RO and chloramines

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Chefmet

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Not sure if I’m placing ‘tis question in the right place. I purchased an RO system and used it for probably 10 5 gal batches. Last two batches I brewed tasted like Band-Aids. After research I discovered that RO systems do not filter out chloramines. I changed out all the filters on my RO system Flushed as directed with a Chloramine filter remover between my water source and the RO system While I was waiting for all the new filters to come I was able to locate some distilled water and made a batch. Distill water sure is hard to get a hold of. Hopefully that batch is going to turn out as it should. The last batch I made was half distilled water and half OR water with the new replacement filters plus the Chloramine remover. The batch is currently in the fermenter. Before I make the next batch I want to make sure it doesn’t taste like Band-Aids. So I gave it a taste and I think I have Band-Aids again. Besides chloramines could anything else cause my beer to taste like Band-Aids. I use the same process every time to brew cleaning and sanitizing. I have the brewers edge model with the pump. I bought a large batch of 05 dry yeast. I divided up into 45 g packets vacuum sealed and froze it. I’m wondering if this is causing a problem. The last three packs I’ve used I didn’t have any problems could that cause an issue. I was going to go to the pet store and buy a test kit see if there’s Chloramines in my filtered water.
 
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Chefmet

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Does the water have to sit for several days after you treat it? Can I add one tablet to 5 gallons or should I break it up?
 

jerrylotto

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Campden tablets (sodium or potassium metabisulfite) work great, but if you don't have any on hand you can use vitamin c. 500 mg is enough to treat 15 gallons of water and it has the side benefit of lowering the pH so you don't need to use as much lactic or phosphoric acid to get down to the right mashing pH range.
 

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Campden tablets (sodium or potassium metabisulfite) work great, [...]
I use Potassium Metabisulfite powder ("Meta"), comes in a pound bag from the brew store. Put it in a well closing (mason or jelly) jar to keep it dry.

Wine (and Mead) makers use it to kill wild yeasts, and prevent/reduce oxidation during racking.

To treat 5 gallons of chlorinated (or chloraminated) tap water, 1/16 teaspoon (that's 1/4 of 1/4 teaspoon) of the powder is enough. But even an overdose (using 2x or 4x as much) won't harm anything, you're just raising your Na+ or K+ levels a tad. Much easier to use than pulverizing those Campden tablets.
 

hottpeper13

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I live on a well system with an iron remover and softener. I installed an RO system after the softener. I have a TDS of 5,and thought that RO membranes remove everything.
Although chloramines are not on my radar I have gotten the band aid early on in my obsession. I did not know to take apart the valve on the bottling bucket or the plunger apart on the bottling wand. It was the 4-5 batch and all kinds of brown stuff came off when they came apart. Never happened again and my last count was 289 batches, and valves come apart or get run on CIP half open.
 

mabrungard

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Not sure if I’m placing ‘tis question in the right place. I purchased an RO system and used it for probably 10 5 gal batches.
Tell us about your RO system. Does it have the big 10" filter canisters or are the filters the small, compact units? Small activated carbon filters may not be capable of removing all chloramines. This is especially true if your RO system is rated for 50 gal/day or more.

With regard to chloramine removal, there are specialized forms of activated carbon that remove chloramines better than standard activated carbon. Maybe you need to equip your system with that?
 
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Martin is on the right track here.
What is the gpd capacity of your membrane?
What prefilters (the filters that treat the water before it reaches the membrane) are you using?

Russ
 

CascadesBrewer

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Besides chloramines could anything else cause my beer to taste like Band-Aids.

A few years ago I had back to back beers with what I assume to be a contamination that had a strong plastic / band-aid character. In my case, the beers seemed okay going into the keg, a little off after a few weeks, and then were dumpers at 4 weeks. In your case, Chloramine is the first place I would start, but if that does not address the problem it could be contamination.
 

IslandLizard

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Would you recommend treating store-bought, pre-packaged 1 gallon jugs of "RO filtered water"?
If they don't smell like chlorine when opened up, there's no need to treat with Campden/Meta.
But it's usually cheaper to fill your own jugs from an RO machine in the store. E.g., $0.39 a gallon at Walmart (in our area).
And always test with a (cheap, $15-20) TDS meter.

Now some pre-packaged water apparently has been chlorinated.
 

Hoochin'Hank

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The jugs I bought didn't smell like chlorine, tho I didn't think to take a deep sniff when I opened them. But then our tap water (which is definitely chlorinated by the city) doesn't smell like chlorine either.
 

CascadesBrewer

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The jugs I bought didn't smell like chlorine, tho I didn't think to take a deep sniff when I opened them. But then our tap water (which is definitely chlorinated by the city) doesn't smell like chlorine either.
What I have heard about chlorinated water is that if it smells like chlorine it was treated with chlorine, but if it does not smell like chlorine it was likely treated with chloramine. That makes sense to me since chloramine is used because it is not as volatile as chlorine.

It seems odd that bottled water would be chlorinated though.
 
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Chefmet

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Chefmet

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My previous post is to pictures of what I’m using for an RO system. I haven’t had a chance to read through all the posts to figure out if this oral system is truly going to work for me. In my original post I did approximately 10 to 12 batches without any issues. I ferment 5 gallon glass car boys
 

mabrungard

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It appears that you’ve got one of those compact RO units that have undersized filters that are readily overwhelmed. There’s a good chance that you’ll be faced with either poor water quality or frequent filter changes.

Get a good RO system with the proper large filters that are necessary to protect the membrane and produce high quality water.
 

IslandLizard

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Get a good RO system with the proper large filters that are necessary to protect the membrane and produce high quality water.
That! ^

I suggest @Chefmet (the OP) to contact Russ (@Buckeye_Hydro) from post #9:
 

hawkwing

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Chlorine is removed by the carbon filter. My buddy used to sell them and he told me chlorine destroys the RO membrane. Maybe you need to change the pre filter more often or add a larger one. Or get a bigger system as suggested.

I used to get bottled water from a car wash and it smelled like chlorine.

Now I have a countertop distiller I use. I fill up a couple jugs before brew day.

I’m just guessing but are you in a smaller center? Larger centers often use chlorine gas as it’s cheaper.
 
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Chefmet

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I agree about the Ro membrane being destroyed by the Chiorine or Chloramine. Can someone recommend an RO system that they are using?
BTW I want to thank everybody for all their posts and helping me clear up my water problem. I don’t have a computer so I’m reading all these post on my phone. Someone mentioned about Russ from post number 9. Where would I find that and contact him
 

IslandLizard

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Someone mentioned about Russ from post number 9. Where would I find that and contact him
Hover over @Buckeye_Hydro's name or avatar in the left sidebar in post #9 > Start Conversation.
You can also go directly to his website, and make yourself known. He'll set you up, or improve your current system.

BTW, @Buckeye_Hydro (Russ) is a sponsor here.
 
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Chefmet

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Hover over @Buckeye_Hydro's name or avatar in the left sidebar in post #9 > Start Conversation.
You can also go directly to his website, and make yourself known. He'll set you up, or improve your current system.

BTW, @Buckeye_Hydro (Russ) is a sponsor here.
Thanks for the info I’ll make contact with him or if he sees my post if Russ would contact me
 
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