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Old 03-21-2013, 08:01 PM   #11
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I wouldn't worry about using that water for cleaning.

Chorine is very reactive with organics. It will easily form chlorophenols (and others like chloroform) These compounds can be flavour active in beer at the ppb level. Think medicinal, TCP, hospital, band-aid, plastic smell. It will react with various husk phenolic components pretty instantaneously to form some of these pretty powerfully flavoured chemicals.

Another thing to note, while people are correct regarding boiling getting rid of Chlorine. There is still a reaction going on with water during the mash (maybe one of the most important phases of brewing), and that chlorine is reacting with your grain (if you're all grain). There are off flavors that could arise there.

Your statement about it not showing up til later (during bottling), however, really throws a red flag to me. The issues we are speaking of here, Chlorine, etc, would be apparent right away.

I've found for some reason with my beers that when I chill them and then sample I notice off flavors more easily.

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Old 03-21-2013, 08:02 PM   #12
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I guess the follow-up question to all this is, at what level does the presence of chlorine become an issue for brewers? Some posts I have read claim that even having chlorine in the wash/rinse water used to clean your equipment can lead to off-flavors in the beer. Do you think that is true?

It would seem to me that thorough rinising would remove enough that the trace amounts remaining wouldn't be enough to create an issue. But then I've been off base a time or two already on this matter.
I think the flavor threshold for chlorophenols is very low, but I'm not sure what the minimum would be.

If you rinse very very very well with chlorine-free water, then I don't think using a chlorine based cleaner would be a huge issue. However, there are so many other non-chlorine based products on the market that I can't see needed to use bleach or the like. Oxyclean works wonders (the unscented kind) for cleaning equipment without chlorine, as does PBW (a commercial brewer's wash).

However, if you're cleaning and then rinsing with water with chlorine in it, then that is probably enough to make a flavor impact depending on the level of chlorine in the water.
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Old 03-21-2013, 08:41 PM   #13
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I wouldn't worry about using that water for cleaning.

Chorine is very reactive with organics. It will easily form chlorophenols (and others like chloroform) These compounds can be flavour active in beer at the ppb level. .
Since posting this thread I have done a little more research and your comments above tie right in with what I just learned. I just got off the phone with a water engineer at our municpal water department. He told me that they had gotten an influx (heavy loading) of organic compounds in some of their water beginning just before the first of the year. He said these organics in the water can lead to the formation of chloramines in the water. This time frame coincides exactly with the onset of my flavor problems.

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Your statement about it not showing up til later (during bottling), however, really throws a red flag to me. The issues we are speaking of here, Chlorine, etc, would be apparent right away..
I was given to understand that there is a reaction during the fermentation process with the chlorine that leads to the off flavors.

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I've found for some reason with my beers that when I chill them and then sample I notice off flavors more easily.
Yes, the beer tastes much worse when chilled.
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Old 03-21-2013, 08:49 PM   #14
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However, if you're cleaning and then rinsing with water with chlorine in it, then that is probably enough to make a flavor impact depending on the level of chlorine in the water.
I am cleaning with PBW and then after a thorough rise, sanitizing with StarSan. I then allow the vessel to air dry. The only chlorine is that which may be in the water supplied by the city through my hose. That water is what I use to mix the PBW, the rinse water, and the water I use to mix the StarSan.

I cannot see how the trace amounts of chlorine deposited on those surfaces as they dry would be enough to lead to flavor issues. But I'm just asking in case it has been an issue someone else has run into.
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Old 03-21-2013, 09:43 PM   #15
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I wouldn't worry about using that water for cleaning.

.
Oops. Looks like I missed this part of your reply. Thanks.
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Old 04-09-2013, 09:05 PM   #16
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I had this happen the one and only time I decided to use hose water with no conditioning. I could taste through every phase. I dump a few bottles whenever it is convenient. It is the kind of smell that gives me a headache thinking about it. Spring water is easiest.
The beer is pretty to look at though. A beautiful Irish red. Just don't smell or taste.

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Old 04-09-2013, 10:38 PM   #17
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The only chlorine is that which may be in the water supplied by the city through my hose. .
Just something that caught my eye - are you using a hose for your brewing water as well, or just for cleaning?
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Old 04-09-2013, 10:59 PM   #18
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Hose could be an issue too I guess

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Old 04-10-2013, 02:04 AM   #19
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Just something that caught my eye - are you using a hose for your brewing water as well, or just for cleaning?
Since starting this thread I have changed a number of procedures. I have been hauling water from the well at my other property and using it to make the beer. Boiled well water is used to make the yeast slurry. At bottling I use boiled charcoal filtered tap water to dissolve priming sugar. The problem is now completely solved. The last three batches coming out of carbonation have been excellent.

But to answer your question regarding cleaning:

I only use the municipal water from my hose to supply water to the wort chiller. I do drain the warm water from the wort chiller into a bucket and mix it with StarSan and another mixed with PBW for cleaning up after brewing. Neither of these seem to be adding any bad things to my beer.
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