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Old 09-16-2009, 08:45 PM   #1
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Default Cl/SO4 and hops

Two questions concerning Cl/SO4 ratio - one for practical reason and one for the sake of knowing

1) Does the Cl/SO4 ratio affect just bitterness or overall hop flavor too? If just bitterness, is it just bitterness from hops or overall bitterness (e.g. as a result of darker grains and/or other bittering agents)?

2) What is the mechanism of the Cl/SO4 effect?

Thanks.

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Old 09-16-2009, 09:51 PM   #2
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This is from the "handbook of brewing" I've only fiddled with this a few times and have been happy with the results.

Sulfate to Chloride balance has a subtle but noticeable influence on malt/bitterness. The higher on the Chloride side the more you enhance the sweetness of the malts and the body, higher on the sulfate side the grater you enhance the bitterness and drying flavors. It's similar to adding salt to food.

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Old 09-16-2009, 10:52 PM   #3
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They won't produce flavor but they will emphasize (or de-emphaize) flavor. You also need to think of the chloride and sulfate separately in addition to their ratio. The ratio will tell you the balance of flavor, but they still act independently to influence either malty/sweet or bitterness.

If you go high on chloride then you will have an emphasis of malty/sweet flavor. If you go high on sulfate then you will have an emphasis of bitterness. The ratio between the two will determine balance. But the individual values still effect flavor.

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Old 09-16-2009, 11:02 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bsquared View Post
This is from the "handbook of brewing" I've only fiddled with this a few times and have been happy with the results.

Sulfate to Chloride balance has a subtle but noticeable influence on malt/bitterness. The higher on the Chloride side the more you enhance the sweetness of the malts and the body, higher on the sulfate side the grater you enhance the bitterness and drying flavors. It's similar to adding salt to food.
So what did you do to your water on your Pliny, or what are you going to do?
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Old 09-16-2009, 11:08 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bsquared View Post
This is from the "handbook of brewing" I've only fiddled with this a few times and have been happy with the results.

Sulfate to Chloride balance has a subtle but noticeable influence on malt/bitterness. The higher on the Chloride side the more you enhance the sweetness of the malts and the body, higher on the sulfate side the grater you enhance the bitterness and drying flavors. It's similar to adding salt to food.
Thanks for that link. I particularly found the "Balance" section informative. My chloride levels are quite high (140ppm) and my sulfate ions are quite low (~10ppm). It now makes sense why my Pale ales have been quite malty with limited bitterness and why the stout I made with an accidentally high estimated IBU, came out much more balanced than I thought it would.

Last edited by JLem; 09-16-2009 at 11:10 PM.
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Old 09-16-2009, 11:21 PM   #6
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I did not adjust my water this time, I really wanted to but with a $53 hop bill I was a little hesitant. Though I posted what I found at the Maltose Falcons web site in the thread "Target water for Pliny the elder" The link is broken though, so I will have to try to find the recipe. It seams thay are doing some updates to the Maltose web site. Next time I brew it I will do the adjustment. But I carbonated my Pliny clone last week, and had a sample this weekend, and it is vary good.

Quote:
I got this from Mike McDole's posting at Maltose Falcons

It looks like he does a significant adjustment with his SO4:Cl ratio bringing it up to 7:1

"Notes

Mike McDole's joins a proud few, a fraternity that includes brewers like Jamil Zainasheff and John Maier. Winning last year for his Eisbock, Mike goes in a different direction with a full on hop blast with his DIPA.

From Mike's notes:

As anyone who tasted my Double IPA would tell you, it's based on Vinnie's Pliny The Elder recipe (2004). I've modified his recipe by adding a Northern Brewer addition at 15 minutes and a cascade hopback treatment. I also reduced the amount of corn sugar by two thirds. Mine’s a bit maltier but the additional hops seem to balance that out. Once you get over the bitterness and alcohol, the most impressive thing about this beer is the great mouthfeel from the dexitrins and layered hops.

Notes:

The water was R/O to which was added gypsum, Epsom Salt, and salt to bring it to Ca-110ppm, Mg-118ppm, Na-17ppm, SO4-350ppm, Cl-50ppm. "
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Old 09-17-2009, 03:11 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bsquared View Post
I did not adjust my water this time, I really wanted to but with a $53 hop bill I was a little hesitant. Though I posted what I found at the Maltose Falcons web site in the thread "Target water for Pliny the elder" The link is broken though, so I will have to try to find the recipe. It seams thay are doing some updates to the Maltose web site. Next time I brew it I will do the adjustment. But I carbonated my Pliny clone last week, and had a sample this weekend, and it is vary good.
Yeah, I saw that thread and used those target numbers for my version that is bubbling away right now
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Old 09-17-2009, 04:19 PM   #8
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Sweet, I'd like to hear how that turns out.

If you have any interest in doing a bottle exchange let me know. I'd like to compare salted to unsalted.

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