Chloramine Removal

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Chloramine Removal

Postby BillyBock » Sat Dec 20, 2003 8:23 am

Does anyone know the best way to remove chloramine from the tap water?
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two options

Postby bredmakr » Mon Dec 22, 2003 9:23 am

Chloramine is becoming a prefered disinfectant by public water supply systems because of the ease of handling and reduced safety concerns over handling chlorine gas or large containers of chlorine liquid.

Removal from tap water is efficiently performed with an activated carbon filter. A standard under the counter top kitchen filter is more than adequate.

Another option is to boil it off. At high temps it will volitalize from the hot water.

A third and most expensive option would be a reverse osmosis filtration system. These start at $200+ and go up from there.

I have used an activated carbon filter on my tap water, which I know has a high chloramine residual, with much success.

Here is a good place to start to find out more about chloramine.
http://www.epa.gov/region09/water/chloramine.html

Hope this helps.
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Activated Charcoal or Boiling May Not be Enough

Postby Brewwhowho » Mon May 08, 2006 12:25 am

I'm no expert but based on the following information from the San Francisco PUC

http://sfwater.org/detail.cfm/MC_ID/13/ ... chloramine

and my own experience I note the following:

Boiling is not so effective for removing chloramines as it is for chlorine. When San Francisco switched to chloramines a year or two ago I could no longer get rid of the taste/smell of biocides in the water by boiling for short periods of time.

SFPUC lists breweries as among the businesses that need to remove chloramines.

They say activated charcoal will remove most of the chloramines (but not all) but that there will be resulting byproducts such as ammonia that will require reverse osmosis to remove. They also point out that reverse osmosis alone will fail due to damage to the membrane and that the RO unit MUST have a charcoal filter upstream to prevent that damage.

I was looking at reverse osmosis units at the big box recently and I note that the filters are supposed to be replaced twice a year or more and the cost of the 3 filters is about $100. Therefore, I conclude that to do it right, I might as well buy bottled water rather than buy the RO set-up.

I find this highly annoying since that will add significantly to my costs to brew and San Francisco water, which flows by gravity from Hetch Hetchy is really excellent water before it is treated, as I can attest having sampled the water bubbler installed at the top of the O'Shaughnessy Dam.
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Postby Bearymore » Sat May 31, 2008 8:54 pm

Campden tablets. See this article in BYO - http://www.byo.com/mrwizard/1211.html
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Postby slothrob » Sun Jun 01, 2008 6:57 am

Bearymore wrote:Campden tablets. See this article in BYO - http://www.byo.com/mrwizard/1211.html

Very true. Campden Tablets or metabisulfite are more effective than filtering to remove Chloramine.
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Re:Chloramine Removal

Postby Legman » Mon Mar 02, 2009 9:12 am

I've read several posts/articles online and was thinking about giving this a try. Is anyone here doing this or have tried it? What were your results/opinions on doing this?

Particularly when I'm heating my sparge water, I notice a very strong chemical odor. Although, I haven't noticed it in the final beer. I wonder if this would make an improvement or not.
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Chloramine

Postby slothrob » Tue Mar 03, 2009 1:20 pm

I always use Campden at 1 tablet per 20 gallons into my water as I start to heat it for the mash. From the smell, I think they only add large amounts when the weather is warm, but it's a cheap and simple precaution.

I've seen tests that show it's a very effective way to remove Chloramine.
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Re:Campden tablets

Postby Legman » Tue Mar 03, 2009 8:48 pm

Yeah, I've seen some tests that showed the same thing.
I mentioned that to the guy at my LHBS. He looked at me like I was crazy and cautioned me not to do so. I don't think he'd ever tried or heard of this method before. Sounds like a good idea to me.

So do you only use it in you mash water, not the sparge water?

Is Camden tablets Sodium or Potassium Metabisulphite or a combination?
My LHBS sells Sodium Metabisulphite in powder form. Thought that might be easier that crushing tablets.
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Campden

Postby slothrob » Wed Mar 04, 2009 7:51 am

I can't see why they would caution against this, there really is no downside. You're adding so little metabisulfate it should have no other impact on your beer. If I remember right, if you buy the metabisulfate powder it comes to something like 1/10th teaspoon per 20 gallons, since the tablets are mostly binder material.

Use it in all the water that goes into the beer.

You don't have to crush the tablets, they dissolve in a few seconds, but when I need it again I'll buy the powder. It might be a little tough for some people to measure out 1/40th teaspoon or 0.11 g for 5 gallons. A "fat pinch" is probably close enough, though. Campden is Sodium Metabisulfate, so you can get that to be safe, but I don't think it matters. The Sulfur Dioxide does the work, so the Sodium or Potassium probably just become minor additions to the ions in your water.
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Re:Campden

Postby Legman » Wed Mar 04, 2009 9:39 am

I was trying to calculate that this morning and also figured that a "pinch" would be sufficient.
I think you are correct that it is such a small amount, that there should be no noticeable downside to this. If anything it could be an improvment.

I'm going to give it a try and see what happens. Thanks for your input Slothrob!
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Campden vs. water filter

Postby slothrob » Mon Jan 18, 2010 8:15 am

I'm not sure if Rocky33 is here to sell water filters, or not, but the data I've seen would argue the claim that filtration is the best way to remove chlorine and chloramine.

From the experimental evidence I've seen, both Campden tablets and water filtration can be effective, and Campden may be more effective than a less than ideal filtration system.

In the past, I have used Camden tablets to great effect, but have had a very mild chlorphenol off-flavor (I seem to be the only one who tastes it) creep into my last few beers. I believe that my Campden may have gone "off" by absorbing humidity from the air over the Summer. I'll do a couple experiments next weekend and get back to you.
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Postby ColoradoBrewer » Sun Jan 24, 2010 11:14 am

Hi Slothrob. I was wondering if you've had a chance to do your Campden experiment. My Campden tablets are a few years old, so I'm interested in the results.
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campden

Postby slothrob » Sun Jan 24, 2010 12:28 pm

ColoradoBrewer wrote:Hi Slothrob. I was wondering if you've had a chance to do your Campden experiment. My Campden tablets are a few years old, so I'm interested in the results.

Finally getting the first one in today, but it probably doesn't quite qualify as an experiment so much as progressively eliminating possible sources of chlorophenols.

I'm starting by making an extract beer (it's been a while) with fresh potassium metabisulfate, so that any phenols should be restricted to those that might come from a wild yeast contamination. Then I'm making an all-grain batch with the new salt. If they are both clean, then I'll toss the old Campden tablets.

I should probably test the old tablets again to see if it re-introduces the problem, but I've had three batches in a row with this subtle chlorophenol flavor that I had never noticed in previous batches. Do you think I need to do more?
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Postby ColoradoBrewer » Tue Jan 26, 2010 9:28 am

I think you're doing enough. In fact, I'm not sure it's necessary to make another batch with the old Campden tablets. You've gotten the same result three times in a row, so I don't think a fourth batch would have a different result. Provided that the new salt solves the problem, I think you've found the source of your chlorophenol problem. BTW, how old are your Campden tablets? I don't recall ever seeing anything about a definite shelf life for them, but that's the implication.
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campden

Postby slothrob » Tue Jan 26, 2010 2:08 pm

My Campden tablets are 3 years old.

My biggest concern was that I noticed they had become swollen and easily crumbled, which didn't seem like a good sign. I think they may have been absorbing water from the air. I may need to find a way to keep them dessicated, maybe by storing them in the freezer.

Thanks for the confirmation on my approach. I hope the chlorophenol will disappear, then I'll just assume the old tablets were bad, store them better in the future, and go on with brewing.
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