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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Brew Science > Add gypsum to sparge, or directly to kettle?
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Old 09-14-2012, 08:56 PM   #11
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I'm actually making an IPA with the same water, today, so I'm going with 4g gypsum, split between the mash and sparge. It gets me into the calcium range I'm looking for, without throwing the ph out of whack, and it seems like pushing the sulfate just over 100ppm is actually preferred for this style. Of course, I'm just playing with B'run Water, too (MAJOR thanks, mabrungard!), so we'll chalk it up to a learning experience, either way...

So I guess the open question is: Isn't this question greatly dependent on what style you're planning on making?

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Old 09-15-2012, 02:55 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by DoubleBee View Post
I'm actually making an IPA with the same water, today, so I'm going with 4g gypsum, split between the mash and sparge. It gets me into the calcium range I'm looking for, without throwing the ph out of whack, and it seems like pushing the sulfate just over 100ppm is actually preferred for this style. Of course, I'm just playing with B'run Water, too (MAJOR thanks, mabrungard!), so we'll chalk it up to a learning experience, either way...

So I guess the open question is: Isn't this question greatly dependent on what style you're planning on making?
I'm thoroughly unqualified to answer your question given that I just started messing with my water myself. But yeah, I would think it is, but then again I've also read that some people prefer a slightly "maltier/sweeter" sulfate:chloride ratio even for their very hoppy beers so YMMV. Some of the "classic" brewing water profiles seem pretty extreme in comparison to the recommendations in Bru'n Water, and that's another point of confusion for me.

It seems to me that aside from a low Ca content, Austin water seems pretty decent for brewing. Did you check out that thread I linked above? Apparently a number of the pro brewers in the area use only phosphoric acid and nothing else. I don't know if it's just for the sparge, or to treat the whole water content, but I suspect that some may leave the acid treatment out of the mash water for very roasty/dark beers.
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Old 09-17-2012, 04:09 PM   #13
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A person can always treat the water with CaCL and add Gypsum to the glass to see if the like the flavor Gypsum adds. Most people tend to prefer a maltier beer over one too bitter from large additions of Gypsum.

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Old 09-17-2012, 05:22 PM   #14
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When making gypsum or calcium chloride additions directly to the kettle, is there a better time? Early or late in the boil, or does it matter?

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Old 09-18-2012, 04:17 PM   #15
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It seems to me that aside from a low Ca content, Austin water seems pretty decent for brewing. Did you check out that thread I linked above? Apparently a number of the pro brewers in the area use only phosphoric acid and nothing else. I don't know if it's just for the sparge, or to treat the whole water content, but I suspect that some may leave the acid treatment out of the mash water for very roasty/dark beers.
Yeah, I've actually been taking a look at the notes on local brewers fermentation tanks, and it confirms that thread. Most of them just use phosphoric. South Austin adds gypsum and chalk, but that's the only thing I've seen other than a straight acid addition.

For what it's worth, my IPA mash last week ended up in the mid- to high- fives (hard to be exact with litmus paper), and my efficiency definitely suffered (64%, lowest ever). Turns out gypsum isn't really a magic bullet for Ca and pH for Austin water, at least not for lighter beers (5.5 SRM). In a way, it's a relief, though. At least I'm getting a similar experience to everyone else. We'll see what gypsum does for the hop-forward flavor, but it looks like I'll be working with a phosphoric addition, going forward.
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Old 09-18-2012, 07:04 PM   #16
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When making gypsum or calcium chloride additions directly to the kettle, is there a better time? Early or late in the boil, or does it matter?
I can't see how it matters.
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