From the HBD Archive
Subject: Re: fading taste
Date: 1989-04-28 15:28:40 GMT

Martin Weinberg writes, regarding my former comments:

>Florianb mentioned that body was improved by hardening the water.
>I was led to believe that gypsum (and so-called water crystals)
>served to improve hops utilization. Are these minerals important
>in other ways?

Possibly the most important function of having the minerals balanced
is in the mashing process, as mentioned in Miller's book. (The
Complete Handbook of Home Brewing.) In the present case, the contri-
butor (David Benjamin) was concerned with "fading" taste in a batch
of Geordie Bitters, which contained two cans of extract (you'd think
certainly enough to provide body).

I too, have experienced this effect in my earlier batches of all-
extract brews. At the suggestion of a friend who has been brewing
for about 10 years, I began adding gypsum at the rate of 3 tsp per
5 gal batch. This has completely eliminated the problem.

I don't necessarily believe what I read in books, even professional
ones. I don't necessarily believe what I hear from professionals.
I do believe the empirical knowledge I get from controlled experi-
mentation, although I may not understand the mechanisms involved.

Hey! If it works, do it!

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