Gypsum question

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Cposten

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Hey got all my grains crushed and equipment sanitizing when I realized I don't have any gypsum left. My LHBS is closed until Tuesday and I have a friend who's on leave from the army stopping by to help brew who has to leave Monday. Basically I was wondering if I could go and buy gardening gypsum and use that? Also could I just get said gypsum at a Home Depot or Walmart? Thanks.
 

jakegreen58

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Just make sure it is pure calcium sulfate. If there are any other ingredients listed, I wouldn't use it.
 

bdh

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A whole lot of gypsum gets produced in sulfur-dioxide scrubbers on the output of coal fired power plants (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flue-gas_desulfurization). There's probably a pretty good chance that's what's ending up in those bags of gardening gypsum.

What sort of beer are you planning? If you can get the mash pH and calcium levels in the right range without the gypsum you might be able to then just add the gypsum at kegging/bottling for the flavor effects.
 
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Cposten

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It was an old ale. Ended up finding something at a local gnc type store. Needed it to raise pH. Also local market had nirvana spring water for $.99 a gallon. Thanks for all the help.
 

Yooper

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It was an old ale. Ended up finding something at a local gnc type store. Needed it to raise pH. Also local market had nirvana spring water for $.99 a gallon. Thanks for all the help.
Gypsum doesn't raise mash pH. It lowers it, but just a tiny tiny bit. (less than .1 in a 5 gallon batch for 5 grams)

I wouldn't use gypsum for an old ale, but if that works for you that's great. I'm not a fan of too much sulfate in beer, though. If you didn't add much, it should be fine, but I'd strongly suggest leaving it out for almost all beers unless they are highly hopped and you want to accentuate the dry bitterness of them.
 
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