Today I began the pastrami making process and I'm really excited. However, after all the work of getting the brine ready and getting the brisket in the container and putting it in my fridge...an article I just read kinda scared me a bit. Article said 2 things - you must thoroughly rinse the meat to remove all "surface flora" before brining. Also said to only use distilled water for a brine because city water has microbials and bacteria that can lead to deadly food borne illnesses. Here is the exact quote from amazingribs.com about "scrubbing meat"... You also need to scrub the meat. Normally we tell you that washing meat is not necessary and even risky because you can create invisible aerosols of bacteria in the washing process and the contaminents get all over the sink, faucet, dish drain, and counter surfaces. It is unnecessary because you are about to cook the chicken and the high heat will pasteurize it immediately. But when you are curing meat, you are submerging it in water for days, so you want to get off as much of the flora on the surface as possible. You'll never get it all, but get as much as you can. So, my beautiful work is in the fridge but..... thoughts anyone?