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A recent Chloramines experience worth sharing


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It is summer here in SC, hot as hell and we're on a new (to us) water system.

Since it's so hot, the water supplier jumped up the inclusion of chloramines in the system.  We first picked up the change when we recently had a stalled ferment, and in an effort to re-pitch, we couldn't get a yeast starter to propagate.   Knowing the yeast and nutrients and starch conversions were ok, this meant the water was the culprit.  A quick call to the engineering dept of the water company confirmed it. 

We experimented with using Campden tablets (unknown whether they were sodium metabisulfite or potassium metabisulfite) and separately potassium metabisulfite, at a range of 0.010 to 0.005 grams per gallon.  Lower than 0.005 didn't diminish the chloramines and higher was too much for yeast to survive/propagate.  In fact, we really couldn't find the sweet spot that reduced the chloramines but didn't kill the yeast with Campden tablets or kmeta.  We used a chlorine test kit from Home Depot to check for available chlorine (vs. free chlorine). 

We pivoted to ascorbic acid and after a day or two of experimenting with ratios, we found the right dosage; 0.005 grams for 2 gallons.  Worked like a charm.  Cheap and available from amazon.  

We are upgrading our mash filling system to a GAC filter bed (an up-flow tank) and hopefully this will keep us on target.  

Hope this info helps if anyone else is dealing with this.  

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