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General Category => All Grain Brewing => Topic started by: beersk on January 27, 2014, 03:01:21 PM

Title: DMS causes
Post by: beersk on January 27, 2014, 03:01:21 PM
So, I notice on all my beers (mainly lagers) brewed with pilsner malt, they take on sort of a funky flavor, I think it's DMS. I boil for 90 minutes and chill the wort down to the mid 60's in about 15-20 minutes. Then I let the fermenter sit in the fermentation fridge over night or for 6-8 hours to come down to pitching temp.
I'm kind of wondering if maybe I'm not boiling vigorous enough. I brew 4 gallon batches on an electric stove with a fairly tall and narrow 6.5 gallon kettle. So when it boils, sometimes it's really vigorous for a second, then not so much. If I have the heat on too high, it foams a bunch and won't go down. I keep it going fairly consistently, but every once in a while it chills out for a second. Anyway, I usually get about a 1.25 gallon boil off in 90 minutes.
Just wondering if anyone has any thoughts as to how to fix this. I like a nice helles or pilsner, but I don't want to keep brewing these styles if I am going to keep getting this weird flavor. And maybe that's why I hate on Rahr pils malt...not because of the malt, but because of my process. Not I think the same flavor is appearing in my beers with Best Pils.

Thanks in advance for any comments or suggestions.

Jesse
Title: Re: DMS causes
Post by: dordway29 on January 27, 2014, 03:46:37 PM
How are you chilling? and are you covering the kettle while doing so? If the wort is still hot and you cover the kettle, DMS won't be able to vaporize and re condenses back into the wort. The other cause of DMS is bacterial but that'll usually taste a lot stronger. Also, if you taste your gravity sample before fermentation you should be able to check for DMS.
Title: Re: DMS causes
Post by: beersk on January 27, 2014, 04:29:56 PM
I chill with a chiller, lid off. Takes about 15 minutes to get down to pitching temp on ales and usually let them sit in the fermenter for a while for lagers before pitching. I just wonder, if it's infection, where it could come from. All co2 lines and disconnects have been cleaned and dried. The only thing there I haven't messed with is my regulator, but I don't know how that could be an issue.
Otherwise, I don't get DMS in beers without pilsner malt, that I can tell.
Title: Re: DMS causes
Post by: dordway29 on January 27, 2014, 04:34:25 PM
So it's probably from not boiling hard enough. Do you use fermcap? That would help with boil-over issues when you turn it up.
Title: Re: DMS causes
Post by: beersk on January 27, 2014, 04:39:27 PM
I don't use ferm-cap, but I have some. I mean, it's not like it's a simmer or anything, it's rolling, but not a constant roll. Sometimes it boils hard for a second, then dies down for a second. Perhaps I should try a smaller batch where I'm able to boil hard constantly and see if that makes a difference.
If it's infection, what causes DMS infection? Gas side should be squeeky clean. Ever since an issue I was having last year, I'm anal retentive about keeping gas side clean (and anything else, for that matter).
Title: Re: DMS causes
Post by: Pinski on January 27, 2014, 05:09:05 PM
I had a similar issue with a cream ale about a year ago. I remember boiling the beejeebers out of that wort for 90 minutes specifically to try and drive off DMS. My chill time probably took closer to 1/2 hour, but this was a 25 gallon batch. Anyway the beer fermented and has a very off-putting canned creamed corn aroma to it.  I tried to lager it, warm it up and CO2 scrub it but ultimately dumped it.  I've always leaned towards taking too long to chill as the root of the problem for me on that one.  Only beer I've ever dumped.
Title: Re: DMS causes
Post by: denny on January 27, 2014, 05:11:32 PM
First question...are you sure it's DMS?  We may be trying to solve he wrong problem.
Title: Re: DMS causes
Post by: beersk on January 27, 2014, 05:16:40 PM
Well, I'm not certain it's DMS, to be honest. I can't think of what else it would be. It's something that only seems to show up in beer brewed with pilsner malt.
Title: Re: DMS causes
Post by: morticaixavier on January 27, 2014, 05:30:42 PM
Well, I'm not certain it's DMS, to be honest. I can't think of what else it would be. It's something that only seems to show up in beer brewed with pilsner malt.

Can you describe it? DMS is like over cooked vegetables our canned corn. Could it be a sulfur note? Likely you are also using a lager yeast when using pilsner malt so it could be a yeast issue instead of a malt issue.

an experiment you could try to narrow this down would be to brew the same recipe as the last time you had this problem but sub pale malt instead of pilsner. If the problem persists it's probably the yeast
Title: Re: DMS causes
Post by: davidgzach on January 27, 2014, 05:39:29 PM
Jesse,

I had two lagers go South on me and I figured out it was because I left them in the fridge overnight to cool and they got an infection.  Wondering if this could be your case as well. 

I ended up buying a Chugger pump at NHC and building a closed system.  Now I cool it to 60F with my IC and tap water and then change the outlet of the hose to a tub with ice water and flip on the pump.  It gets to under 50F in about another 20 minutes.

Dave
Title: Re: DMS causes
Post by: dordway29 on January 27, 2014, 05:43:24 PM
If you aren't getting it in other beers it's probably not an infection. DMS would be detectable immediately post-boil, so that would be a good indicator. Might be another type of sulfur created during fermentation.



an experiment you could try to narrow this down would be to brew the same recipe as the last time you had this problem but sub pale malt instead of pilsner. If the problem persists it's probably the yeast
[/quote]
Great suggestion
Title: Re: DMS causes
Post by: beersk on January 27, 2014, 06:00:29 PM
Thanks, guys. I'm going to try what Jonathan suggested next and try to brew a lager with pale malt. Actually, the only pale malt I have right now is Warminster floor malted maris otter. I have some left over slurry from the helles I'm drinking now, I wonder if that will be bad to use. I have a pilsner lagering right now that will be ready to drink soon. So, it'll suck if that one turns out the same way.
But I've had the issue with ale yeasts in the past, also, so that points me away from it being yeast.

So if it does happen to the pilsner malt, I guess that means I just shouldn't use pilsner malt on my current system, huh? I'm not sure how I could get more boil off. It's a tall narrow kettle, so I wonder if it's because of that. I get around 3/4 of a gallon boil off per hour, I think.
Title: Re: DMS causes
Post by: kramerog on January 27, 2014, 06:08:00 PM
Boiling off 1.25 gallons over 90 minutes for a 4-gal batch is plenty vigorous.  I boil off around ~1.5 gals for a 10-gal batch in the same time period without DMS issues with pilsener malt.
Title: Re: DMS causes
Post by: beersk on January 27, 2014, 06:49:36 PM
Boiling off 1.25 gallons over 90 minutes for a 4-gal batch is plenty vigorous.  I boil off around ~1.5 gals for a 10-gal batch in the same time period without DMS issues with pilsener malt.
Hmm, well, that's interesting. I am running a little experiment where I'm carbonating my current pilsner with a different tank and regulator.
Perhaps this flavor issue is tied to the dark beer issue I posted about in the "Stouts - grain to glass" thread. Hard to say. Hoping it's not an infection issue. The beers seem fine when I keg them, but it's hard to tell when they're uncarbonated and at fermentation temps.
Title: Re: DMS causes
Post by: Pinski on January 27, 2014, 08:43:11 PM
Boiling off 1.25 gallons over 90 minutes for a 4-gal batch is plenty vigorous.  I boil off around ~1.5 gals for a 10-gal batch in the same time period without DMS issues with pilsener malt.
Hmm, well, that's interesting. I am running a little experiment where I'm carbonating my current pilsner with a different tank and regulator.
Perhaps this flavor issue is tied to the dark beer issue I posted about in the "Stouts - grain to glass" thread. Hard to say. Hoping it's not an infection issue. The beers seem fine when I keg them, but it's hard to tell when they're uncarbonated and at fermentation temps.
That makes me think it's something other than DMS. I think you'd get a pretty solid "corn" note at kegging if the problem is DMS. Sorry if I missed it, but did you give any more desciption of the off flavor other than funky? Like Belgian funky?
Title: Re: DMS causes
Post by: beersk on January 27, 2014, 09:27:40 PM
No, it's definitely not Belgian funky. If anything, it's corn like, but I don't smell it and instantly think CORN. Then again, everyone always says creamed corn and I'm not sure how that differs from regular cooked corn.
Title: Re: DMS causes
Post by: HoosierBrew on January 27, 2014, 10:17:18 PM
Or is it Rolling Rock-y ?  Rolling Rock is a pretty prime example of excessive DMS.  Just trying to picture what you have.
Title: Re: DMS causes
Post by: beersk on January 27, 2014, 10:52:54 PM
Not sure, but I might go buy a can of that now for the example. All I know is that it's the same flavor I got in a helles brewed with rahr pils. I thought it was just the malt character but I think it's something else now.
Title: Re: DMS causes
Post by: majorvices on January 27, 2014, 10:56:13 PM

I had two lagers go South on me and I figured out it was because I left them in the fridge overnight to cool and they got an infection.  Wondering if this could be your case as well. 


Unless your sanitation practices are questionable this should not be a problem. I followed that practice for years with never a problem.
Title: Re: DMS causes
Post by: majorvices on January 27, 2014, 11:05:12 PM
Not sure, but I might go buy a can of that now for the example. All I know is that it's the same flavor I got in a helles brewed with rahr pils. I thought it was just the malt character but I think it's something else now.

Probably a dumb question but ... your not boiling with the lid on are you?
Title: Re: DMS causes
Post by: dcb on January 28, 2014, 01:40:36 AM
A more general question:  if his problem were indeed DMS, would you be able to taste that in the post-boil wort?  That is, would you be able to notice this and possibly boil some more at that time?  Or does this sort of flaw only become evident after fermentation?
Title: Re: DMS causes
Post by: davidgzach on January 28, 2014, 01:41:50 AM

I had two lagers go South on me and I figured out it was because I left them in the fridge overnight to cool and they got an infection.  Wondering if this could be your case as well. 


Unless your sanitation practices are questionable this should not be a problem. I followed that practice for years with never a problem.

Sanitation is good, chest freezer gets a little moldy in the summer even with damp rid.  The only other thing is having the blow off liquid sucked up the tube when crash cooling.  I hate when that happens.

I don't see DMS problems with that much boil off.  Old malt?

Dave
Title: Re: DMS causes
Post by: beersk on January 28, 2014, 02:51:55 AM
Not sure, but I might go buy a can of that now for the example. All I know is that it's the same flavor I got in a helles brewed with rahr pils. I thought it was just the malt character but I think it's something else now.

Probably a dumb question but ... your not boiling with the lid on are you?
Nope, not boiling with the lid on. But, as I feared, I think it may be the regulator. I tapped the pilsner tonight that I'm carbonating with a different regulator and it tastes good. I fear the regulator might have gotten beer in there at some point a few years ago when beer backed up in there. But, that's not to say it's a definite. Just that it's not tasting funky......yet. Tastes like a pilsner! So, I don't know whether I should buy a new regulator (the one I'm carbonating the pilsner with is a single gauge regulator, so I have no way of knowing how much gas is left)...or what. I've soaked the co2 lines and manifold in pbw and rinsed really well, recently. So, a beer changing in the keg as it carbonates points me towards contamination in the gas side somewhere...just like I was having with the butterscotchy crap. Do I have bad luck with kegging or what?
Title: Re: DMS causes
Post by: klickitat jim on January 28, 2014, 03:59:53 AM
If it's a cheap one I'd replace it. If a spendy one they can be rebuilt fairly reasonable. I've rebuilt scuba regulators, pretty simple, but with something important like beer, I'd have a pro do it.
Title: Re: DMS causes
Post by: scottNU on January 28, 2014, 05:21:25 AM
If it's a cheap one I'd replace it. If a spendy one they can be rebuilt fairly reasonable. I've rebuilt scuba regulators, pretty simple, but with something important like beer, I'd have a pro do it.

That's dedication to the craft! "Scuba? Yeah, I guess that air under water is nice to have but I bring it the experts when it comes to homebrew"

Kudos sir.
Title: Re: DMS causes
Post by: klickitat jim on January 28, 2014, 05:45:01 AM
My old Dacor regs were super simple. I've never had a CO2 regulator apart before.
Title: Re: DMS causes
Post by: ynotbrusum on January 28, 2014, 11:23:38 AM
Could you spray the tank side of the regulator intake with Star San (allowing it to pool up in the stem a bit) and then hook up the tank and push the Star San through the regulator?  It make take a few times of disconnecting and reconnecting to fully coat the inside of the regulator, but I would give it a try...it might work?
Title: Re: DMS causes
Post by: Jeff M on January 28, 2014, 12:18:32 PM
Not sure, but I might go buy a can of that now for the example. All I know is that it's the same flavor I got in a helles brewed with rahr pils. I thought it was just the malt character but I think it's something else now.

Probably a dumb question but ... your not boiling with the lid on are you?
Nope, not boiling with the lid on. But, as I feared, I think it may be the regulator. I tapped the pilsner tonight that I'm carbonating with a different regulator and it tastes good. I fear the regulator might have gotten beer in there at some point a few years ago when beer backed up in there. But, that's not to say it's a definite. Just that it's not tasting funky......yet. Tastes like a pilsner! So, I don't know whether I should buy a new regulator (the one I'm carbonating the pilsner with is a single gauge regulator, so I have no way of knowing how much gas is left)...or what. I've soaked the co2 lines and manifold in pbw and rinsed really well, recently. So, a beer changing in the keg as it carbonates points me towards contamination in the gas side somewhere...just like I was having with the butterscotchy crap. Do I have bad luck with kegging or what?

SO regulators can indeed be taken apart and rebuilt.  http://morebeer.com/products/regulator-rebuild-kit.html?site_id=7  Its not to hard you just need to remember that the brass used in regulators is a soft metal and will be damaged easily by a heavy hand:)

Cheers,
Jeff
Title: Re: DMS causes
Post by: beersk on January 28, 2014, 02:14:57 PM
 I decided to just get all new co2 side stuff (other than gas disconnects, which are easily disassembled and cleaned). Upgraded to a dual pressure gauge regulator. I may take this current one apart to see if it can be cleaned and rebuilt. Also got a new 4 way manifold, upgrade from a 3, so I can have a 4th keg carbonating. Figured, why the hell not. It's a little money I have to spend, plus I had a gift card for Northern Brewer anyway.
Be nice if I could get the other regulator functional again. We shall see.

Do you guys sanitize new co2 line?

Thanks for all your input, guys. I appreciate it.
Title: Re: DMS causes
Post by: Stevie on January 28, 2014, 02:28:05 PM
I have never sanitized co2 line. I don't clean it either. I have only had beer flow up one line. I just cut it shorter and kept going.
Title: Re: DMS causes
Post by: Jimmy K on January 28, 2014, 02:33:12 PM
I have not sanitized Co2 lines. Are you sure your serving lines are perfectly clean. I had a problem last year. The first glass had strong chlorophenol, but the second was always better. 24 hours later - repeat. So I figured it was beer sitting in the lines going bad. Cleaned the lines with BLC, it got better. Replaced the lines, problem gone.
Title: Re: DMS causes
Post by: Pinski on January 28, 2014, 03:11:10 PM

I decided to just get all new co2 side stuff (other than gas disconnects, which are easily disassembled and cleaned). Upgraded to a dual pressure gauge regulator. I may take this current one apart to see if it can be cleaned and rebuilt. Also got a new 4 way manifold, upgrade from a 3, so I can have a 4th keg carbonating. Figured, why the hell not. It's a little money I have to spend, plus I had a gift card for Northern Brewer anyway.
Be nice if I could get the other regulator functional again. We shall see.

Do you guys sanitize new co2 line?

Thanks for all your input, guys. I appreciate it.

You can get check valves to prevent beer backflow much past the IN QD. Just in case you forget to relieve pressure in the kegs when moving , bottling. Etc.
Title: Re: DMS causes
Post by: beersk on January 28, 2014, 03:35:06 PM
Cool. I didn't figure it would matter much. Looking forward to the upgrade.

Mtnrockhopper - I don't think it's bad serving lines. I clean them pretty regularly. Every couple kegs I run a bunch of BLC through them, then rinse, then starsan. I also usually replace my lines once a year. And recently took my faucets apart and cleaned them. Kegging really kind of is a lot of work...

The check valve idea is a good one. I definitely make sure to vent the keg after sealing the lid and hooking the co2 back up these days. And also spray the post and quick disconnect with starsan. I don't mess around anymore, I make sure my stuff is clean.
Title: Re: DMS causes
Post by: Pinski on January 28, 2014, 05:32:23 PM
Cool. I didn't figure it would matter much. Looking forward to the upgrade.

Mtnrockhopper - I don't think it's bad serving lines. I clean them pretty regularly. Every couple kegs I run a bunch of BLC through them, then rinse, then starsan. I also usually replace my lines once a year. And recently took my faucets apart and cleaned them. Kegging really kind of is a lot of work...

The check valve idea is a good one. I definitely make sure to vent the keg after sealing the lid and hooking the co2 back up these days. And also spray the post and quick disconnect with starsan. I don't mess around anymore, I make sure my stuff is clean.
Every. Single. Time.
Title: Re: DMS causes
Post by: beersk on January 28, 2014, 09:39:16 PM
You betcha!
Title: Re: DMS causes
Post by: beersk on February 06, 2014, 05:13:36 PM
So, I took one of my beers into the recent homebrew club meeting and people said they got flavors of ripe fruit or orange marmalade with maybe a hint of sourness at the end. What would be causes for this? Could I have pitched too warm? My procedure for lagers is to chill to about 65 then put in fridge for around 8 hours to come down to 50. Maybe the wort isn't coming down to 50 when I pitch the yeast, even though the temp controller says it is (that could just be the outside of the keg/carboy). And maybe there's a slight contamination from letting it sit like that? Just throwing around ideas.
Either way, it's frustrating. The beer isn't what it's supposed to be and it doesn't make me think Weihenstephaner Premium at all. Just having trouble with my light lagers! They're hard to brew!
Title: Re: DMS causes
Post by: erockrph on February 06, 2014, 05:55:11 PM
Any chance the thermostat on your temp controller could be out of calibration?
Title: Re: DMS causes
Post by: beersk on February 06, 2014, 06:06:15 PM
I hope not, it's pretty new. I noticed that it does read a little bit higher than the actual temp of the beer though. I'm just thinking that maybe 8 hours isn't enough time to bring 4 gallons down to 50 from 65 in, say, a 45F fridge. My tap water is 47F right now so maybe I should take advantage of that while I can. I know DavidZach was saying something about infection from leaving it overnight.
Underpitching or under aeration doesn't seem a likely culprit, since this last batch, I stepped up a starter from 1L to 2L, then aerated for 2 minutes with pure O2. It's either infection or pitching too warm, I reckon. Unless anyone has anything other ideas.

I do have a new co2 system now, except the tank, so I think I can rule that out from here on out if this should happen again.
Title: Re: DMS causes
Post by: HoosierBrew on February 06, 2014, 06:10:01 PM
The hint of sourness at the end sounds like possible infection. I suppose pH a little lower than intended could cause a slight sourness too.
Title: Re: DMS causes
Post by: beersk on February 06, 2014, 06:24:12 PM
The hint of sourness at the end sounds like possible infection. I suppose pH a little lower than intended could cause a slight sourness too.
That's possible. The recipe for 4.5 gallons was something like 7lb Best pils, 1lb munich 10L, and 3oz acid malt. RO water with a bit of gypsum and calcium chloride to the minimum levels, per Bru'n water. Hopped to around 20IBU with Hallertau mittelfruh, WY2206.
Be nice to know if it is infection so that I can take precautions to avoid it (maybe not letting it sit overnight before pitching yeast). I could brew lagers when the tap water is super cold like right now and pitch in the low 50s or get a pump and recirculate ice water...
Title: Re: DMS causes
Post by: erockrph on February 06, 2014, 07:31:40 PM
If your sanitation is up to snuff, then there's no reason you couldn't let it sit overnight to make sure you get as low as you need before pitching. I know there are guys out there who make good beer by pitching warm for their lagers, but I feel much more comfortable pitching down at 45F and starting the first week or so in the upper 40's.
Title: Re: DMS causes
Post by: beersk on February 06, 2014, 08:19:48 PM
Hmm, could be. The helles was fermented in a carboy that had haze in it, whether that's a culprit or not, I don't know. The issue seemed to start showing up after a bit in the keg. Now that i have a new co2 system, perhaps it'll go away. Hard to say. I just have a hard time believing that was the issue. Brewing is hard!

And the helles had a weird foam pattern. Which my current pilsner is starting to get now as well. It's splotchy/patchy sections of foam on top after the head settles. I've had that happen to a number of beers.
Title: Re: DMS causes
Post by: speed on February 06, 2014, 09:45:30 PM
I've had foam like that before and I figured if I lightly shake the carboy and it dissipates  then I don't believe it's an infection.
Title: Re: DMS causes
Post by: beersk on February 07, 2014, 01:09:54 AM
I've had foam like that before and I figured if I lightly shake the carboy and it dissipates  then I don't believe it's an infection.
Oh, I meant in the pint glass. Weird splotchy head after the head falls, almost looks like yeast rafts, but with foam.
Title: DMS causes
Post by: tommymorris on February 07, 2014, 03:52:38 AM
Hmm, could be. The helles was fermented in a carboy that had haze in it, whether that's a culprit or not, I don't know. The issue seemed to start showing up after a bit in the keg. Now that i have a new co2 system, perhaps it'll go away. Hard to say. I just have a hard time believing that was the issue. Brewing is hard!

And the helles had a weird foam pattern. Which my current pilsner is starting to get now as well. It's splotchy/patchy sections of foam on top after the head settles. I've had that happen to a number of beers.

I get similar weird foam with a Helles I currently have. I figured it was from lots of proteins causing the foam coagulate in globs as it dissipated. Just a hunch. My Helles has 2# of wheat which is part of why I think that.
Title: Re: DMS causes
Post by: beersk on February 07, 2014, 01:48:43 PM
Hmm, could be the wheat on yours. Mine definitely picked up some kind of contamination, I think that was the cause for the weird foam on mine. I'm pretty sure at this point that it wasn't pitch rate or pitching temperature. I think the beer is just plain contaminated. Oh well, it's in the past now. Thanks, everyone, for your input. I appreciate it.

Cheers,

Jesse
Title: Re: DMS causes
Post by: Jimmy K on February 07, 2014, 02:10:54 PM
I plugged your grist, RO water, and salt additions (I guessed at amounts, but went with mimimal calcium - 50ppm) into Brewers Friend and got a mash pH of 5.3 - I'm guessing that's the cause of the tartness. Calcium additions with no alkalinity will lower mash pH and subsequently wort and beer pH.
 
http://www.brewersfriend.com/mash-chemistry-and-brewing-water-calculator/ (http://www.brewersfriend.com/mash-chemistry-and-brewing-water-calculator/)
Title: Re: DMS causes
Post by: HoosierBrew on February 07, 2014, 02:20:56 PM
I plugged your grist, RO water, and salt additions (I guessed at amounts, but went with mimimal calcium - 50ppm) into Brewers Friend and got a mash pH of 5.3 - I'm guessing that's the cause of the tartness. Calcium additions with no alkalinity will lower mash pH and subsequently wort and beer pH.
 
http://www.brewersfriend.com/mash-chemistry-and-brewing-water-calculator/ (http://www.brewersfriend.com/mash-chemistry-and-brewing-water-calculator/)

+1.  I actually shoot for a pH of ~ 5.3 (or a bit under) for a saison, to get that bit of tartness.
Title: Re: DMS causes
Post by: beersk on February 07, 2014, 02:55:47 PM
You guys think a pH of 5.3 would really cause that much tartness? I thought I read somewhere that most German breweries target a pH of 5.2 for lighter styles.
Title: Re: DMS causes
Post by: erockrph on February 07, 2014, 03:16:54 PM
You guys think a pH of 5.3 would really cause that much tartness? I thought I read somewhere that most German breweries target a pH of 5.2 for lighter styles.

A little bit? Possibly. A significant amount? Most likely not. There are a lot of factors that come into play between mash pH and final beer pH (yeast being a major one). If a yeast strain doesn't typically produce a tart beer, I don't know if one or two points difference in the mash is going to make a huge difference in the finished beer.

Having said that, I still mash my Saisons at 5.3 and my Porters between 5.5 and 5.6 because it does make a difference in the finished beer. But that may end up being more of a factor of residual alkalinity than mash pH, since you have to consider any remaining buffering capacity left in the wort to determine how much downstream factors (boil, hops, fermentation, etc.) would have an effect on the finished beer's pH. I'll leave that up to the real chemists, though :)
Title: Re: DMS causes
Post by: HoosierBrew on February 07, 2014, 03:24:29 PM
You guys think a pH of 5.3 would really cause that much tartness? I thought I read somewhere that most German breweries target a pH of 5.2 for lighter styles.

Not a lot, no. I targeted a pH of 5.25 on my last saison and got a slight tartness, which I like for the style. Pretty subtle, but noticeable to me.
Title: Re: DMS causes
Post by: beersk on February 07, 2014, 04:54:07 PM
Huh, well, I usually target a pH of 5.3 for every beer. Maybe I should change that. I was thinking about residual alkalinity the other day. If I use phosphoric to adjust my tap water to get the proper mash pH, the alkalinity and residual alkalinity goes waaaaaaay down. That's a problem, right? I'd only be adding a milliliter or less to the mash water.
Say, for an amber lager where I want to get the mash pH down to 5.4. With my tap water I need to add maybe .8 to 1mL of 85% phosphoric to get the pH down. But the RA drops to like -75, which is really low and off the charts in Bru'n water. This is why I usually use a couple ounces of acid malt instead, although that probably does the same thing to the RA.

Thoughts?
Title: Re: DMS causes
Post by: morticaixavier on February 07, 2014, 04:58:03 PM
Huh, well, I usually target a pH of 5.3 for every beer. Maybe I should change that. I was thinking about residual alkalinity the other day. If I use phosphoric to adjust my tap water to get the proper mash pH, the alkalinity and residual alkalinity goes waaaaaaay down. That's a problem, right? I'd only be adding a milliliter or less to the mash water.
Say, for an amber lager where I want to get the mash pH down to 5.4. With my tap water I need to add maybe .8 to 1mL of 85% phosphoric to get the pH down. But the RA drops to like -75, which is really low and off the charts in Bru'n water. This is why I usually use a couple ounces of acid malt instead, although that probably does the same thing to the RA.

Thoughts?

I generally aim for 5.3-5.4 and have not noticed any out of place tartness. (slightly higher for hoppy beers per martins advice on lower pH muting hop expression).

On the acid malt v. liquid acids front. I just don't get it. I mean if it's your process than fine but you don't know how much acid you're actually adding because it varies from maltster to maltster and likely batch to batch. liquid Lactic acid is standardized at 88% and that's that. if I add 5 ml of 88% lactic that's how much I'm adding. if I add 2% acid malt to my grist I don't know exactly how much I'm adding.

For me that matters because I don't have a pH meter so I'm going with RO water and dead reckoning.
Title: Re: DMS causes
Post by: denny on February 07, 2014, 04:59:59 PM
I generally aim for 5.3-5.4 and have not noticed any out of place tartness. (slightly higher for hoppy beers per martins advice on lower pH muting hop expression).

On the acid malt v. liquid acids front. I just don't get it. I mean if it's your process than fine but you don't know how much acid you're actually adding because it varies from maltster to maltster and likely batch to batch. liquid Lactic acid is standardized at 88% and that's that. if I add 5 ml of 88% lactic that's how much I'm adding. if I add 2% acid malt to my grist I don't know exactly how much I'm adding.

For me that matters because I don't have a pH meter so I'm going with RO water and dead reckoning.

I agree with you on all points FWIW.
Title: Re: DMS causes
Post by: beersk on February 07, 2014, 05:23:25 PM
Thanks, Jonathan. That makes sense. I may start using phosphoric additions now. But acid malt is better than nothing, I suppose. Love this forum...
Title: Re: DMS causes
Post by: bluesman on February 07, 2014, 05:44:07 PM
I use lactic acid for all of my light beers to reduce my mash pH to the 5.3 range, and I don't get any "strange" tartness or flavors, but there is a minimally detectable or perceived tartness of sorts. Maybe a sense of dryness is a better way of thinking about it.
Title: DMS causes
Post by: tommymorris on February 07, 2014, 06:46:01 PM
Huh, well, I usually target a pH of 5.3 for every beer. Maybe I should change that. I was thinking about residual alkalinity the other day. If I use phosphoric to adjust my tap water to get the proper mash pH, the alkalinity and residual alkalinity goes waaaaaaay down. That's a problem, right? I'd only be adding a milliliter or less to the mash water.
Say, for an amber lager where I want to get the mash pH down to 5.4. With my tap water I need to add maybe .8 to 1mL of 85% phosphoric to get the pH down. But the RA drops to like -75, which is really low and off the charts in Bru'n water. This is why I usually use a couple ounces of acid malt instead, although that probably does the same thing to the RA.

Thoughts?
For me that matters because I don't have a pH meter so I'm going with RO water and dead reckoning.

Does dead reckoning mean you add the recipe to brunwater and then just add the volume of acid suggested by the tool?

I have never adjusted Ph before. I plan to try for the first time this weekend. My plan is to just add the brunwater suggested amount since I don't have a Ph meter but will have Ph strips. I don't plan to adjust more after testing with Ph strips since they aren't supposed to be accurate.
Title: Re: DMS causes
Post by: beersk on February 07, 2014, 06:54:24 PM
That's what I do anyway...I'm avoiding buying a pH meter if I can help it. Then again, I can't talk, I'm having troubles brewing a helles.
Title: Re: DMS causes
Post by: morticaixavier on February 07, 2014, 06:57:56 PM
Huh, well, I usually target a pH of 5.3 for every beer. Maybe I should change that. I was thinking about residual alkalinity the other day. If I use phosphoric to adjust my tap water to get the proper mash pH, the alkalinity and residual alkalinity goes waaaaaaay down. That's a problem, right? I'd only be adding a milliliter or less to the mash water.
Say, for an amber lager where I want to get the mash pH down to 5.4. With my tap water I need to add maybe .8 to 1mL of 85% phosphoric to get the pH down. But the RA drops to like -75, which is really low and off the charts in Bru'n water. This is why I usually use a couple ounces of acid malt instead, although that probably does the same thing to the RA.

Thoughts?
For me that matters because I don't have a pH meter so I'm going with RO water and dead reckoning.

Does dead reckoning mean you add the recipe to brunwater and then just add the volume of acid suggested by the tool?

I have never adjusted Ph before. I plan to try for the first time this weekend. My plan is to just add the brunwater suggested amount since I don't have a Ph meter but will have Ph strips. I don't plan to adjust more after testing with Ph strips since they aren't supposed to be accurate.

Yup that's what I mean. I don't think I'd try it with tap water but with 100% RO or DI it seems to work. never having actually tested the pH I can't tell you for sure that it works but I do not have issues that would be associated with being wildly off on my mash pH or water chemistry.
Title: Re: DMS causes
Post by: HoosierBrew on February 07, 2014, 07:06:21 PM
Huh, well, I usually target a pH of 5.3 for every beer. Maybe I should change that. I was thinking about residual alkalinity the other day. If I use phosphoric to adjust my tap water to get the proper mash pH, the alkalinity and residual alkalinity goes waaaaaaay down. That's a problem, right? I'd only be adding a milliliter or less to the mash water.
Say, for an amber lager where I want to get the mash pH down to 5.4. With my tap water I need to add maybe .8 to 1mL of 85% phosphoric to get the pH down. But the RA drops to like -75, which is really low and off the charts in Bru'n water. This is why I usually use a couple ounces of acid malt instead, although that probably does the same thing to the RA.

Thoughts?
For me that matters because I don't have a pH meter so I'm going with RO water and dead reckoning.

Does dead reckoning mean you add the recipe to brunwater and then just add the volume of acid suggested by the tool?

I have never adjusted Ph before. I plan to try for the first time this weekend. My plan is to just add the brunwater suggested amount since I don't have a Ph meter but will have Ph strips. I don't plan to adjust more after testing with Ph strips since they aren't supposed to be accurate.

Yup that's what I mean. I don't think I'd try it with tap water but with 100% RO or DI it seems to work. never having actually tested the pH I can't tell you for sure that it works but I do not have issues that would be associated with being wildly off on my mash pH or water chemistry.

That's what I do. I have strips but I'm never very confident in them alone. I use RO with Bru'nWater and have had zero problems thus far. Don't have a meter, but I weigh the salt and acid additions to the letter, and FWIW the test strips seem to bear out that I'm pretty much at the pH I want to be. But I trust my palate more than the strips - the beer is consistently good (and clear). Couldn't be more pleased.
Title: Re: DMS causes
Post by: beersk on February 08, 2014, 12:31:23 AM
Well, I'm trying it tomorrow with my tap water (which I know the water report on), so we'll see. Only needing .8mL of 85% phosphoric to get it to pH 5.3. I guess I could've tried for 5.4, but it's too late; water's measured out and grains are milled.
Title: Re: DMS causes
Post by: euge on February 08, 2014, 02:41:06 AM
Sorry about not chiming in earlier. Having had similar problems I'm interested to see how this resolves itself.