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Old 09-11-2013, 02:03 PM   #1
dogbert
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Default Chlorine Treatment for AG Batch

Good day,

I'm following up on something brought up in a separate thread of mine, where I realized that the off taste I've encountered with my AG batch of pale ale is likely due to chlorine or chloramine contamination.

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f14/plastic-like-taste-pale-ale-recipe-430938/

So, it's to my understanding that I can prevent this plastic-like taste in my beer if I simply treat for chlorine. Apparently 1 Campden can treat 1 gallon of wort, or just 20 gallons of plain water? This makes no sense to me.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Campden_tablet

About the only conversion I have is that one Campden tablet equals 0.44g of powdered potassium metabisulfite. Is this correct?

Also, do I add the campden tablet(s) to the wort, or to my mash and sparge water? I'm using a stove top setup with two 16 quart stock pots to prepare my sparge water and mash water, so I would have to scale the amount of tablets or k-meta accordingly.

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Old 09-11-2013, 02:09 PM   #2
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The use of Campden in must or wort is for a completely different reason to using Campden in water. In must or wort it's to sterilize the wort, killing bacteria and wild yeast to avoid having to boil it. When treating water for AG brewing, it's to evolve the chlorine from the chloramine.

You need 1 tablet per gallon to kill bacteria in a typical cider or wine must in place of boiling, or 1/4 tablet per 5 gallons to remove chloramine from brewing water.

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Old 09-11-2013, 04:47 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dyqik View Post
The use of Campden in must or wort is for a completely different reason to using Campden in water. In must or wort it's to sterilize the wort, killing bacteria and wild yeast to avoid having to boil it. When treating water for AG brewing, it's to evolve the chlorine from the chloramine.

You need 1 tablet per gallon to kill bacteria in a typical cider or wine must in place of boiling, or 1/4 tablet per 5 gallons to remove chloramine from brewing water.
Exactly.
When adding to must or wort your are killing off wild yeast or bacteria and then adding a desired yeast strain.
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Old 09-11-2013, 05:04 PM   #4
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Investing in an activated carbon filter is an excellent way to remove chloramines from your water supply if used properly , I have two Carbon filters and a sediment filter with my system.

Quote:
Treatment Alternatives
While chloramines are not a drinking water health concern to humans generally, their removal
improves the taste and odor of drinking water. Chloramines are small, stable molecules with no
net charge making them difficult to remove by distillation, reverse osmosis, and ion exchange
resins. Due to the reaction of aqueous chlorine with organic nitrogen, chloramines also present a
concern for municipal water systems utilizing chlorine as a method of disinfection. The most
effective nonchemical method for removing chloramines is by activated carbon (C*).
Activated carbon does not adsorb chloramines but rather removes them through its ability to act
as a catalyst for the chemical breakdown of chloramines to innocuous chlorides in water. This
catalytic reaction involves the formation of a carbon oxide intermediate (CO*). This reaction is
as follows:
NH2
Cl + H2
O + C* = NH3 + Cl-
+ H+
+ CO*
2NH2
Cl + CO*= N2 + 2Cl-
+ 2H+
+ H2
O + C*
Fine mesh sizes of activated carbon remove chloramines more efficiently since they have greater
surface areas and allow faster access to catalytic sites. Also, activated carbon that has been
“acclimated” to achieve increased carbon oxide sites improves chloramine removal. For new
activated carbon, initial dosing with chlorine to preoxidize the carbon may result in more
effective chloramine removal. A bed contact time of 10 minutes or greater is required for 4
complete catalysis of chloramines. New types of activated carbons (bituminous coal-based) have
been developed with increased catalytic activity that are especially effective at the removal of
chloramines. These new “catalytic” carbons are marketed with a peroxide number (rate of
hydrogen peroxide decomposition) instead of the traditional iodine adsorption number. The
chloramine removal capacity of activated carbon is dependent upon pH. Catalytic carbons have
demonstrated increased chloramine removal efficiency at higher pHs.
Ammonia (NH3), chloride (Cl-
), and nitrogen gas (N2) are produced by the catalysis of
monochloramine. The removal of these catalytic byproducts can be achieved by additional
treatment with ion exchange resins or by reverse osmosis.
The treatment methods listed herein are generally recognized as techniques that can effectively
reduce the listed contaminants sufficiently to meet or exceed the relevant MCL. However, this
list does not reflect the fact that point-of-use/point-of-entry (POU/POE) devices and systems
currently on the market may differ widely in their effectiveness in treating specific contaminants,
and performance may vary from application to application. Therefore, selection of a particular
device or system for health contaminant reduction should be made only after careful
investigation of its’ performance capabilities based on results from competent equipment
validation testing for the specific contaminant to be reduced.
As part of point-of-entry treatment system installation procedures, system performance
characteristics should be verified by tests conducted under established test procedures and water
analysis. Thereafter, the resulting water should be monitored periodically to verify continued
performance. The application of the water treatment equipment must be controlled diligently to
ensure that acceptable feed water conditions and equipment capacity are not exceeded.
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Old 09-11-2013, 09:15 PM   #5
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So, my plan is as follows:

  • 3 gallons of mash water, heated to the strike temperature, with 1-quarter of a Campden tablet present
  • 5 gallons of sparge water, a few degrees hotter than the mash water, with 1-half of a Campden tablet present

Please correct me if I'm wrong at any stage here.
  1. I heat the mash water to the strike temperature, and the sparge water to the sparge temperature. Is this OK, or will chlorine remain because I didn't boil it at a high enough temperature?
  2. The tablets will react with the chlorine as cause it to boil off and evaporate. Is this accurate?
  3. The tablets will react with the chloramine, converting it to chlorine, allowing it to boil off. Is this accurate?

After this, I can continue with my normal mash, sparge, boil procedure, with no further need for the Campden tablets. Should I let my carboy sit filled with k-meta solution to remove any residual pink-chlorine cleaning solution I use to clean out dirty carboys? I spray the inside of the carboy with hot water using a bottle washer, and I still smell a bit of chlorine, even after a vigorous 5 minute cleaning with the bottle cleaner.
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Old 09-11-2013, 09:43 PM   #6
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Also, does it matter if I add too much of the tablet? Will using a whole tablet for 10 gallons of water ruin the taste of the beer?

Finally, does it matter if I bring the water just up to the strike temperature with the tablet dissolved in it, or do I have to heat the water to a boil and let it cool down to the strike temperature for full effect?

Thanks!

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Old 09-11-2013, 09:48 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dogbert View Post
1. I heat the mash water to the strike temperature, and the sparge water to the sparge temperature. Is this OK, or will chlorine remain because I didn't boil it at a high enough temperature?
2. The tablets will react with the chlorine as cause it to boil off and evaporate. Is this accurate?
3. The tablets will react with the chloramine, converting it to chlorine, allowing it to boil off. Is this accurate?


Also, does it matter if I add too much of the tablet? Will using a whole tablet for 10 gallons of water ruin the taste of the beer?

Finally, does it matter if I bring the water just up to the strike temperature with the tablet dissolved in it, or do I have to heat the water to a boil and let it cool down to the strike temperature for full effect?

Thanks!
1., 2., & 3- No.

The reaction when you add the campden is very quick- you can do it cold, and stir it well, and then proceed with heating and getting ready for brewing.

It's not a boil thing, or boil off thing, or evaporate thing.

It's a chemical reaction. You crush and dissolve the campden tablet (or portion of it) and stir well, and walk way. That's it. The reaction happens in seconds, so then you can start heating your brewing water.

Don't use more than you need to. Use 1/2 tablet if that is what you need for 10 gallons.
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Old 09-11-2013, 09:51 PM   #8
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Thank you.

So, does the k-meta in the tablets just change the chlorine into a precipitated solid, or into some sort of stable molecule that doesn't interact to produce chloro-phenols? I would have guess it causes it to evaporate off, since some people on the forum have noted they just boil the water and let it sit overnight to let the chlorine evaporate off.

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Old 09-11-2013, 10:06 PM   #9
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It's a pretty simple chemical reaction, but I'm not able to explain it well so I'll refer you to the "sticky" on this: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f128/campden-tablets-sulfites-brewing-water-361073/

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Old 09-11-2013, 10:07 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dogbert View Post
Thank you.

So, does the k-meta in the tablets just change the chlorine into a precipitated solid, or into some sort of stable molecule that doesn't interact to produce chloro-phenols? I would have guess it causes it to evaporate off, since some people on the forum have noted they just boil the water and let it sit overnight to let the chlorine evaporate off.
Campden tablets (k-meta) work instantly on both chlorine AND chloramides. Just stir it in, until dissolved, stir a couple more turns to mix it well. Done!

Chlorine does not gas out overnight in a deep bucket or pot. It doesn't even remove itself from a glass of water overnight. You can still taste it the next morning. It actually tastes worse. Boiling does not make a difference.
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