Chlorophenol Troubleshooting

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rtstrider

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Hey all! I've been fighting a phenol issue off and on for a few years now. Ok so let me start with this. When I first started homebrewing I was nonethewiser to water profiles. I would use gallon jugs of spring water from the store and that was it. Well I always had clean (to me) brews. I ended up investing in 2 5 gallon jugs that have been refilled at the supermarket RO machines exclusively (for the past 2-3 years) until these last two brews. At that time I would get some odd phenols and such every once in awhile. I took everything apart, sterilized (yes not just sanitized) everything, and still it would be a crap shoot if my batches would turn out like cough syrup/band aid. I swapped to a glass ferment, got a brand new racking cane/hose/bottling wand/etc. Now this became a consistent issue with the 3 brews (used different yeasts to rule out any potential bad yeast) prior to my experiment. I began to wonder how well maintained these commercial RO machines actually were. So on a whim I decided I was going to brew the lightest brew I've ever done (1.038 og, 4.2% abv, 12 ibu, US-05 rehydrated), use filtered water from the fridge charcoal filter, and experiment with Campden tablets. Well I'm here to tell you that off flavor is GONE! Now with that said the water in my region is overchloronated as is (before any filtering) to the point the animals in our house wont drink it straight from the faucet. They'll run to the fridge and beg for the filtered stuff. I can actually pick up the chlorine levels on the pool water test kit with ease lol. Anywho has anyone else ever run into potential maintenance issues with the RO machines at the local grocer?

P.S. https://www.homebrewersassociation.org/how-to-brew/off-flavor-series-chlorophenol/
 

RPh_Guy

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I began to wonder how well maintained these commercial RO machines actually were.
Get a TDS meter. They're under $10 and super easy to use.
You should be seeing at least an 80% reduction in mineral content vs tap water if the machine is maintained. Ideally over 90%.

Either way, a campden tablet is cheap insurance.
 
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rtstrider

rtstrider

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Get a TDS meter. They're under $10 and super easy to use.
You should be seeing at least an 80% reduction in mineral content vs tap water if the machine is maintained. Ideally over 90%.

Either way, a campden tablet is cheap insurance.
I've got one and it read much lower typically than my tap. But yeah the tablets are dirt cheap and so far so good :)
 
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