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Chloramines

Hi All:

My local water source uses chloramines rather than chlorine because it is more stable. Is there any way to remove the chloramines from the water? I’d rather use tap water rather than buying spring water and spending more money than I have to. Any suggestions? I’ve heard of adding a campden tablet to the water to eliminate it, but if that is accurate, when would I add it?

Use campden tablet, crushed, before brewing. Mix with 15-20 gallons of water and stir until dissolved, then you should be good to go. You can also remove chloramines by running your water through activated carbon filter.

Metabisulfite is the preferred method for chloramine removal. Activated carbon filtration is another option, but the flow rate has to be so slow that it is impractical. Using either sodium metabisulfite or potassium metabisulfite is OK since neither chemical adds much in the way of sodium or potassium.

We have a significant level of chloramine in the drinking water in my city and I have tried numerous methods of removing it. I have settled on a carbon BLOCK filter, not activated charcoal and it works perfectly. I run it at 1-2 gallon per minute flow rate and have had zero issues. They are the typical cartridge filters and are easy to find at any local home improvement store.

Cheers!

[quote=“Tipsy Irishman”]I have settled on a carbon BLOCK filter, not activated charcoal and it works perfectly.[/quote]I’ve read that you still need an RO after the block filter to fully remove the chloramine and the campden tablet does this for about $0.03 per 20 gallons.

Carbon block material is activated carbon. Its just that it is formed into a permeable solid block instead of granular bits of activated carbon. There isn’t really a large difference between them excepting that there may be a little more activated carbon in the block since it is probably denser than the granular media.

Running any standard activated carbon filter unit (the 10" undersink type) at a flow rate of 1 to 2 gpm will work for a hundred gallons or so. But you will get early ‘break-through’ of the chloramine when you run them at that rate. The typical life of those filter cartridges is on the order of 1000 gallons when they are run at very low flow. 1 gpm is OK for chlorine, but the rate needs to be on the order of 1/10 gpm to get the same life when dealing with chloramine.

When you run chloramine treated water through a filter at that very low flow rate, you don’t need a RO process after it to remove the chloramine. The filter already took it out.

I fully agree that for the price and convenience, metabisulfite treatment is the way to go for chloramine removal.

A friend of mine works at a hospital. He told me they use ascrobic acid in the dialysis machines to remove any chloramines. I was able to find ascorbic acid (vitamin C) in powder form at a health store. Works great.

Ascorbic acid is fine for chloramine removal. Its just that its more costly than metabisulfite. For a wastewater utility that is using hundreds of gallons per day, using metabisulfite is an easy choice. For a homebrewer making a few gallons of brewing water, the cost difference is inconsequential. Use what ever you like.

Metabisulphite is the cheapest and most effective, period. Carbon filter and RO is the best mechanical means, but has a high associated cost.

Easiest is to make up your brew water in advance, treat with metabisulphite, and leave overnight to breathe. You are breaking apart chlorine bonded with ammonia, and once de-bonded those still needs time to dissipate.

What I do a day or more before brewing is run the water through a cheap carbon filter into water jugs, and then treat with metabisulphite, 1 tab per 20gal. Tops are left off the jugs to breathe.

If I were to go commercial it would be RO and carbon, with a followup lab analysis before any brewing was done.

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