Chlorine/Chloramine

Mashing, fly sparging, batch sparging, dry hopping, late additions. Have an idea you want to bounce or stop by and share your experiences here.

Do you treat your water for chlorine/chloramine removal??

Yes, with campden tablets
4
20%
Yes, by other methods
14
70%
No
2
10%
 
Total votes : 20

Chlorine/Chloramine

Postby bwarbiany on Thu Aug 25, 2011 2:31 pm

Brewing is about process, and as I progress, I'm trying to nail down ever-smaller bits of the process as I go. Today I just use OC tap water for all of my brewing needs, but ever since I got my water report in the mail, I've wanted to consider adjustments.

One that I've never done is campden tablets for chloramine removal. According to my water report, they use chloramine to treat the water, with a residual 2.08 ppm concentration of chlorine according to their tests.

I've got a poll here, but for those of you who do treat your water for chlorine/chloramine, please post if you had any noticeable difference in beer quality after you started treating it.

I think I'll give it a shot on the next few brews and see how it works for me as well.
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Re: Chlorine/Chloramine

Postby brahn on Thu Aug 25, 2011 4:41 pm

I've basically always used campden, so I can't really comment on before/after. I'm still on my first bottle of campden tabs too!
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Re: Chlorine/Chloramine

Postby DrDually on Thu Aug 25, 2011 5:13 pm

I have not used Camden tabs but may do so in future. The only water treatment I use is a carbon block filter.
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Re: Chlorine/Chloramine

Postby dhempy on Thu Aug 25, 2011 11:46 pm

Have a Life Source installed here at the house ... huge carbon filter and removes all chlorine. I've always brewed with it so I don't know any different.

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Re: Chlorine/Chloramine

Postby ScottK on Fri Aug 26, 2011 7:38 am

I've had an off-flavor issue recently and my recent hypothesis is chlorine/chloramine in my water. Based on my water report (Suburban Water Systems) it is very plausible. Thanks to advice from Brent, I treated the water of my last brew with Campden tablets. Initial tastes from the primary do not have the metallic off-flavor noticeable in the previously brewed batch. I will be kegging today, so I'll update to see if there was a difference.
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Re: Chlorine/Chloramine

Postby bwarbiany on Fri Aug 26, 2011 7:45 am

Wow... 8 votes and there's *nobody* who [like me] doesn't treat their water... I'd call that an endorsement.

I guess it's time to try some campden for my next batch.

Thanks!
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Re: Chlorine/Chloramine

Postby Marotte Brewery on Fri Aug 26, 2011 10:35 am

I do "treat" my water, but not chemically. I use my spray adaptor on my hose to create tho most air contact with my brewing liquor as possible. Most of the chlorine will evaporate (you will notice this by smell, if you can smell chlorine, it means it is no longer in your water). This is the same reason you have a screen on your faucets at home.
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Re: Chlorine/Chloramine

Postby bwarbiany on Fri Aug 26, 2011 10:55 am

Marotte Brewery wrote:I do "treat" my water, but not chemically. I use my spray adaptor on my hose to create tho most air contact with my brewing liquor as possible. Most of the chlorine will evaporate (you will notice this by smell, if you can smell chlorine, it means it is no longer in your water). This is the same reason you have a screen on your faucets at home.


From the research I've done, water treated with chloramine is a lot harder to get rid of than chlorine. Chlorine evaporates very easily, and boils off VERY easily. Chloramine takes MUCH longer if you rely on evaporation [or boiling], which is why a lot of municipalities are going to it.

For chloramine, they say the campden is the best. And my water report [Moulton Niguel Water District] explicitly stated they use chloramine as the disinfectant.
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Re: Chlorine/Chloramine

Postby BrewMasterBrad on Mon Aug 29, 2011 9:09 am

A good carbon filter will remove chloramine at the correct flow rate. I have always used a carbon filter and I change it out every year. I have never had any issues with off flavors caused by chorine or chloramine.
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Re: Chlorine/Chloramine

Postby bwarbiany on Thu Sep 29, 2011 9:34 am

I bought these at O'Shea:

http://shop.brewcraftusa.com/P-420-A-1/ ... -+25%2fpkg

My mash/sparge water works out to roughly 20 gallons, so I added one tablet (cut into proper proportions and then crushed with mortar & pestle) between the strike & HLT water as it was heating up.

To me, it didn't seem to dissolve very readily. Even with stirring, I seemed to note particulate matter that would rise to the surface of the liquid and didn't seem to want to go away.

Is this normal?
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Re: Chlorine/Chloramine

Postby brahn on Thu Sep 29, 2011 10:21 am

I typically just crush mine with the back of a spoon, stir it in and let it sit overnight. I've also done it on brewday and just given it a few minutes. I've noticed that it may not all dissolve immediately, but it's usually all gone after a few minutes. I wouldn't worry too much about a little particulate matter though.

The campden tabs I have are potassium metabisulfite. I can't tell if those are sodium metabisulfite or not, maybe there's a different in how the two dissolve? I wouldn't think so, but it's the only difference I can think of.
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Re: Chlorine/Chloramine

Postby gregglip on Mon Oct 10, 2011 2:58 pm

i don't mash - just mini mashes. so i boil6 gallons for about 1 hour the day before. can't smell any chorine by then
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Re: Chlorine/Chloramine

Postby lexuschris on Wed Jan 02, 2013 12:20 am

I've been using a couple of the EZ water adjustments spreadsheet out there over the past year or so, but I was curious how to account for carbon filtered water on the base water profile?

My water report from Ward's had my 'Chloride' rating at 54 ppm. So, if I filter my water with a hard carbon filter, do I just zero out that field?

Also, in terms of watching your Chloride/Sulfate ratio, that could throw a zero into it and make that kinda useless. The spreadsheets seem to say, "Having som Chlorides are good..."

Thoughts?
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p.s. I've never used Cambden tablets, but am wondering if I should. Bwarbiany, did you like the results?
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Re: Chlorine/Chloramine

Postby bwarbiany on Wed Jan 02, 2013 2:08 pm

lexuschris wrote:p.s. I've never used Cambden tablets, but am wondering if I should. Bwarbiany, did you like the results?


I dunno... I like my beer. I haven't done a side-by-side batch of using vs. not using the tablets, so I can't say I see an markedly identifiable improvement in the beer. And I don't intend to do a side-by-side, as the knowledge that I'd be deliberately making beer I expect to be inferior goes seriously against my grain, even for science purposes!

That said, chloride (the Cl- ion of the chlorine atom) is good for brewing. Chlorine (2Cl) and Chloramine (H2NCl) molecules are not. So the idea is to break down the molecules into chloride ions. So your water report might show that you have chloride (beneficial) rather than chlorine/chloromine (negative). Either way, I'd check with your city water supplier and find out whether they treat the water with either one, because it's pretty likely they do.

A good paper on the subject if you want to dig deep is here:

http://hbd.org/ajdelange/Brewing_articl ... lorine.pdf

But the key (if you read that paper) is page 17, a table showing the half life of chlorine and chloramine given various mitigation strategies is shown.

Synthetically prepared water showed a halflife of 26+ hours for chlorine when left sitting undisturbed and 83+ hours for chloramine. Fairfax, VA water (their other sample) showed 8 hrs and 13 hours, respectively for one sample, and 41 and 155 hours respectively from a different water plant which more heavily treats the water. So I don't think merely leaving your water out overnight is a viable strategy for reducing either chlorine or chloramine.

Boiling shows a half-life of <2 min for chlorine and ~25 minutes for chloramine in the synthetic sample. Fairfax water showed roughly immediate for chlorine and between 6-11 minutes half-life for chloramine (the slope of the line seemed to change during their boil experiment, getting steeper as the boil progressed). So boiling for 1-2 hours might reduce both chlorine and chloramine to very low levels.

Filtration helped, a single pass through the filter (synthetic water preparation) knocked out 90+% of chlorine and 80+% of chloramine. So if you want to avoid campden, filtration followed by a short-med boil should pretty well take care of the issue.

Campden tablets show a half-life of <1 min for either chlorine or chloramine, so it's feasible to just crush these up into strike/sparge water and by the time the water is hot enough to use, you've solved the problem.

I've seen no evidence that campden tablets are bad for the water used in brewing, and I *know* from my city water report that they use chloramine, which is the hard one to remove. So I take the safe route and just cut a tablet in half, use half for my mash water and half for my sparge water, and it's all good. And I get the added benefit of having something for Wyatt to do (use the mortar & pestle to grind up the tablet :lol: )...
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Re: Chlorine/Chloramine

Postby 3rdto1st on Wed Jan 02, 2013 3:06 pm

I have no empirical data, but my normal water is pretty white, and according to my water report has a fair amount of both Chlorine/Chloramine. I only used unfiltered water for one brew and it was my first. The beer came out really astringent, not sure whether that was the chemicals or my process, but I bought a carbon block filter after that and have not had an astringency problem since. If nothing else, it's visually pleasing to know that white water isn't going in to my brew.
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