Sulfate Additions

Brewing water, and water profiles

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Big Monk
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Sulfate Additions

Postby Big Monk » Wed Jun 15, 2016 1:03 pm

Given that the members here seem to brew a nice range of beers, what seems to be the general consensus on adding sulfates via Epsom Salts and Gypsum?

The LODO paper suggests skipping these additions all together in reference to the Helles listed. I understand that sulfate concentrations are oxygen dependent in this application but is there a general estimate on the amount of sulfate typically produced by the 100 mg/l dose? Is it more of just a "brew then adjust" type of scenario?

Assuming you get your system dialed in for LODO, you should expect that a measurable and repeatable amount of oxygen ingress is being seen, and therefore, a measurable and predictable amount of sulfate is being produced, no?
Last edited by Big Monk on Wed Jun 15, 2016 1:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Bryan R
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Re: Sulfate Additions

Postby Bryan R » Wed Jun 15, 2016 1:17 pm

I use a pretty simple approach to this..( shocking I know) I have adjusted my RO water in brunwater to just assume, 25ppm NA, and 75ppm Sulfate. All my beers short of pale ale, just use the house water with a small addition of CACL. For my pale ale I adjust to get sulfate where I want it with gypsum. Thats about as complicated as I make it.
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Big Monk
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Re: Sulfate Additions

Postby Big Monk » Wed Jun 15, 2016 1:18 pm

Bryan R wrote:I use a pretty simple approach to this..( shocking I know) I have adjusted my RO water in brunwater to just assume, 25ppm NA, and 75ppm Sulfate. All my beers short of pale ale, just use the house water with a small addition of CACL. For my pale ale I adjust to get sulfate where I want it with gypsum. Thats about as complicated as I make it.


Awesome. Thanks Bryan.

Are you brewing any darker beers?
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act, but a habit.” Aristotle

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Bryan R
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Re: Sulfate Additions

Postby Bryan R » Wed Jun 15, 2016 1:22 pm

I brew a Munich dunkel that stays on tap at all times, thats about as dark as I get. However, I prefer to mash all my beers at 5.4, so I use a basemalt with a higher pH to counteract the dark grains.

My water profile is something like... 40ca, 1mg, 25na, 75so4, 70cl.
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Big Monk
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Re: Sulfate Additions

Postby Big Monk » Wed Jun 15, 2016 1:27 pm

If I can assume 24 Na and 75 SO₄ with reasonable assurance then I can just adjust accordingly on darker beers.

Thanks.
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act, but a habit.” Aristotle

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Ancient Abbey
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Re: Sulfate Additions

Postby Ancient Abbey » Thu Jun 16, 2016 7:23 pm

I use CaCl on most all beers, Belgian, British and German. I do use a 2:1 CaCl:CaSO4 on American hoppy beers. I may try that ratio on a German Pils sometime too.
Last edited by Ancient Abbey on Fri Jun 17, 2016 8:11 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Big Monk
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Re: Sulfate Additions

Postby Big Monk » Thu Jun 16, 2016 7:44 pm

Ancient Abbey wrote:I use CaCl only most all beers, Belgian, British and German. I do use a 2:1 CaCl:CaSO4 on American hoppy beers. I may try that ratio on a German Pils sometime too.


I like the idea of a "House Water" like Bryan described. I inputted one into my spreadsheet today: 40 Ca, 0 Mg, 24 Na, 75 SO₄, 58 Cl and 0 HCO₃.

I do like to brew Stouts and Porters as well and would just use a revised version of this for these roastier beers or do as Bryan mentioned and use higher pH base malts.
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act, but a habit.” Aristotle

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Techbrau
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Re: Sulfate Additions

Postby Techbrau » Thu Jun 16, 2016 7:56 pm

Amazon sells sulfate test strips that you can use to measure how much sulfite was oxidized into sulfate in your finished beer. This would be a good way to work backwards to tune your water profile while taking into account the contribution from the SMB. Of course, you'll also need to figure in boiloff in the kettle which will concentrate all flavor ions.

It will be somewhat yeast strain dependent too, since yeast utilize SO4 from the water as a nutrient. So the yeast strain you use can actually change your water profile!
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Big Monk
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Re: Sulfate Additions

Postby Big Monk » Thu Jun 16, 2016 8:24 pm

Techbrau wrote:Of course, you'll also need to figure in boiloff in the kettle which will concentrate all flavor ions.


This is something I just recently edited in my spreadsheet after reading some posts from Martin that suggested it.
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act, but a habit.” Aristotle

"Messieurs, c’est les microbes qui auront le dernier mot." Louis Pasteur

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