If there's one "rule" to follow while preparing a brine for lacto-fermentation, it's not to use water with chlorine. Chlorine will negatively affect the ferment and yield poor results. The problem is that for most of us municipal tap water is the most accessible and it almost always contains chlorine or chloramine.
This "no chlorine" rule can turn-off some beginner fermenters, but it's an easy issue to get around. You can use bottled spring water (make sure it's chlorine-free) or you may already have a filter on your tap that removes chlorine. If none of the above appeals or applies to you, try out these 3 easy ways to remove chlorine.
P.S. The other rule is not to use iodized salt, which we address in this blog post.
1. Boil & Cool
The colder the water, the more gasses it contains. By boiling water on the stove for 20 minutes, the water will degas and chlorine will evaporate. Before you use the water in a ferment or any other fermentation-related activity, ensure it cools to room temperature first.
2. UV Exposure
Leave the water outside in the sun for 24 hours so the chlorine naturally evaporates in an off-gassing process. This is easy, but takes time and leaves the water subject to other possible contaminates, so be mindful of where and how you leave it. It's a great option for people who require a lot of brine because they're fermenting multiple batches at once.
3. Vitamin C
Vitamin C is often used to remove chlorine and chloramine from large amounts of water, like pools, hot tubs and baths, but it can be used in drinking water too. The downside is you need to buy vitamin C tablets or powder and it can decrease the pH levels of the water, but if used in small quantities it's suitable for fermentation. Best of all, it will remove chloramine, which some municipalities use instead of chlorine because it's more resilient. However, you will need a higher amount of vitamin C to remove chloramine. Approximately 40 mg will dechlorinate 1 gallon of water.
Get other great fermentation tips in our video workshop with fermentation expert, Sandor Katz. Click here to watch.
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