Author Topic: question about iron filter and oxidation  (Read 496 times)

Offline Jack13

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question about iron filter and oxidation
« on: March 07, 2017, 02:14:37 PM »
I have very high iron content (0.885 ppm), which I suspect is contributing to a tendency for my beers to oxidize in the bottle.

Following advice on this forum, I purchased an iron filter a while back (this one:  http://www.filterwater.com/pc-142-5-iron-removal-filter.aspx?gclid=ckdf5lr1tmwcfznbhgod7ucncq).

However, no matter how much water I ran through to try to clear it, the water came out gray.  So, I instead started using the filter that came with the filter unit (a carbon filter) which does not remove iron.  It did make my tap water taste better, though (got rid of a metallic aftertaste), so I went with it anyway.  Been doing that for about 15 brews.  But many have oxidized. 

Anyway, I'm really trying to tackle this oxidation problem.  Anyone who has had a beer they really like suddenly become a beer they can tolerate can sympathize!  Based on threads about oxidation, I don't think there is anything wrong in my process that's leading to too much O2 in my beer, so I'm thinking it's the iron.

Assuming iron is indeed the cause (but I went into detail in case there's anything above that raises an eyebrow), here are my questions:

1) Anyone else use an iron filter and can't get it to run clean?  If so, did you solve the problem?  Or alternatively is the gray OK?

2) If there is no such solution, do you think running two filters in line (this type:  http://www.austinhomebrew.com/Inline-Beer-Filtration-System-10_p_5774.html?utm_source=google&utm_medium=shopping&gclid=CjwKEAiA0fnFBRC6g8rgmICvrw0SJADx1_zATcf4Ccjg84NvyJXgHVDfT4B0IXpswmKMwaSVYWhgoBoCnC3w_wcB), would work?  First through the iron filter, then through the carbon filter?


Offline kramerog

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Re: question about iron filter and oxidation
« Reply #1 on: March 07, 2017, 03:22:57 PM »
Since nobody has said replied, I'll take a shot at this.  I think the water truns gray because the iron filter produces metallic iron.  The metallic iron can then be physically filtered out.  What size pore would work to remove the iron?  I can't say.  After phrsical filtration, the water can then be carbon filtered.

If you want to check my theory, you could collect water that has gone through the iron filter and see if it turns rusty overnight or however long is appropriate.

Offline Jack13

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Re: question about iron filter and oxidation
« Reply #2 on: March 07, 2017, 03:58:12 PM »
thanks a lot.

I have put some water that went through the iron filter into a white bucket to check your theory as you suggested. 

Also, an update: I ran water through the iron filter, then put it through my Brita pitcher (which is not exactly the same thing as my carbon filter, but it was my only choice). It's a little less gray after going through the Brita, but definitely still gray. Tasted it. Could be imagination, but it may be a little gritty.  That sounds consistent with your theory, as well.

Finally, some more info it occurred to me to point out: When the water first starts to flow through the iron filter, the water coming out is almost black, then quickly lightens to the gray I've been describing.

Offline kramerog

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Re: question about iron filter and oxidation
« Reply #3 on: March 07, 2017, 04:10:11 PM »
The metallic iron might also just settle out to the bottom of the bucket and then could take a while to oxidize.  I don't have much of an idea of how long iron takes to oxidize at the bottom.  If the grey stuff settles out that would indicate that it can effectively filtered out.

Offline kramerog

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Re: question about iron filter and oxidation
« Reply #4 on: March 07, 2017, 04:11:43 PM »
You could also try physically filtering the iron-filtered water through a coffee filter as an experiment.

Offline mainebrewer

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Re: question about iron filter and oxidation
« Reply #5 on: March 07, 2017, 09:37:08 PM »
I don't know what your other constraints may be, but if I had that kind of water, I'd be using RO water from the local supermarket, Walmart, etc. Adding some brewing salts to the RO water sounds like less work to me.
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Offline Jack13

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Re: question about iron filter and oxidation
« Reply #6 on: March 07, 2017, 10:50:57 PM »
I don't know what your other constraints may be, but if I had that kind of water, I'd be using RO water from the local supermarket, Walmart, etc. Adding some brewing salts to the RO water sounds like less work to me.

The cheapest RO I can get here is $1.00/gal, at the aquarium store.   I can get spring water for $0.58/gal if it's on sale, or about $0.80 if it's not.  Not sure why RO is so expensive around here.  RO at walmart is about $1.60/gal (around $8 for 5 gallon jug).

Update:  It used to be $6.99 for 5 gal at my Walmart, but they have a new system now (Primo water), and it's only $0.37/gal!  I'll be taking that route for the foreseeable future...

Thanks, all.
« Last Edit: March 08, 2017, 12:46:05 AM by Jack13 »

Offline 69franx

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Re: question about iron filter and oxidation
« Reply #7 on: March 08, 2017, 08:32:24 PM »
I don't know what your other constraints may be, but if I had that kind of water, I'd be using RO water from the local supermarket, Walmart, etc. Adding some brewing salts to the RO water sounds like less work to me.

The cheapest RO I can get here is $1.00/gal, at the aquarium store.   I can get spring water for $0.58/gal if it's on sale, or about $0.80 if it's not.  Not sure why RO is so expensive around here.  RO at walmart is about $1.60/gal (around $8 for 5 gallon jug).

Update:  It used to be $6.99 for 5 gal at my Walmart, but they have a new system now (Primo water), and it's only $0.37/gal!  I'll be taking that route for the foreseeable future...

Thanks, all.
I think those are the systems that many of us RO users are accustomed to. When I saw the prices you were quoting for RO, I thought I would be doing the same as you: finding a way to make my water work. I have been very happy with the Glacier stations at our local groceries, most being serviced about every 2 weeks, so TDS almost always under 10 and usually sitting at 3-5. Makes a great base to brew from with Bru'nWater
Frank L.
Fermenting:
Conditioning:
In keg:
In Bottles:  
In the works: Hopefully brewing 10 gallons of Pilsner tomorrow for a family reunion in July, then back to IPA and  a barleywine to age