I'm reading Sandor Katz's the "Art of Fermentation" & have been looking closely at the section on chlorine. Katz says that chlorine impairs fermentation. A common solution to this issue is to leave out the water you might use for fermentation & allow the chlorine to evaporate. Or you could simply boil the water. (I've been doing the latter.) I've noticed the water tastes much better after being boiled. My water-dependent ferments seem to be doing ok. Katz goes on to say that if water that is treated with chloramates, then boiling and evaporation are ineffective remedies to chlorination. l live outside Boston & our water is treated with "mono-chloramine." Based on the above, I'm wondering if I should be preparing my water for fermenting in a different way. Maybe my ferments would do even better? What are some other options for removing chlorine?
Hey! So I make my ferments (kombucha & krauts etc) with well water that I run through my big berkey water filter system (charcoal based- look into it if you want! Great system for city water as well!) & have great results. My sister on the other hand uses city water without boiling/doing anything and also gets great results with her ferments. I think the ferments will be OKAY even with chlorine/etc in them.. I think it's a good/better/best situation where the best option is to use filtered water but it's still GOOD/awesome to ferment with any kind of water.
I'd never heard of chloramine before and just did some reading. Don't you just love having a dozen web pages open and still can't find that one you were looking for to quote..... but after reading of all the by-products of modern water treatment methods I'll be using ONLY spring water for anything I'll ingest.
Either way, fermentation is all about encouraging GOOD bacteria to grow. Water treatment is about killing ALL bacteria and the two really don't mix well.
By-products of Chlorination:
Animal and epidemiological studies have suggested that some by-products of disinfection in
chlorinated drinking water may cause bladder, rectal, and colon cancer. There is also some data
that suggests that chlorinated drinking water could cause birth defects or reproductive effects
(Health Canada, 1993). It has been estimated that 14-16 percent (160-165 cases) of bladder
cancers in Ontario could be attributed to long-term exposure to drinking waters with high levels
(over 100 µg/L) of chlorination by-products (Wigle, 1998).
By-products from Chloramination:
Reported toxic effects of chloramine include possible effects on the immune system and damage
to red blood cells of patients on dialysis. Monochloramine is classified as a possible
cancer-causing agent in humans due to leukaemia observed in animals. Part of the eye irritation
felt by swimmers in swimming pools may be due to chloramine.
The most commonly used alternative to chlorination is ozonation. Ozone is an excellent
disinfectant and does not form chlorinated by-products (Health Canada, 1993). However, it
provides no residual disinfection to maintain water quality as it passes through the distribution
system. It is therefore necessary to supplement ozonation with chlorination or chloramination.
This results in many of the same by-products as in chlorination (Boorman, 1999).
I knew chlorine pushed out iodine in the body. Millions of Americans are deficient in iodine, partly for this reason, and it leads to diseases like Hashimoto's thyroiditis. 50% of Americans have chronic diseases, but don't worry, they are going to severely cut the EPA to allow more toxins into our communitites and our bodies.
Good info about the other negative effects. I live in a suburb, so I use a water filter. Aqua tru in my case. I like it.
I had absolutely no idea that Chlorine caused such a problem in ferments. On it's own Chlorine is a very deadly element but for some reason I always overlook that fact that it really isn't the best for you.
I don't think anyone said chlorine was a big problem in ferments but more adding it to the list of suspects when a batch goes bad. I'm sure the vast majority of kraut ferments last fall went just fine, chlorine or not.
I'm sure it was news to most of us that chlorination left undesirable by-products behind. Thanks to the OP for sending me down that exquisite little path of discovery.
I moved to Spain from Denmark 5 years ago - in Denmark the water is not chlorinated (so far... ), in Spain it is - so much so, that I have had a lot of clothes destroyed in the washinges machine. All my ferments died: Water kefir, sourdough, kraut. I kept forgetting that I couldn't just use tap water. Now I have my own well water and everything thrives. My friend lives in town, and even if she runs her town water through a filter her kefir-grains still shrivel up after a while, I have to keep giving her some (mine grow so fast I can't keep up with them)
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