Charcoal filtered water, what benefits?

(That's water to the rest of us!) Beer is about 95% water, so if you want to discuss water treatment, filtering etc this is the place to do it!
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Top Cat
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Charcoal filtered water, what benefits?

Post by Top Cat » Tue Sep 03, 2019 9:57 pm

Hi all.
I have always used tap water through a charcoal filter for brewing, the only reason being the filter was there for drinking water when I started brewing again.

Our water has fluoride in it, it seems more pronounced later in the evening, awful to drink.
I haven’t tried brewing non filtered water yet, but as I’m moving house soon, and rigging a brewing department in the utility, I don’t know whether the expense of the filter system will be worth it.

My knowledgeable homebrew supplier reckons leaving the water overnight clears the chemical whiff, and there will be minimal difference.
Incidentally, my water supplier is South Staffs.

Anyone with any experience on this?

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LeeH
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Re: Charcoal filtered water, what benefits?

Post by LeeH » Wed Sep 04, 2019 5:15 am

Camden tablets if you need to remove chlorine and chloramine.

Carbon filter if it’s just chlorine and nasty niffs. I use a 3 stage affair off eBay.

I think a carbon filter may remove some chloramine too especially if you run it slowly/have a large filter but I’m not 100%.




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Re: Charcoal filtered water, what benefits?

Post by Robwalkeragain » Wed Sep 04, 2019 9:12 am

Yeah we use a Big Blue filter at work. It largely depends on your mains water but a broad spectrum will remove chlorine, heavy metals, sediments. Some metals like iron can add a twang in higher amounts. But i would agree the difference is fairly minimal

Chlorine is a gas and will flash off if left overnight so that’s correct, the main downside being you can’t use your water directly if you need to top up or whatever.

Also nice around the home, cleaner drinking water, bath doesn’t stink of chlorine etc. but they’re more expensive than just standing or using campden. Probably not worth the expense for the average brewer.

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Re: Charcoal filtered water, what benefits?

Post by TheSumOfAllBeers » Wed Sep 04, 2019 11:18 am

Remember you can also buy RO water from aquarium suppliers/trade cleaner suppliers. Usually very cheap.

Also I believe that Tesco Ashbeck water is still god to use as is, in brewing.

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Re: Charcoal filtered water, what benefits?

Post by Jocky » Wed Sep 04, 2019 11:34 am

Robwalkeragain wrote:
Wed Sep 04, 2019 9:12 am
Chlorine is a gas and will flash off if left overnight so that’s correct, the main downside being you can’t use your water directly if you need to top up or whatever.

Also nice around the home, cleaner drinking water, bath doesn’t stink of chlorine etc. but they’re more expensive than just standing or using campden. Probably not worth the expense for the average brewer.
If you can smell 'chlorine' in your water then you're actually smelling chloramines. They will not dissipate while sitting out overnight. Campden tablet or a good carbon filter will remove them.

Chlorine is good at disinfecting water but does dissipate quickly, so if the water company adds it at source then it's probably all gone by the time it gets to your tap. Instead they use monochloramine, which is chlorine combined with ammonia, which preserves the disinfecting power of chlorine all the way to your tap, but also causes the 'chlorine' smell.
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Re: Charcoal filtered water, what benefits?

Post by vacant » Wed Sep 04, 2019 2:42 pm

Knowledge is better than speculation. Ask your water company. I asked the Drinking Water Inspectorate in 2015 and got this answer:

chloramines

I have a £35 RO filter system for brewing. I live in a very hard water area.
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Re: Charcoal filtered water, what benefits?

Post by Top Cat » Wed Sep 04, 2019 7:06 pm

Thanks for the extensive help guys, all posts have been helpful.
Short term it’s campden tablets, I’m assuming one tablet per twenty three litres.
Long term possibly a year on, we will be updating the kitchen, and we will need filtered water to drink anyway, so I’ll just use the kitchen tap for my liquor, if I find there’s a quality difference.

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Re: Charcoal filtered water, what benefits?

Post by Jocky » Wed Sep 04, 2019 9:12 pm

Use half a tablet.

One Campden tablet can usually remove chlorine in up to 100l water. Any excess metabisulphite will work as an antioxidant, so a little too much isn't a big problem.
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Re: Charcoal filtered water, what benefits?

Post by Jim » Thu Sep 05, 2019 9:38 am

vacant wrote:
Wed Sep 04, 2019 2:42 pm
Knowledge is better than speculation. Ask your water company. I asked the Drinking Water Inspectorate in 2015 and got this answer:

chloramines

I have a £35 RO filter system for brewing. I live in a very hard water area.
I must have missed that post first time round. It shows my water company (Northumbrian Water) does use chloramines.

Fwiw, I use a fairly cheap charcoal filter (Water Gem) and they seem to work fine for brewing liquor.
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Re: Charcoal filtered water, what benefits?

Post by Trefoyl » Thu Sep 05, 2019 11:28 am

What I use:
Image

I got the idea of using a charcoal filter from Jim’s brew day pictures.
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Re: Charcoal filtered water, what benefits?

Post by Top Cat » Thu Sep 05, 2019 5:28 pm

Trefoyl wrote:
Thu Sep 05, 2019 11:28 am
What I use:
Image

I got the idea of using a charcoal filter from Jim’s brew day pictures.
Any idea where I can get something similar in the UK Guys?

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Re: Charcoal filtered water, what benefits?

Post by Trefoyl » Thu Sep 05, 2019 7:00 pm

These look identical to what I use
https://www.waterfiltershop.co.uk/2-5-x ... -pack.html
The filter is a compatible replacement water filter cartridge for similar 10" filter housings including brands such as Pentek, Ametek, Culligan, Whirlpool and so on. It will fit all under sink water filter housings which use a standard size small 10" x 2.5" filter replacement cartridge.
I had to assemble mine but now they are available complete,
https://www.morebeer.com/products/water ... hbEALw_wcB
but I don’t know about homebrew shops in the UK
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Re: Charcoal filtered water, what benefits?

Post by Top Cat » Thu Sep 05, 2019 7:44 pm

Trefoyl wrote:
Thu Sep 05, 2019 7:00 pm
These look identical to what I use
https://www.waterfiltershop.co.uk/2-5-x ... -pack.html
The filter is a compatible replacement water filter cartridge for similar 10" filter housings including brands such as Pentek, Ametek, Culligan, Whirlpool and so on. It will fit all under sink water filter housings which use a standard size small 10" x 2.5" filter replacement cartridge.
I had to assemble mine but now they are available complete,
https://www.morebeer.com/products/water ... hbEALw_wcB
but I don’t know about homebrew shops in the UK
Cheers!

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