Homebrewers Association | AHA Forum

General Category => General Homebrew Discussion => Topic started by: secretsquirrel on August 14, 2010, 04:56:58 PM

Title: De-chlorinate water
Post by: secretsquirrel on August 14, 2010, 04:56:58 PM
Hi everyone,
New to home brewing and I love it.  I've read a bit about how the chlorine in my city water system can taint or alter the flavor of the beer. does anyone have any suggestions on how to de-chlorinate the water (other than purchasing bottled water)? Are there filtration systems? I'm trying to make my beer as chemically free as possible.  Thanks!
Squirrel
Title: Re: De-chlorinate water
Post by: Hokerer on August 14, 2010, 05:01:18 PM
Chlorine can be eliminated simply by time and most water filters will take it out also.  Many municipalities these days, those, use chloramines which neither time nor normal filtering will eliminate.  The simplest way to get rid of chlorine or chloramines is campden tablets.  One-quarter tablet per 5 gallons will pretty much instantly eliminate them.
Title: Re: De-chlorinate water
Post by: gordonstrong on August 14, 2010, 05:03:17 PM
Activated charcoal filter.
Title: Re: De-chlorinate water
Post by: Malticulous on August 14, 2010, 05:42:23 PM
My watter has chlorine. I just fill watter bottles up at least a day before I brew. Putting them out in the sun helps, plus it can heat it up a little. Often I'll fill my bottles back up with watter from my IC after it's down to the 80s.
Title: Re: De-chlorinate water
Post by: tom on August 14, 2010, 09:36:55 PM
Yes, check with your city water department to find out if they use chlorine or chloramines.

Chlorine can be boiled out in an hour or just by sitting out overnight. Carbon filters will get rid of chlorine, but not all of them will filter out chloramines.

Campden talbets will get rid of chlorine or chloramines in 20 gallons of water per tablet.
Title: Re: De-chlorinate water
Post by: etbrew on August 16, 2010, 12:04:05 AM
I use campden tablets and they have made a huge difference in the beer quality.  Cheap and easy  8)
Title: Re: De-chlorinate water
Post by: boyle_brew on August 17, 2010, 08:53:49 PM
I use a RV/boat water filter with garden hose fittings.  Mine has a flow rate of 2.5 gallons/minute.  Its quick and works great!
Title: Re: De-chlorinate water
Post by: richardt on August 18, 2010, 01:10:35 AM
Someone already posted elsewhere on this forum that 5 minutes contact time with activated charcoal is required for adquate filtration.

If true, most RV filters would fail to accomplish that task unless the flow were reduced to a mere trickle.

Does anyone have any opinion regarding whether or not the use of a campden tablet (1/4 tablet in 5 gallons) to treat the brewing liquor creates any problems with getting the fermentation going when the yeast is pitched?
Title: Re: De-chlorinate water
Post by: freddy2 on August 18, 2010, 01:19:33 AM
I crush a full tablet in the 15 gallons I use for mashing and sparging. It has never caused a problem for me. It's cheap insurance at about $.035 each.
Title: Re: De-chlorinate water
Post by: Hokerer on August 18, 2010, 01:24:28 AM
Someone already posted elsewhere on this forum that 5 minutes contact time with activated charcoal is required for adquate filtration.

If true, most RV filters would fail to accomplish that task unless the flow were reduced to a mere trickle.

The five minute requirement is for chloramines, for plain chlorine, the RV filters are probably fine.

Quote
Does anyone have any opinion regarding whether or not the use of a campden tablet (1/4 tablet in 5 gallons) to treat the brewing liquor creates any problems with getting the fermentation going when the yeast is pitched?

I always use a quarter tablet per 5 gallons and have never had any problems with fermentation.  Probably, since the campden gets boiled, there's really not much left that could possibly interfere.
Title: Re: De-chlorinate water
Post by: tygo on August 18, 2010, 01:25:32 AM

Does anyone have any opinion regarding whether or not the use of a campden tablet (1/4 tablet in 5 gallons) to treat the brewing liquor creates any problems with getting the fermentation going when the yeast is pitched?

It's never created any problems for me and I probably end up using more than that dosage on a regular basis.
Title: Re: De-chlorinate water
Post by: brewdude75 on August 18, 2010, 04:25:08 AM
Ok everyone...old dude here trying to post his first question on The Forum, so please t-y-p-e s-l-o-w-l-y on replies! HA!

My municipality uses regular chlorine, not chloramines, and my standard procedure has been to bring all of my brewing and sparge water to a boil to drive off the chlorine, then cool to the needed temperature.

My Question: can I drive off the chlorine at a lower temp, say 180F rather than the 201F temp of boiling water here at 6700 ft. in Rock Springs, WY?  Obviously, it would save time and propane if I don't have to bring the water to boil, then wait to cool.

Thanks in advance for your help!

Tom Volner
Rock Springs, WY

Title: Re: De-chlorinate water
Post by: BrewArk on August 18, 2010, 04:54:20 AM
Good question Tom,

My guess is that you won't get a straight answer yes or no (would you trust it if you did?).  At the lower temperature, it takes longer for the chlorine to dissipate.  If your trying to shorten the time & lower the temp, the two work against each other.

I think you'll have to give it a try.  Heat it up to 180°, pull off a sample (say a quart?) let it cool & use your nose.  If you're as old as I am maybe a grandkid's nose to see if you smell any chlorine.

If it was me, I'd use a Campden tablet.  Or, you could use some peroxide.  That leaves oxygen and chloride ion dissolved in your water.  But campden is probably gonna be cheaper.
Title: Re: De-chlorinate water
Post by: dbeechum on August 18, 2010, 07:09:09 AM
Buy some of these: http://www.amazon.com/LaMotte-Chlorine-Test-Strips-Pack/dp/B0015T2DH8

And do an experiment and that should be what you need I think.
Title: Re: De-chlorinate water
Post by: Hokerer on August 18, 2010, 12:48:19 PM
Buy some of these: http://www.amazon.com/LaMotte-Chlorine-Test-Strips-Pack/dp/B0015T2DH8

And do an experiment and that should be what you need I think.

Sure those'll work?  The fed standard for chlorine in municipal water is 4ppm.  Those strips only measure down to 10ppm.  Seems you'd get a negative reading whether any chlorine has been removed or not.
Title: Re: De-chlorinate water
Post by: dbeechum on August 18, 2010, 05:09:09 PM
Good point.. didn't catch the 10ppm.

What you really probably want is chlorine testing strips for Aquariums from the Pet Store
Title: Re: De-chlorinate water
Post by: freddy2 on August 18, 2010, 09:19:54 PM
Throw in a campden tablet. They're really cheap; like under a nickel each.
Title: Re: De-chlorinate water
Post by: Jeff Renner on August 19, 2010, 09:30:59 PM
Not only is the sulfite no problem because it gets boiled off later, it actually can help prevent oxidation in the mash tun.  I dechlorinate my water with potassium metabisulfite powder, which is cheaper than Campden tablets, and then throw in another 1/4 teaspoon in the mash (ten gallon batch).  The amounts are very unscientific.  I figure it's cheap insurance against oxidation, even if it isn't really a problem.
Title: Re: De-chlorinate water
Post by: denny on August 19, 2010, 09:55:53 PM
Not only is the sulfite no problem because it gets boiled off later, it actually can help prevent oxidation in the mash tun.  I dechlorinate my water with potassium metabisulfite powder, which is cheaper than Campden tablets, and then throw in another 1/4 teaspoon in the mash (ten gallon batch).  The amounts are very unscientific.  I figure it's cheap insurance against oxidation, even if it isn't really a problem.

After reading about it on rec.crafts.brewing years ago, I spent a year experimenting with adding campden to the mash to see if it would prevent oxidation.  After doing many batches, some with and some without, over the course of a year, I couldn't detect any difference.  That either means it didn't work, I didn't have oxidation issues to start with, or I can't pick out oxidation when it's there...take your pick!
Title: Re: De-chlorinate water
Post by: Jeff Renner on August 19, 2010, 10:05:33 PM
I can't tell any difference, either, but I figure it can't hurt.  And maybe it helps and I just can't tell.
Title: Re: De-chlorinate water
Post by: denny on August 19, 2010, 10:08:42 PM
I can't tell any difference, either, but I figure it can't hurt.  And maybe it helps and I just can't tell.

Yeah, that's the way I looked at it, but being the pragmatic (read:lazy!) type I finally just gave it up.
Title: Re: De-chlorinate water
Post by: mabrungard on August 19, 2010, 10:54:26 PM
I am not a fan of using test strips for chlorine or chloramine detection.  I prefer the colormetric test kits like you use for swimming pools or aquariums.  In the case of your utility using chlorine or chloramine, you should use a colormetric test kit that measures Total Chlorine.  There are some kits that measure only Free Chlorine and that test will not tell you if there still is chloramine in the water.  The Total Chlorine test will provide that and I feel that this test method can tell you if trace amounts remain. 

Martin Brungard
Carmel, IN
Title: Re: De-chlorinate water
Post by: denny on August 20, 2010, 04:27:40 PM
Thanks for your thoughts, Martin.  Your advice on water is invaluable.
Title: Re: De-chlorinate water
Post by: cheba420 on October 09, 2010, 02:35:20 AM
Not only is the sulfite no problem because it gets boiled off later, it actually can help prevent oxidation in the mash tun.  I dechlorinate my water with potassium metabisulfite powder, which is cheaper than Campden tablets, and then throw in another 1/4 teaspoon in the mash (ten gallon batch).  The amounts are very unscientific.  I figure it's cheap insurance against oxidation, even if it isn't really a problem.

Jeff,

How much do you put in your strike water? Seems like a much easier and less expensive method than boiling the chlorine off. Also, will the PM have any effect on the yeast when I pitch later in the brew day.I know its used to kill off wild yeast and bacteria.  I once used PM in a batch of cider I made. I didnt wait long enough and it killed all of my yeast! Took a while to get that batch going!!!
Title: Re: De-chlorinate water
Post by: tschmidlin on October 09, 2010, 03:59:15 AM
Jeff,

How much do you put in your strike water? Seems like a much easier and less expensive method than boiling the chlorine off. Also, will the PM have any effect on the yeast when I pitch later in the brew day.I know its used to kill off wild yeast and bacteria.  I once used PM in a batch of cider I made. I didnt wait long enough and it killed all of my yeast! Took a while to get that batch going!!!
Typical dose is 1 tablet per 20 gallons of water, but you don't have to go too crazy measuring it.  As long as you're in the ballpark (and I would say over that amount) it's fine.

And by the time the yeast get to the wort, there's no danger from the campden tablets.  The sulfite will get boiled off as Jeff mentioned.  The potassium is fine.

<edit> typo fix
Title: Re: De-chlorinate water
Post by: cheba420 on October 09, 2010, 04:53:30 AM
Thanks, Tom! Lots to learn.....
Title: Re: De-chlorinate water
Post by: tschmidlin on October 09, 2010, 05:26:06 AM
No worries cheba.  :)
Title: Re: De-chlorinate water
Post by: Jeff Renner on October 20, 2010, 02:24:19 AM
What Tom said.  Thanks for pinch-hitting for me, Tom.  I hadn't checked the forum for a while.