Author Topic: Chloramine  (Read 6493 times)

Offline weithman5

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1672
  • naperville, il
    • View Profile
Re: Chloramine
« Reply #15 on: March 15, 2012, 09:34:33 AM »
similar problem.  brewed my first brew using a filter rated for 4gpm or so.  i ran the water at about 1/2-1gpm.  did not pick up any medicinal taste after brew but won't know for sure till done fermenting/lagering.  i brew 2g batches and i was afraid of putting in too much campden tab because it only takes a little bit and i didn't know if it would screw up my yeast

The sulfites are driven off in the boil.  One thing we often do is put a Campden tablet in the mash, as it is an anti-oxidant.  Picked that up on the old HBD years back.

good to know, then i won't worry. i have the campden anyway
Don AHA member

Offline skyler

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 646
    • View Profile
    • Brewing After Law School
Re: Chloramine
« Reply #16 on: March 15, 2012, 11:11:25 AM »
My water company (East Bay MUD) says that charcoal filters will not remove chloramine, though I can't find the link that used to say that. But then the nearby San Francisco water company says that a charcoal filter (or a 20 min boil) will greatly reduce chloramine levels (http://sfwater.org/modules/showdocument.aspx?documentid=957).

I imagine some type of charcoal filter might work, but not the standard kind that I have (http://morebeer.com/view_product/16762//Water_Filter_Kit_-_10_inch) or that is readily available for a low price. I believe local breweries use a series of charcoal filters to remove chloramine from their water. That kind of getup seems too expensive and time-consuming. Also, I can't taste a difference between filtered and unfiltered water in Berkeley, though it was a night and day difference when I lived in Agricultural Davis, CA where the water was chlorinated.

If the chloramine is driven off by the boil, then is a campden tablet really necessary? I am concerned that I would be adding unwanted salts to the boil, as I have never used campden tablets. What will they be adding to my brewing water and how should I compensate?


Offline hokerer

  • I spend way too much time on the AHA forum
  • ********
  • Posts: 2634
  • Manassas, VA
    • View Profile
Re: Chloramine
« Reply #17 on: March 15, 2012, 11:17:32 AM »
If the chloramine is driven off by the boil, then is a campden tablet really necessary? I am concerned that I would be adding unwanted salts to the boil, as I have never used campden tablets. What will they be adding to my brewing water and how should I compensate?

By the time you get to the boil, I think it's too late as the chlorophenol damage has been done.  As for the campden tabs, they're just potassium metabisulfite and you only need one quarter of a tablet per 5 gallons of water so you shouldn't need any compensating measures.
Joe

Offline hopfenundmalz

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 4554
  • Milford, MI
    • View Profile
Re: Chloramine
« Reply #18 on: March 15, 2012, 11:33:07 AM »
similar problem.  brewed my first brew using a filter rated for 4gpm or so.  i ran the water at about 1/2-1gpm.  did not pick up any medicinal taste after brew but won't know for sure till done fermenting/lagering.  i brew 2g batches and i was afraid of putting in too much campden tab because it only takes a little bit and i didn't know if it would screw up my yeast

The sulfites are driven off in the boil.  One thing we often do is put a Campden tablet in the mash, as it is an anti-oxidant.  Picked that up on the old HBD years back.

good to know, then i won't worry. i have the campden anyway

I brew with RO water so no problem with that.  You would want to put your campden in the water before you brew to get rid of the chlorine-chloramines before those have a chance to react with the malt compounds.  I do this in the mash as it is a step to cut down on oxidation. Might be overkill as Denny points out.
Jeff Rankert
Ann Arbor Brewers Guild, AHA Member, BJCP Certified
Home-brewing, not just a hobby, it is a lifestyle!

Offline tom

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1110
  • Denver, CO
    • View Profile
Re: Chloramine
« Reply #19 on: March 15, 2012, 02:42:53 PM »
1 campden tablet will remove the chloramines frm 20 gallons of tap water very quickly.
Brew on

Offline weithman5

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1672
  • naperville, il
    • View Profile
Re: Chloramine
« Reply #20 on: March 15, 2012, 03:03:06 PM »
any reason we need to wait for the mash? could i just throw it (campden) while i am heating my strike water
Don AHA member

Online morticaixavier

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 5700
  • Davis, CA
    • View Profile
    • The Best Artist in the WORLD!!!!!
Re: Chloramine
« Reply #21 on: March 15, 2012, 03:33:57 PM »
any reason we need to wait for the mash? could i just throw it (campden) while i am heating my strike water

yes, in fact I think this is standard practice.
"Creativity is the residue of wasted time" - A. Einstein

Jonathan I Fuller

Offline hopfenundmalz

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 4554
  • Milford, MI
    • View Profile
Re: Chloramine
« Reply #22 on: March 15, 2012, 03:41:22 PM »
Put the campden right in the strike and sparge water if you have chlorine/cloramine issues.  The reaction go very fast, so no need to so it some tiem before you brew.

Like I said above, putting it in the mash is to use it as an anti-oxidant, not to remove chlorine/chloramines.

The sulfites get boiled off. 
Jeff Rankert
Ann Arbor Brewers Guild, AHA Member, BJCP Certified
Home-brewing, not just a hobby, it is a lifestyle!

Offline bo

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1141
    • View Profile
Re: Chloramine
« Reply #23 on: March 15, 2012, 04:59:08 PM »
any reason we need to wait for the mash? could i just throw it (campden) while i am heating my strike water


I would suggest crushing the tablet if you're in a hurry. They don't dissolve real quickly in tablet form. 
« Last Edit: March 15, 2012, 07:55:09 PM by bo »

Offline tygo

  • I spend way too much time on the AHA forum
  • ********
  • Posts: 2622
  • Sterling, VA
    • View Profile
Re: Chloramine
« Reply #24 on: March 15, 2012, 07:31:35 PM »
any reason we need to wait for the mash? could i just throw it (campden) while i am heating my strike water


I would suggest crushing the tablet if you're in a hurry. They don'y dissolve real quickly in tablet form.

+1 I use my mortar and pestle to powder it up and drop it into the water I'm going to use the night before brewday.  It works much quicker than that but it's part of my setup process so I can hit the ground running in the morning.
Clint
Wort Hogs

Fermenting: Wit
On Tap: Lucifer's Hammer Golden Strong Ale, Dopplebock, Old Fuzzynut's Ale

Offline mabrungard

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1106
    • View Profile
    • Bru'n Water
Re: Chloramine
« Reply #25 on: March 16, 2012, 09:16:39 AM »
Activated Carbon (AC) does remove chlorine and chloramine from water.  That comes from my former professor at University of Florida who specializes in activated carbon treatment and research.  He did his PhD at Penn State where the top experts in activated carbon chemistry are.  Any source that tells you that AC cannot remove chloramines is incorrect. 

Charcoal is not necessarily AC.  You can convert a carbonaceous material into nearly pure carbon in an oxygen-less retort oven, but its not AC until you have treated it in a specific way.  While the carbon is very hot, injecting oxidants like steam, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, and hydrogen is how AC is created.  Air or oxygen are not used as an oxidant since that acts too quick and destroys the carbon matrix.  The result of the activation is that teeny 'pocks' are etched throughout the entire carbon matrix, creating a huge surface area.  This occurs on both the exterior of the particles and deep inside the particles.

As pointed out in some posts above, chloramine removal is more difficult than chlorine removal.  For that reason, the residence time for the water to be in contact with the AC is greater.  For many contaminants, AC actually adsorbs the contaminant to the carbon.  That is not the case with chlorine and chloramine.  For them, there is a chemical reaction between the AC and the chlorine compound that destroys the compound and consumes the carbon. 

Campden tablets are very effective in removing chlorine and chloramine.  This is a well understood chemical reaction that is frequently used in wastewater treatment.  As mentioned, dosing at a rate of about 1 tablet per 20 gallons will result in consuming up to 3 ppm chlorine or chloramine.  That level of chlorine residual is typically on the high end of disinfectant in water distribution, but sometimes utilities have to superchlorinate the system for various reasons.  The reaction produces sulfate and chloride at very low ppm levels.  You can read more about this on the Water Knowledge page of the Bru'n Water website. 

I suggest that a brewer would want to avoid overdosing their water with too much Campden tablet since that will result in an excess of sulfite in the water.  You may know that wine makers add far more Campden to their grapes to kill wild yeasts.  That does result in elevated sulfites in their wine and requirements for warnings to their drinkers.  Some have mentioned that sulfites are boiled out of the wort, but I'm not sure of that.  A quick web search does not produce any confirmation that sulfites are boiled out or converted.  For that reason, I would try to match the Campden dose to the amount of chlorine compound in the water and the volume of water to treat. 

Do be careful if your utility uses chloramine in the water.  Many utilities change over to chlorine disinfection for a short period (typically early spring) to improve the disinfection in their pipes.  Chlorine is a much more effective disinfection agent than chloramine, so more 'bugs' get killed in the system this way.  One side effect is that the water smells much more 'chloriney' during this period.  Part of the reason is that chlorine is more volatile than chloramine and it goes into the air much easier where you can smell it. 

Having a simple swimming pool or aquarium test kit on hand to check the level of chlorine compound in your water is a good way to avoid overdosing with sulfites.
« Last Edit: March 16, 2012, 09:19:44 AM by mabrungard »
Martin B
Carmel, IN

BJCP National
Foam Blowers of Indiana (FBI)

Brewing Water Information at:
https://sites.google.com/site/brunwater/

Like Bru'n Water on Facebook for occasional discussions on brewing water and Bru'n Water

Offline narcout

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 469
  • Los Angeles, CA
    • View Profile
Re: Chloramine
« Reply #26 on: March 16, 2012, 04:19:24 PM »
Martin,

I read on your website that using campden tablets at the rate of 1 tablet per 20 gallons leaves residual concentrations of 3 ppm potassium, 8 ppm sulfate, and 3 ppm chloride.

Is this the same sulfate as is found in gypsum and commonly added to brewing liquor? 

Further, in your post above you vary between stating that campden tablets add sulfate and that they add sulfite.  Are they the same or is one of those references a typo?

Offline bo

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1141
    • View Profile
Re: Chloramine
« Reply #27 on: March 16, 2012, 06:11:21 PM »
I've been using 1 full tablet for 15 gallons. Doesn't seem to be a problem, but now I'm wondering if I should cut back a little.

Offline richardt

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1227
    • View Profile
Re: Chloramine
« Reply #28 on: March 16, 2012, 06:36:18 PM »
Personally, I hate the smell of sulfur which is commonly encountered here in Florida from low-tide and/or non-potable water sources used for lawn irrigation.  I also seem to be particularly sensitive to it when tasting beer styles known to have acceptably high sulfate levels (e.g., bitters). 

Martin, can you explain the difference to us between sulfate and sulftite?  I don't buy the notion that sulfites are boiled off.  That is new information to me.

Offline hopfenundmalz

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 4554
  • Milford, MI
    • View Profile
Re: Chloramine
« Reply #29 on: March 16, 2012, 06:57:00 PM »
If sulfites don't boil off, then something I read on the internet was wrong!  Oh no!

 
Jeff Rankert
Ann Arbor Brewers Guild, AHA Member, BJCP Certified
Home-brewing, not just a hobby, it is a lifestyle!