Jump to content
ADI Forums
Lassiter Distilling Co

Chlorine impact dramatic over chloramine

Recommended Posts

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?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 minutes ago, Dehner Distillery said:

 

Buy a big carbon water filter off of ebay

 

Suboptimal for chloramine removal.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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 ;-)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We use carbon tanks for chlorine removal, and CGAC in the tanks for chloramine treatment.  The EBCT needed to treat the two disinfectants is different.  Both can be successfully treated with backwashing carbon tanks for faster flows, and cartridge filters for slower flows.

 

Russ

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yep.  This is one of the reasons water utilities are switching from chlorine to chloramine.  As the water delivery pipelines get longer and longer as the suburbs expand, you can test for free chlorine at the end of the line and find none.  Chloramine on the other hand, does not volatilize.  

 

Russ

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi All,

I just had water tested in a fairly remote part of central Chile..... Before I go any further, Chile is not known to have good water in this area......

The water comes from a "municipal well" and very basic infrastructure and water treatment is used. As of now I would like to use it for proofing down my Gin, which I re distill from NGS.

I have read the above bru'n water link but as I am not fermenting. I wanted to get some more opinions on proofing water. Maybe some of you brew and proof with the same water and do or don't have issues with louching or off flavors...? Basically I'm kind of trying to do the minimum to the water... for two reasons. The system I need to "clean" the water up completely is extremely expensive and secondly, I would like to eventually ferment with it.... without having to add to much back in.

Here was my report:

PH                                       7.9

Cerium (C.E.)   mS/cm   1.62

Boron (B)         mg/L       0.16

Calcium (Ca)                    225

Copper (Cu)                    <0.01

Iron (Fe)                          <0.01

Magnesium (Mg)           28.08

Manganese (Mn)           <0.01

Ammonium (NH4)        <0.02

Nitrate (NO3)                   43.6    

Sodium (Na)                  84.66

Phosphate (PO4)            0.03

Zinc (Zn)                          0.03

Bicarbonate (HCO3)       331

Potassium (K)                5.99

Chlorine (Cl)                165.11

Sulfate (SO4)                   314 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Everything below Boron is in mg/L?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ha!

 

Well... something is screwed up.  This is supposed to be drinking water?  Are you confident in the lab results?  165 ppm chlorine???         44 ppm Nitrate?? 

I wouldn't drink that water.                                                                     

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Believe it or not, yes, it is supposed to be drinking water.... rather it IS the drinking water of the town. A very rural and poor town about an hour outside of Santiago, Chile. 

I trust the lab results. They were done by the top university in the country and the sample was processed with in 24 hours from when it was taken..... so they say.

The results of municipal water from Santiago, which is supposedly the best was:

WOULD YOU DRINK THIS?

PH                                       8.03

Cerium (C.E.)   mS/cm   0.9

Boron (B)         mg/L       0.14

Calcium (Ca)                    108

Copper (Cu)                    <0.01

Iron (Fe)                          <0.01

Magnesium (Mg)           8.83

Manganese (Mn)           <0.01

Ammonium (NH4)        <0.02

Nitrate (NO3)                   1.07    

Sodium (Na)                  68.41

Phosphate (PO4)          <0.01

Zinc (Zn)                          <0.01

Bicarbonate (HCO3)       102

Potassium (K)                3.47

Chlorine (Cl)                    97.2

Sulfate (SO4)                   230 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The lab results for Santiago water seem fairly ordinary, except:

Cerium - I'm not familiar with this and would need to do some homework before commenting on it.

Chlorine - the US EPA limit for drinking water is 4 ppm.  Santiago has 97 ppm.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 hours ago, Buckeye Hydro said:

Ha!

 

Well... something is screwed up.  This is supposed to be drinking water?  Are you confident in the lab results?  165 ppm chlorine???         44 ppm Nitrate?? 

I wouldn't drink that water.                                                                     

And by all means don't give that water to a baby or a pregnant woman.  Limit on Nitrate in drinking water is 10 ppm - you're at 4 times that.  Get an RO system!  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Buckeye.

So what brought me to this thread in the first place.... I have read that sometimes water test results will list the amount of Chlorine but it is actually Chloramine. Is there an easy way to determine for sure which one is in the water? like with a test from a pool store or something?

Secondly, If it is in fact Chlorine would the best way to get rid of it be letting it sit in an open top tank and evaporate out? 

Also, would just an RO system clean that water up? Or would you recommend additional filters?

Thanks again 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Water reports in the USA call out chloramine vs chlorine.  Not sure what the standards call for, or if there are reporting standards in Chile.  

If you measure TOTAL chlorine, and FREE chlorine and there is a difference in the two, the difference is chloramine.  http://www.buckeyehydro.com/insta-test-free-and-total-chlorine-test-strips/

If you want to access the water n real time at common residential flow rates, you'd run the water through a carbon filter.  I'd recommend you do that at point-of-use rather than point-of-entry.  In residential applications POU treatment for this purpose is usually with a sediment filter followed by a carbon block.

Are you asking about a whole house RO system, or a point of use RO system?  Either way, yes - RO water would be ideal for residential use.  

 

Russ

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Russ.

You sell these systems, yes?

If so, email me at NicholasDeeg@gmail.com. I import a lot of things from the US because Chile is usually double the price.

Either Way, Thank you very much for your input.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×