Author Topic: Too much SO4?  (Read 1151 times)

Offline klickitat jim

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Too much SO4?
« on: February 20, 2018, 01:36:05 AM »
I've been playing with additions. Normally I run mine on the low side. I pushed it, for me, in a recent beer. I suspect I found out what too much CaSO4 is for me. The beer is an English IPA ish beer. I don't claim to be an expert in the style by any means. The thing I believe to be too much SO4 is a strange mineral dry thing that is mid palate. It similar to papery oxidation but not it, just throwing that out there as the most similar I can think of. Oddly, the last sip from the glass (warmed) the odd mid palate thing in lessened.

It's a 1.060 all Golden Promise, mashed low, bittered around 40 ibu with Challenger, then 50g each of EKG, Fuggles and Target 5min and dry hopped with the same. 1028 at 65f. Closed transfer (Crystal clear) to a properly purged keg. Conditioned one week in the kegerator. Water is distilled with minimal Mg, Na, and 200ppm SO4 from CaSO4. All calcium comes from gypsum, all Cl came from 2g of NaCl.  The most SO4 I have used in the past was an American IPA, with 150ppm SO4.

Other than that the beer is quite nice. Any thoughts? Am I right? Did I just find my personal limit for SO4?

Offline charlie

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Re: Too much SO4?
« Reply #1 on: February 20, 2018, 01:54:48 AM »
200 ppm SO4 sounds about right to me. I routinely run 150+ ppm with no ill effects.

I read some book that said the effect of using too much CaSO4 was a taste like licking drywall. I haven't got to that point yet.

What weight of CaSO4 did you add per how many gallons of water?

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Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Too much SO4?
« Reply #2 on: February 20, 2018, 01:58:27 AM »
14g to 9.5 gallons distilled

Offline Robert

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Re: Too much SO4?
« Reply #3 on: February 20, 2018, 02:26:48 AM »
Jim, I think you just found a personal taste limit.  You might benefit from increasing other ions to give more complexity or balance. But I remember Michael Jackson often would review a bitter positively, but with the caveat that if a certain mineral dryness offends you, you just shouldn't drink it.  Taste is personal. That's why you brew your own, right?

PS I'm drinking a Pils right now with more SO4 than I've had before, and actually want to boost it more in future.  It's a matter of taste.  But when I concentrate on it, I know exactly what you mean by "papery."  Papery,  minerally,  mid-palate.  But not metallic.
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Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Too much SO4?
« Reply #4 on: February 20, 2018, 03:16:21 AM »
I learned a lot on this beer. I love English pale but the IPA maybe not so much. For ME, IPA can just be an American thing. And I am pretty sure, for me, 150-160ppm is plenty of SO4 in hoppy beers. And I'm not a huge fan of 1028. It's fine but too clean. Hoping these 1469 beers present as more obviously english.


Offline santoch

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Re: Too much SO4?
« Reply #5 on: February 20, 2018, 03:28:45 AM »
That's pretty much how I perceive it too.  It hits mid swallow, kinda dry/papery/salty/metallic all at the same time.

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Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Too much SO4?
« Reply #6 on: February 20, 2018, 03:31:33 AM »
Awesome Steve, thanks. Great to have confirmation from you on this. I guess I actually do sort of know what I'm doing as a taster, but I'll hold off on ordering a bigger hat.

Offline santoch

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Re: Too much SO4?
« Reply #7 on: February 20, 2018, 03:39:32 AM »
Hope to see you at 1st round, and if you can, 2nd, too.

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Offline Robert

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Re: Too much SO4?
« Reply #8 on: February 20, 2018, 03:58:13 AM »
I learned a lot on this beer. I love English pale but the IPA maybe not so much. For ME, IPA can just be an American thing. And I am pretty sure, for me, 150-160ppm is plenty of SO4 in hoppy beers. And I'm not a huge fan of 1028. It's fine but too clean. Hoping these 1469 beers present as more obviously english.
I find 1028 accentuates mineral character.  I like it for that, you don't, ain't life beautiful!
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Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Too much SO4?
« Reply #9 on: February 20, 2018, 04:02:36 AM »
Hope to see you at 1st round, and if you can, 2nd, too.

S
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Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Too much SO4?
« Reply #10 on: February 20, 2018, 04:03:25 AM »
I learned a lot on this beer. I love English pale but the IPA maybe not so much. For ME, IPA can just be an American thing. And I am pretty sure, for me, 150-160ppm is plenty of SO4 in hoppy beers. And I'm not a huge fan of 1028. It's fine but too clean. Hoping these 1469 beers present as more obviously english.
I find 1028 accentuates mineral character.  I like it for that, you don't, ain't life beautiful!
Another good point, might be yeast making it seem higher.

Offline erockrph

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Re: Too much SO4?
« Reply #11 on: February 20, 2018, 10:55:40 AM »
Jim, I think you just found a personal taste limit.  You might benefit from increasing other ions to give more complexity or balance. But I remember Michael Jackson often would review a bitter positively, but with the caveat that if a certain mineral dryness offends you, you just shouldn't drink it.  Taste is personal. That's why you brew your own, right?

PS I'm drinking a Pils right now with more SO4 than I've had before, and actually want to boost it more in future.  It's a matter of taste.  But when I concentrate on it, I know exactly what you mean by "papery."  Papery,  minerally,  mid-palate.  But not metallic.

Big +1 to this

I've experimented with Sulfate up to 300 ppm, but I'm just not a huge fan of that mineral character, either. I brew all my beers (including English styles) with no more than 150ppm of sulfate, usually targeting 125ppm for hoppier beers. I just brewed a Late-hopped bitter with WY1469 this week that had my typical ale water profile of 50ppm Na, 80ppm Cl, 125ppm SO4 (with the balance of cations being Ca from the gypsum). I've just found over the years that I prefer beers brewed with softer water.
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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Too much SO4?
« Reply #12 on: February 20, 2018, 01:35:45 PM »
If you are ever in Wngland try and find a pint of Marston’s Pedigree, brewed in a Burton. The aroma is akin to wet drywall. The finish is Lang and dry. That might be above your upper limit.
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Offline mabrungard

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Re: Too much SO4?
« Reply #13 on: February 20, 2018, 01:39:13 PM »
It's important to recognize that many things affect dryness and balance in beer.

We know we have malt and it has sweetness. That sweetness has to be balanced by other factors (bittering, roast flavor, acidity, astringency, sulfate, etc) in order to be a more pleasing beverage. Jim points out another factor that I had not previously considered: the sweetness and fermentability of malt components. They sit on the other side of the balance equation, but they certainly affect the balance.

One thing that surprised me a few years ago was finding out that Burton Ale was a big malty (not highly bittered) beer that was brewed in Burton on Trent. I didn't expect that this type of beer would be effectively brewed with the high sulfate water of that city. But the water's high sulfate content was offset by the high malt content. The dryness from the sulfate helped balance that malty style.

The 200 ppm sulfate content that Jim mentioned for his beer, seems to be a good starting point for many brewers interested in exploring the effects of sulfate in their brewing. I believe that it may have been the combination of the elevated sulfate and the increased wort fermentability provided by his low mash temp that helped produce the imbalance that he didn't like.

I still prefer 300 ppm in my PAs and IPAs, but its an acquired taste. I'm typically mashing those styles in the 152F to 154F range, so they do still have a bit of residual sweetness. Maybe that's why they're enjoyable to me? 
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Offline stpug

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Re: Too much SO4?
« Reply #14 on: February 20, 2018, 08:34:36 PM »
14g to 9.5 gallons distilled

Depending on your system variables (boil off, in particular), it's possible that if you ended up with something like a 6 gallon batch that a 200ppm mash concentration of SO4 could result in ~250ppm final wort concentration (or more).  Lots of variables could play into this though.

I know that, for me, it's somewhere in the 200-300 range that sulfate becomes quite apparent in the finished beer.  Closer to 200 and I only pick up on it in a "supporting role" way, but closer to 300 and it takes a more "leading role".  Lower than 200 and it's a very subtle difference, and above 300 becomes too minerally (wallboard-like) for me.