2017 Master Brewers Conference
26. The effect of sulfate to chloride ratio on the flavor, aroma, and mouthfeel of a pilsner

Aaron Justus, Ballast Point Brewing Co., San Diego, CA, U.S.A.

Coauthor(s): John Palmer, Palmer Brewing Solutions Inc., Los Angeles, CA, U.S.A.; Katy Orr, Sierra Nevada Brewing Company, Chico, CA, U.S.A.

Brewhouse Operations II
Friday, October 13
8:00–9:45 a.m.

The ionic structure of brew water not only affects mash pH and yeast fermentation, but also contributes to the mouthfeel and flavor of a beer. Sulfate can enhance hop character and contribute to a dry finish. Chloride can provide a rounder, fuller, sweeter character to a beer. Brewers focus on the sulfate-to-chloride ratio when formulating recipes. Typically a 2:1 ratio can be used for hop forward beers like IPAs, while a 1:2 ratio can be used for mild ales or stouts. In this study, we will investigate the effect of the sulfate-to-chloride ratio on the flavor, aroma, and mouthfeel of two pilsners. The first beer will have a 2:1 ratio and the second beer will have a 1:2 ratio. Everything else will stay the same. We will also discuss how malt alters ionic content in beer and how it affects the sulfate to chloride ratio. Using ICP analysis, we will track how ions are gained and lost through the brewing process and present the results along with sensory analysis of the two pilsners.

Aaron Justus has been with Ballast Point for almost six years, three of them as the director of brewing at the Scripps Ranch location. He is an American Brewers Guild graduate and has passed IBD Diploma in Brewing Modules 1 and 2. Before entering the brewing industry, he was a TV meteorologist for more than 12 years and has a degree in meteorology from the University of Kansas.

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