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Brews & Views Bulletin Board Service * Brews and Views Archive 2009 * Archive through March 01, 2009 * The absolute importance of removing chlorine in smoked beers < Previous Next >

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Joakim Ruud
Senior Member
Username: Joques

Post Number: 1358
Registered: 10-2005
Posted From: 84.208.79.179
Posted on Monday, February 23, 2009 - 03:33 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I've never really paid it that much attention. We have so little chlorine in our water that it was never a factor.

But in smoked beers it is absolutely critical. I read an article in BYO two days after my first Rauchbier that you have to remove chlorine in smoked beers because the chorine will react with the phenols of the smoke and create off flavours. Well, I hoped I'd be fine, but I was not. The resulting flavour was a kind of "dusty", "fake" flavour, like fake bacon flavouring in a bacon snack. Not at all the fresh, smoky, tarry, bacony flavour of a real Rauchbier. I attributed it to the chlorine in my water.

So I tried again. This time I used hydrogen peroxide to remove the chlorine, and the results were markedly different. I brewed it with 96 % Weyermann smoked malt, and though it still isn't quite as smoky as a Schlenkerla (I can live with that if I absolutely must), it has the same fresh, tarry, bacony flavour as the German beer. And it's really quite good. Success!

It's funny that I've never read this anywhere else than in that BYO article. Maybe because most American homebrewers have substantial amounts of chlorine in their water and so they always remove it as a matter of course?
 

Bill Pierce
Moderator
Username: Billpierce

Post Number: 9998
Registered: 01-2002
Posted From: 24.150.192.193
Posted on Monday, February 23, 2009 - 04:09 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I suspect you may be right, Joakim. Most of us experienced brewers who are on municipal water supplies use an activated carbon filter (or Campden tablets or hydrogen peroxide) as a matter of course.

I also confess that I am not enough of a fan of rauchbier to have brewed a batch myself. I do occasionally buy Aecht Schlenkerla, which I generally blend 50/50 with a conventional lager (my inlaws, who frequently live with us, drink Tuborg) and enjoy with smoked meats.
 

Jeff Swearengin
Senior Member
Username: Beertracker

Post Number: 1243
Registered: 03-2002
Posted From: 216.97.167.75
Posted on Monday, February 23, 2009 - 04:15 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

It's important to remove chlorine from any brewing water that's going to come in contact with ingredients or the finished beer. There are many phenolic compounds that can ruin an otherwise fine beer, smoked or not. I recommend pre-boiling the water the night before as the simple cure. Just my 2-cents! Your rauchbier sounds delicious! I guess it's time to fire up the smoker?
 

Joakim Ruud
Senior Member
Username: Joques

Post Number: 1359
Registered: 10-2005
Posted From: 84.208.79.179
Posted on Monday, February 23, 2009 - 04:23 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Jeff, I have to admit that after I identified that "dusty" flavour in the first Rauchbier (half a keg down the toilet...), I've noticed traces of it in other beers as well. Only very pale beers, though, and only faint traces.

I will definitely start dosing all brewing water with hydrogen peroxide (which is instantaneous, as opposed to leaving the water overnight). But before this I never noticed any off flavours. As I said, very low levels of chlorine here.
 

TappedOut
Junior Member
Username: Tappedout

Post Number: 33
Registered: 03-2005
Posted From: 205.175.225.22
Posted on Monday, February 23, 2009 - 04:23 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

My understand is that pre-boiling works for chlorine, but not chloramine, which is more stable, and more and more water systems are using. Camden tablets work for chloramine (and are quick, cheap, and easy). Not sure about H2O2.
 

Joakim Ruud
Senior Member
Username: Joques

Post Number: 1360
Registered: 10-2005
Posted From: 84.208.79.179
Posted on Monday, February 23, 2009 - 04:28 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Yes, thankfully we've avoided the chloramine scourge over here. No, H2O2 doesn't do anything for chloramine.
 

Will Hearne
New Member
Username: Will

Post Number: 9
Registered: 01-2009
Posted From: 4.242.186.130
Posted on Monday, February 23, 2009 - 04:32 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

How do you use hydrogen peroxide to remove chorine. I use a carbon filter as my water is some times so strong with chlorine that it can be used to clean carboys. Filter replacement is expensive and they last only 3 or 4 months. I test the filter before each brewing session and replace it if there is any trace of pink showing. It would be good to get by cheaper. Prost Will
 

Joakim Ruud
Senior Member
Username: Joques

Post Number: 1361
Registered: 10-2005
Posted From: 84.208.79.179
Posted on Monday, February 23, 2009 - 04:34 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I used a syringe from the pharmacy and dosed the brewing water with 1 ml of 10 % hydrogen peroxide per 10 liters of water. Removed all traces, if the finished beer is anything to go by.
 

Will Hearne
New Member
Username: Will

Post Number: 10
Registered: 01-2009
Posted From: 4.242.186.130
Posted on Monday, February 23, 2009 - 04:39 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hey thanks man, I'll give that a try. I have no idea of the cost of hydtogen peroxide but it hast to be a lot less then the nearly $40 each my filters cost. Prost Will
 

Joakim Ruud
Senior Member
Username: Joques

Post Number: 1362
Registered: 10-2005
Posted From: 84.208.79.179
Posted on Monday, February 23, 2009 - 04:41 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Search the archive for "hydrogen peroxide", and you should find the original thread with all the science. I am probably overdosing by several orders of magnitude :-)
 

Jeff Rankert
Junior Member
Username: Hopfenundmalz

Post Number: 40
Registered: 06-2008
Posted From: 76.122.147.39
Posted on Monday, February 23, 2009 - 04:41 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

For the last 2 years I have been using RO water for everything, from a town a few miles away that is on the Detroit City water distribution (water comes from Lake Huron). This has made a big improvement, as the town's well water we have is high in carbonates. Don't pre-boil anymore, used to do that to eliminate the chlorine and some of the corbonates.

Rauchbier has a limited shelf life due to the phenols in smoke (per Herr Merz at Spetzial). Getting a good example in the US is hit or miss, due to the time in shipping. Even the best examples will take on a "Liquid Smoke" flavor after about 6 months. This is a product in the US that our European freinds might not be familiar with.

With that being said, Alaskan Smoked Porter will age for years. Less smoked malt, stronger beer, and more dark malts?
 

Vance Barnes
Senior Member
Username: Vancebarnes

Post Number: 3592
Registered: 03-2003
Posted From: 74.7.7.66
Posted on Tuesday, February 24, 2009 - 03:07 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

So Graham, what's your trick? See you got a second place ribbon at the Peachstate for your rauchbier. Congrats!
 

ChriSto
Advanced Member
Username: Christo

Post Number: 519
Registered: 02-2006
Posted From: 216.176.226.154
Posted on Tuesday, February 24, 2009 - 05:09 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Joakim-
Do you know what the European environmental agencies require for removal of disinfection by-products or if any regulations exist for them? Tihalomethanes (THMs) and Halo Acetic Acids (HAAs) are caused by the combination of organics in water and reaction with chlorine. That's why lots of water systems in the US have gone to chloramines as they react much slower and is typically the least costly method of treating (vs. like a system-wide RO facility).

(Message edited by christo on February 24, 2009)
 

Graham Cox
Senior Member
Username: T2driver

Post Number: 2105
Registered: 11-2004
Posted From: 68.32.253.156
Posted on Tuesday, February 24, 2009 - 05:14 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Thanks, Vance. No trick, I just made it like I make every other lager. As far as my water, I've been using hydrogen peroxide for however long we've been talking about it, so that takes care of the chlorine, but I'm blessed with very good water to begin with.
 

Joakim Ruud
Senior Member
Username: Joques

Post Number: 1364
Registered: 10-2005
Posted From: 84.208.79.179
Posted on Tuesday, February 24, 2009 - 05:23 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Christo, I have absolutely no idea, sorry.
 

Tex Brewer
Intermediate Member
Username: Texbrewer

Post Number: 378
Registered: 03-2004
Posted From: 216.203.59.252
Posted on Tuesday, February 24, 2009 - 07:01 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Joakim, the article I found via the archives http://www.h2o2.com/applications/industrialwastewater/dechlorination.html says that "hydrogen peroxide reacts very slowly with combined available chlorine," so if you have chloramine (like we do here in Austin), it won't work that well. There is no explanation. Can you (or anyone else) explain? How slow is slow? Would letting is sit overnight work?

H2O2 is much easier and cheaper than setting up a carbon filtration system. Per the article, about 2 ml of drugstore 3% H2O2 would treat 5 gal of water in the 1-2 ppm chlorine range. Your dosage is the same, except you are using 10%, which sounds like overkill. But maybe that would improve the chloramine removal?
 

Joakim Ruud
Senior Member
Username: Joques

Post Number: 1365
Registered: 10-2005
Posted From: 84.208.79.179
Posted on Tuesday, February 24, 2009 - 07:09 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Like I said, we don't have chloramines here. Apart from that, I'm no chemist so I have no clue.

Here's the thread you want:

http://hbd.org/discus/messages/40327/41985.html
 

Bill Pierce
Moderator
Username: Billpierce

Post Number: 10007
Registered: 01-2002
Posted From: 24.150.192.193
Posted on Tuesday, February 24, 2009 - 09:56 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

In my area the water is disinfected with elemental chlorine, so a simple GAC filter does an excellent job of removing it for me. However, if I lived where they used chloramines, I would follow the recommendation to add half a crushed Campden tablet (potassium metabisulfite) per 10 gallons. After a brief stir the chloramines are neutralized.

TB, my understanding off the top of my head is that in chloramines the chlorine is bound to the ammonia, resulting in a more stable compound that is harder to break down.
 

Cory K.
Member
Username: Galaxy51

Post Number: 240
Registered: 04-2006
Posted From: 70.58.134.155
Posted on Wednesday, February 25, 2009 - 05:06 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Tex, I used the link you provided to accass the dechlorination article. The way I read the article the measure of H2O2 was 1 milliliter of .1 wt.% H2O2 per liter of test water that contained 1 ppm of free chlorine. The article states that the drugstore variety of peroxide is 3 wt.% H2O2. Wouldn't that make your calculations about 30 times greater than needed in treating water with 1 ppm free chlorine? Please recheck my math as I don't have the confidence in my calculations that I used to have.
 

Tex Brewer
Intermediate Member
Username: Texbrewer

Post Number: 379
Registered: 03-2004
Posted From: 216.203.59.252
Posted on Wednesday, February 25, 2009 - 06:38 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Here's what the article says: "The free available chlorine concentration is determined in one liter of the test wastewater at a pH of 7 to 9. For each mg/L of free chlorine, add 1 mL of 0.1 wt.% H2O2. This quantity may be approximated by one or two drops of a 3 wt.% of hydrogen peroxide solution available in drug stores."

Yes 3% would 30x the 0.1%. Typically there are 20 drops per ml. So 1/30 ml would be less than one drop of 3%. They say "one or two drops." That would be more than needed, but let's go with 2 drops/L per mg/L of Cl. So if your water has a typical Cl residual of 1-2 mg/L, then 2-4 drops per liter, or for 5 gallons of water, about 20-40 drops = 1-2 ml of 3% H2O2 should more than do the trick.

Again, this is for free Cl. I am still awaiting a chemical genius to tell us about combined Cl(chloramine).
 

Bill Pierce
Moderator
Username: Billpierce

Post Number: 10009
Registered: 01-2002
Posted From: 24.150.192.193
Posted on Wednesday, February 25, 2009 - 07:05 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I believe I once worked out that the somewhat generous dosing rate for drugstore (3 percent) H2O2 was about 0.75 tsp. per 5 gallons of chlorinated (with simple chlorine) tap water. Someone else rounded that up to 1.0 tsp per 5 gallons just to be sure. Filtering the water at a low rate (0.5 - 1.0 gallon per minute) with a GAC filter will greatly reduce chloramines, but perhaps not enough for what Joakim seems to indicate is required for eliminating off flavors in rauchbier.


The information I have (again less than scientific and more a consensus of opinion) is that 1/2 crushed Campden tablet per 10 gallons of tap water remains the easiest method of neutralizing chloramines.
 

Joakim Ruud
Senior Member
Username: Joques

Post Number: 1366
Registered: 10-2005
Posted From: 84.208.79.179
Posted on Thursday, February 26, 2009 - 08:27 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Again, no claims as to chloramines :-)

Don't have them, don't know anything about them.
 

Craig Henry
Advanced Member
Username: Sail

Post Number: 612
Registered: 04-2003
Posted From: 136.181.195.8
Posted on Friday, February 27, 2009 - 03:49 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Does anyone user water conditioners for fish tanks to treat Chloramines? If so, any comments about the effectiveness. (I believe many of these treat to reduce ammonia that is created from the conversion of chlorine.)