What are the various ways to remove chlorine/chloramine from tap water?

  • OK, I actually know how to remove chlorine, but I'd like to have the pros and cons of each method spelled out. I will post an answer and mark it as a community wiki. Please edit it with your input.

    anyone know if boiling water til comes to boil removes chlorine? Thanks very much

    Please see the first answer - that covers your question about boiling chlorine.

    @mdma: The questions aren't ordered, first question can be the last, accordingly with its rank.

    It's the accepted answer and always appears at the top.

    Do you have to leave it uncovered when you leave the drinking water out for 24 hours to remove the chlorine?

    I have researched this extensively and am trying to stay away from using Camden tablets, not because they are poisonous, but because I want to be as organic as possible with my beers. I am still curious as to the micron filter size of the charcoal filter necessary. I am using a 5 micron charcoal flow through filter attached to my outside hose, but I am curious about the chloramine and if I need to reduce that size of micron filtration?

  • JackSmith

    JackSmith Correct answer

    10 years ago

    There are several ways that you can remove chlorination from your tap water before you brew with it. This topic should help you to choose which one is right for you.

    Off-gassing

    If you water contains only chlorine and not chloramine, you can let it sit for 24 hours and the chlorine will dissipate into the environment.

    Pros:

    • Free

    Cons:

    • Takes a long time
    • Will not remove chloramine

    Boiling

    If you water contains only chlorine and not chloramine, you can drive the chlorine off by boiling the water for 15 minutes.

    Pros:

    • Faster than waiting for it to off-gas at room temperature

    Cons:

    • Requires a lot of energy and significant time to boil all of your water before you even start brewing.
    • Will not remove chloramine

    Filtration

    A charcoal filter is designed to strip your tap water of chlorine and chloramine, block carbon filters are necessary for effective removal.

    Pros:

    • Fast, nearly as fast as your free-running tap
    • Removes both chlorine and chloramine

    Cons:

    • Filters last roughly 2-6 months depending on water usage and cost between $5 and $30+ dollars to replace depending on the system.
    • Some charcoal filters need to have water running through them for about 5-10 minutes before being used when replaced. This clears out any charcoal dust that may have been generated during shipment.

    Chemical Adjustment

    Chlorine and chloramine can be removed from your water by dissolving potassium metabisulfite into it. One campden tablet is enough to dechlorinate 20 gallons of tap water.

    Pros:

    • Very fast - as soon as the K-meta is dissolved in the water and stirred, the water is dechlorinated.
    • Removes both chlorine and chloramine

    Cons:

    • Powdered potassium metabisulfite smells harsh. If you catch a whiff of the powder when measuring it out, it stings the nostrils not unlike sex panther (Anchorman pop culture reference).

    Excellent answer!

    Are you quite sure you need to boil the water for 15mins? Im sure if you just boil your tap water in the normal way, for tea etc, then a rapid 3min boil is more than sufficient to rid the water completely of Chlorine!

    Another con for K-meta is that some people have sulfite allergies. Residual sulfite will remain in your beer. -- That said, it's still my preferred method!

    Other thing about sulfite is that (when used in wine) it gives head hache and a kind of tiredness feeling. I wonder if residuals in water for beer are enough to give the same result.

    AFAIK, there is no residual sulfite left in the beer.

    I heated the water (about 1 gallon) and measured its chlorine for each 10C (20F), and when reached about 60C (140F) the chlorine disappeared, before boiling. Just an empirical result.

    Excellent info that fishkeepers ought to be aware of as chlorine and chloramine can be harmful to fish. As a fishkeeper there are water "conditioners" available from brands such as top fin, aqua, and prime. Presumably these all use potassium metabisulfite as the active ingredient.

    One has to take care with the campden tablets. I've had experiences with pale ales where using a whole tablet when a half-tablet would have been enough (small batches), the excess sulfite caused a rotten-egg smell in the beer. Not pronounced, but just enough to make each sip unenjoyable.

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Content dated before 6/26/2020 9:53 AM