Author Topic: Chloramine removal and Hetch-Hetchy water  (Read 1378 times)

Offline kgs

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Chloramine removal and Hetch-Hetchy water
« on: July 13, 2010, 09:13:07 AM »
I've read all the threads on these boards and also researched other resources. Our local tap water, from Hetch-Hetchy, is treated with chloramine, according to San Francisco PUC. But the local LHBS says a) Campden tablets will not remove chloramine from water and b) most local brewers don't bother treating their water except to add small amounts of gypsum.

Nice store, nice people, but are they in groupthink on a)? Hard to measure b.

K.G. Schneider
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Offline richardt

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Re: Chloramine removal and Hetch-Hetchy water
« Reply #1 on: July 13, 2010, 09:32:56 AM »
Forget the LHBS advice--it isn't right.  John Palmer's book is the true resource (1st ed is online, 3rd ed paperback is the current edition and belongs in your library).  I just did a little book restoration (JP's "How to Brew') this weekend--the first couple of pages were beginning to separate from the glue/binding.  Tells you how much I use that book.  You will, too.

http://www.howtobrew.com/section1/chapter4-1.html
Remove chloramine (and chlorine) from your water by using an activated charcoal filter (and a low flow rate--not full-blast). 

Here's what I use on my garden hose to control the flow rate:
http://www.lowes.com/ProductDisplay?partNumber=36949-53540-AS1GF&langId=-1&storeId=10151&productId=3067217&catalogId=10051&cmRelshp=sim&rel=nofollow&cId=PDIO1

It also makes it easier/faster to turn on and off than running back and forth to and from the faucet.  And it makes it easier to swap to another role (e.g., from producing filtered water, to setting up the immersion chiller, to a quick rinse of equipment like the mash tun).

And this is the activated charcoal filter:
http://www.walmart.com/ip/Camco-Water-Filter-with-Hose/14504321

Offline hokerer

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Re: Chloramine removal and Hetch-Hetchy water
« Reply #2 on: July 13, 2010, 09:42:13 AM »
Remove chloramine (and chlorine) from your water by using an activated charcoal filter (and a low flow rate--not full-blast). 

The really really important piece of that statement is "low flow rate".  To use activated charcoal to remove chloramines, the water must stay in contact with the charcoal for five minutes.  Unless the flow rate is such that the water barely dribbles through the filter, it won't be in contact long enough.

For that reason, it is far simpler to just add one-quarter of a Campden tablet (which contrary to the LHBS advice does remove chloramine).  Another option that some use is to get some aquarium chlorine/chloramine remover.  It only takes one drop per gallon (some folks take issue with the fact it's not "food use approved", though).
Joe

Offline kgs

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Re: Chloramine removal and Hetch-Hetchy water
« Reply #3 on: July 13, 2010, 09:57:41 AM »
Thanks, folks. I do own Palmer's book, btw--it's one of my sources. I've read Palmer so much the book falls flat when I open it.  I just wanted to triple-check, since the LHBS was so adamant on this point. (I guess as a librarian I should have provided a bibliography :-) ) Now off to find Campden tablets...

(removed excessive blank space - bonjour)
« Last Edit: July 13, 2010, 10:11:41 AM by bonjour »
K.G. Schneider
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Offline richardt

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Re: Chloramine removal and Hetch-Hetchy water
« Reply #4 on: July 13, 2010, 10:02:43 AM »
I do have it on a very low flow rate, but I doubt it has 5 minutes contact time.  I'm not sure how slow the rate is, but it does take longer than 10-15 minutes to generate 10 gallons of filtered water.  Of course, I often am diluting it further with an equal percentage of RO water.
http://sfwater.org/Files/FAQs/removal.pdf
Interesting article.  Has anyone used Vit C to dechlorinate the water?

Offline realbeerguy

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Re: Chloramine removal and Hetch-Hetchy water
« Reply #5 on: July 13, 2010, 03:23:01 PM »
I filter with charcoal filter on end of white RV hose, & 1 campden tablet to 15 gal water.
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Online hopfenundmalz

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Re: Chloramine removal and Hetch-Hetchy water
« Reply #6 on: July 13, 2010, 03:41:12 PM »
AJ deLange says one Campden tablet will remove the chlorine/chloramine from 20 gallons of water.  The reaction is fast, and done very quickly.  If AJ says this, it is good enough for me. 
Jeff Rankert
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Offline kgs

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Re: Chloramine removal and Hetch-Hetchy water
« Reply #7 on: July 13, 2010, 04:43:28 PM »
(Sorry about the whitespace--a cat was helping me type.) Found Campden tablets at the LHBS (at least they sell the stuff). Palmer says a full tablet per 5 gallons wouldn't hurt, but it was easy enough to chop up the tablet and powder the 1/4 tab with the flat blade of a large kitchen knife. I'm brewing a repeat so it will be interesting to see if there is a flavor difference.

Thanks all!
K.G. Schneider
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