Results 1 to 11 of 11

Thread: Campden/Potassium Metabisulfite for chloramine removal

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    3

    Campden/Potassium Metabisulfite for chloramine removal

    I recently landed a very small part-time job as an assistant brewer at a small brewpub with a 3.5 barrel brewery. After assisting with one full brewday I was surprised to find that they are not filtering or treating their city tap water for chlorine and chloramines which I know are present in the water supply. On the homebrew level I have always used campden tablets to deal with chloramines. I realize that a carbon block filter would be the ideal solution, but one of those does not appear to be on the horizon in the near future.

    In the 3.5 barrel-ish brewpub world is anyone out there using campden tablets or Potassium Metabisulfite to treat their water for chloramines?
    Last edited by NectarOfTheGods; 02-24-2012 at 07:19 AM.

  2. #2
    AnalysisAnnie Guest
    Campden tablets/metabisulphite will remove chloramines and at home brew volumes this is the simplest method to use but if you are going to routinely need to remove chloramines on larger volumes of water I would recommend using a more robust method such as carbon filters. This will give you a water clean of chloroamine without adding something that could potentially give you flavour taint when used to dechloroamine a large volume of water.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Madison, WI
    Posts
    256
    I've never used them commercially, but I'd consider adding 30 mg of sodium metabisulfite or 35 mg of potassium metabisulfite per gallon of water in your situation. It would be a lot easier than crushing up a bunch of tablets. Anyway, an A.J. deLange article on chlorine/chloramine (available at http://ajdel.wetnewf.org:81/) claims that those rates will treat the worst-case scenario of 3 mg/L chloramine. It'll also treat 6 mg/L of chlorine. If your water has 3 mg/L chloramine, the treatment will result in 3 mg/L of extra chloride ions and 8 mg/L of extra sulfate ions. If your water has 6 mg/L of chlorine, the treatment will result in 6 mg/L of extra chloride ions and 8 mg/L of extra sulfate ions. Those are pretty small changes. If your water has less chlorine or chloramine, the treatment will result in some sulfur dioxide. Some of it will be driven off in the boil, and some will react with mash compounds to form sulfate ions that will approach the 8 mg/L maximum. Based on my experience of treating water that other brewers don't treat at all, and have no problems doing so (which implies low amounts of chlorine and therefore overtreatment with campden tablets on my part), the additions don't appreciably impact flavor.

    AnalysisAnnie, why would larger volumes increase the flavor impact if the same dosage rates are employed?

    Joe
    Ale Asylum

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    510
    A high-flow 20" carbon filter (similar to those sold for large domestic use) will produce around 5gallon per minute, so your 3.5 barrels would take about 20mins to filter.

    That seems like a decent proposition and is likely to be a more repeatable process than trying to ensure complete, even dissolution of campden tablets or powdered reagents.

    It also eliminates concerns about potential flavor impacts as both AA and Joe have mentioned.

    By using a stainless housing the whole system could be CIP'd and, if required, steam sterilized to ensure good micro.

  5. #5
    AnalysisAnnie Guest
    The advantage of using carbon is that it will remove other undesirables present in your water such as organics and you can be fairly certain that all the water will have come into contact with the active media as fitting to a main all water will pass through the filter and there is no need for mixing.

    Metabisulphite addition will need care as there is a legal obligation to declare sulphite over a certain level (currently 10ppm) because it is an allergen due to its link with asthma so you would need to check the remaining sulphite levels in your beer. At present the wine industry is having to move away from sulphites for oxygen control due to the issue with labelling and legal levels in final product.

    As for aroma and flavour taint, the addition of sulphite leaves the pathway open to sulphur compound formation a number of which have ppb thresholds and are unwanted additions to the flavour of your beer.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    3
    Thank you for the insightful responses. As I stated initially, unfortunately a carbon filter is not in the budget at this point. I was primarily interested to know whether or not chloramine removal using metabisulfite is possible and practical at 3.5 barrels. Based on the information from jwalts it sounds like it is.

    an A.J. deLange article on chlorine/chloramine (available at http://ajdel.wetnewf.org:81/) claims that those rates will treat the worst-case scenario of 3 mg/L chloramine.
    The DeLange article is very interesting, thank you. It is very helpful to know that the metabisulfite removes chloramines in 1 minute or less.

    Unfortunately using the existing brewing procedure at the brewpub only the strike water will be able to be treated as presently the sparge is conducted using hot tap water run through an instant water heater. There is no HLT. But, I guess every little bit helps and its a step in the right direction as far as reducing chloramine levels in the finished beer. The plan would be to fill the mash tun with the strike water, then treat it with 35mg/gallon of pota meta before doughing in.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    510
    Quote Originally Posted by WaterEng
    A 20" filter with activated carbon cartridge will not provide effective chlorine or chloramine removal for long if its run at 5 gpm. The flow rate should be on the order of 2 to 2.5 gpm to provide appropriate residence time with the carbon and improve the life and utilization of the media.
    Thanks. I gave the figure of 5gpm to show the order of magnitude for flow rate, so as to give an estimate for the time necessary to filter the OP's 3.5 barrels. Running at these lower rates still gives a cycle time for that volume of 40-50mins, which seems reasonable.

    As AA says, in recent years the wine industry has started to move away from sulphite use due to allergen labelling concerns. Whilst the primary use is as an oxygen-scavenger, it is the presence that is the issue rather than the reason.

    Mixing of any additives needs to be effective to ensure they are doing their job, whereas all the water has to pass through a filter.

    How does the cost of a 20" filter housing stack up against a good in-tank mixer?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    3
    Quote Originally Posted by KWLSD
    How does the cost of a 20" filter housing stack up against a good in-tank mixer?
    We already have a state of the art in-tank mixer like the one pictured here: http://i00.i.aliimg.com/photo/v0/207...rill_mixer.jpg

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    Dearborn Heights, MI, USA
    Posts
    16
    I have a question concerning this thread. The brewery I work in does not have carbon filtering, and the last brewer suggested using Potassium Metabisulfite treatment. In the reading I've done, using this treatment will break down chloramine to ammonium and chloride. I don't have a chemistry degree, does anyone have the equation to calculate how much chloride I would be releasing, or is the level low enough to be negligible for calculating chloride additions?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Carmel, IN
    Posts
    59
    The Bru'n Water website has a Water Knowledge page that happens to have that equation.
    WaterEng
    Engineering Consultant

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    San Antonio
    Posts
    22
    Just dont add too much otherwise you will kill your yeast before you start fermenting.

Similar Threads

  1. Campden tablets broader use?
    By rich24 in forum Stupid Stuff Q&A (Available for Sponsorship)
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 09-02-2016, 05:31 AM
  2. Chloramine Removal
    By PMallory in forum Equipment Q&A (Sponsored by Standard Kegs)
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 09-12-2013, 07:49 AM
  3. Vitamin C and Chloramine
    By Kushal in forum Process and Techniques (Sponsored by CPE Systems)
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 04-09-2011, 01:24 AM
  4. Reduction/elimination of Potassium Sorbate
    By drewseslu in forum Process and Techniques (Sponsored by CPE Systems)
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 04-05-2010, 06:12 AM
  5. Campden Tablets (Sodium Metabisulfite)
    By Kenny in forum Process and Techniques (Sponsored by CPE Systems)
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 01-16-2006, 05:59 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •