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Old 07-19-2012, 11:32 AM   #1
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Default Use of Calcium Chloride and Calcium Sulfate

{I guess this belongs here; mods feel free to move at your discretion}

After brewing with straight RO water since I started (about 5 years ago), I finally got experimental and decided to try some minerals. After perusing the more involved aids (spreadsheets, etc.), I just decided to brew some batches I'd made a number of times with a teaspoon each of Calcium Chloride and Gypsum (Calcium Sulfate) thrown in the mash. What I observed in the batches I've sampled is a noticeable (but not huge) improvement in that ambiguous quality "mouthfeel" and the hoppy beers seeming a bit hoppier. I am willing to concede that there may be procedural drawbacks in doing it this way, but I was determined first of all in seeing whether adding minerals in line with my KISS philosophy would have any effect.

Beers involved were a Scottish 80/-, an amber, and a rye IPA. Naturally, I had some of these beers left from my previous rounds of brewing so that I could compare. I realize that the hops comparison could be simply from the hops fading in the older beers.

My conclusion: I will continue to add these minerals when I brew, since there is an apparent effect (at least to my taste) and the cost is negligible.

“Malt does more than Milton can / To justify God’s ways to man”

-A. E. Housman (1859–1936). A Shropshire Lad , 1896.
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Old 07-19-2012, 11:57 AM   #2
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The enhanced mouthfeel is from the the chloride. The enhanced bittering from the sulfate. The amounts to be used depend on personal taste and the amounts already in the water (which for RO is very little - practically speaking 0). For a KISS approach to all this see the Primer.
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Old 07-19-2012, 01:03 PM   #3
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The additions of gypsum and calcium chloride make sense for some of those beers, but you might consider deleting the gypsum for malty styles like the Scottish.
Martin B
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