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Old 02-11-2012, 05:01 AM   #1
arcadiaacres
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Default Can this beer be saved

I hate that my first post here is going to be a "help, I may have screwed up" thread, but the reality is that I need help because I think I screwed up!

For my third batch of beer, I found a recipe for a Chocolate Raspberry Stout. The recipe called for "gypsum to create hard water" which I purchased and which came in a small ziploc baggie. I added the gypsum at the start of the boil but it wasn't until later that I noticed the instructions on the gypsum said to use 1-2 tsp per 5 gal. I had put the entire amount, 2 oz, into the boil.

After 6 days in the primary, I went to rack it this evening. I gave it a taste and it wasn't good...had a weird almost tangy taste. The SG was 1.020 (started at 1060).

I'm assuming the odd taste is from the extra gypsum and not some other mistake I may (or may not) have made! Any thoughts on this issue? Can it be saved? Will that much gypsum just ruin the entire batch?

Thanks in advance
Mark

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Old 02-11-2012, 05:36 AM   #2
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I've never used gypsum before but i've made stouts. I can say that practically any beer you make won't taste quite right 6 days in. Stouts can often take months before they are in their prime. I'm sure someone else can chime in about gypsum.

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Old 02-11-2012, 06:06 AM   #3
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Bottle it up and forget about it for a while. Aging beer that doesn't taste right can do wonders.

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Old 02-11-2012, 06:10 AM   #4
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Leave it on the yeast another month, then bottle. Carb for 6 -8 weeks and it should be fine.

I've always thought the round barn would make a great brewery site!

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Old 02-11-2012, 06:28 AM   #5
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Wow, that's a lot of gypsum. I think you added about 14 tsps. In a water calculator that looks like about 1650 ppm SO4 - yikes.
From How to Brew:
Sulfate (SO4-2)
Brewing Range = 50-150 ppm for normally bitter beers, 150-350 ppm for very bitter beers
The sulfate ion also combines with Ca and Mg to contribute to permanent hardness. It accentuates hop bitterness, making the bitterness seem drier, more crisp. At concentrations over 400 ppm however, the resulting bitterness can become astringent and unpleasant, and at concentrations over 750 ppm, it can cause diarrhea. Sulfate is only weakly alkaline and does not contribute to the overall alkalinity of water.

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Old 02-11-2012, 06:32 AM   #6
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I almost always say to let beers age and they work out but age isn't going to reduce hard water. Your water is harder than even the hardest naturally occurring brewing water. I would personally just write it off and get another batch going ASAP.

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Old 02-11-2012, 06:46 AM   #7
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Well it might make a good marinade, what with all of that salt.

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Old 02-11-2012, 12:44 PM   #8
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Me thinks it's a bad batch. The bit about concentrations over 750 ppm can cause diarrhea and I'm sitting at 1,650....that's a bit of a red flag!

I'm going to lick my wounds, swallow my pride and move on to starting an Orange Honey Hefeweizen TODAY.

thanks everyone!

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Old 02-11-2012, 12:56 PM   #9
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I would advise sticking with simple recipes with no additions until you have all your processes down.

I agree that at six days in primary you will get nothing like the taste the beer will end up with. I have had some that were not very good on bottling day and exceptionable 3 weeks later.

Also 6 days seems way early to rack to secondary. You need to be sure that primary fermentation has totally finished. You should take a gravity reading each day for 3 days, if they are identical, then you can rack.

I also agree that it is probably going to be off with all that gypsum. Since you only have time and the cost of some bottling sugar and caps to continue I would let it ride and see if it end up drinkable.

Look into skipping secondary all together. You can leave the beer in primary for 3-4 weeks the go directly to bottling.

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Old 02-11-2012, 01:49 PM   #10
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Wow. I missed the 2 whole oz. part...

Still, I'd bottle at least a few and see what happens. Might turn into a happy accident. Call it a learning experience and fire up the burners.

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