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Old 03-25-2013, 08:44 PM   #1
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Default Chlorine - Is 'any' too much?

Novice brewer here (3 batches, 1gal, 2.5gal, 5gal, all still in some point of bottle aging) with a CL2 question. (To avoid wordy post, skip below to bold )

I didn't read about chlorine until I started looking up 'Green Beer' flavors, since my beers are all obviously still young, so like any new brewer I freak out because of this one odd flavor all my test bottles have had, and it is probably yeasty / green beer Im tasting but I stumbled over chlorine discussions as well.

I will be using campden in future batches (since I ordered it already...new brewer amazon prime member over reactive ordering syndrome)...but my local water report show a low level of CL2, which I assumed was present but I couldnt taste it, and my water taste good, so I was told to use it.

SOOO, question is, is there a threshhold of chlorine that typically will not put out off flavors, or will ANY CL2 produce off flavors?


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Old 03-25-2013, 08:53 PM   #2
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I'm guessing that any off flavors are not caused by chlorine...it dissipates within 24 hours. Look for other reasons why you have off flavors like ferm temps and type of yeast used. You're not going to find many public water sources that do not use chlorine.


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Old 03-25-2013, 08:56 PM   #3
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Chlorine and fermentation together create "chlorophenols". As to how much is actually tasted, I've read that it has an incredibly low taste threshold. But as to how much that is exactly in free chlorine, I can't say.
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Old 03-25-2013, 11:29 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yooper View Post
Chlorine and fermentation together create "chlorophenols". As to how much is actually tasted, I've read that it has an incredibly low taste threshold. But as to how much that is exactly in free chlorine, I can't say.
And different people have different taste thresholds.
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Old 03-25-2013, 11:57 PM   #5
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If you can't taste it in the water, you won't taste it in the beer.
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Old 03-26-2013, 12:00 AM   #6
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Quote:
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If you can't taste it in the water, you won't taste it in the beer.
That's not so. You definitely can taste chlorophenols in beers made with chlorine in the water, even if you don't smell/taste chlorine in the water! Trust me on that, from experience.

Chlorophenols are detectable at something like 10 parts per billion! Sure, some of us have better taste buds than others, but at 10 ppb being a taste threshold I would think that it would be an issue.
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Old 03-26-2013, 01:40 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yooper View Post
That's not so. You definitely can taste chlorophenols in beers made with chlorine in the water, even if you don't smell/taste chlorine in the water! Trust me on that, from experience.

Chlorophenols are detectable at something like 10 parts per billion! Sure, some of us have better taste buds than others, but at 10 ppb being a taste threshold I would think that it would be an issue.
Relying again too much on Charlie P.- God Bless him, but there are many members of HBT that have deeper scientific knowledge than he shares in his books.

Why is it that chlorophenols are more evident in beer? Is it the carbonation, which can enhance flavor? Do they bind with the malt in some way? Reason #1 to troll this site is to learn from the jedis who have been doing this for so long.
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Old 03-26-2013, 01:41 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cyclman View Post
Relying again too much on Charlie P.- God Bless him, but there are many members of HBT that have deeper scientific knowledge than him.

Why is it that chlorophenols are more evident in beer? Is it the carbonation, which can enhance flavor? Do they bind with the malt in some way? Reason #1 to troll this site is to learn from the jedis who have been doing this for so long.
Basically, the chlorine and fermentation together make chlorophenols.
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Old 03-26-2013, 01:58 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cyclman View Post
If you can't taste it in the water, you won't taste it in the beer.
Sorry, but you are quite wrong. Chlorine in water is typically present between 1 and 3 parts per million. Most people can taste the chlorine, although not too many object strongly. The taste threshold for chlorophenols in beer is around 30 parts per BILLION. So, roughly a hundred times more sensitivity to chlorophenols. And there is a one to one production of chlorophenol per hypochlorite ion or chloramine ion.

The bottom line is that regardless of your ability to taste, all municipal water supplies are REQUIRED BY LAW to put a disinfectant residual into their distribution lines. In most cases, that will be chloramine or chlorine. Be sure to remove that residual prior to brewing or you are very likely to have chlorophenol in your beer.
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Old 03-26-2013, 02:16 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mabrungard View Post
Sorry, but you are quite wrong. Chlorine in water is typically present between 1 and 3 parts per million. Most people can taste the chlorine, although not too many object strongly. The taste threshold for chlorophenols in beer is around 30 parts per BILLION. So, roughly a hundred times more sensitivity to chlorophenols. And there is a one to one production of chlorophenol per hypochlorite ion or chloramine ion.

The bottom line is that regardless of your ability to taste, all municipal water supplies are REQUIRED BY LAW to put a disinfectant residual into their distribution lines. In most cases, that will be chloramine or chlorine. Be sure to remove that residual prior to brewing or you are very likely to have chlorophenol in your beer.
Mea Culpa! As previously stated, maybe I put too much faith in Charlie P, who says "If the water tastes fine, then brew with it" (The Complete Joy of Homebrewing, 3rd Ed Page 13).


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