Is there a chemist in the house? Question re chloramine
Over the past few days I've been trying an experiment, getting a couple of starters going. One uses the bottled water I always use (the control), and the other uses water straight from the tap -- city water treated with chloramine. I turned off our water softener to eliminate whatever effect that might have. I use the microwave on both waters to heat them to 85F.
Both cultures are doing just fine. Initially (I'd say during the "leuconostoc phase") the bottled water starter was yielding a faster-fermenting culture, but after about 36 hours that disappeared and now the tap water culture seems to have a very slight edge (this may not even be significant, attributable to the inevitable lack of precise control in the "home lab"). They both smell about the same. At 4 days, they are both doubling in under 12 hours.
My conclusion is that the chloramine in the tap water does not seem to be adversely affecting the yeast in the culture. This is not what I expected.
I know that ascorbic acid breaks down chloramine. I'm wondering whether the acetic and/or lactic acid in the culture might be doing the same thing? I don't know enough about chemistry to understand whether it's the acidity per se or something else about the ascorbic acid that's the critical factor.
Any chemists out there who can shed some light on this?