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Magnesium Sulphate (MgSO4) 1kg

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Magnesium Sulphate (MgSO4) 1kg

a.k.a. Epsom Salt

Magnesium sulfate is similar to calcium sulfate but is not as effective as calcium in reducing the pH of the mash.

Lowers pH by a small amount.

Can be used to add sulfate "crispness" to the hop bitterness.

View Safety Data Sheet here.

Magnesium Sulphate (Epsom Salts) 1kg

a.k.a. Epsom Salt

Magnesium Sulphate, commonly known as Epsom Salts, possesses an intriguing role in the brewing process. With a slight pH-lowering effect, it distinguishes itself from calcium sulphate, although its pH reduction prowess isn't as potent as that of calcium.

This versatile compound offers a unique opportunity to enhance hop bitterness, imparting a "crispness" to the character of your brew. However, moderation is key, as an excess can result in an undesirable laxative effect.

Typical concentrations for brewing water are 0 – 30 ppm Mg2+and 50 – 400 ppm SO42-. It is also used to lower the mash pH. Additions can be put in the brewing water or directly into the mash. 


Recommended sulphate-to-chloride ratios:

4:1 – Hoppy           1:1 – Balanced          0.5:1 – Malty


1 gram of CaSO4per liter of water contributes:

  • 99 ppm Mg2+
  • 390 ppm SO42-


Calculating how much salt to add depends on the mineral levels already in solution. Contact your local water supplier for information on Ca2+, Mg2+, CO32-, SO42-and Cl-in your municipal water.

Magnesium (Mg)

Magnesium holds a dual significance in brewing. While it stands as a vital yeast nutrient in modest quantities, it also contributes to water hardness, akin to calcium. Yet, its primary role remains aiding yeast development. Optimal levels range between 10-30 mg/l, supporting yeast growth. However, levels surpassing 30 mg/l can introduce a dry, astringent, or even sour bitterness to your beer's taste profile.


Sulfate (SO4) Enhancing Bitterness and More

Sulfate plays a pivotal role in accentuating hop bitterness and infusing a dry, sharp, hop-forward quality in well-hopped brews. Additionally, it contributes to pH reduction in the mash, albeit less effectively compared to carbonates due to its limited alkalinity. Care must be exercised, as elevated sulfate levels can generate an undesirable astringency. Common sulfate concentrations range between 10-50 mg/l for lighter beers, 30-70 mg/l for most ales, and even up to 130 mg/l in certain styles.


Adjusting your Water

Different styles of beer require different water profiles. Often a particular beer is associated with the water profile of the city in which the beer originated. For a listing of water profiles for popular brewing cities of the world, you can visit BeerSmiths water profile listing. If you have a target profile in mind, you can adjust your water to match that profile. You can dilute your local tap water with distilled water if some ion counts are too high for your target water profile. Similarly you can use additives to increase the level of key ions. Popular additives include table salt (NaCl), Gypsum (CaSO4), Calcium Chloride (CaCl), Epsom Salts (MgSO4), Baking Soda (NaHCO3), and Chalk (CaCO3). Unfortunately the additives do not add a straightforward amount of ions to the water profile, so its best to use some kind of water profile tool to adjust your local water supply to reach a target profile. Usually only a few grams of additives is required to achieve your target profile. BeerSmith has a water profile tool available to perform this very function. Other water profile tools are also available online.

Recipe Suggestions

Looking for inspiration? Click on the links below to take a look at our All Grain recipe kits, Kit & Kilo recipe kits and Fresh Wort Kits.

Explore our hops options

Research has shown that in order to extract the most flavour from hops, and to minimise contact with oxygen, pressure fermenters are the recommended fermenters for any style. If you want to produce the best beer possible, please take a look at our Australian Made PET Fermenters.

FAQ: Additives and Minerals in Homebrewing

Below you will find the questions we get asked the most regarding our additives and minerals.
Please click on one of the questions below to see the answer.

What are additives and minerals in homebrewing?

Additives and minerals are compounds used to adjust water chemistry and enhance specific characteristics of beer during the brewing process. Common examples include calcium variants, magnesium variants, and other salts.

How do calcium and magnesium variants affect brewing?

Calcium supports enzyme activity during mashing and helps with yeast flocculation. Magnesium influences yeast metabolism and contributes to malt and hop utilization, affecting flavor and aroma.

What are the benefits of using additives and minerals?

Using additives and minerals allows brewers to tailor their water profiles to match desired beer styles. Proper adjustments improve enzymatic activity, pH levels, and overall beer quality.

What are the most common additives and minerals used in homebrewing?

The most common include:

How do I determine the right amount of additives and minerals to use?

Use water calculators based on the beer style and desired water profile. These calculators help you adjust the mineral content to achieve optimal results.

Can I mix different additives and minerals together?

Yes, you can blend additives and minerals to create specific water profiles. However, precise measurements are crucial to avoid over-adjustment that could impact flavor.

When should I add additives and minerals during the brewing process?

Most adjustments are made during the mashing process. Add them before mashing in or during the mash to ensure proper interaction with the enzymes.

What is the best way to store additives and minerals?

Store additives and minerals in a cool, dry place away from sunlight to prevent clumping or moisture absorption. Airtight containers, such as resealable bags or jars with lids, help maintain their effectiveness.

Can I use tap water for brewing, or should I use distilled water?

Both options are viable. Tap water may require adjustments depending on its mineral content, while using distilled water allows you to build the desired water profile from scratch.

Are additives and minerals necessary for all homebrewers?

While they're not essential for beginners, they can significantly enhance beer quality and flavor. As your brewing skills advance, experimenting with additives and minerals can help you create more nuanced and precise brews.

Remember that proper water chemistry is a crucial aspect of homebrewing. By understanding the effects of different additives and minerals and using them judiciously, you can fine-tune your brewing process to achieve exceptional results.


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