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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Brew Science > Chlorine - Is 'any' too much?
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Old 03-26-2013, 02:25 AM   #11
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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).
Following what Charlie P may have said 30 years ago is like relying on what Darwin said about evolution. Things have advanced a long way since then. eg. Darwin died before the discovery of DNA and Charlie said "relax, don't worry, have a homebrew" - I think everyone now can agree the path to good tasting beer is to "Freak out and worry about every tiny detail".


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Old 03-26-2013, 02:37 AM   #12
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Following what Charlie P may have said 30 years ago is like relying on what Darwin said about evolution. Things have advanced a long way since then. eg. Darwin died before the discovery of DNA and Charlie said "relax, don't worry, have a homebrew" - I think everyone now can agree the path to good tasting beer is to "Freak out and worry about every tiny detail".
Thank you, the humor is appreciated. I am totally anal retentive, and charcoal filter my bottled water. OTOH, I have had comments when I have promoted my brewclub that too many brewers are so scientific and oriented towards getting gold medals that new brewers are intimidated and turned off from this hobby. My club is about having fun, and maybe getting tipsy overcomes achieving medals. Not everyone is a BJCP Honorary Grand Master.

I mean, just today, some guy posted an article on how he cheaply made cider. Was it the cheapest possible method, no. Was it the best possible cider, no. But this poor guy got blasted, again and again, because he felt a passion and excitement about his new hobby. There is constructive criticism / learning, then there are those that are out to dis people and be cruel. We need more fans, more members, more kindness.

Sometimes, a beer is just a beer, and pleasure trumps perfection

After all, we're brewers, not wine snobs


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Old 03-26-2013, 02:42 AM   #13
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After all, we're brewers, not wine snobs
Absolutely! I totally agree.

But I also feel it's important to simply correct misinformation. If our forum is to be a quality resource, and not just a group of people who brew, then we need to be ok with correcting information when it's incorrect.
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Old 03-26-2013, 02:52 AM   #14
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As you already know, my water and everyone elses water on here tastes different. I assume concentrations differ as well so its tough to give a straight answer on the impact of your water on the flavor of your beer.

But, when I brew I use my tap water and dont worry about getting the chlorine out. I try to use as few additives as possible also. I can taste the cholrine but I dont worry that much about it in the finished product. Im not a expert on flavor profiles like Michael Jackson (not the gloved one) but all of my batches have come out tasting great. Also, all of my beers have that distinct green taste after 3 or 4 weeks but given time they mature and the flavors just get better and the off ones just go away.

Some may criticize me but do what you can with what you have and try not to over think it. Brewing is an experience that should be fun and enjoyed. If you are REALLY worried about the chlorine, just let the water sit out in a bucket or two and it should be gone the next day.
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Old 03-26-2013, 04:52 AM   #15
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Thank you, the humor is appreciated. I am totally anal retentive, and charcoal filter my bottled water. OTOH, I have had comments when I have promoted my brewclub that too many brewers are so scientific and oriented towards getting gold medals that new brewers are intimidated and turned off from this hobby. My club is about having fun, and maybe getting tipsy overcomes achieving medals. Not everyone is a BJCP Honorary Grand Master.

I mean, just today, some guy posted an article on how he cheaply made cider. Was it the cheapest possible method, no. Was it the best possible cider, no. But this poor guy got blasted, again and again, because he felt a passion and excitement about his new hobby. There is constructive criticism / learning, then there are those that are out to dis people and be cruel. We need more fans, more members, more kindness.

Sometimes, a beer is just a beer, and pleasure trumps perfection

After all, we're brewers, not wine snobs
I'm guilty of nerding it up to much as well which is why I love my homebrew club - there is always someone there who shares whatever nerdy obsession I have about some aspect of homebrewing but has taken it 1 step further and I don't feel as bad

..and the competitive brewing thing...it gets pretty obnoxious sometimes. Last year I brewed a 6% golden promise/EKG SMaSH and took it to a club meeting:
BJCP guy: "what style is this supposed to be?"
Me: "Sort of an IPA I guess. I just bought a sack of Golden Promise and 3lbs of EKG and I wanted to brew with them"
BJCP guy: "Its too light to be an English IPA or an ESB, definitely all wrong in hopping, yeast and malt character for an American IPA or Pale Ale."
Me: "Is there anything wrong with it? Off flavours or anything?"
BJCP guy: "Nothing obvious, I just don't know what category you could enter this in. It only really fits in category 23 but it wouldn't do well there."
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Old 03-26-2013, 12:59 PM   #16
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With over a decade of judging experience, I've been amazed when I get an obviously chlorophenolic beer set in front of me. But I recently attended a Scotch and Irish Whiskey tasting event. I enjoy Bourbons, but had not had Scotchs...especially peaty Scotchs. There were 2 other BJCP National judges with me at that event and all of us came to the conclusion that those phenols that are omnipresent in a peated Scotch would be considered flaws in a beer. But it made me realize that there are probably plenty of people who don't know that a chlorophenol flavor (which is similar to the phenols in Scotch) in a beer is a flaw. So its not a surprise to me (now) that some brewers think there is nothing wrong with their beers even though they aren't removing chlorine or chloramine from their brewing water. To each his own.

I agree with the sentiment above about a beer not fitting a style very well. Sometimes its best to brew for yourself and learn from the experience...and hopefully enjoy the resulting beer. That conversation that GBX relates is typical. But that is for competition. However if that beer was really great, it would still rise to the top. Finding the category that best accommodates it may be the greatest difficulty.
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Old 03-26-2013, 01:22 PM   #17
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With over a decade of judging experience, I've been amazed when I get an obviously chlorophenolic beer set in front of me. But I recently attended a Scotch and Irish Whiskey tasting event. I enjoy Bourbons, but had not had Scotchs...especially peaty Scotchs. There were 2 other BJCP National judges with me at that event and all of us came to the conclusion that those phenols that are omnipresent in a peated Scotch would be considered flaws in a beer. But it made me realize that there are probably plenty of people who don't know that a chlorophenol flavor (which is similar to the phenols in Scotch) in a beer is a flaw. So its not a surprise to me (now) that some brewers think there is nothing wrong with their beers even though they aren't removing chlorine or chloramine from their brewing water. To each his own.

I agree with the sentiment above about a beer not fitting a style very well. Sometimes its best to brew for yourself and learn from the experience...and hopefully enjoy the resulting beer. That conversation that GBX relates is typical. But that is for competition. However if that beer was really great, it would still rise to the top. Finding the category that best accommodates it may be the greatest difficulty.
And to piggyback on what Martin says about not noticing chlorophenols, I do have had beers so loaded with chlorophenols in competition that I nearly gagged- but the brewer was unaware of it.

I've also, recently, been served a beer in a commercial brewpub that was full of chlorophenols. Not enough to knock me over, but definitely present.

I think some people just don't recognize it as a flaw, and consider it "part of the beer" if it's not too bad.
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Old 03-26-2013, 03:34 PM   #18
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Gbx - your post makes me want to avoid home brewing clubs absolutely. Seems like my favorite beers, commercially and home brewed, don't fit BJCP categories. I can't imagine for one second even considering style categories in my brewing. Thx for the warning!
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Old 03-26-2013, 04:55 PM   #19
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Gbx - your post makes me want to avoid home brewing clubs absolutely. Seems like my favorite beers, commercially and home brewed, don't fit BJCP categories. I can't imagine for one second even considering style categories in my brewing. Thx for the warning!
Oh, please don't lay that on homebrewing clubs. Lay that on geeks like me that judge and evaluate everything they drink now. There are plenty (if not a majority) of homebrew club members that couldn't care less about style. If it tastes the way you want, then its perfect.

PS: there are ultra-competitive clubs that enter all their beers in competition. I'm not a fan of that. It certainly takes away from the happy-go-lucky homebrewing feeling that I appreciate. Don't take any HOBBY too seriously!
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Old 03-26-2013, 05:11 PM   #20
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..and the competitive brewing thing...it gets pretty obnoxious sometimes. Last year I brewed a 6% golden promise/EKG SMaSH and took it to a club meeting:
BJCP guy: "what style is this supposed to be?"
Me: "Sort of an IPA I guess. I just bought a sack of Golden Promise and 3lbs of EKG and I wanted to brew with them"
BJCP guy: "Its too light to be an English IPA or an ESB, definitely all wrong in hopping, yeast and malt character for an American IPA or Pale Ale."
Me: "Is there anything wrong with it? Off flavours or anything?"
BJCP guy: "Nothing obvious, I just don't know what category you could enter this in. It only really fits in category 23 but it wouldn't do well there."
The lesson here is that some beers shouldn't be wasted by giving them to judges!


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