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Old 05-07-2014, 04:54 PM   #21
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Default Adding salts to finished beer?

I think part of it is the fact that my base beer is a 3.8% ABV, 1.040 OG, 30 IBU session pale ale.

Perhaps there is a sulfate to ABV/OG/IBU ratio that is analogous to the IBU/GU ratio that we use for bitterness. In other words, the higher your ________ (ABV, OG, IBU, ?), the more sulfate that can be supplied before you tip over to a minerally flavor? Just like the number of IBUs that will make beer flavor tilt towards bitterness is a moving target based on the starting & finishing gravity of the beer.

I'm thinking that if I scaled my session pale ale up to an IPA @ 1.070 with 60 IBU, that the same 115ppm of sulfate would not be objectionable.

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Old 05-08-2014, 01:36 AM   #22
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Ultimately the real tell will be brewing repeatedly shifting the levels enough to make a difference. Your experiment is a good baseline... So I might start lower and move new brews up till you are happy. I got frustrated after four brews, and jumped right to the Bru'n Water Pale Ale profile. It was a marked difference and my APA scores consistently pushed 40.

It is difficult to be precise about SNPA sulfate levels! I cannot find any legit direct data. But based on a tour and some research I believe they run north of 300 ppm sulfate and about 55 ppm chloride. That seems a sweet spot for a cascade driven flavor for me. I think their Torpedo has the beginning of a mineral taste, but was told it was the identical liquor to SNPA. The reality maybe completely different... So no fair quoting me.

Maybe Martin will do a Northern Cali water article soon... Starting in Santa Rosa and moving up into a Chico...


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Old 05-08-2014, 01:51 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GRBC View Post
That would be an interesting experiment. Brew a SNPA type beer with 300ppm sulfate and compare it to one brewed with 100ppm sulfate which is then dosed to 300ppm total sulfate in the finished beer and compare the three.
I've never done a three way comparison- but I know from experience that I have a couple of SNPA/Mirror Pond type of beers where I like 125-150 ppm sulfate. In fact, I'm drinking one now. I made it with 275 ppm sulfate, and did NOT like it a bit (all other things remained roughly the same, including the mash pH).

I have a couple of IPAs that I love at 230-250 ppm of sulfate (again, other ions including chloride are low). But only a couple. I'm one of "those people" who prefers a lower level of sulfate in most beers.

I say that with quotes, as I know that someone I respect greatly as a fellow BJCP judge disagrees strongly with me, and usually prefers the higher sulfate level in the same beers. (mabrungard).

I respect him, his water knowledge, his contributions, and his palate greatly!

The thing is- since we're homebrewers we can cater to our own palate and that's what I generally do. I rarely enter competitions any more, and brew to my tastes, along with my own personal homebrew taste tester and life partner. He tends to like more hoppy ambers, with a softer bitterness profile, so he also loves the beers with enough sulfate to make the hops bitterness apparent, but never harsh or overdone. I brew what we love to drink, and in general for most IPAs and APAs, it is a less sulfate profile than the recommended 300 ppm, generally 125-150 ppm.
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Old 05-08-2014, 02:18 AM   #24
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You lost me at "I've never done a three way....blah, blah, something, something...😜

But I think I might be one of "those people" too. Probably the only way to know for sure is for both of us to brew a low sulfate ipa and then consider a three way comparison!

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Old 05-08-2014, 03:00 PM   #25
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It is very possible that some of the sulfate solution might have particles not fully dissolved and may have a stronger mineral flavor. I know if I do the solution with cold water, it takes a bit for the milky appearance to dissipate and some of the solids appear to settle out. I have been using boiling distilled water to make the solution and then let that slowly cool... I seem to have better results. Even with that said - my doctored finished beers do not taste identical to beers make with the salt prepared liquor, but very close. The experiment should get you into the ballpark.

I do like the three way comparison idea.

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