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General Category => General Homebrew Discussion => Topic started by: Slackjawls on November 06, 2018, 07:22:31 PM

Title: Campden tablets and mineral profile and is it necessary at all
Post by: Slackjawls on November 06, 2018, 07:22:31 PM
My tap water is treated with chlorine.  You can smell it and taste it but it is a moderately low level.  I treat my brewing water with campden tablets.  Is there any impact from the campden tablets on my brewing water chemistry that I need to consider?  I use Bru'n water v5.5 to build my water profiles and I don't see any comment or info. on the effects of adding potassium metabisulfite to my water.

An interesting side note:  I have talked to several professional brewers in my town and they all say they do nothing to treat for the chlorine in the water.  No pre-boiling, no filtering, and no chemical treatment.  Which begs the question, "Is it really necessary to treat for chlorine at all?"
Title: Re: Campden tablets and mineral profile and is it necessary at all
Post by: dmtaylor on November 06, 2018, 07:38:11 PM
Removal of chlorine is very important to prevent the off-flavor known as chlorophenol, which tastes like Band-Aids or disinfectant -- very nasty when it happens, and it's happened to me and to millions of others.  And it's so easy to prevent.

I recently heard that this small dose of Campden will reduce pH by about 0.02 and will increase sulfate by just 4 ppm or something in that ballpark, which in both cases is truly negligible and can safely be ignored.
Title: Re: Campden tablets and mineral profile and is it necessary at all
Post by: a10t2 on November 06, 2018, 07:44:56 PM
If it's chlorine (as opposed to a chloramine) then it can be treated with Campden, but can also be off-gassed simply by heating the water up to strike temperatures.

Like Dave said, the impact of the Campden at proper dosing rates (each tablet treats 20 gal) is negligible.
Title: Re: Campden tablets and mineral profile and is it necessary at all
Post by: RC on November 06, 2018, 08:00:03 PM
If it's chlorine (as opposed to a chloramine) then it can be treated with Campden, but can also be off-gassed simply by heating the water up to strike temperatures.


Yup, the reason the pro brewers in your town can get away with not worrying much about chlorine in their source water is because the chlorine will gas off in the mash and boil. What's one of the ways to rid water of chlorine? Boil it. What do we do with wort? Boil it. And they probably have their brewing water sitting in a vented HLT at ~180 degrees. So there's not much to worry about with chlorine in brewing water (although, out of prudence, my brewing water always goes through a carbon filter first...)

Chloramines are different, they don't boil off. Chloramines could be the source of chlorophenol in a beer, but so too could be infection by wild yeast.
Title: Re: Campden tablets and mineral profile and is it necessary at all
Post by: denny on November 06, 2018, 08:48:44 PM
If it's chlorine (as opposed to a chloramine) then it can be treated with Campden, but can also be off-gassed simply by heating the water up to strike temperatures.


Yup, the reason the pro brewers in your town can get away with not worrying much about chlorine in their source water is because the chlorine will gas off in the mash and boil. What's one of the ways to rid water of chlorine? Boil it. What do we do with wort? Boil it. And they probably have their brewing water sitting in a vented HLT at ~180 degrees. So there's not much to worry about with chlorine in brewing water (although, out of prudence, my brewing water always goes through a carbon filter first...)

Chloramines are different, they don't boil off. Chloramines could be the source of chlorophenol in a beer, but so too could be infection by wild yeast.

The problem is that by the mash and boil, the chlorophenols have already formed.
Title: Re: Campden tablets and mineral profile and is it necessary at all
Post by: dmtaylor on November 06, 2018, 08:48:49 PM
Yup, the reason the pro brewers in your town can get away with not worrying much about chlorine in their source water is because the chlorine will gas off in the mash and boil. What's one of the ways to rid water of chlorine? Boil it. What do we do with wort? Boil it. And they probably have their brewing water sitting in a vented HLT at ~180 degrees. So there's not much to worry about with chlorine in brewing water (although, out of prudence, my brewing water always goes through a carbon filter first...)

Respectfully, I must inform you that you misunderstand... Chlorine is highly reactive and MUST be removed PRIOR to coming into contact with the grist in the mash.  Grains contain phenolic compounds, and in presence of chlorine produce the chlorophenols fairly quickly.  So it's important to get the chlorine out of the water prior to combining with the grains.  After the reaction of chlorine and phenol has occurred, it's too late and you won't be able to get it all out during the mash and boil.  Chlorophenol is volatile, but unfortunately not volatile enough to get rid of all of it in the mash and boil.
Title: Re: Campden tablets and mineral profile and is it necessary at all
Post by: RC on November 07, 2018, 02:42:12 AM
Yup, the reason the pro brewers in your town can get away with not worrying much about chlorine in their source water is because the chlorine will gas off in the mash and boil. What's one of the ways to rid water of chlorine? Boil it. What do we do with wort? Boil it. And they probably have their brewing water sitting in a vented HLT at ~180 degrees. So there's not much to worry about with chlorine in brewing water (although, out of prudence, my brewing water always goes through a carbon filter first...)

Respectfully, I must inform you that you misunderstand... Chlorine is highly reactive and MUST be removed PRIOR to coming into contact with the grist in the mash.  Grains contain phenolic compounds, and in presence of chlorine produce the chlorophenols fairly quickly.  So it's important to get the chlorine out of the water prior to combining with the grains.  After the reaction of chlorine and phenol has occurred, it's too late and you won't be able to get it all out during the mash and boil.  Chlorophenol is volatile, but unfortunately not volatile enough to get rid of all of it in the mash and boil.

I’m not arguing against the brewing chemistry written in textbooks. But I wish someone could explain this to me: Where I used to work, due to a (temporary) lack of QC we brewed three beers using unfiltered, chlorinated municipal tap water, not being aware that the carbon filter was broken. Not the faintest hint of chlorophenols in the finished beers. I infer that the pro brewers mentioned in the original post have had the same experience.

Perhaps all the chlorine gassed off due to the temp of the mash, perhaps there weren’t many phenols available to react because the mash pH was in the proper range, perhaps polyphenols formed but precipitated out, yada yada yada. Point is, from what I've seen, and apparently also the pro brewers mentioned in the original post, chlorine in brewing water has not led to chlorophenols in the finished beer, even though the textbooks say it should. I honestly have no idea why. YMMV of course.
Title: Re: Campden tablets and mineral profile and is it necessary at all
Post by: dmtaylor on November 07, 2018, 04:41:40 AM
That is called "luck".  I too was lucky for the first dozen or two batches.... until the one batch when I was unlucky and it was Band-Aid crazy and I had to research to find out how to prevent it.
Title: Re: Campden tablets and mineral profile and is it necessary at all
Post by: RC on November 07, 2018, 06:07:44 AM
That is called "luck".  I too was lucky for the first dozen or two batches.... until the one batch when I was unlucky and it was Band-Aid crazy and I had to research to find out how to prevent it.

It seems exceedingly unlikely you would have gotten chlorophenol-free batches that many times simply as a matter of chance. Once or twice maybe, but a dozen or two batches? If I had that string of luck, I would quickly convince myself that luck had nothing to do with it.

The alternative? Perhaps there's more (or less) to the chemistry of chlorine-phenol interactions on the hot side than what we've all learned in the textbooks, and that the one batch of yours that had chlorophenols was probably infected.

I'm not arguing that these reactions don't occur. I'm merely stating the fact that, in a lot of brews, using unfiltered, chlorinated water has NOT resulted in chlorophenols in the finished beer. This has been my experience a few times, it has apparently been your experience a couple dozen times, it has been Brulosophy's experience at least twice (short and shoddy brews), and it is the experience of the pro brewers mentioned in this post.

If chlorine in brewing water is such a boogieman, these observations make no sense, especially given chlorophenol's extremely low taste threshold (~5 ppb, even less than diacetyl). Thus, it's within the realm of possibility to my pea-brain that our knowledge about these reactions is incomplete and/or not entirely accurate. (Of course, the same could be said about much of practical brewing chemistry.)

I'm talking only chlorine on the hot side. None of this applies to chloramines or to residual chlorine/bleach sanitizer left in a fermenter. I will also report that the tap water where I used to work had a level of chlorine in it that was tastable but very light. So it could be a matter of chlorine level vs. simply presence/absence.
Title: Re: Campden tablets and mineral profile and is it necessary at all
Post by: dmtaylor on November 07, 2018, 01:10:19 PM
I had a friend at the time who worked for the municipal water department.  He said this is possible because in spring and fall they have to chlorinate more due to weather effects in the lake (I live on the big Lake Michigan which is our water source).  The beer I had with chlorophenol was brewed in like March or October.  Bingo.
Title: Re: Campden tablets and mineral profile and is it necessary at all
Post by: leejoreilly on November 07, 2018, 02:16:26 PM
That is called "luck".  I too was lucky for the first dozen or two batches.... until the one batch when I was unlucky and it was Band-Aid crazy and I had to research to find out how to prevent it.

Those of us who are plagued with a engineering mind recognize "luck" as "probability in action", and I believe there's a lot of it in brewing. Just about every step in the process has some small chance of resulting in failure, and good (successful?) brewers do their best to minimize the worst of those chances.

There's some probability, say, of me getting away with poor sanitation procedures, and still producing pretty good beer. Until I hit that bad result, I can blithely claim that "Sanitation doesn't mean squat - I never clean my fermenter, and I haven't gotten an infection yet!" Of course, "yet" is the operable term - it's really only a matter of time until I do get an infection that exceeds my threshold of perception.

Same idea with stuff like adding campden tabs; assuming my water has chloramines (it does, by the way), I MIGHT be able to get away with not treating it for some number of batches before "luck" bites me on the butt. But bite me it will, eventually. This goes for lots of our brewing processes - water treatment, mash temp control, fermentation control, etc. You can certainly ignore the probabilities involved with sub-optimal procedures, but eventually you'll get bitten.

Some of the probabilities of failure are pretty big, and some are relatively tiny. And the solutions can range from dead simple easy, like adding a campden tab, to much more complex, like minimizing oxygen issues. Every brewer decides for him/herself which to address and which to ignore.
Title: Re: Campden tablets and mineral profile and is it necessary at all
Post by: a10t2 on November 07, 2018, 05:16:47 PM
I’m not arguing against the brewing chemistry written in textbooks. But I wish someone could explain this to me: Where I used to work, due to a (temporary) lack of QC we brewed three beers using unfiltered, chlorinated municipal tap water, not being aware that the carbon filter was broken. Not the faintest hint of chlorophenols in the finished beers. I infer that the pro brewers mentioned in the original post have had the same experience.

I'm wondering if there's still some chlorine/chloramine confusion going on in this thread. If the water supply uses chlorine *only*, then it will be driven off simply by heating to strike temperature (>70°C). As long as you aren't cold sparging the chlorinated water would never come into contact with the grain in the first place.
Title: Re: Campden tablets and mineral profile and is it necessary at all
Post by: RC on November 07, 2018, 07:09:56 PM
I'm wondering if there's still some chlorine/chloramine confusion going on in this thread. If the water supply uses chlorine *only*, then it will be driven off simply by heating to strike temperature (>70°C). As long as you aren't cold sparging the chlorinated water would never come into contact with the grain in the first place.

This would explain the observations, but even so I didn't know chlorine gassed off that quickly--it doesn't take long to heat up 5 gal of 75-degree water to 165.

So, then, is the concern about using chlorinated tap water in brewing highly overblown? (Within reason, I mean. Perhaps there are times when chlorine levels are too high to gas off fully within the heating time, as Dave's experience suggests.)

Anyway, I'll test chlorine levels in straight-from-the-tap water before and after heating, using drinking-water chlorine test strips (it's the best I can do, plus it's good enough for me). The chlorine in my city's tap water varies between 1.0 and 1.1 ppm. It should go to zero after heating, right? If this happens, then I could simply use a test strip on my hose water, and if it reads below ~1ppm, skip the filtering!
Title: Re: Campden tablets and mineral profile and is it necessary at all
Post by: ynotbrusum on November 07, 2018, 07:53:25 PM
I have tasted some Chicago homebrew where it could have used an extended time at strike temp, as the residual chlorine had not fully dissipated (it was at a barely perceptible level, but noticeable in a blond ale).  Now I routinely just suggest to new homebrewers a Campden tablet per 20 gallons of brewing water as insurance against chlorophenols.

Since I am on a well and run all of my brewing water through an RO system, I tend to overlook this chlorine issue when providing a recipe to new brewers, but it is just as important as fermentation temp control!
Title: Re: Campden tablets and mineral profile and is it necessary at all
Post by: Robert on November 07, 2018, 08:53:47 PM
I'm wondering if there's still some chlorine/chloramine confusion going on in this thread. If the water supply uses chlorine *only*, then it will be driven off simply by heating to strike temperature (>70°C). As long as you aren't cold sparging the chlorinated water would never come into contact with the grain in the first place.

This would explain the observations, but even so I didn't know chlorine gassed off that quickly--it doesn't take long to heat up 5 gal of 75-degree water to 165.

So, then, is the concern about using chlorinated tap water in brewing highly overblown? (Within reason, I mean. Perhaps there are times when chlorine levels are too high to gas off fully within the heating time, as Dave's experience suggests.)

Anyway, I'll test chlorine levels in straight-from-the-tap water before and after heating, using drinking-water chlorine test strips (it's the best I can do, plus it's good enough for me). The chlorine in my city's tap water varies between 1.0 and 1.1 ppm. It should go to zero after heating, right? If this happens, then I could simply use a test strip on my hose water, and if it reads below ~1ppm, skip the filtering!
Chlorine will even gas off at room temperature if left uncovered long enough.  RC, while you're doing tests, how about adding an overnight cold stand for comparison?

One thing I'll add as a general caveat is that we don't necessarily know for sure what the water utility is doing.  Even where chlorine is the standard treatment,  they may resort to chloramine in occasional extraordinary circumstances.  Better safe than sorry.
Title: Re: Campden tablets and mineral profile and is it necessary at all
Post by: RC on November 07, 2018, 09:03:54 PM

RC, while you're doing tests, how about adding an overnight cold stand for comparison?


Will do, Robert. And good point about utilities possibly switching up chemicals...
Title: Re: Campden tablets and mineral profile and is it necessary at all
Post by: denny on November 07, 2018, 09:29:12 PM

RC, while you're doing tests, how about adding an overnight cold stand for comparison?


Will do, Robert. And good point about utilities possibly switching up chemicals...

Or even just spiking the chlorine level during warmer months.
Title: Re: Campden tablets and mineral profile and is it necessary at all
Post by: Hooper on November 08, 2018, 10:30:18 PM
First time in my 6 years brewing I forgot to add the campden tablets. Using carbon filtered Denver water cut with distilled. My Saison smells like a swimming pool and I will be dumping the keg. I realized I forgot after mash in and used campden in the sparge water but it was obviously too late...Another lesson learned the hard way.
Title: Re: Campden tablets and mineral profile and is it necessary at all
Post by: BrewBama on November 09, 2018, 12:53:07 AM
No way to save it post ferment?  I mean you’re already at zero. Try to save it somehow.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: Campden tablets and mineral profile and is it necessary at all
Post by: dmtaylor on November 09, 2018, 01:44:35 AM
Chlorophenol cannot be reversed or "saved".  If that's what it is, it's no good IMO.
Title: Re: Campden tablets and mineral profile and is it necessary at all
Post by: Hooper on November 09, 2018, 11:42:43 AM
I tasted it right away from the hydrometer jar. So...I stuck my head into the mostly empty bucket I'd just kegged from. Wow...That up the nose no doubt chlorine smell. Hard to believe it could get that bad when I carbon filtered...
Title: Re: Campden tablets and mineral profile and is it necessary at all
Post by: RC on November 09, 2018, 09:19:14 PM
I'll test chlorine levels in straight-from-the-tap water...

Results are in, view link below. I put on my actual scientist hat for this one because 1) I was extremely curious about this issue, and 2) I am surprised by the results.

In case you don't want to read the write up, the punchline is that yes, heating to strike temp does remove all the chlorine. An overnight stand does not.

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1iFBPqylPhfZVf4LzhtpuV8eNPHnWn1ipM5_Wp3s6PuI/edit?usp=sharing
Title: Re: Campden tablets and mineral profile and is it necessary at all
Post by: Robert on November 09, 2018, 10:16:36 PM
Cool!  Nice work.
Title: Re: Campden tablets and mineral profile and is it necessary at all
Post by: Joe Sr. on November 09, 2018, 10:47:02 PM
I had a friend at the time who worked for the municipal water department.  He said this is possible because in spring and fall they have to chlorinate more due to weather effects in the lake (I live on the big Lake Michigan which is our water source).  The beer I had with chlorophenol was brewed in like March or October.  Bingo.

"Weather effects" = too much rain and they dumped raw sewage into the lake.  Much of the summer, the beaches are closed because of too much ecoli.  Good times.

I rarely use campden and have not had a problem with Chicago water.  I do filter it and maybe the heating to strike temp drives off whatever is left.

Campden is cheap insurance though.  Probably should use it more often.
Title: Re: Campden tablets and mineral profile and is it necessary at all
Post by: dmtaylor on November 09, 2018, 11:34:19 PM
Results are in, view link below. I put on my actual scientist hat for this one because 1) I was extremely curious about this issue, and 2) I am surprised by the results.

In case you don't want to read the write up, the punchline is that yes, heating to strike temp does remove all the chlorine. An overnight stand does not.

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1iFBPqylPhfZVf4LzhtpuV8eNPHnWn1ipM5_Wp3s6PuI/edit?usp=sharing

Interesting.  Thank you for sharing.  Well done.
Title: Re: Campden tablets and mineral profile and is it necessary at all
Post by: mabrungard on November 10, 2018, 03:08:48 AM
Hard to believe it could get that bad when I carbon filtered...

What was the flow rate through that carbon filter? If it was greater than 1 gal/min, the chlorine passed right through.

To give you an idea of how slow the flow needs to be, putting a plug with a 1/16" hole in the water line on the carbon filter will reduce the flow rate to about 1 gal/min under typical water pressure.

If the water has any chloramines, then the carbon filter is useless unless the flow rate is under 1/10 gal/min.
Title: Re: Campden tablets and mineral profile and is it necessary at all
Post by: KYT on February 16, 2019, 04:17:07 PM
What was the flow rate through that carbon filter? If it was greater than 1 gal/min, the chlorine passed right through.

To give you an idea of how slow the flow needs to be, putting a plug with a 1/16" hole in the water line on the carbon filter will reduce the flow rate to about 1 gal/min under typical water pressure.

If the water has any chloramines, then the carbon filter is useless unless the flow rate is under 1/10 gal/min.

How does the size of the filter, and type of media affect this flow rate?
I just installed a 12"x52" Vortech tank with 2.0 cu-ft of catalytic carbon. They say 5gpm would result in excellent reduction of chloramine. The faucet doesn't flow that fast though.
What flow rate should I run this at for brewing water?
Is the 0.1gpm recommendation for typical 10" or 20" block filters?

http://www.purewaterproducts.com/products/bw703
Title: Re: Campden tablets and mineral profile and is it necessary at all
Post by: mabrungard on February 16, 2019, 06:03:27 PM

How does the size of the filter, and type of media affect this flow rate?


The size of the filter affects flow rate as presented in the following equation: The volume of MEDIA (cubic feet) in the filter unit divided by the flow rate (cubic feet per minute), is known as the Empty Bed Contact Time (minutes). To effectively remove chlorine (aka: hypochlorite), the contact time needs to be at least 2/3 minute. To effectively remove any of the chloramine compounds, the contact time needs to be at least 6 minutes. For the typical 10-inch carbon filter unit, that equates to needing the 1 and 0.1 gpm flow rates that I mentioned above. For the big carbon tank that you mention, that flow rate can be assessed by reconfiguring the formula above. Its obviously a much higher flow rate.

Loose or granular activated carbon (GAC) is less dense than the more modern carbon blocks that are now available to consumers for the 10- and 20-inch filter canisters. Therefore, carbon blocks are now preferred over GAC filters.
Title: Re: Campden tablets and mineral profile and is it necessary at all
Post by: KYT on February 16, 2019, 06:56:38 PM
The size of the filter affects flow rate as presented in the following equation: The volume of MEDIA (cubic feet) in the filter unit divided by the flow rate (cubic feet per minute), is known as the Empty Bed Contact Time (minutes). To effectively remove chlorine (aka: hypochlorite), the contact time needs to be at least 2/3 minute. To effectively remove any of the chloramine compounds, the contact time needs to be at least 6 minutes. For the typical 10-inch carbon filter unit, that equates to needing the 1 and 0.1 gpm flow rates that I mentioned above. For the big carbon tank that you mention, that flow rate can be assessed by reconfiguring the formula above. Its obviously a much higher flow rate.

Loose or granular activated carbon (GAC) is less dense than the more modern carbon blocks that are now available to consumers for the 10- and 20-inch filter canisters. Therefore, carbon blocks are now preferred over GAC filters.

Media volume/flow rate=contact time
2.0 / flow rate = 6 minutes
flow rate = 12 minutes minimum

My tank head says it has a restrictor installed for 10gpm max flow rate. If I use a 5gpm laminar restrictor at the kettle, would it be safe to assume enough/all chloramine is effectively reduced below the chlorophenol danger zone?
Title: Re: Campden tablets and mineral profile and is it necessary at all
Post by: mabrungard on February 16, 2019, 07:07:01 PM
Nope.

2 cu ft is about 15 gallons.

15gal / 6 min is 2.5 gpm  If the flow is restricted to 2.5 gpm, then you should remove all chloramines.  For all others on this post, recognize that 2 cubic feet of activated carbon is A LOT.
Title: Re: Campden tablets and mineral profile and is it necessary at all
Post by: Robert on February 17, 2019, 04:10:36 AM
Martin,

Thanks for the explanation here, and the formula for contact time.  But I realize there may be something missing.   What about the life of the carbon block filter?  How does time in service affect its capacity to remove  chlorine/ chloramine?  I use a 10" Pentek EP-10 cartridge which is installed in line on the cold side of my kitchen supply, so running all my cooking and beverage water as well as water for brewing purposes (including immersion chiller,  maybe my biggest single requirement!)  I generally replace it every 3 months as a matter of course.   Will my required contact time change over time?
Title: Re: Campden tablets and mineral profile and is it necessary at all
Post by: mabrungard on February 17, 2019, 04:05:51 PM
Rob, I hoping that you're monitoring the residual total chlorine in your filtered water in order to help you assess when the carbon cartridge is exhausted. That's the way we do it for our industrial clients. It's so important that there are automated monitoring equipment that constantly test that the filtered water chlorine compound concentrations are below limit. Of course that's unreasonable for a homeowner, but you can perform occassional tests with a simple swimming pool test kit to confirm if and when there is chlorine breakthrough.

I use those EP-10 carbon filters in my RO system also and they are good. They are carbon block style and they do last. The treatment mechanism between activated carbon and chlorine compounds does 'consume' the carbon material. Eventually, the carbon will be used up and it must be replaced. The Pentek site does state that this filter will remove the FREE chlorine in up to 6000 gallons of water at 1 gpm. Be aware that FREE means chlorine or hypochlorite. It specifically excludes the BOUND chlorine species such as chloramines. If your water supply has chloramines, then the 1 gpm criteria goes out the door. Then to get the desired chloramine removal, the flow rate has to be reduced to under 0.1 gpm. But the amount of water that the filter can treat should still remain consistent (6000 gal).

Understand that filter and system providers are going to provide conservative estimates of capacity and performance in this case since it means that they are going to sell more filter replacements. If you're interested in maximizing your dollars, you'll be testing and monitoring the performance of your system to assess when you really need to perform those replacements.
Title: Re: Campden tablets and mineral profile and is it necessary at all
Post by: Robert on February 17, 2019, 04:09:56 PM
Rob, I hoping that you're monitoring the residual total chlorine in your filtered water in order to help you assess when the carbon cartridge is exhausted. That's the way we do it for our industrial clients. It's so important that there are automated monitoring equipment that constantly test that the filtered water chlorine compound concentrations are below limit. Of course that's unreasonable for a homeowner, but you can perform occassional tests with a simple swimming pool test kit to confirm if and when there is chlorine breakthrough.

I use those EP-10 carbon filters in my RO system also and they are good. They are carbon block style and they do last. The treatment mechanism between activated carbon and chlorine compounds does 'consume' the carbon material. Eventually, the carbon will be used up and it must be replaced. The Pentek site does state that this filter will remove the FREE chlorine in up to 6000 gallons of water at 1 gpm. Be aware that FREE means chlorine or hypochlorite. It specifically excludes the BOUND chlorine species such as chloramines. If your water supply has chloramines, then the 1 gpm criteria goes out the door. Then to get the desired chloramine removal, the flow rate has to be reduced to under 0.1 gpm. But the amount of water that the filter can treat should still remain consistent (6000 gal).

Understand that filter and system providers are going to provide conservative estimates of capacity and performance in this case since it means that they are going to sell more filter replacements. If you're interested in maximizing your dollars, you'll be testing and monitoring the performance of your system to assess when you really need to perform those replacements.
Thanks, I'll pick up a chlorine test kit and see if I can save money.  I've just been replacing them at a very conservative interval.
Title: Re: Campden tablets and mineral profile and is it necessary at all
Post by: mabrungard on February 17, 2019, 09:47:11 PM
The other thing that a Total Chlorine test kit can tell you, is if your flow rate is too high and full removal is not achieved (aka: chlorine breakthrough). 

Remember that a garden hose can easily deliver about 5 gpm. A sink faucet could also come close to that. In either case, the flowrate far exceeds the 1 gpm rate that a standard 10 inch filter can treat for chlorine compounds. Putting a restrictor with a 1/16-inch diameter hole on the line will bring the flowrate down around the 1 gpm rate.
Title: Re: Campden tablets and mineral profile and is it necessary at all
Post by: Robert on February 18, 2019, 12:55:46 AM
The other thing that a Total Chlorine test kit can tell you, is if your flow rate is too high and full removal is not achieved (aka: chlorine breakthrough). 

Remember that a garden hose can easily deliver about 5 gpm. A sink faucet could also come close to that. In either case, the flowrate far exceeds the 1 gpm rate that a standard 10 inch filter can treat for chlorine compounds. Putting a restrictor with a 1/16-inch diameter hole on the line will bring the flowrate down around the 1 gpm rate.
I ordered a total/free chlorine test kit from Hach.  Hope that's a good product.

Since you mentioned flow rate here on the forum some time ago, I've also been erring on the side of caution and throttling the faucet way back.  I'm running well below 1 gpm, probably more like a quart a minute.   It will be interesting to dial this in with actual measurement.   That said, I've never had a problem with chlorophenol anyway, even with less careful filtration.   
Title: Re: Campden tablets and mineral profile and is it necessary at all
Post by: KYT on February 18, 2019, 12:45:43 PM
Nope.

2 cu ft is about 15 gallons.

15gal / 6 min is 2.5 gpm  If the flow is restricted to 2.5 gpm, then you should remove all chloramines.  For all others on this post, recognize that 2 cubic feet of activated carbon is A LOT.

hmm.. OK
Does this rate apply only to regular activated carbon ?
I'm using Calgon Centaur Catalytic Carbon, it's claimed to have improved efficiency over regular GAC.
https://www.calgoncarbon.com/products/centaur/
Title: Re: Campden tablets and mineral profile and is it necessary at all
Post by: mabrungard on February 18, 2019, 06:41:59 PM
The enhanced carbon products do help with chloramine removal, but the throughput isn’t enhanced that much.
Title: Re: Campden tablets and mineral profile and is it necessary at all
Post by: KYT on February 18, 2019, 06:43:51 PM
The enhanced carbon products do help with chloramine removal, but the throughput isn’t enhanced that much.

I understand. Thank you, sir
Title: Re: Campden tablets and mineral profile and is it necessary at all
Post by: Robert on February 19, 2019, 01:52:14 AM
The other thing that a Total Chlorine test kit can tell you, is if your flow rate is too high and full removal is not achieved (aka: chlorine breakthrough). 

Remember that a garden hose can easily deliver about 5 gpm. A sink faucet could also come close to that. In either case, the flowrate far exceeds the 1 gpm rate that a standard 10 inch filter can treat for chlorine compounds. Putting a restrictor with a 1/16-inch diameter hole on the line will bring the flowrate down around the 1 gpm rate.
I ordered a total/free chlorine test kit from Hach.  Hope that's a good product.

Since you mentioned flow rate here on the forum some time ago, I've also been erring on the side of caution and throttling the faucet way back.  I'm running well below 1 gpm, probably more like a quart a minute.   It will be interesting to dial this in with actual measurement.   That said, I've never had a problem with chlorophenol anyway, even with less careful filtration.
Ok, thought of another question or two.   I should have my test kit in time to either replace my filter or not before this weekend's brew.   I'm not sure what the resolution of the test is.  But:

While I realize our goal for total chlorine in brewing water is zero, is there an acceptable minimal level, say a hair above zero, that can be relied upon to gas off as the liquor is being heated?  Further, does it depend upon whether chlorine or chloramine is used?  AFAIK my city only uses chlorine (according to their public information) but is there a way to confirm  this based on the ratio of free to total chlorine?  (Apologies if I could have just looked this up in Palmer and Kaminski.  I'm lazy and anyway the answers may be of interest to others. )
Title: Re: Campden tablets and mineral profile and is it necessary at all
Post by: mabrungard on February 19, 2019, 03:14:57 AM
Do read the Water Knowledge page of the Bru'n Water website and you'll see the discussion of the incredibly low threshold for chlorophenol creation and perception. Virtually 100% removal is needed prior to brewing usage.
Title: Re: Campden tablets and mineral profile and is it necessary at all
Post by: Robert on February 19, 2019, 03:31:31 AM


Do read the Water Knowledge page of the Bru'n Water website and you'll see the discussion of the incredibly low threshold for chlorophenol creation and perception. Virtually 100% removal is needed prior to brewing usage.

Thanks.  What I've always assumed.   You know, whenever anybody else has a water question my first advice always is, "read the Water Knowledge page..."   Guess I'll keep following my own advice. 
Title: Re: Campden tablets and mineral profile and is it necessary at all
Post by: Robert on February 20, 2019, 07:37:23 PM
Rob, I hoping that you're monitoring the residual total chlorine in your filtered water in order to help you assess when the carbon cartridge is exhausted. That's the way we do it for our industrial clients. It's so important that there are automated monitoring equipment that constantly test that the filtered water chlorine compound concentrations are below limit. Of course that's unreasonable for a homeowner, but you can perform occassional tests with a simple swimming pool test kit to confirm if and when there is chlorine breakthrough.

I use those EP-10 carbon filters in my RO system also and they are good. They are carbon block style and they do last. The treatment mechanism between activated carbon and chlorine compounds does 'consume' the carbon material. Eventually, the carbon will be used up and it must be replaced. The Pentek site does state that this filter will remove the FREE chlorine in up to 6000 gallons of water at 1 gpm. Be aware that FREE means chlorine or hypochlorite. It specifically excludes the BOUND chlorine species such as chloramines. If your water supply has chloramines, then the 1 gpm criteria goes out the door. Then to get the desired chloramine removal, the flow rate has to be reduced to under 0.1 gpm. But the amount of water that the filter can treat should still remain consistent (6000 gal).

Understand that filter and system providers are going to provide conservative estimates of capacity and performance in this case since it means that they are going to sell more filter replacements. If you're interested in maximizing your dollars, you'll be testing and monitoring the performance of your system to assess when you really need to perform those replacements.
Thanks, I'll pick up a chlorine test kit and see if I can save money.  I've just been replacing them at a very conservative interval.
Just got my chlorine test kit.  I tested samples at the flow rate I actually use for running my brewing water,  about 0.5 gal/min.   Shows 0 ppm for both free and total chlorine.  My routine would have been to replace this filter at the beginning of March, same time as my furnace/air filter (just a good mnemonic.)  I guess I don't need to, just saved ~$14.  Will check again before each brew day, until I get an idea of what my filter life is and can test less often.  The cost of reagent will be more than made up for by just eliminating a few filter changes!  In fact, I only need to test total chlorine, right?
Title: Re: Campden tablets and mineral profile and is it necessary at all
Post by: KYT on February 20, 2019, 09:31:17 PM
Just got my chlorine test kit.  I tested samples at the flow rate I actually use for running my brewing water,  about 0.5 gal/min.   Shows 0 ppm for both free and total chlorine.  My routine would have been to replace this filter at the beginning of March, same time as my furnace/air filter (just a good mnemonic.)  I guess I don't need to, just saved ~$14.  Will check again before each brew day, until I get an idea of what my filter life is and can test less often.  The cost of reagent will be more than made up for by just eliminating a few filter changes!  In fact, I only need to test total chlorine, right?
From what I understand, total chlorine is all we really need to worry about. Anything other than 0 is not good.
Link for the test kit you're using? I need to get one too, so I know when I need to backwash my carbon tank.
Title: Re: Campden tablets and mineral profile and is it necessary at all
Post by: Robert on February 20, 2019, 09:42:45 PM
I got this one

Hach 223101 Chlorine (Free &... https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00N3ZCNEU?ref=ppx_pop_mob_ap_share

They probably have one for total only too, but the only difference will be whether or not it comes with both reagents (came with 50 sachets of each.)   I'll just test only for total chlorine and only repurchase that reagent.  It's well designed and easy to get a good read of the colorimeter. 
Title: Re: Campden tablets and mineral profile and is it necessary at all
Post by: KYT on February 21, 2019, 12:27:11 PM
Ah awesome thanks.
Is that kit able to read 0? The description is rather useless  ;D
Title: Re: Campden tablets and mineral profile and is it necessary at all
Post by: Robert on February 21, 2019, 12:57:31 PM
Ah awesome thanks.
Is that kit able to read 0? The description is rather useless  ;D
Yes.  You put two tubes in it.  One contains a straight sample, one the sample plus reagent.  You view both through little adjacent windows against good light, ideally sunlight.   The reason for the straight sample is so you are viewing light passing through equal amounts of water.  The straight sample has a color wheel in front of it.  You rotate until the colors in each window match, then read ppm in a third window.  The lowest reading is 0 ppm, then it goes up in increments of 0.2 to a maximum  of 3.4.  Viewed against diffuse sunlight it was very clear to read.  If I wasn't absolutely sure it was a match for 0, I'd change out my filter.
Title: Re: Campden tablets and mineral profile and is it necessary at all
Post by: KYT on February 22, 2019, 02:50:35 PM
Sounds like a winner to me
Title: Re: Campden tablets and mineral profile and is it necessary at all
Post by: Robert on February 22, 2019, 03:16:58 PM
And since this thread has Campden in the title....  With such a precise measure of chlorine, you could calculate the bare minimum of PMB or SMB needed to remove it, if that's the route you choose to take but you're concerned about adding extra minerals to your water.  Palmer and Kaminski's Water book gives the calculations.