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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Brew Science > Gypsum in the boil?
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Old 03-08-2010, 03:41 AM   #1
JLem
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Default Gypsum in the boil?

I'm using some store-bought spring water for which I have the complete water analysis. Unadjusted it has the correct RA for the beer I want to brew next, but it is low in sulfate. I'd like to up the sulfates to bring out the hop bitterness, but if I add gypsum into the mash, the RA goes down and I would need to add some chalk to get it back in range. Instead of doing this can I just add the gypsum addition to the boil and skip the chalk addition? I'd like to make as few mineral adjustments as possible.

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Old 03-08-2010, 01:46 PM   #2
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Yes, I think you have the right idea. Since your RA is fine, and unless your mash water is calcium deficient (<50 ppm), then it sounds like you don't need to make any mineral additions to the mash, just adjust the sulfate level in the kettle.

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Old 03-08-2010, 01:59 PM   #3
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Right, once your mash is good to go, flavor/balance additions go in the boil.

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Old 03-09-2010, 12:46 AM   #4
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Thanks. What is the calcium needed for in the mash? The baseline Ca level is 43ppm - close enough to 50?

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Old 03-09-2010, 01:50 AM   #5
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As long as you have been getting decent efficiency in your mash, I wouldn't worry too much. Palmer states 50-150 ppm is your target range. Calcium is important for many aspects of the process -- enzymatic conversion, yeast health, flocculation, etc. I am no expert, but i think 43 ppm should get it done. I have seen no differences in conversion efficiency using anywhere between 45 and 200 ppm in my brews, though I did have problems when I used to brew with only ~20 ppm, before I understood water adjustment.

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