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.
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Target ranges for mineral levels in beer brewing:
- 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.
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 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