Lassiter Distilling Co

Chlorine impact dramatic over chloramine

12 posts in this topic

Down here our water supply is usually treated with chloramine, which we mitigate, but our water supply changes to a chlorine based treatment from March through April. Since this happened, despite our efforts to react out the chlorine, we've been getting substandard fermentations (we typically ferment to 1.022, but we can't seem to get below 1.034 since the chlorine change) and distillation yields. Hearts phase seems to last for about half the time/volume it did prior to the switch to chlorine treatment.

Is this something anyone else has run into? I'm planning to push our water supply through a charcoal filter very slowly for our next fermentation to see if that will do a better job than reacting out the chlorine with potassium metabisulfite. Any other suggestions here?

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Chloramine is typically harder to eliminate than chlorine. Grab a test kit from the pet store to see if chlorine is really the culprit. Easiest way to eliminate chlorine is to run your mash water the night before and simply let it gas off.

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Yes. Chlorine reacts with organic matter, including some important micronutrients. This is how it prevents microbes from reproducing in your drinking water. This reacted organic matter is also well known in public pools as "disinfection byproducts". The smell and taste of them is unpleasant.

My only recommendation is that you find a way to warm and vigorously aerate the water.

You can also add a small amount of ascorbic acid solution to your water, then proceed to add baking soda. This reaction yields dehydroascorbic acid and salt. This is the government recommended method of  removing chlorine from water. That being said, I can't speak for the effects of the new acid on your spirit... Any organic reactant open's the pandora's box with something as complicated as fermentation.

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+1 on what 3d0g says.  Fill the mash tank the night before and let the chlorine gas off.  It's what we do.

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We are also on city water.  Fresh water coming in goes through a pair of carbon filters, one on the main water line coming to the production area, and then a second one on the line that feeds only the condenser.   When we change out filter cartridges a new goes on the condenser line, and the old condenser only filter gets moved to the main line, and the old main line one gets tossed.  Having two in line like this allows us to push the limits of the filters max useful life, but still be confident that our condenser/mash water is getting fully filtered.

The now filtered and warm/hot spent condenser water goes into an elevated and insulated holding tank where it can also off gas if needed.  When we mash we gravity fill from this holding tank through an ultraviolet light into the mash tun.  The ultraviolet light is there just to try and help kill anything off that may have started growing while this warm water sits around for potentially a few days.    Nice thing about this setup is we are recovering/reusing a good chunk of our spent condenser water, and or mash water is also pre-heated.

 

 

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34 minutes ago, Dehner Distillery said:

Buy a big carbon water filter off of ebay..... $350... 2 cubic feet...........done

 

Assuming catalytic carbon, yup. 30 seconds contact time is the minimum recommended for chloramine, so 2 cubic feet should cover the 7 gpm of a 3/4" tap. Regular activated carbon can need 4x the contact time.

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Just now, 3d0g said:

Assuming catalytic carbon

Exactly. But it's much more expensive that standard AC.  We use the recommended 35mg of potassium metabisulfite / gallon of water. No flow rate restrictions, no filter medium PM needed, etc.  Filling a 2500 liter mash cooker at 7 gpm would be painful.

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Yup. Hard to beat K-Meta bang for the buck in chloramine removal. Carbon filter does have the advantage of removing other organics. Breweries tend to go carbon due to sulfate concerns in their beer. We've got copper to deal with that ;-)

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45 minutes ago, 3d0g said:

Carbon filter does have the advantage of removing other organics

I neglected to mention we do have a large AC filter but, as discussed, don't use it for chloramine removal. It's OK in terms of flow rate, but as we've bough larger equipment (600 liter to 2500 liter) we need to research another solution. Im at risk of hijacking the thread so think I'll start another topic!

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