Am I Good or Just Lucky?

denny's picture

I wrote a while ago about my experiments to increase sulfate levels in my Rye IPA. My latest batch, with a sulfate level of 300 ppm, is far and away the best of the many batches of this recipe that I've made over the years. So, now what I need to do is brew it again, exactly the same way, to find out if the changes in sulfate were the reason or if I just had Ninkasi looking over my shoulder when I made the last batch. That's what I'm doing today...brewing exactly the same recipe, with exactly the same ingredients, down to the same bags of malt and hops. This is one of those things that can really increase your understanding of what impacts your beers, and it's also one of those things that many brewers are loath to do. I know that when I started brewing I wanted to experiment with different styles, ingredients and techniques and it was really difficult to get myself to brew the same thing twice. Fortunately, pretty early on I hit on some recipes I loved, so it was easier to justify rebrewing them since I wanted to have that beer around. But I guarantee you that brewing the same recipe over and over can be far from boring. Instead, I like to think of it as a challenge to my process and skill to see how close I can get to the last time I brewed the recipe. And since you'll likely be rebrewing a recipe you loved before, where's the downside? You get more of a beer you already know you like!

Why the SO4 increase?

I've been brewing some rye (I) PAs lately--I really like the flavor. What compelled you to increase the sulfate level? Accentuating the hops? I'm wondering if I should try it next brew day?

Search first, question later!


Submitted by denny on Mon, 06/10/2013 - 06:00

I decided I'd concentrate on improving my IPAs with water adjustments. The main area I concentrated on was increasing my sulfate levels a step at a time and see what kind of effect it had. I decided to experiment on my Rye IPA recipe since I've brewed it dozens of times and know it well.

denny's picture
I wanted to get a drier

I wanted to get a drier finish to my Rye IPA, and Martin Brungard had written that that was the effect that higher sulfate levels have. So, it came down to a question of "how much" and that's what drove my experimentation.

Life begins at 60....1.060, that is!

Brian AKA bp
Sulfate changes

How exactly are you making the Sulfate change in your batches?

eastslope's picture
I was wondering, the same as

I was wondering, the same as Brian AKA bp, whether you are relying entirely on gypsum for the increase in sulfate. Also, are you increasing the level in the mash, kettle or both?