Slow fermentation or there isn’t. Help me plz

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Mohy

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It’s my first batch and has been 4 days and 16 hours since I pitched the yeast, yet I see the followings:

1- no airlock activity unless I press down the lid.

2- at the first 3 days i see small bubbles inside the carboy at the top of beer ,krausen.

3- once mistakenly temperature went higher to 78F then after cooling the carboy to 70f i saw airlock activity for 30 seconds. (That situation was after 96 hours of pitching )

4- it bubbles a bit if I siwrl the carboy.

5- now I see no krausen, and little shots from the trub going up from the bottom to the top every 20 seconds or so, some small and others big. Inserted a video and picture.

OG= 1.043

Yeast is 15gm of:
M44 MANGROVE JACK'S, FLOCCULATION
HIGH (4/5), ATTENUATION
HIGH (77 - 85%].

^no rehydration pitched at 79F

Yeast nutrients boiled for 10 minutes:
1- 6gm DAP
2- 12 gm Fermaid O.
__
Recipe:
End up with 8 gallons of water
9 lbs 6 row malt
2.2 lbs rice
1.5 lbs flaked corn
200gm honey
20gm simcoe hops
1.5 whirlfloc tablets

( excuse my English )
 

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IslandLizard

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OG= 1.043
Did you measure that? How?

Given the 12.7# grain bill, the OG pf 1.043 is a bit low, I'd expect around 1.060.
  • At what temp did you mash the grains?
  • For how long?
  • Were the grains milled adequately fine enough? If you used whole kernel rice (not flaked), did you pre-cook it?
Have you measured gravity since?

In the last image, above, it looks like you've had fermentation, judging by the krausen patches on the carboy's shoulder. In the same picture it also looks like it's already clearing.
Now the movie (with the bubble shooting upward) does not look like it's clearing or much, but it could be the angle, or what's behind it.

There's a good chance fermentation is done, as it spent some time around 78F.

Now the cooling from 78F back down to 70F could have stalled the yeast, interrupting her fermentation process, especially if the temp drop was quick (say over less than 1 or 2 days).

I'd let it be another 7 days, as is, without opening, before doing anything. If it's getting very clear, give it a quick but gentle stir to rouse the yeast somewhat. Please, do not swirl the carboy! *
Keep it at 70-72F to help the yeast recover and finish out if there's anything left to ferment. Keep the airlock filled to the line with clean water or sanitizer (no need for alcohol).

Then take a gravity reading and report back.

* Word of Caution:
Glass carboys are fragile and dangerous. Please be very careful handling it.
Place it on a something soft, like a piece of soft carpet or foam. Don't put it directly onto a hard surface (like stone or cement, or even a wooden floor), even for a second. And don't tilt or swirl it, that could crack it (point pressure).

Best would be lifting it with a carboy carrier (Brew Hauler), a harness or straps, like a coarse net around the glass giving you a good handle to carry it by.
 
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Mohy

Mohy

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Did you measure that? How?

Given the 12.7# grain bill, the OG pf 1.043 is a bit low, I'd expect around 1.060.
  • At what temp did you mash the grains?
  • For how long?
  • Were the grains milled adequately fine enough? If you used whole kernel rice (not flaked), did you pre-cook it?
Have you measured gravity since?

In the last image, above, it looks like you've had fermentation, judging by the krausen patches on the carboy's shoulder. In the same picture it also looks like it's already clearing.
Now the movie (with the bubble shooting upward) does not look like it's clearing or much, but it could be the angle, or what's behind it.

There's a good chance fermentation is done, as it spent some time around 78F.

Now the cooling from 78F back down to 70F could have stalled the yeast, interrupting her fermentation process, especially if the temp drop was quick (say over less than 1 or 2 days).

I'd let it be another 7 days, as is, without opening, before doing anything. If it's getting very clear, give it a quick but gentle stir to rouse the yeast somewhat. Please, do not swirl the carboy! *
Keep it at 70-72F to help the yeast recover and finish out if there's anything left to ferment. Keep the airlock filled to the line with clean water or sanitizer (no need for alcohol).

Then take a gravity reading and report back.

* Word of Caution:
Glass carboys are fragile and dangerous. Please be very careful handling it.
Place it on a something soft, like a piece of soft carpet or foam. Don't put it directly onto a hard surface (like stone or cement, or even a wooden floor), even for a second. And don't tilt or swirl it, that could crack it (point pressure).

Best would be lifting it with a carboy carrier (Brew Hauler), a harness or straps, like a coarse net around the glass giving you a good handle to carry it by.


After mashing for 60 minutes at 145 F then boiling the wort for 60 minutes I took sample put it in a small bottle 200ml, then the sooner I received my refractometer , 4 days after boil, i took a reading and it showed 1.043.



I pre cooked the rice before adding to mash



Ph level was 5,4



grains were milled very well



I’ve never opened the fermentator lid since I pitched the yeast, 5 days now



I won’t swirl anymore



I’ll be careful with the glass of carboy thank you for that.



So, I leave it for another 7 days, then I open the lid and check the gravity? I do nothing now but leaving it at correct temperature?



Thank you so much for your feedback
 

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By 4 days after the boil, your sample may have been partially fermented by wild yeast or bacteria so your low OG reading might be false.

Airlock bubbles are for the amusement of the brewer, not an indication of fermentation. You mentioned using a refractometer and they are great for getting the OG but the presence of alcohol skews their reading so your FG reading will be higher than what a hydrometer will show. Hyrometers are the best tool for determining the FG.

At 12 days your beer should be done fermenting so at that point your can open the fermenter and take another reading. I'd prefer the use of a hydrometer but the refractometer will be fine as long as you recognize that it will read higher. A couple days later take another reading and if they match, you can bottle your beer. Then leave it alone for 3 weeks to let the beer mature, except for one bottle that you chill at one week and drink to see how your beer is progressing.
 

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So, I leave it for another 7 days, then I open the lid and check the gravity? I do nothing now but leaving it at correct temperature?
That's the plan.

As @RM-MN pointed out, if you use a refractometer for fermented beer (or wine, etc.) the reading will be skewed. It will show a much higher gravity than it really is. This is due to alcohol being present, which has a much higher refractive index than dissolved sugars and dextrins. There are correction formulas (e.g., Sean Terrill or Brewer's Friend) but you do need an accurate Original Gravity (OG) reading to go along with it, so it can accurately calculate the alcohol content, the amount of skew.
Since you might not have a correct OG reading, a hydrometer would be the preferred tool. But you can use a refractometer to compare gravities 3 or 5 days apart, to see if there's any change.

The reason to make sure the beer is 100% done (fermented out) is to prevent (unwanted) fermentation resuming in the bottles, causing them to explode, or become gushers at best.
Besides, beer needs a conditioning period, which is why you leave it be for a week (or longer) after most signs of active fermentation have ceased. By that time the beer will also have cleared (or mostly), another sign it's done fermenting.

Yes, it's best to keep the fermenter closed, and only open it if absolutely necessary, such as taking a gravity sample to verify it to be done.
 
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Mohy

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Let it sit for 7 days, check gravity, if it's lower then you know you have fermentation. Leave it 3 more days, if the gravity is then still the same, continue to bottle/keg. Airlock activity is not a measure of fermentation.
Thanks you very much for ur time.

Checking gravity is now or after 7 days from now then I go on upon what u said?
 
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By 4 days after the boil, your sample may have been partially fermented by wild yeast or bacteria so your low OG reading might be false.

Airlock bubbles are for the amusement of the brewer, not an indication of fermentation. You mentioned using a refractometer and they are great for getting the OG but the presence of alcohol skews their reading so your FG reading will be higher than what a hydrometer will show. Hyrometers are the best tool for determining the FG.

At 12 days your beer should be done fermenting so at that point your can open the fermenter and take another reading. I'd prefer the use of a hydrometer but the refractometer will be fine as long as you recognize that it will read higher. A couple days later take another reading and if they match, you can bottle your beer. Then leave it alone for 3 weeks to let the beer mature, except for one bottle that you chill at one week and drink to see how your beer is progressing.
Thank you so much for this feedback.

Gravity of 1.043:
After I finished boiling the wort 5 days ago, I tried to measure my gravity but the refractometer I had by that time didn’t work well ( cuz i left it in star san for a bit), so i took a sample directly from the wort after boil in a small bottle of 200ml and stored it at the refrigerator ( no yeasts were added ) then i added the whole wort into the carboy, btw till now I have never opened the lid if the carboy.

So after receiving my other new refractometer from Amazon yesterday, I checked the gravity from that bottle which was 1.043.


I really appreciate the time you give. Thank you.
 
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Mohy

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Could be that your lid isn't sealing properly so the pressure isn't bubbling the airlock.

As RM-NM said above, the refractometer will read the FG higher due to the presence of alcohol. You can use this program to correct that for a pretty accurate estimate - Refractometer Calculator - Brewer's Friend
Thank you very much.

I hop the lid isn’t that tight, cuz when I was adjusting the airlock i did it 90% correct, had to drill a hole …etc which isn’t something I’m familiar with.


For the link, it’s a lot of info that sounds really helpful regarding my situation, but I need to understand the whole purpose of it and how to use it. I’ll Google it.

Thank you very much
 
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Mohy

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As

That's the plan.

As @RM-MN pointed out, if you use a refractometer for fermented beer (or wine, etc.) the reading will be skewed. It will show a much higher gravity than it really is. This is due to alcohol being present, which has a much higher refractive index than dissolved sugars and dextrins. There are correction formulas (e.g., Sean Terrill or Brewer's Friend) but you do need an accurate Original Gravity (OG) reading to go along with it, so it can accurately calculate the alcohol content, the amount of skew.
Since you might not have a correct OG reading, a hydrometer would be the preferred tool. But you can use a refractometer to compare gravities 3 or 5 days apart, to see if there's any change.

The reason to make sure the beer is 100% done (fermented out) is to prevent (unwanted) fermentation resuming in the bottles, causing them to explode, or become gushers at best.
Besides, beer needs a conditioning period, which is why you leave it be for a week (or longer) after most signs of active fermentation have ceased. By that time the beer will also have cleared (or mostly), another sign it's done fermenting.

Yes, it's best to keep the fermenter closed, and only open it if absolutely necessary, such as taking a gravity sample to verify it to be done.

What a shortcut to understand fermentation and carbonation. Thank you very much.

I’ll leave it more 9 days to have total of 14 days in the fermentor if you suggest that, also for the refractometer it was from the wort after boiling and leaving the bottle in refrigerator for 4 days without adding yeast, 4 days only till I got my new refractometer cuz previous one was ruined.
 

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You didn't mention what you used for water and I don't see anything that you might have done to eliminate sanitizers like chlorine or chloramines. Yeast nutrients are good but they don't work well in the presence of things that are poisonous to the yeast. You say this is your first batch, I would recommend scaling down (maybe to one gallon) until you get a process that works to your satisfaction before you do another five gallon batch.
 

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I would actually recommend doing a kit-and-kilo brew before continuing with anything else. I learned a lot from those kit brews and the beers were all very drinkable. I think often they're too frowned upon for no good reason.
 
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You didn't mention what you used for water and I don't see anything that you might have done to eliminate sanitizers like chlorine or chloramines. Yeast nutrients are good but they don't work well in the presence of things that are poisonous to the yeast. You say this is your first batch, I would recommend scaling down (maybe to one gallon) until you get a process that works to your satisfaction before you do another five gallon batch.
Thanks for participating and sorry for my late responding

I used Star San for sanitising, and good quality drinking water for the batch. I pitched some lemons drops till I lowered my Ph level to 5,3.
 
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I would actually recommend doing a kit-and-kilo brew before continuing with anything else. I learned a lot from those kit brews and the beers were all very drinkable. I think often they're too frowned upon for no good reason.
Thanks a lot for ur participations and sorry for the delay in responding.


I wish i had the chance but unfortunately where I live i can’t order such a product, kits, even if it’s online. I’ve been 6 months without a beer and had to brew a lot since we want to drink as much as possible. Waiting for the brewing supplies was enough, and we, me and my friends, can’t wait longer so we decided to brew a big batch. Even the malt we had to make it ourselves.
 

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You made your own malt? That's something worth mentioning, because if the malt isn't made correctly, the DP will suck, which can easily screw up all readings and result in an unfermentable product.

Where are you located?
 

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Thanks a lot for ur participations and sorry for the delay in responding.


I wish i had the chance but unfortunately where I live i can’t order such a product, kits, even if it’s online. I’ve been 6 months without a beer and had to brew a lot since we want to drink as much as possible. Waiting for the brewing supplies was enough, and we, me and my friends, can’t wait longer so we decided to brew a big batch. Even the malt we had to make it ourselves.
If the "good quality drinking water" was from a municipal source and not a well, you want to pickup some Campden tablets and treat the water to reduce chloriine and chloramines to chloride. Chlorine wreaks havoc with yeast.
 

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I would actually recommend doing a kit-and-kilo brew before continuing with anything else.
I would strongly advise against that, there are better ways to learn the process(es) and apply to brewing good beer.
No-one has mentioned to obtain a copy of How to Brew, 4th Ed. by John Palmer. I've linked to Amazon but it's available in other places.

For a (Google) preview:

The previous, 3rd Ed. is a bit outdated and doesn't include modern day updates and processes in homebrewing.

Here's the website with the old 1st edition of the same book, but that's really dated. Some things have changed... but most of the basic principles have not.
I wish i had the chance but unfortunately where I live i can’t order such a product, kits, even if it’s online.
You're not missing out on anything. ;)
 
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I would strongly advise against that, there are better ways to learn the process(es) and apply to brewing good beer.
No-one has mentioned to obtain a copy of How to Brew, 4th Ed. by John Palmer. I've linked to Amazon but it's available in other places.

For a (Google) preview:

The previous, 3rd Ed. is a bit outdated and doesn't include modern day updates and processes in homebrewing.

Here's the website with the old 1st edition of the same book, but that's really dated. Some things have changed... but most of the basic principles have not.

You're not missing out on anything. ;)
Thank you very much I’ve been watching reeding and learning how to brew for 2 months then I started. Thanks a lot 😁
 
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Thank you very much I’ve been watching reeding and learning how to brew for 2 months then I started. I’ll check on the ones u sent to improve my knowledge. Thanks a lot 😄
 
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You made your own malt? That's something worth mentioning, because if the malt isn't made correctly, the DP will suck, which can easily screw up all readings and result in an unfermentable product.

Where are you located?
Well, I believe i did it very well. Took the 6 row barley form the bakery and followed the instructions on youtube from cleaning, moistening, drying, cleaning again then roasting.

I live in Between Egypt and Iran, my country is the big one I suggest you check it on the map 😁

It’s very helpful to have you ppl around helping me and my poor nice friends that deserve a beer in every weekend, and specially if each of us has been super respected and responsible to his 4 wives during the weekdays, then he must has a beer by me as a reward
 
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If the "good quality drinking water" was from a municipal source and not a well, you want to pickup some Campden tablets and treat the water to reduce chloriine and chloramines to chloride. Chlorine wreaks havoc with yeast.
Thanks a lot for the feedback.


Getting such a thing to help my water is hard, is there a an easy way to make it? I mean maybe boiling the water for 15 minted or so?
 
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I notice some small little white circles. Not sure if they are air bubbles that stay the same and not disappear, or something that I don’t know what it is.

Does that mean my beer is spoiled?

Can you check m the video please





 

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Boiling the water or just leaving is set for a day or 2 will get rid of chlorine but chloramine is more persistent so it needs campden tablets to eliminate. I think campden tables can be substitued by potassium meta if you can get that in your country.

The white bubbles on the surface of your beer are normal, probably some trub carried to the surface by the bubbles of CO2.
 
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Boiling the water or just leaving is set for a day or 2 will get rid of chlorine but chloramine is more persistent so it needs campden tablets to eliminate. I think campden tables can be substitued by potassium meta if you can get that in your country.

The white bubbles on the surface of your beer are normal, probably some trub carried to the surface by the bubbles of CO2.
Thank you very much for sharing Your useful experiences. I’ll make sure to order those tablets and boil my water
 

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I’ll make sure to order those tablets and boil my water
Campden is either Potassium Metabisulfite ("K-Meta") or Sodium Metabisulfite ("Na-Meta") and are interchangeable for the purpose of removing chlorine and chloramines from water. Either comes as a powder, as well as tablets. The powder dissolves much faster than the tablets, even after crushing them. So I'd get the powder if it's available.

1/4 tablet or 1/16 of a teaspoon (1/4 of a 1/4 teaspoon) of the powder will treat 5 gallons (19 liter) of water. You can't really overdose it (if used within reason), so even if you happen to use double because of measuring error, it's all the same.

Those same sulfites are used in wine and mead making to reduce oxidation during racking, as it sequesters (binds) Oxygen. Sulfite becomes sulfate in that process.

There's no need to boil the water after using Campden, unless the water is not safe for drinking without boiling first.

If you can't source either of those sulfites, let the water stand in an open container such as a bucket or your kettle for a day or 2, as @RM-MN said. Cover with the lid kept ajar or with a cloth.
 
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Campden is either Potassium Metabisulfite ("K-Meta") or Sodium Metabisulfite ("Na-Meta") and are interchangeable for the purpose of removing chlorine and chloramines from water. Either comes as a powder, as well as tablets. The powder dissolves much faster than the tablets, even after crushing them. So I'd get the powder if it's available.

1/4 tablet or 1/16 of a teaspoon (1/4 of a 1/4 teaspoon) of the powder will treat 5 gallons (19 liter) of water. You can't really overdose it (if used within reason), so even if you happen to use double because of measuring error, it's all the same.

Those same sulfites are used in wine and mead making to reduce oxidation during racking, as it sequesters (binds) Oxygen. Sulfite becomes sulfate in that process.

There's no need to boil the water after using Campden, unless the water is not safe for drinking without boiling first.

If you can't source either of those sulfites, let the water stand in an open container such as a bucket or your kettle for a day or 2, as @RM-MN said. Cover with the lid kept ajar or with a cloth.
Perfect , so in order to reduce oxidation during racking, and since I don’t have those tablets, I’ll just put my water into my to my kettle that I’m going to mash the beer with, and open the lid for 2 days.

Do I have to boil the water for 20 minutes before adding my grains for any good reason?
 
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One or the other. Campden tablets work in cool water as well as hot so if you get those, boiling isn't necessary.
I see , but is there a way to get rid of chloramine, without adding tablets since I have no access to them? As far as I understood, leave the water for 2 days is gonna help the chlorine issue only.
 
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I have never brewed with rice, so I do not know the answer to this, but is it common to cook the rice first?
Based on the videos on YouTube, they cook the rice first then they add it after.
 

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I see , but is there a way to get rid of chloramine, without adding tablets since I have no access to them? As far as I understood, leave the water for 2 days is gonna help the chlorine issue only.
The alternative is to start with distilled or RO purified water and add various salts to get the profile you want. Calcium is important for yeast function, magnesium too in much smaller amounts, and chloride and sulfate impact taste. Carbonate ion is needed to buffer your strike water so you don't have wide swings of pH and you will need lactic or phosphoric acid to get your mask pH down to around 5.4 to avoid extracting tannins from the grain. There are very good online calculators that can help you determine and hit an ion profile appropriate for any target style but you will need salts on hand. I always brew with RO water (an RO filter will remove chloramines) and keep chalk, gypsum, epsom salt, non iodized table salt and calcium chloride on hand.
 
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The alternative is to start with distilled or RO purified water and add various salts to get the profile you want. Calcium is important for yeast function, magnesium too in much smaller amounts, and chloride and sulfate impact taste. Carbonate ion is needed to buffer your strike water so you don't have wide swings of pH and you will need lactic or phosphoric acid to get your mask pH down to around 5.4 to avoid extracting tannins from the grain. There are very good online calculators that can help you determine and hit an ion profile appropriate for any target style but you will need salts on hand. I always brew with RO water (an RO filter will remove chloramines) and keep chalk, gypsum, epsom salt, non iodized table salt and calcium chloride on hand.
Didn’t really know water chemistry makes that much of a difference in brewing.

I wish I get to your knowledge level u seem to be very aware what’s going on in your process.

I’ll do my level best.

Thank you very much
 

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I see , but is there a way to get rid of chloramine,
How sure are you sure it's Chloramine, not Chlorine?

without adding tablets since I have no access to them
Using Campden (tablets or powder) is about the simplest way* to remove Chloramines. In post# 27 I provided the chemical names of "Campden," have you checked in the right places?

Perhaps hook up with wine or mead makers, they likely use Campden, as I said before.

* Some (special) charcoal filters (not just all of them) will remove it too, but they can be pricey and difficult to obtain. You would have to make sure you're getting the right ones.

Buying a small RO system, just used for purifying your brewing and drinking water is another alternative.
 

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Eureka!
I just thought of a possible alternative to using "Meta" or "Campden:" Sodium ThioSulfate!

You can probably get that from an aquarium supplies place. It's used to de-chlorinate or de-chloraminate tap water intended for freshwater fish tanks.

It's also used as "fixer" in photochemical processes, removing residual silver salts from photographic emulsions, after developing. So an (old time) film/print based photographic supplier should have it. It's usually sold as a powder.

You'd need to use a similar amount as you would use Campden, or a little more.
 
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Eureka!
I just thought of a possible alternative to using "Meta" or "Campden:" Sodium ThioSulfate!

You can probably get that from an aquarium supplies place. It's used to de-chlorinate or de-chloraminate tap water intended for freshwater fish tanks.

It's also used as "fixer" in photochemical processes, removing residual silver salts from photographic emulsions, after developing. So an (old time) film/print based photographic supplier should have it. It's usually sold as a powder.

You'd need to use a similar amount as you would use Campden, or a little more.
Thank you very much for that helpful feedback.

Now I understand more about water and how to fix it.

I’ll order that powder from Amazon i saw it that it’s available.

Thank you very much
 

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I’ll order that powder from Amazon i saw it that it’s available.
Ah, perfect! Didn't know you had access to Amazon.

But which powder? I mentioned 3 versions.
My preference would be Potassium MetaBiSulfite, or Sodium MetaBiSulfite (if the Potassium version is hard to get, or extra expensive).

As a last resort would be using photo/film fixer (Sodium ThioSulfate), as there is other stuff in there. But usage is so minimal (1/16 teaspoon per 18-20 liters), so I doubt it being a problem.
 
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Mohy

Mohy

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Ah, perfect! Didn't know you had access to Amazon.

But which powder? I mentioned 3 versions.
My preference would be Potassium MetaBiSulfite, or Sodium MetaBiSulfite (if the Potassium version is hard to get, or extra expensive).

As a last resort would be using photo/film fixer (Sodium ThioSulfate), as there is other stuff in there. But usage is so minimal (1/16 teaspoon per 18-20 liters), so I doubt it being a problem.
I thought I’ll use Campden either powder or tablets.

Yes I can buy it from US or UK Amazon and get it. It would take approximately 2 weeks to arrive.
 
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