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To campdem or not....That is the question?

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How many of you use Campdem tablets? What do you guys advice........I have been using spring water for my brews but want to use my drinking faucet water. I hate paying for water.

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I cant taste the difference between treated and non treated water. Some will say THEY can. I can however taste beer and Ive brewed with plenty of tap water and spring water and distilled water with my treatments. If it makes ya feel better go for it, I dont think its needed in America.

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If your water supplier uses chloramine, yes use Campden tabs (1/2 tab for 5 gallons).

My town uses the stuff, so I add Campden. It's the only way to get rid of it other than a very long exposure (several hours) to a carbon filter.

I do most of my brewing outside on two 30,000 btu burners. I fill my kettle with water from an outside hose outlet, run through an inline RV filter and a drinking water hose.

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i use tap water to make coffee. it makes good coffee, so i also use it to make beer. i don't worry about what's in it so much, that'll give you ulcers. you can't win so rdwahahb :barman:

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I do even though I let my water sit out overnight. I've spoke to my water company and 3 guys there are homebrewers. They told me that by the time the water makes it from the plant to my house, there's not enough chlorine and chloramine to affect my beer but suggested I use campden anyway OR leave it out overnight. I choose to do both.

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I have never heard of this yet. Thanks for posting the question.

If you can taste the chloramine in your water, its worth a try. Certainly cheaper than buying bottled water for all your beer. After a bit of reasearch, I decided I am sure as hell gonna get some campden tabs to try. No more bottled water for me I hope.

I am gathering that boiling for 20 minutes removes the chloramine, so if you full volume boil, I would thing the tabs would be unnecessary.

Another thing. Sure you can make GOOD beer with municipal tap water. But if there is the possibility of making even BETTER beer, I'm always gonna look into it.

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I prefer to use my filtered (Pur cartridge filter) city water, measured out the day before a brew day, and left to 'air out'. There is no detectable chlorine taste in my local water, but I do all that just to make sure.

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I have tried it and did not like the results - I could pick up a minerally taste, and some beers still had a chlorphenol issue. Then I bought a $60 reverse osmosis filter, and all my problems went away.

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Can't boil away chloramine, just chlorine.
Just a little in beer can cause big time off flavors, if your doing a full boil you'll have less of a problem, but if your using tap water for top off would be wise to filter, or boil first.


All of America has perfect water for brewing?

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"azmark" post=355425 said:

Can't boil away chloramine, just chlorine.


my local water treatment website made the claim it can be boiled away in 20 minutes. However after your statement and others I found online, I am starting to think yours is more accurate.

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"russki" post=355424 said:

Then I bought a $60 reverse osmosis filter, and all my problems went away.


I have read a number of places that we shouldn't use RO water for brewing because the process removes all the minerals from the water and the yeast need thos minerals. Anybody else have experience in this?

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Brewing Classic Styles - by Jamil Zainasheff and John Palmer

Most city water supplies now use chloramine instead of chlorine to kill bacteria because it is more stable than chlorine. The trouble is, "more stable"means that you can't just let the water stand overnight to get rid of chloramines, which you could do with chlorine. However, a single Campden tablet is an inexpensive and effective method for removing chloramines. Crush 1 Campden tablet to a fine powder and add it to your water before the boil. Stir thoroughly to help it dissolve. One tablet will treat 20 gallons, although using 1 tablet for only 5 gallons won't hurt anything. Both chlorine and chloramine are reduced to insignificant levels of sulfate and chloride ions (

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From "How to Brew" by John Palmer -

If the water smells bad, many odors (including chlorine) can be removed by boiling. Some city water supplies use a chemical called chloramine instead of chlorine to kill bacteria. Chloramine cannot be removed by boiling and will give a medicinal taste to beer. Chloramine can be removed by running the water through an activated-charcoal filter, or by adding a campden tablet (potassium metabisulfite).

Some brewers use RO water as a base for their brewing water and then add certain minerals to obtain a custom water profile (like Burton or Munich) to match the style of beer they are brewing. Others use a mix of filtered/treated tap water and RO or distilled water to lower excess levels of certain minerals in their local water (based on a water report).

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I use half a tablet and have never noticed any off flavors though most of my beers are heavy and hoppy.

I've been offered the chance to have them come out and test the water directly from my faucet but declined, What I do works well for me and nothing they find will change that.

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"JonP" post=355480 said:

"russki" post=355424 said:

Then I bought a $60 reverse osmosis filter, and all my problems went away.


I have read a number of places that we shouldn't use RO water for brewing because the process removes all the minerals from the water and the yeast need thos minerals. Anybody else have experience in this?

I do add minerals back in; namely calcium chloride and gypsum. You don't want to use straight RO water.

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"russki" post=355630 said:

"JonP" post=355480 said:

"russki" post=355424 said:

Then I bought a $60 reverse osmosis filter, and all my problems went away.


I have read a number of places that we shouldn't use RO water for brewing because the process removes all the minerals from the water and the yeast need thos minerals. Anybody else have experience in this?

I do add minerals back in; namely calcium chloride and gypsum. You don't want to use straight RO water.

You can use distilled water alone when brewing with extract. The extract will provide the minerals necessary for yeast health.

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I feel lucky...

Lake Erie water has been very, very good to me!

And as of yet, our supplier doesn't use chloramine...

:)

EDIT: While I do not use Campden in my beers, I have used it for wine production.

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Would it be prudent and realistic to just do it??? I always add a 1/2 tab of campden tablet and a teaspoon or slightly less of gypsum to my water prior to the boil. Qualifying comment is that I use R/O water for all my brews and I don't detect any off-flavors in my brews but then I am old & senile too...probably lost some taste along the road of life as well

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"T8r Salad" post=355728 said:

Would it be prudent and realistic to just do it??? I always add a 1/2 tab of campden tablet and a teaspoon or slightly less of gypsum to my water prior to the boil. Qualifying comment is that I use R/O water for all my brews and I don't detect any off-flavors in my brews but then I am old & senile too...probably lost some taste along the road of life as well


You do not need to add potassium/sodium metabisulphite (campden) to RO water - all it will do is inhibit your yeast growth, since there's no chlorine/chloramine for it to react with. The rule of thumb for building your water profile from RO is this:

For malt-forward beers: 1 tsp of Calcium Chloride per 5 gallons of RO water
For hop-forward beers: 1 tsp of Gypsum (Calcium Carbonate) per 5 gallons of RO water
Very hop-forward beers: 2 tsp of Gypsum per 5 gallons of RO water

That is what I've been following, and my beers have been coming out excellent.

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"russki" post=355802 said:

"T8r Salad" post=355728 said:

Would it be prudent and realistic to just do it??? I always add a 1/2 tab of campden tablet and a teaspoon or slightly less of gypsum to my water prior to the boil. Qualifying comment is that I use R/O water for all my brews and I don't detect any off-flavors in my brews but then I am old & senile too...probably lost some taste along the road of life as well


You do not need to add potassium/sodium metabisulphite (campden) to RO water - all it will do is inhibit your yeast growth, since there's no chlorine/chloramine for it to react with. The rule of thumb for building your water profile from RO is this:
For malt-forward beers: 1 tsp of Calcium Chloride per 5 gallons of RO water
For hop-forward beers: 1 tsp of Gypsum (Calcium Carbonate) per 5 gallons of RO water
Very hop-forward beers: 2 tsp of Gypsum per 5 gallons of RO water
That is what I've been following, and my beers have been coming out excellent.

Thanks Russki...I am always looking for ways to improve my homebrewing even if it is a slight tweak of my water make-up, my boil time, my temps at ferming and others. Thanks again for this tidbit of advice.

Thanks to Russki as I pulled this off the web:
In brewing beer, calcium chloride is sometimes used to correct mineral deficiencies in the brewing water. It affects flavor and chemical reactions during the brewing process, and can also affect yeast function during fermentation.

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