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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Brew Science > alternative to sulphites
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Old 10-09-2012, 01:58 PM   #1
guiseppio
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Default alternative to sulphites

hi all im just wondering if there is a alternative to sulphites for stabilizing water/kill wild yeasts as i "think" i am slightly sensitive to them!..( i seem to get bloated and sick and heave really inflamed feeling stomach from cheap beer while the pure(no perservative) beers i can drink til the cows come home!)"could just be a coincidence" i also don't want to use just plain old tap water i haven't tried making beer yet (just 2 ciders with mixed results) but have abit of equipment all i need is a hydrometer really .. so question is ... is it essential to use sulphites for beer and if it is .. how much is minimum amount for 5 gal ? do i use it before mixing in the malt extract to water ? or before bottling ..i would prefer not to use campden tablets but... if its going to wreck my brew il use them and deal with the stomach i am going to roughly follow craigtube's coopers homebrew kit video :P

(as i have pretty much the same gear minus the hydrometer and the bottling tube thing ) and i see he just uses tap water without campden/sulphites could i just boil it and use a sanatized pot/lid or kettle and transfer it into a sanitized keg when it is cool enough ?? problem is id have to do it in 1 gal lots as i only have 1 pot that big.i didint use campden in my 1st cider brew and it turned out smelling like bad eggs .. 2nd attempt i was more intense with cleaning/sanitizing so i am hoping that brew turns out better(still no campden) ... we have a natural water fountain quite close to where i live which is where i get my drinking water from http://www.huttvalleynz.com/upload/d...tone_water.pdf (apologies for pdf file) but they say the water is free from micro organisms and organic substances from several years of journey within the aquifer .. hehe sounds good but would that be a ideal alternative to tap water or is my brew going to go bad? cheers all again .... any feedback appreciated

ps ... apologies about the big post
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Old 10-09-2012, 07:08 PM   #2
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Boiling the wort should kill any wild yeasts in your water. Although I haven't heard anything about wild yeasts in tap water. For the most part, brewers do not add sulphites to their beer. I've been brewing 20 years and don't know anyone who does that.

Campden tablets are used to treat the water before brewing to get rid of chloramines (and I think chlorine). Chlorine can also be boiled off, chloramines can not. So it would depend on how your water is treated.

I didn't watch the video, but I'm guessing they didn't boil the wort. There are better ways of making better beer.

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Old 10-10-2012, 04:26 AM   #3
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ok thanks for the quick reply i will investigate and snoop around to find out how "fresh" the water actually is... what is the lengh of time to boil the water to remove any chlorine (is it ok to do it in 1 gallon lots and let it cool "with sanatized lid" as i don't have a 5gal pot :P ) ? and how long to boil the wart for ? my supermarket has coopers ale malt extract so i will probably start with that (as I've heard larger's are a bit harder for a new brewer ) they also stock brewing sugar, carbonating tablets and sanitizer .. im going for a simple as brew but is there any ingredient i've overlooked ? cheers all

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Old 10-10-2012, 05:54 AM   #4
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i have also found the the extract im going to use is pre hopped .. and found this site http://www.howtobrew.com/section1/chapter1-1.html .. which answers my question about how long to boil the wart ( 15 min pre-hopped) .. would it be a good idea to go to my local homebrew and grab some ale yeast or just use the stuff in the top on the extract can ? ( head it can be dodgy due to poor storage) ..cheers again all

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Old 10-10-2012, 06:12 AM   #5
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Sulfites are commonly used to preserve many dried fruits, as well. If you don't react this way to eating dried fruit, odds are it's not the sulfites.

Edit- Which is not to say that a conversation about alternatives to sulfites isn't valuable in and of itself, just that they may not be the cause of your adverse reaction.

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Old 10-10-2012, 06:57 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SnupDave View Post
Sulfites are commonly used to preserve many dried fruits, as well. If you don't react this way to eating dried fruit, odds are it's not the sulfites.

Edit- Which is not to say that a conversation about alternatives to sulfites isn't valuable in and of itself, just that they may not be the cause of your adverse reaction.
yeah could just be crappy beer .. true ... as i can eat dried fruits without any noticeable uncomfortable stomach ... so id take it boiling for 60 min would be best bet for prepping water without campden tablets? ( chloramines ) would be the only possible culprit to hang around after that??)i think i am over thinking the sulphite/neutralizing of the water before hand and need to concentrate more on sterazation...but any input/help is appreciated cheers
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Old 10-10-2012, 01:34 PM   #7
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Sulfites aren't particularly good sanitizers. They are effective against wild yeasts but no so much so against spoilage bacteria. Sulfites are, OTOH, the most practical way of disposing of chloramine. Chlorine (free) will dissipate on its own fairly rapidly (hours) or within minutes of boiling. Chloramine won't.

Sulfite in excess of that required to treat chlorine/chloramine will convert to sulfur dioxide and dissipate in the mash or kettle or reduce something becoming sulfate in the process so I wouldn't worry about a little sulfite in your brewing liquor.

For sanitizing of equipment and bottles bleach (unscented), iodophors (BTF, IO Star), and phosphoric acid plus dodecylbenzenesulfonic acid (Star San) are all much better sanitizers, especially the latter two as they don't have to be rinsed.

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Old 10-11-2012, 07:08 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ajdelange View Post
Sulfites aren't particularly good sanitizers. They are effective against wild yeasts but no so much so against spoilage bacteria. Sulfites are, OTOH, the most practical way of disposing of chloramine. Chlorine (free) will dissipate on its own fairly rapidly (hours) or within minutes of boiling. Chloramine won't.

Sulfite in excess of that required to treat chlorine/chloramine will convert to sulfur dioxide and dissipate in the mash or kettle or reduce something becoming sulfate in the process so I wouldn't worry about a little sulfite in your brewing liquor.

For sanitizing of equipment and bottles bleach (unscented), iodophors (BTF, IO Star), and phosphoric acid plus dodecylbenzenesulfonic acid (Star San) are all much better sanitizers, especially the latter two as they don't have to be rinsed.
cheers have been looking around and about 1 campden tablet per 5 gal roughly ok ?
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Old 10-11-2012, 01:42 PM   #9
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One tablet will process 20 gallons with 3 mg/L chlorine as chloramine. I've got a proposed Sticky on this. I'll send it off to Yooper and see if she'll put it up.

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