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Thread: Vitamin C and Chloramine

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    San Francisco, California, United States
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    101

    Question Vitamin C and Chloramine

    As I understand it adding Vitamin C to your water will drop out chloramine.
    Is anyone using this technique in there mash/brew liquor?
    If so I can you comment on dosing rates, method of addition and source to purchase from?
    THX
    Kushal Hall
    kushal@goodbeer.com
    Speakeasy Ales & Lagers
    San Francisco California

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada
    Posts
    813
    Ascorbic acid + Chloramine = dehydroascorbic acid + Ammonium Chloride
    C6H8O6 + NH2Cl = C6H6O6 + NH4Cl

    What happens to the dehydroascorbic acid? I have no idea.

    The ammonium chloride will increase your free amino nitrogen slightly in your wort.

    I imagine you will require miniscule amounts. Probably the cheapest and purest forms would be some tablets from your local pharmacy/vitamin supply.

    Do you know ppm of chloramine in your water? 2-3? Should be relatively easy using a little molar chemistry to figure out how much ascorbic acid to add. What would the effect be if you added too much? I have no idea. A little too much is probably not a problem would be my guess.

    I would be hesitant to add it to other than just the mash water (ie. I wouldn't add it to the hot/cold liquor tank if this water might be used elsewhere).

    Ascorbic acid (used as an antioxidant by many brewers who pasteurize) will actually function as an oxygen carrier (vs. oxygen scavenger) in the presence of free metal ions (like calcium, iron, zinc, magnesium, etc). This has obvious implications in terms of shelf/flavour stability etc. EDTA is commonly commonly present in commercial preparations of ascorbic acid as an antioxidant additive. EDTA chelates free metal ions. This allows the ascorbic acid to function as an antioxidant.

    My point? I would be pretty comfortable using this in my mash water if I had a chloramine issue. I'm pretty sure (as long as I didn't go overboard) the process/yeast wouldn't freak out much. Using this technique elsewhere in the process would make me think a little harder about it and its possible implications.

    Does your carbon filter not deal with your chloramine?

    Good luck,

    Pax.

    Liam
    Liam McKenna
    www.yellowbellybrewery.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    San Francisco, California, United States
    Posts
    101
    Thanks Liam
    I have (somewhere) recommended amounts of vitamin C tablets to add from the water company (as well as what our chloramine levels are). The thought would be to add straight to the mash plating water.
    We haven't really detected any flavor issues, but as far as I understand, carbon filters do not remove chloramine, and we don't want to get into an RO system right now.
    Good to know about the O2 carrier issue.
    Thanks again,
    Kushal Hall
    kushal@goodbeer.com
    Speakeasy Ales & Lagers
    San Francisco California

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Fawn Grove, PA, USA
    Posts
    545
    Quote Originally Posted by Kushal
    Thanks Liam
    I have (somewhere) recommended amounts of vitamin C tablets to add from the water company (as well as what our chloramine levels are). The thought would be to add straight to the mash plating water.
    We haven't really detected any flavor issues, but as far as I understand, carbon filters do not remove chloramine, and we don't want to get into an RO system right now.
    Good to know about the O2 carrier issue.
    Thanks again,
    Activated Carbon WILL remove chloramine, HOWEVER, the success of this removal is very dependent on the quality/type of GAC and the contact time/micron size of the filter medium. Contact rates are solved by multiple inline units with correspondingly smaller filter medium, but this is at the cost of GPM. What are you post filtration tests showing, or have you had you mash water tested?

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