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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Brew Science > Can gypsum go bad?
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Old 02-25-2013, 05:29 AM   #1
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Default Can gypsum go bad?

This sounds odd, but any beer I add gypsum to (my ipas) get the wieredest off flavor. Taste like what I imagine dirty feet soaking in beer to taste like.

This is only in my IPA. PH is on track. Yeast is fine. No infection. Its only this gypsum I add. Using pure ro water. I have been expeirementing with the additions a bit. Startdd with 5g per 7 gallons of finished beer, tasted terrible dumped it. I have troubleshot down to 1g per 7 gallons and its still there (although the sharpness from sulphates is damn near gone) and the taste is not nearly as bad as the 5grams from all of my expirements I've kept everything but gypsum controlled so I know its that salt. The taste seems to be a direct function of gypsum. So my question is can this stuff go bad? I know most everyone uses it in their ipas even the professionals. But I've never tasted this in any other beer. Even any of my other beers

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Old 02-25-2013, 05:40 AM   #2
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Add a tiny amount of gypsum to a glass of one of your other beers and see if it develops the same flavor. I think I know the flavor you're describing and I never equated it to gypsum. I was thinking it was more of over hopping or over dry hopping. I've dumped 5 gallons of an IPA with dirty sock flavors in it only to have the second 5 gallons of the same beer taste incredible a few weeks later. Usually it's a flavor I equate to over hopping or dry hopping with Simcoe and it fades as the hops profile fades. The gypsum might bring that flavor out a little more, but I'd be interested in what hops you used and especially dry hopped with.

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Old 02-25-2013, 05:43 AM   #3
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I think it is a fairly stable chemical compound so I doubt it has gone bad. Gypsum is chalk. Does your beer taste chalky? Have you sampled the gypsum out of the container?

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Old 02-25-2013, 06:03 AM   #4
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Chalk is calcium carbonate. Gypsum is calcium sulfate.

I'm guessing that it is the interaction of sulfate with hops that is responsible - not anything happening to the gypsum. It's just calcium sulfate - very stable stuff. Your walls are made of it. I suppose it's possible that some mold has started to grow in it but then the powder itself would look or smell funny.

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Old 02-25-2013, 06:18 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chumpsteak View Post
Add a tiny amount of gypsum to a glass of one of your other beers and see if it develops the same flavor. I think I know the flavor you're describing and I never equated it to gypsum. I was thinking it was more of over hopping or over dry hopping. I've dumped 5 gallons of an IPA with dirty sock flavors in it only to have the second 5 gallons of the same beer taste incredible a few weeks later. Usually it's a flavor I equate to over hopping or dry hopping with Simcoe and it fades as the hops profile fades. The gypsum might bring that flavor out a little more, but I'd be interested in what hops you used and especially dry hopped with.
I use simcoe a lot lol usually simcoe centennial and/or some Amarillo. Maybe this is the culprite
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Old 02-25-2013, 06:20 AM   #6
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I've added gypsum to a beer that was too malty *post fermentation and carbonation* and the flavor developed strongly. I added it to a shot glass of my beer and boiled and it smelled like puke

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Old 02-25-2013, 01:49 PM   #7
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Quote:
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Chalk is calcium carbonate. Gypsum is calcium sulfate.

I'm guessing that it is the interaction of sulfate with hops that is responsible - not anything happening to the gypsum. It's just calcium sulfate - very stable stuff. Your walls are made of it. I suppose it's possible that some mold has started to grow in it but then the powder itself would look or smell funny.
I experienced this first hand on Saturday. I opened a previously-opened tub of wall-board compound (gypsum-based). I did a little stir and noticed that it was much darker below the surface, not white like usual. Then the smell hit me, sulfur, rotten eggs. Clearly, the sulfur-reducing bacteria had invaded the wall-board compound. I still used it though!

I would be surprised if that same activity could occur in powdered gypsum since it should take more water to foster the bacterial activity. Maybe there is enough moisture in the air??
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Old 02-25-2013, 01:56 PM   #8
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As others have said gypsum is very stable. Bacteria and fungus cannot grow without water. The amount of water in the air is to small to support growth in a compound like gypsum. it is not hydroscopic so it stays very dry.

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Old 02-25-2013, 02:08 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ajdelange View Post
Chalk is calcium carbonate. Gypsum is calcium sulfate.

I'm guessing that it is the interaction of sulfate with hops that is responsible - not anything happening to the gypsum. It's just calcium sulfate - very stable stuff. Your walls are made of it. I suppose it's possible that some mold has started to grow in it but then the powder itself would look or smell funny.
Note to self, stop posting after midnight.
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Old 02-25-2013, 02:26 PM   #10
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Isn't sidewalk chalk gypsum?

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