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Old 05-24-2010, 02:14 PM   #1
May 2010
North Canton
Posts: 33

Hello all, and thanks for all the great advice you folks give.

I'm currently fermenting my first batch of wort. It looks and even smells great--yeasty, but fresh and earthy. My wife and I were fairly meticulous to ensure that our first brew would be something we'll enjoy. Sadly, we did not attend to the repeated warnings about chlorine in city tap water.

I *did* boil my water for ten minutes prior to making the wort--but completely forgot about the chlorine factor when adding water to the cooled product. 2008 chlorine levels for our local water were around 1.00 ppm.

Here is the question: Are there chlorine levels that are low enough *not* to ruin beer taste? Or will the aforementioned level almost certainly affect the taste of our virgin effort?

Whatever the case, I'll be hooking up a reasonably priced Britta faucet filter in order to avoid this worry in the future.

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Old 05-24-2010, 02:19 PM   #2
Apr 2010
Puerto Rico
Posts: 96
Liked 2 Times on 2 Posts

how much water did you boil? how much tap water did you add afterwards?

id make an experiment. Make a small sample of the water used, and drink it, if it taste ok your beer would also be ok, water is part of the flavor.

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Old 05-24-2010, 02:31 PM   #3
bad67z's Avatar
Feb 2009
Columbus, Ohio
Posts: 1,875
Liked 110 Times on 77 Posts

From what I have read on most posts on this topic, if you tap water is what you drink it will make good beer. Take a look at the bottom of this post for similar threads. Also Welcome fellow Buckeye.


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Old 05-24-2010, 02:33 PM   #4
Aug 2009
Posts: 1,630
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I do not preboil any of my city water. I am not sure what the ppm is, but I have never had a problem.

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Old 05-24-2010, 02:42 PM   #5
Oct 2009
Boston, MA
Posts: 214
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What type of beer was it? Any impact from the chlorine (if there is any at all) are generally more noticeable in lighter beers.

Also, if you brewed with extract I agree the "if it's good to drink, it's good to brew" mantra. Water chemistry is more important for AG, but I'm still not convinced I am able to taste the traces of chlorine in my water.

Also, double check your municipal water report for whether you have chlorine or chloramine. If it's chloramine, you're better off with campden tablets as a brita won't remove much chloramine from the water.

Either way, your beer will be fine. I have city water treated with chloramine and I use my water straight from the tap. RDWHAHB, and welcome to HBT!

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Old 05-24-2010, 02:46 PM   #6
Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc
Revvy's Avatar
Dec 2007
"Detroitish" Michigan
Posts: 40,937
Liked 3212 Times on 1896 Posts

You know, plenty of brewers, including myself, use chlorinated water straight out of the tap, often without even boiling and our beers turn out fine.

You'll find as you progress in this hobby, there are a million ways to do things, there's a million theories, and all of them make beer.

There's a saying in brewing "ask 10 brewer's how they do things and you'll get 12 different answers...and they are all right.

You didn't do anything "wrong" by not de-chlorinating your water. Your beer will not automatically be ruined because you didn't.

A lot of brewing is about coming up with your own process, figuring out what works for you and your system. There is really no right and wrong, better or worse way to do things, there is really just what we prefer.

And next time you brew, try doing it differently, de chlorinate and see if there is any difference. But don't just assume your beer is ruined, because one brewer or one book or one theory says you have to do it one way or else. It's just not like that in brewing.

You have the typical new brewer's panic going on, I bet you think that if you look at this fermenter wrong, your beer is going to "die." That's not the case, your beer is not like a weak newborn baby, it is much hardier than that.

Take a read of this thread, and relax-

In brewing you'll fine there is always more than one way to skin a cat...and they all work fine.
Like my snazzy new avatar? Get Sons of Zymurgy swag, here, and brew with the best.

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Old 05-24-2010, 03:07 PM   #7
May 2010
North Canton
Posts: 33

Thanks for the encouragement, everyone. I'll let you know how it turns out.

In response to Redglass, I'm brewing a fairly basic lager using ingredients supplied by a local homebrew shop. I think this particular brew will help me determine whether current chlorine amounts will, in fact, be a problem. The folks at the homebrew store are especially adamant about ridding one's brewing water of any traces of chlorine or chloramine (hence my trepidation). You'd think I was committing a mortal sin by not doing so.

Revvy, your right about me falling prey to the new brewers' panic. I was fretting when the wort didn't show visible signs of fermenting after 12 hours. Now its going crazy in the corner of my home office. Love hearing the water bubble in the airlock!

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Old 05-24-2010, 04:05 PM   #8
sprocketmaker's Avatar
May 2010
Milford, CT
Posts: 109

Your not alone Futureman, from one newbie to another, I've hit the panic button several times on my first 3 batches. And probably will for many more to come... it seems all my beers have behaved properly, cant wait to sample em.

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Old 05-24-2010, 04:37 PM   #9
Apr 2009
Posts: 1,093
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FIRST BREW!!!! yaaaaah! (pop)

welcome. don't worry. you'll be able to drink it.

for me, learning about brewing was knowing what I could FORGET as I moved forward, no prob.

basically, for everything, do what you CAN, but don't worry about what you *didn't do*, unless you can taste a difference. and yes, that is in a micro-nut-shell. HAVE FUN!
-I'm not getting older, but the floor is getting further away.

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Old 05-24-2010, 04:50 PM   #10
May 2007
San Diego, CA
Posts: 4,276
Liked 19 Times on 17 Posts

Originally Posted by Revvy View Post

A lot of brewing is about coming up with your own process, figuring out what works for you and your system. There is really no right and wrong, better or worse way to do things, there is really just what we prefer.
I will disagree with you until the end of time on this point, as I think it leads people down a path of failure. If people REALLY want the best beer possible, they should follow best practices. Chlorine in water is bad for beer. It is noticeable. It will change the profile of your beer. If your palate cannot detect these things, good for you, however there are a good number of us who are sensitive to these off flavors and if our new brewers are the type that are, it could lead to discouragement in the form of an off finished product.

That said, chlorine and chloramines are not the end of the world. In a typical first batch of beer, you're likely to have some flaws just because it is your first beer. Let it go, improve your process, and enjoy it to the fullest. Not every batch I make is a winner, but the more you do this stuff, the better it gets.

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