Magnesium Sulphate
Magnesium Sulphate

Magnesium Sulphate

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Magnesium Sulphate aka Epsom Salt MgSO4 * 7H20 is an important mineral for its effect on mash and wort pH. It is used as a brewing salt in brewing to adjust the ion content of the wort and enhance enzyme action in the mash to promote a desired flavour profile in the beer.

Lowers pH by a small amount.

Can be used to add sulfate "crispness" to the hop bitterness.  Often used at half the levels of Gypsum. 1 gram in 1 gallon changes the salt levels by 103 ppm sulfate, 26 ppm Magnesium and adds 108 ppm to the hardness.

Epsom salt is also ideal as a nutrient source for growing hop plants.

Feeling sore after brewing happy all day and night and your hands or feet are aching, try adding 55g of epsom salt to 5 Litres of hot water and soak for ten minutes. Temporarily relieves pain.

Pack Sizes:

  • 450g Plastic Jar

Sulfate enhances hop bittering, but must be balanced with chlorides. Magnesium has a low ppm threshold for being safe (brewing range 0-30 ppm), so use this one sparingly.

Target ranges for mineral levels in beer brewing:

Flavor Ions:

  • Calcium (Ca+2) – target range of 50-150 ppm
  • Magnesium (Mg+2) – target range of 0-30 ppm
  • Sulfate (SO4-2)- target range 50-150 ppm for normal beers, 150-350ppm for highly bitter beers.
  • Sodium (Na+) – target range 0-150 ppm
  • Chloride (Cl) – target range 0-250 ppm.

Harmful levels:

Concentrations above these levels are harmful to the beer, and much beyond they become harmful to our health!

  • Calcium (Ca+2) – 250 ppm
  • Magnesium (Mg+2) – 50 ppm
  • Sulfate (SO4-2) – above 750 ppm
  • Sodium (Na+) – above 200 ppm
  • Chloride (Cl) – above 300 ppm

Sulphate and Chloride should be balanced in beer:

  • 2:1 SO4 to Cl is good for bitter beer
  • 1:2 SO4 to Cl for mild ales
  • 1:3 SO4 to Cl for stouts and porters
  • Chloride and Sodium add the maltiness of a beer.
  • Sulfate highlights bitterness and reduces malt flavor.

Alkalinity Range:

Alkalinity impacts the pH of the mash, a key factor in efficiency. Bicarbonate (HCO3) – ppm depends on style of beer, lower for lighter beers, higher for darker beers.

  • 0-50 for pale beers
  • 50-150 for amber beers
  • 150-400 for dark beers

Sauces of Brewspiration:

  • Palmer, John, How To Brew, 2006
  • Daniels, Ray, Designing Great Beers, 1996