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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > Chlorine taste in water
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Old 06-22-2011, 01:53 PM   #1
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Default Chlorine taste in water

Hello,

This is my 3rd or 4th time brewing. So I wanted to be a bit more clinical to improve my results. First attempts worked out pretty good.

This time I decided to treat my tap water (which is drinkable) a little before the brew so I filtered the water, then boiled it. Then left it sitting overnight in a plastic fermenter which had been sanitized with a bleach/vinegar solution - 5 gallons water, 40ml bleach, 40ml vinegar...rinsed bucket after about 15mins.

Having let my water sit all night I had a taste this morning and it tastes like chlorine!! There isn't a taste of chlorine normally from my tap water. Has the bucket absorbed the bleach from the sanitizing? I threw in a dissolved campden tab there now... will this get rid of chlorine taste?

Zippy

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Old 06-22-2011, 01:58 PM   #2
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Hello,

This is my 3rd or 4th time brewing. So I wanted to be a bit more clinical to improve my results. First attempts worked out pretty good.

This time I decided to treat my tap water (which is drinkable) a little before the brew so I filtered the water, then boiled it. Then left it sitting overnight in a plastic fermenter which had been sanitized with a bleach/vinegar solution - 5 gallons water, 40ml bleach, 40ml vinegar...rinsed bucket after about 15mins.

Having let my water sit all night I had a taste this morning and it tastes like chlorine!! There isn't a taste of chlorine normally from my tap water. Has the bucket absorbed the bleach from the sanitizing? I threw in a dissolved campden tab there now... will this get rid of chlorine taste?

Zippy
It does sound like the chlorine smell came from the bleach, if it didn't come from the water. Unless you happen to have chloramines in your water which wouldn't have disipated by a boil and sitting overnight.

If you have a chlorine smell/taste to the water, I wouldn't use it for brewing. The campden may work, if the chlorine smell was from the water because of chloramines. I still wouldn't chance it. I'd dump it and rinse the bucket well (or get a new bucket).

If your tap water is good, filtering it and boiling it isn't necessary. You can use a campden tablet (one for 20 gallons or 1/2 one for 10 gallons) to get rid of chlorine or chloramine. If your tap water isn't that good, buying bottled spring water is a good bet.
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Old 06-22-2011, 02:04 PM   #3
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It does sound like the chlorine smell came from the bleach... I'd dump it and rinse the bucket well (or get a new bucket).
Do you really think a good rinse might do the trick.. even if I had 5 gallons of nearly boiled water sitting in it for hours? Hmm sounds like I may have to dump it.
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Old 06-22-2011, 02:18 PM   #4
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Then left it sitting overnight in a plastic fermenter which had been sanitized with a bleach/vinegar solution - 5 gallons water, 40ml bleach, 40ml vinegar...rinsed bucket after about 15mins.
This is not a recommended practice for several reasons. First, mixing vinegar with bleach produces chlorine gas, which is not exactly safe. Bleach is pretty useless for sanitizing anyway, since it must be rinsed - unlike a wet contact sanitizer. And finally, bleach can produce very undesirable off-flavors in beer, even in very small amounts.

Invest in some StarSan or Iodophor!
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Old 06-22-2011, 02:32 PM   #5
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This is not a recommended practice for several reasons. First, mixing vinegar with bleach produces chlorine gas, which is not exactly safe. Bleach is pretty useless for sanitizing anyway, since it must be rinsed - unlike a wet contact sanitizer. And finally, bleach can produce very undesirable off-flavors in beer, even in very small amounts.

Invest in some StarSan or Iodophor!
Ok, I read in a few places that vinegar and bleach added seperately to the water was safe and produced a no rinse solution, obviously not! So is my bucket ruined or will a few rinses of boiling water salvage it? StarSan sounds good, a little expensive where I'm from though; how long will 8oz last?
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Old 06-22-2011, 02:41 PM   #6
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I was listening to an old episode of Basic Brewing Radio today. The inventor of Star San was talking sanitation, both with bleach and Star San. He basically said that bleach without vinegar was useless as a sanitizer. He recommended 1 oz of bleach mixed into a gallon (might be off on the water amount) of water then 1 oz of white vinegar added to it. This made the best sanitizer.

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Old 06-22-2011, 02:46 PM   #7
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I was listening to an old episode of Basic Brewing Radio today. The inventor of Star San was talking sanitation, both with bleach and Star San. He basically said that bleach without vinegar was useless as a sanitizer. He recommended 1 oz of bleach mixed into a gallon (might be off on the water amount) of water then 1 oz of white vinegar added to it. This made the best sanitizer.
Yeah I heard something similar also from a reputable brewer, but now my fermenter reeks. I have dumped out the water anyways and it appears that the boiling I did previously did have a good effect Yooper - my water is fairly hard and boiling and cooling allows the lime to precipitate out of the water... as it sure did. A lot of effort though boiling all that water.
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