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Adding gypsum for IPAs

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I'm making a Russian River Blind Pig IPA extract clone.  I've heard that adding gypsum can accentuate the hop character of the beer.  Do you recommend adding gypsum to the boil?  If so, how much.....and at what point do you put it in the boil?

Don't mess with your water if its making good beer.

Another way to accentuate hop character: add more hops!

Gypsum can help your hop character in an IPA. With that said, I would strongly suggest you understand your water chemistry to see if it's something you need. I can't imagine adding a tsp of it to the boil can really hurt though. It might be enough to make a difference without going over that ppm threshold for sulfate.

I wouldn't advise using any salts for extract brew unless you encounter a specific problem. You may know what salts are in your water but you have no way of knowing what salts were in the original brewer of the extracts water and those salts will be bound up in the extract.

I'll give a dissenting opinion here. I would recommend at least trying it out for a batch or two. Adding gypsum to my extract IPA's made a noticeable improvement. I found that it gave the hop bitterness a bit more bite.

It can be added at any point in the boil. I'd start with a teaspoon in a 5-gallon batch, but if you know you have really soft water you could push that to 1.5 or even 2 tsp if you really want to.

With that said, this is an advanced step. If you haven't made IPA's before, or if you're happy with your results up to this point, then you really don't need to be adding any gypsum. One other thing that hasn't been mentioned is doing a full volume boil if you can. That is something that will also help out your really hoppy beers quite a bit.


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