. None of the tea leaves potential gets neglected or subdued.

              Maybe there is a stone with similar quality that you can find here?

              In any case, I agree with the other poster who mentioned the importance of aereating the water.

              I'm glad I read your post as it reminded me to experiment with my stone cups. And what's more, it has yielded some very good tasting tea!

              Good luck with your search.

              1. re: HLing

                I tried really hard to look for those "tea stones" or "fish stones". Apparently they only sell them in China and it's really hard to find one since they are often sold as fakes. The real ones are really expensive though

              2. re: David

                Where are you getting this distilled water? If you're buying it at the supermarket in plastic bottles, then it is guaranteed to be loaded with chemicals, and that's the nasty taste.

                But if you have a source of distilled water stored in glass, polycarbonate, or some other truly non-reactive material, your best bet for re-mineralizing the water that you have paid so dearly to demineralize is probably to go to your friendly local homebrew supply store. Get gypsum, maybe burton salts, some kosher salt or sea salt at the supermarket, maybe some epsom salts. Start with 1-4 tsp gypsum and 1/2 tsp salt per five gallons of water. Maybe a grain or two of epsom and / or burton salts. (These are proportions for bringing very soft water up to brewing levels of hardness.) Taste what happens. Don't forget to aereate.

                Or just buy a very good filter and save yourself the bother.

          2. I was wondering about this for a while after I watched an informercial for this evaporation distiller called aquavie. It came with these expensive mineral tablets. I was wondering if you could just find a comprehensive mineral supplement in a pharmacy or something and dissolve it in the water, or just add some high mineral salts to the water. The problem with the latter is that it might make the water too salty before it adds a significant amount of minerals back in the water. Also, I heard some suggestions a while back about adding some regular crushed rock salt to the batch, but I'm not sure how hygenic that is.

            I think adding back minerals not only has to do with taste, but dental health as well.

            1. For people who keep tropical fish and cichlids, there are some type of mineral packets or tablets you can buy. Sometimes tap water is really high in nitrates and other unwanted chemicals in a fish aquarium so they use reverse osmosis and need to add beneficial minerals back into the water. In this application, reverse osmosis is great because you can use the original water from the tank, purify it, and add it right back to the tank with the minerals. I have a friend who uses that for her cooking water but buys drinking water. When she moved to her area, her husband and 12 yr old (at the time) daughter started having kidney stones which were though to be related to their drinking water. They started using RO or buying water and now only if her daughter starts drinking a lot of local water, tea or other drinks made with the water, etc. she gets kidney stones again.

              I would certainly think they'd have something available for human consumption as well.

              1 Reply
              1. re: alliedawn_98

                This thread is old, but since I last posted, I started into the aquarium hobby and thought about the exact same thing you posted allie. Unfortunately reverse osmosis machines are really expensive, and I'm skeptical on whether those minerals provide the same taste and health benefits for humans as it does for fish, as fish might have totally different requirements.