Author Topic: calcium chloride and IPA's  (Read 6531 times)

Offline homoeccentricus

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calcium chloride and IPA's
« on: August 19, 2015, 10:45:32 PM »
What's the deal with calcium chloride and IPA's?
1. There's this rumor that Heady Topper uses a lot of calcium chloride, and not the expected gypsum in its brewing water. Can anyone confirm? What would be the effect?

2. Has anybody read Van Havig's "Maximizing Hop Aroma and Flavor Through Process Variables"? There's an abstract here: http://www.mbaa.com/publications/tq/tqPastIssues/2010/Abstracts/TQ-47-2-0623-01.htm - in the article he claims that they "found a statistically significant negative correlation between the intensity of hop flavor and level of sulfate in the brewing water." Does anyone know more about this?
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Re: calcium chloride and IPA's
« Reply #1 on: August 19, 2015, 11:52:20 PM »
Forgive me if I'm wrong but I believe the chloride/sulfate ratio is of more importance than the chloride and sulfate amounts individually.

Alchemist may be using the CaCl to balance the sulfate values found in their brewing water. As to the article you posted, there really isn't enough info to grasp the "meat" of his claim.


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Offline a10t2

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Re: calcium chloride and IPA's
« Reply #2 on: August 20, 2015, 12:53:54 AM »
Forgive me if I'm wrong but I believe the chloride/sulfate ratio is of more importance than the chloride and sulfate amounts individually.

You're wrong. ;) The ratio doesn't matter at all, it's the amount of chloride or sulfate.
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Offline mchrispen

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Re: calcium chloride and IPA's
« Reply #3 on: August 20, 2015, 01:15:09 AM »
+1 actual amount matter more than any ratio


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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: calcium chloride and IPA's
« Reply #4 on: August 20, 2015, 01:54:25 AM »
Forgive me if I'm wrong but I believe the chloride/sulfate ratio is of more importance than the chloride and sulfate amounts individually.

You're wrong. ;) The ratio doesn't matter at all, it's the amount of chloride or sulfate.
+2.
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Re: calcium chloride and IPA's
« Reply #5 on: August 20, 2015, 02:04:07 AM »
What effect does the ratio of the two have?


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Offline a10t2

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Re: calcium chloride and IPA's
« Reply #6 on: August 20, 2015, 02:41:36 AM »
What effect does the ratio of the two have?

In and of itself, none. 200 ppm sulfate and 20 ppm chloride won't taste the same as 20 ppm and 2 ppm.
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Offline braufessor

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Re: calcium chloride and IPA's
« Reply #7 on: August 20, 2015, 02:59:15 AM »
Over the past 3 months I have been playing around a lot with my hoppy beers.  My goal has been a "softer" and "fuller" beer with lots of hop flavor and aroma.   Long story short...... I have been brewing some IPA's I really love, and others do as well.  The Chloride/Sulfate levels I have been having the most success with are approximately 130 Chloride to 65 sulfate (approx.).  I have loved the outcomes of these beers.  This is a "cut and paste" from a thread on HBT where I posted one of my favorite IPA/APA's ...... This has become the go-to template for most of my APA/IPA type beers:

Recent things that I have been happy with:
*12-15% flaked grains in grain bill
*2:1 Chloride to sulfate. Been going about 130:65ppm for recent beers
*Using some canning salt to get my Na up from 0 to 30 or so
*Using some of my high bicarbonate water (20-40%)
*pH's of my best versions have all been what I would consider high.... with mash/boil kettle (preboil) around 5.45 or even a touch higher. This seems to be pushing the high end of pH to me....but, I like the results better than 5.2-5.3 I don't know why this would be..... but it is.
*Lower carbonation.... not flat, but not biting.
*Primary dry hop plus a second, short dry hop in a hopping keg, under CO2 and jump to serving keg after 48 hours. I use this method and it works awesome - http://www.bear-flavored.com/2014/09/how-i-dry-hop-my-ipas-with-no-oxygen.html

(This dry hopping strategy has been AWESOME. I highly recommend it)

Recipe for the citra beer in picture below:
(6.5 gallon batch at end of boil - gets me 5 into keg eventually)
Grain:
41% Rahr 2 Row
41% Maris Otter
8% Flaked Oats
4% Flaked Barley
2% Flaked Wheat
3% Crystal 20


1.058 OG

Hops:
.75 oz. Warrior (60)
3 oz. Citra Flameout
Start to chill and shut off chiller with wort at 160-170
3oz. Citra Hopstand for 30-40 minutes, occasional stirring/swirling
Chill the rest of the way and let settle out for another 20-30 minutes
3oz. Dryhop in primary somewhere around day 5-7 for about 5 days.
Transfer to purged keg with dryhopping set up (in link above) with 3 more ounces of citra in the keg. Jump it to serving keg 2 days later.

Yeast:
I have been using Conan but other yeasts would work well I am sure.
Start ferment at 62 and let free rise to 66-68 for the first 4 days. Then move fermenter to where ambient is 68-70 for duration.

Water:
Using in mash and sparge water-
Gypsum .2 gr/gallon
CaCl .6 gr/gallon
Epsom .1 gr/gallon
Canning salt .2 gr/gallon

RO= 60%, Tap = 40% (your water may vary - mine is HIGH bicarbonate in the 260 range)

Ca = 96
Mg = 12
Na = 28
Sulfate = 67
Chloride = 135
Bicarbonate = 128

Lactic Acid in mash and sparge = .5ml/gallon

Mash pH = 5.45
pre boil = 5.47
Post boil = 5.30


At any rate, that is my latest (and favorite so far) of the ones I have been brewing. Two others on finishing dry hop and getting carbed. Fairly similar though as I have been really pleased with this general process lately.


Some of the things in this recipe obviously seem to go counter to brewing light colored IPA type beers..... low sulfate, high chloride, Bicarbonate water, pH's pushing the higher ranges...... but this strategy has bee producing the best IPA's I have ever brewed.... batch after batch (15-20 APA/IPA's over the past 3-4 months).

I was inspired down this road with various vermont/east coast hoppy beers as well as some others (treehouse, tired hands, etc.)

« Last Edit: August 20, 2015, 03:07:00 AM by braufessor »

Offline unclebrazzie

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Re: calcium chloride and IPA's
« Reply #8 on: August 20, 2015, 06:45:56 AM »
Awesome post, Derek. Thanks for that :)
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Offline homoeccentricus

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Re: calcium chloride and IPA's
« Reply #9 on: August 20, 2015, 06:57:36 AM »
People on HBT who try to clone HT describe the taste as " pillowy" . Is that what you experience as well?
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Offline homoeccentricus

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Re: calcium chloride and IPA's
« Reply #10 on: August 20, 2015, 07:56:44 AM »



Hahaha, this is obviously a picture of Hill Farmstead Susan. See my other thread
https://www.homebrewersassociation.org/forum/index.php?topic=24085.msg307395#msg307395

Awesome info!
« Last Edit: August 20, 2015, 07:58:50 AM by homoeccentricus »
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Re: calcium chloride and IPA's
« Reply #11 on: August 20, 2015, 10:27:26 AM »

What effect does the ratio of the two have?

In and of itself, none. 200 ppm sulfate and 20 ppm chloride won't taste the same as 20 ppm and 2 ppm.

I understand that much. I get that any ratio is contingent on the values used. I guess my question is, after establishing your values for sulfate and chloride, does it really matter what the ratio of the two is?

I'm used to seeing it listed in the brewing water sheets, and I am sure that for different beers it varies, but is it an important variable to tweak or just a byproduct?


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Derek

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Re: calcium chloride and IPA's
« Reply #12 on: August 20, 2015, 12:32:08 PM »
Awesome post, Derek. Thanks for that :)

Don't thank me, thank Braufessor! He posted it!  ;D

Offline mabrungard

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Re: calcium chloride and IPA's
« Reply #13 on: August 20, 2015, 12:50:11 PM »

Recent things that I have been happy with:
*12-15% flaked grains in grain bill
*2:1 Chloride to sulfate. Been going about 130:65ppm for recent beers
*Using some canning salt to get my Na up from 0 to 30 or so
*Using some of my high bicarbonate water (20-40%)
*pH's of my best versions have all been what I would consider high.... with mash/boil kettle (preboil) around 5.45 or even a touch higher. This seems to be pushing the high end of pH to me....but, I like the results better than 5.2-5.3 I don't know why this would be..... but it is.
*Lower carbonation.... not flat, but not biting.
*Primary dry hop plus a second, short dry hop in a hopping keg, under CO2 and jump to serving keg after 48 hours. I use this method and it works awesome - http://www.bear-flavored.com/2014/09/how-i-dry-hop-my-ipas-with-no-oxygen.html


That is the great thing about homebrewing, we can create what pleases us. While I don't prefer that high chloride level, I do practice all the other factors. That is a lot more flaked grain than I use. I find that only a few percent of flaked wheat is necessary to produce strong head. I'm glad you also found that boosting sodium is helpful. I almost always add salt to my water for the sodium. Keeping that pH a little higher does help bring out the hop bittering, just be careful to not overdo it since it can get rough tasting at higher pH.
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Offline erockrph

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Re: calcium chloride and IPA's
« Reply #14 on: August 20, 2015, 12:55:32 PM »

What effect does the ratio of the two have?

In and of itself, none. 200 ppm sulfate and 20 ppm chloride won't taste the same as 20 ppm and 2 ppm.

I understand that much. I get that any ratio is contingent on the values used. I guess my question is, after establishing your values for sulfate and chloride, does it really matter what the ratio of the two is?

I'm used to seeing it listed in the brewing water sheets, and I am sure that for different beers it varies, but is it an important variable to tweak or just a byproduct?

As good as "How to Brew" is, much of Palmer's info on water in that book is outdated, yet many still consider it gospel. That's where I think the pervasive use of the Cl:SO4 ratio in homebrewing comes from. Water treatment is much more complex than what he focuses on in that book.

Sulfate enhances a dry finish, which lends itself well to styles such as West Coast IPA that shoot for a dry hoppiness. Chloride is a flavor enhancer that tends to highlight malt, in particular giving it a bit of a fuller/richer quality. The two ions work independantly, and do not counter or "neutralize" each other, which is something that a ratio implies. All the ratio may be helpful in is showing whether the particular balance of ions in that beer may be pushing a dry finish more than malty fullness, or vice versa. But even then, that's of minimal use because many styles can use a bit of each.

It's better to throw away the ratio altogether and focus on the two ions individually. You will likely settle on a particular ratio naturally, but that's mainly just a relic of looking at the two ions individually.
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