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 Chloramines Article

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Michaeljeffreythomas

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PostSubject: Re: Chloramines Article   Tue Apr 16, 2013 10:07 am

I just made a Blond Ale yesterday. I used plain old tap water I will let everyone know how the beer turns out.

The beer was bubbling away this morning.

Mike
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Mike Philleo

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PostSubject: Re: Chloramines Article   Tue Apr 16, 2013 8:47 am

Very interesting, Ivan. Randi and I lived in Mandan from about 2008 for about a year and a half and we made plenty of good brews there with untreated water. I'll start using ascorbic acid, but maybe this whole thing has been blown out of proportion.
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Igraf

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PostSubject: Re: Chloramines Article   Mon Apr 15, 2013 2:00 pm

So I emailed the Mandan water treatment plant and apparently Mandan has been using chloramines since 2007. That being said. Time to start treating the water but noting to really worry about, lots of untreated water has made plenty of good beer over here since 2007.
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Mike Philleo

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PostSubject: Re: Chloramines Article   Fri Apr 12, 2013 12:31 pm

I absolutely agree on that point. Seems more natural, less apt to alter the water qualities negatively and probably more cost effective.
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Igraf

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PostSubject: Re: Chloramines Article   Fri Apr 12, 2013 12:28 pm

If you are putting it in the water before the mash it should be fine. It may change your PH a little. People that bottled with it didn't seem to have any carbonation issues. I think it looks like the more attractive option.
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Mike Philleo

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PostSubject: Re: Chloramines Article   Fri Apr 12, 2013 11:27 am

Igraf wrote:
One interesting thing when looking into Ascorbic acid further last night is alot of brewers use this with bottling to combat oxidation.
When I read this the other day, I was excited I could use ascorbic acid as an alternative to campden tablets (in the spirit of keeping things more subtle and "natural"). I didn't do the same research you did Ivan, but your point leads me to wonder if that means ascorbic acid could deprive our yeast of all the oxygen it needs for fermentation? Perhaps we'd have to shake that carboy or use our oxygen stone just a little bit more to compensate?
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Igraf

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PostSubject: Re: Chloramines Article   Fri Apr 12, 2013 11:21 am

One interesting thing when looking into Ascorbic acid further last night is alot of brewers use this with bottling to combat oxidation.
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randi philleo
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PostSubject: Chloramines Article   Thu Apr 11, 2013 10:54 am

Article on Chlorine and Chloramines and brewing:

Most brewers know that chlorine can do two things to your brewing process:

Keep your equipment sterile, which is a good thing.
Generate foul-tasting byproducts, which can ruin your beer.
Hence, most brewers have sort of a love-hate relationship with chlorine.

Chlorine is added to the municipal water supply to kill bacteria, fungi, viruses and other health-threatening items organisms. This makes it possible to use municipal water to top up partial boil batches, rinse out your siphon hose and other convenient things. Without chlorine, we would have to boil every last bit of water that ever touches the beer, and rely much more heavily on other sterilizing agents such as iodophor. To the best extent possible, chlorine should be prevented from getting into beer. The reason for this is that chlorine can react with the myriad organic chemicals to create chloroorganics. Some of these compounds have strong undesirable tastes or aromas. Probably the most notable is chlorophenolic, which can form when chlorine reacts with the phenolic components of grain husks, particularly p-hydroxybenzoic acid. Other compounds that can form are simpler compounds such as chloroform.

The municipal process of disinfecting water can create similar chlorinated chemical compounds. Many chlorinated compounds are carcinogenic, so the city has been looking for ways to disinfect water without the use of chlorine. Chloramines fit the bill, so the city is currently in the process of phasing in chloramines and phasing out chlorine. For the next few years, your tap water can have either chloramines, chlorine, or both.

Chloramines are harder to remove from water than chlorine. Chlorine can be removed by letting water stand for 48 hours, or by boiling. However, these don't work for chloramines. Hence, some new tricks are needed. The simplest method you probably already have at hand is carbon filtration. Activated charcoal filters work, but they doesn't absorb as readily as chlorine, so you have to run the water through more slowly. A typical homebrew-sized filter can only take about a pint per minute, so you would have to start early to collect enough for your batch.

If you don't have patience with slow filtration, you can try chemical dechlorinators. Campden tablets, using sodium metabisulfate will do the trick. However, you have to be careful to not overdo it, since excess sulfite can stunt or kill your yeast. A quarter tablet per 5 gallon batch is needed. Ascorbic acid (vitamin C) will work too, and in smaller doses. You need about 4 ppm, or about 0.08 grams for a 5 gallon batch. This is what kidney dialysis systems in hospitals use. Ascorbic acid is probably a better bet, since a bit of extra won't kill yeast. It will bring down the pH of your brewing water, though the amount needed is so small it is unlikely to have much of an impact. If you have plenty of patience, note that chloramines is degraded by sunlight. A week in a carboy outside should do the trick. UV lamps work too.

The good news is that the presence of chloramines in your beer is far less deleterious than chlorine. Keep an eye on your yeast activity. As long as the yeast is doing OK, the chloramines levels is probably OK. Formation of chlorophenolics and other chlorinated byproducts are reduced by 98% with chloramines relative to chlorine. That means even if you do leave some of it in your brewing water, it won't be a significant problem.

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