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Pre-Boiling water?

Discussion in 'Water' started by Edd, 7/5/18.

 

  1. Edd

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    Posted 7/5/18
    I am thinking about starting to pre-boil my water to rid it of chlorine (has a slight smell of chlorine occasionally). This will also precipitate calcium carbonate out, am I correct in thinking this? My question is, what effect will this have on my water profile that I plug into Bru’n water or BeerSmith? Do I need to capture this or would it be negligible?

    Cheers, Edd
     
  2. MHB

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    Posted 7/5/18
    Boiling will reduce Chlorine (lots of easier and cheaper ways) and will drop out what is called temporary hardness, mostly Bicarbonate and Carbonate, but how much you precipitate is entirely dependant on how much was there to start with.
    To get rid of excess Carbonate, standard practice is to boil the water (all your water) + 10%, leave to cool overnight and decant/syphon off the top 90%, the precipitate will stay in the bottom of the kettle until you throw it out.

    Water so hard that this is really necessary isn't all that common in Australia, first thing to do is to look at your local water analysis, if you don't have carbonate problems, might be worth looking at using Campden (Potassium Metabisulphite) to get rid of the Chlorine.
    Mark
     
    Aus_Rider_22, Garagebrew and Edd like this.
  3. Edd

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    Posted 7/5/18
    Thanks for the advice, I’m all for alternatives to running my water up to boiling twice around.
     
  4. wynnum1

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    Posted 7/5/18
    Preboiling water is going to cost time and money and if using tap water chlorine better using a chemical but if your making wine and using tank water would need to boil the good thing about beer making is that boiling sanitize even if using tank water.
    If the tap water is too hard it stuffs up the pipe system plus probably have more contaminates like heavy metal and probably illegal what are the standards for water.
     
    Mr B likes this.
  5. Moog

    BIAB-ER

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    Posted 8/5/18
    I usually boil my water the night before, to help reduce chlorine, and also remove the oxygen.
    I've made a graph of temp loss, so that when I get up at 7:00 I'm right at mash in temp, or close enough to just give it a quick boost. If I didn't do it that way, it takes longer to get the 55 degree water up to temp.
     
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  6. Dozer71

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    Posted 9/5/18
    Also depends what your water authority uses. If it is chloramine (more stable than chlorine apparently and a lot use it) boiling won't get rid of it. However ascorbic acid (vitamin C) does which is available at the chemist in unflavoured powdered form. I believe the dosage is to match the chloramine content and in our area is 3mg/L.
     
  7. MHB

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    Posted 9/5/18
    Metabisulphite is more effective, arguably a blend of Ascorbic Acid and Metabisulphite is even more effective than either one alone.
    The big advantage of Potassium Metabisulphite is the tablet form (Campden) containing 0.44g.
    So if you wanted remove 3mg/L, always good to ad some extra I would be looking at adding about double 6mg/l
    Say 35L at 6mg/L = 210mg, each tablet contains 444mG, so half a tablet would be 222mg - close enough.
    Cheap, easy to use and to get a fairly controlled dose at about 5c/brew.
    Mark

    Oh
    I went looking for Ascorbic Acid at a chemist, they had some but it was really expensive, the stuff in the health food section was Sodium Ascorbate, I'm not sure of the Cl scavenging properties of Sodium Ascorbate, But it has a different molecular mass so the dose rate wont be the same just worth being sure what you are getting when you ask for Vitamin C.
    M

    Just went and read the entry on NaMBS in Wikipedia it says 1 tablet will treat 75L, so about the same 1/2 a tablet in 37.5L...
    M
     
  8. BrutusB

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    Posted 9/5/18
    I'm surprised no-one has mentioned using a carbon filter for removing chlorine or chloramines from tap water?
     
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  9. Dozer71

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    Posted 9/5/18
    Chemist warehouse has 100% ascorbic acid for $15 for 125g. Considering the usage is approx 0.2g per batch as above, it is quite cheap as well (around 3c a brew). Do need scales to 0.01g though. Whilst there is a best before, keeping dry and air tight it will last quite some time. Will also look into the campden tablets next for their ease of use..
     
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  10. Dozer71

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    Posted 9/5/18
    Make sure you have the correct/specialised filter to remove chloramine as ordinary carbon filters don't. Don't know what the cost difference is between the two is though
     
  11. drsmurto

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    Posted 9/5/18
    Yes they do.
     
  12. fdsaasdf

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    Posted 9/5/18
    Good doctor, thank you in advance for your fine golden ale recipes and advice over the years... My understanding is that not all carbon filters are equal and as such sometimes you will need a second filter to account for flow rate or material and ensure chloramines are removed.

    I can also attest to having noticed a distinct chloramine aroma from one home brewery I visited, where they just ran their water through the cheapest carbon filter they found on ebay, full bore out of the tap.
     
  13. mabrungard

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    Posted 9/5/18
    Preboiling can be effective when chlorine is the disinfectant, but is far less effective on chloramines. The effects on calcium carbonate precipitation is directly dependent on the temporary hardness level of that tap water. If the temp hardness is only modest, then the precipitation may be low. The other thing about precipitating temp hardness is that it takes more boiling time than you might expect. While the solubility of CaCO3 is at minimum when the boiling starts, it takes several minutes for that reaction to proceed. All of the texts that I've read, point to a need to boil about 15 minutes to get that reaction to proceed to its fullest extent. That is a lot of wasted time and energy.

    The comment above on carbon filters is also important. The treatment capacity of those typical 10 inch carbon housings is limited. To remove chlorine, you need to limit the flowrate through the filter to about 3L per minute. To remove chloramines, that flowrate needs to be less than 0.3L per minute. As you can see, using a filter for chloramines is kind of ridiculous.
     
  14. drsmurto

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    Posted 9/5/18
    Citation needed for the flow rates on chlorine and chloramine please.
     
  15. fdsaasdf

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    Posted 10/5/18
    Interesting. Those flow rates are far lower than I've heard mentioned activated carbon filters. I was advised by a technician who installs filtration systems (including RO for breweries) that 2L/min for a single activated carbon cartridge or 3L/min for a dual cartridge would remove chloramines to almost the maximum level of effectiveness of any reasonably-priced filter.

    I too would be interested in some further literature to support the numbers, as I have no education on anything to do with water composition and the references I've found online have been wildly contradictory.
     
  16. Edd

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    Posted 10/5/18
    Some very interesting responses to the thread, thanks all for taking the time to respond. All things considered, including weighing up costs of additional equipment, I believe my best best is to give Campden tablets a whirl. I will use the same recipe as before but this time I am going all in for mash PH adjustment, water adjustment and seeing how that improves the brew. I’m hoping for a big difference, should be interesting!
     
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  17. peterlonz

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    Posted 11/5/18
    This post has me re-thinking what I had considered established & reliable procedures.
    I am on QLD's Gold Coast & the water quality is acknowledged to be very good.
    I run all my brewing water through an activated carbon filter, (the typical cylindrical type seen on many sinkbenches) at a modest flow rate of about 3 l/min. My standard practice, & it's claimed to remove other biological stuff also.
    I am fairly sure that the chlorine/chloramine removal capacity is not great & I should probably change filters more often than I do.
    BTW I gather that now chloramine is used instead of chlorine, for water treatment, because it is overall more effective as a sterilant. Unfortunately it is significantly harder to remove than chlorine.

    That said on another note: my wife keeps goldfish & changes the tank water about 80% every 10 days.
    If we had no access to collected tank water we would need to do what other fishkeepers do: either prefill drums of tap water & allow 1 week for chlorine to dissipate or treat the tap water with rather expensive additives to remove chlorine/chloramine.
    Two important questions arise in my mind:
    1) If you have access to good quality water how important in the overall scheme of things is chlorine/chloramine content, given that you can't actually smell it, & to what extent will it influence the taste of your brew?
    2) The simple & relatively low cost option by carbon filtration appears now to demand 2 carbon filters, one especially designed to remove chloramine, the other standard chlorine removal. Cost likely to be about $50 per pair. Given that these filters may remain effective for only about 1 year this is adding a few bucks to every brew cost.
     
  18. MHB

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    Posted 11/5/18
    Here is a clip from "A Handbook of Basic Brewing Calculations" S Holle
    Read the paragraph and I think you will get a fair idea what pro brewers think of water.
    Mark
    upload_2018-5-11_13-11-47.png
     
  19. Matplat

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    Posted 11/5/18
    It will **** it up royally. Someone more knowledgeable than I can explain the mechanism, but chlorine in your brewing water ends up as chlorophenols in the beer which gives a beautiful taste of band aid, which doesn't dissipate with conditioning.

    I run my brisbane water through a two stage filter (although I think the first stage is sand) at a very approximate 2l/min and have never had a chlorophenol problem.
     
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  20. scomet

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    Posted 11/5/18
    The 'Man' has spoken, thank you Martin; the best bit of electronic kit I got was a simple tds inline meter you will see how well your filtering water....
     

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