Too much Gypsum?

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thebeardsmen

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I'm working with Bru'n Water for the first time. I'm coming up with 15grams of Gypsum to bring my calcium up for 5gal of an IPA. Starting calcium is 19PPM. I think I'm using it correct, just wanted to bounce it off some smarter folk.

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RedlegEd

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I'm working with Bru'n Water for the first time. I'm coming up with 15grams of Gypsum to bring my calcium up for 5gal of an IPA. Starting calcium is 19PPM. I think I'm using it correct, just wanted to bounce it off some smarter folk.
:mug:
Without seeing anything else (i.e. water adjustment sheet,) that sure seems like a lot. What does it do to the Sulfate? If I add more than 3 grams for a 5.5 gal batch, I'm surprised. Ed
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The_Bishop

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15 grams of gypsum is a *lot* in 5 gallons of water.

If I remember right, 1 gram of gypsum in 1 gallon of water will provide 62ppm of calcium and 147ppm of sulfate.

If you started with distilled water, you'd end up with 185ppm Calcium and 442ppm Sulfate. You'd definitely get a mineral taste in the beer.
 
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thebeardsmen

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Thanks for the responses so far. I've attached a screenshot of the Bru'n water spreadsheet. Not sure if this helps.

gypsum.PNG
 

stpug

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For calcium, you should only need to be concerned with being above ~40ppm and (ideally) not much above ~120ppm. Anywhere in-between should be fine. In the case of matching the "Pale Ale" profile in Bru'N water, you should be focusing on the sulfate and chloride levels, but magnesium and sodium might be worth watching to a lesser degree. From this perspective, you should be fine with the exception that if you have a high boiloff rate then those levels may "concentrate" in the finished beer, in which case you'd target slightly lower values to account for the "concentration" that occurs.

From my own personal perspective, I find 300ppm to be borderline off-putting (IPA or not). I find it excessively drying and tongue-coating. The level of mineralization from 300ppm of sulfate is plainly obvious in the finished beer. In a sulfate-favorable beer like an IPA, I try to shoot for an upper value of about 200ppm (which is about my upper threshold for sulfate levels). This is all just my opinion of course.
 

RedlegEd

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@thebeardsmen Perhaps you should consider reducing the amount of Gypsum by 1/2 (~7 grams for the 7.5 gal batch.) That would still give you ~ 60ppm Ca, and about 150ppm Sulfate. The SO4/Ca ratio will still be about the same (about 2.4=Very Dry), and it'll reduce the amount of salts you add in you beer. If you think the pH is still too high, then you can adjust using Lactic acid. I really think that you'll notice a taste difference in your beer. If you find this doesn't work for you, you can always add more the next time. It's hard to take stuff out, easy to leave it out. Ed
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thebeardsmen

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Thanks for the help all! I think I'm going to take Ed's advice and go with about 7 grams. :mug:
 

mabrungard

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2 g per gallon is fine...if that is what you prefer. I do like that level of dryness in my pale ales, but its not for everyone or every recipe. If a recipe was developed and refined using low sulfate water, its likely to have higher bittering levels than would be appropriate for high sulfate water. The elevated perception of dryness in the beer finish does have the secondary effect of increasing our perception of bitterness.

The other factor is the amount of malt in the beer. High gravity beers do benefit from having elevated sulfate to help those maltier beers to avoid being cloying in their finish. The original Imperial Stouts were crafted in Burton with their high sulfate water. That factor made them so desirable. Another less famous beer is Burton Ale which were big barleywine-like beers that also benefited from the high sulfate and its effect on dry finish.

So, a teeny pale ale may be overwhelmed by a high sulfate content in the water. But a Double IPA is much less likely to be.

Starting with a sulfate content in the 150 to 200 ppm range should be safe for most bittered beers and that level allows you to try out added sulfate by dosing small amounts of gypsum in your glass of beer. You do need to scale the gypsum dose to the size of your glass to avoid overdosing. It does not do you any good to severely overdose a glass of beer with an ungauged amount of gypsum and then decide that high sulfate isn't for you. You do need to be scientific if you want this assessment to be valuable.
 
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thebeardsmen

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I just put the flame on to heat the mash water. Went with 7.5gms of gypsum. Being its my first time adding I wanted to start slow. Thanks for the advice all.
 
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