Author Topic: Too much lactic acid?  (Read 4702 times)

Offline denny

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Too much lactic acid?
« on: January 01, 2013, 12:58:30 PM »
Getting ready to brew a German pils.  Looks like as part of my water adjustment I need to add 2.6 ml of lactic acid to the mash and 1.3 ml. to the sparge.  Doesn't seem excessive to me, but I wanted to get opinions.
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Online jeffy

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Re: Too much lactic acid?
« Reply #1 on: January 01, 2013, 01:10:38 PM »
Getting ready to brew a German pils.  Looks like as part of my water adjustment I need to add 2.6 ml of lactic acid to the mash and 1.3 ml. to the sparge.  Doesn't seem excessive to me, but I wanted to get opinions.
Do you check your mash pH?  I would add conservatively and check it.
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Offline nateo

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Re: Too much lactic acid?
« Reply #2 on: January 01, 2013, 01:17:00 PM »
If that's what Bru'n water tells you to do, it's probably correct. Double-check for operator error on the spreadsheet, but it's always within +/-0.1 pH when I check with my meter.
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Offline musseldoc

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Re: Too much lactic acid?
« Reply #3 on: January 01, 2013, 01:44:55 PM »
The volumes sound reasonable, but it ultimately depends on the acid concentration and buffering capacity of your mash. 
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Offline denny

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Re: Too much lactic acid?
« Reply #4 on: January 01, 2013, 03:24:39 PM »
Getting ready to brew a German pils.  Looks like as part of my water adjustment I need to add 2.6 ml of lactic acid to the mash and 1.3 ml. to the sparge.  Doesn't seem excessive to me, but I wanted to get opinions.
Do you check your mash pH?  I would add conservatively and check it.

I usually just add what Bru'nwater tells me and check it afterward.
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Offline denny

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Re: Too much lactic acid?
« Reply #5 on: January 01, 2013, 03:25:55 PM »
If that's what Bru'n water tells you to do, it's probably correct. Double-check for operator error on the spreadsheet, but it's always within +/-0.1 pH when I check with my meter.

Yeah, that's what it says.  I'm not as concerned about the pH as the taste threshold.  Is that enough to taste in a 5.5 gal. batch if that's what I need to hit my pH? 
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Offline narvin

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Re: Too much lactic acid?
« Reply #6 on: January 01, 2013, 03:29:13 PM »
This is for 5 gallons, right?  That sounds close to the rate that I use in the mash, and I have relatively low bicarbonates in my water (around 60ppm).  What is your water like?  I use half of what you plan to in the sparge water to adjust it to pH 5.5... If you need that much acid to bring your sparge water down to the correct pH,  you may be able to use more in the mash.

The other alternative is to reduce the pH more in the kettle.  Although it doesn't sound Reinheitsgebot-kosher to do that, Kao has talked about it and actually mentioned that a higher mash pH can favor the enzymes that make a more attenuative wort.  If you aim for 5.4 or 5.5 in the mash you should be fine, but you can reduce it to 5.2 with acid (or perhaps, a decoction) after that. 

At any rate, I think you current additions should be fine.  Definitely try to measure the pH if you can.  It's not necessary to do every time, but I find it very useful to calibrated against the spreadsheet estimates.
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Offline narvin

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Re: Too much lactic acid?
« Reply #7 on: January 01, 2013, 03:30:44 PM »
If that's what Bru'n water tells you to do, it's probably correct. Double-check for operator error on the spreadsheet, but it's always within +/-0.1 pH when I check with my meter.

Yeah, that's what it says.  I'm not as concerned about the pH as the taste threshold.  Is that enough to taste in a 5.5 gal. batch if that's what I need to hit my pH?

No, you won't taste sourness from that amount of Lactic acid.  If anything, it adds to the "german flavor".

Anywhere from 2 to 3% acid malt is common in German light lagers.  If you download Kai's water calculator spreadsheet, there is an option to enter either ml of lactic acid or % grist as acid malt.  I'm pretty sure what you're using is within this range.
« Last Edit: January 01, 2013, 03:47:31 PM by narvin »
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Too much lactic acid?
« Reply #8 on: January 01, 2013, 04:08:21 PM »
If that's what Bru'n water tells you to do, it's probably correct. Double-check for operator error on the spreadsheet, but it's always within +/-0.1 pH when I check with my meter.

Yeah, that's what it says.  I'm not as concerned about the pH as the taste threshold.  Is that enough to taste in a 5.5 gal. batch if that's what I need to hit my pH?

No, you won't taste sourness from that amount of Lactic acid.  If anything, it adds to the "german flavor".

Anywhere from 2 to 3% acid malt is common in German light lagers.  If you download Kai's water calculator spreadsheet, there is an option to enter either ml of lactic acid or % grist as acid malt.  I'm pretty sure what you're using is within this range.

I thought that the actual addition of any type of acid to a German lager was against the reinheitsghebot? I thought that is why they used acid malt???
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Offline Alewyfe

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Re: Too much lactic acid?
« Reply #9 on: January 01, 2013, 04:19:38 PM »
If that's what Bru'n water tells you to do, it's probably correct. Double-check for operator error on the spreadsheet, but it's always within +/-0.1 pH when I check with my meter.

Yeah, that's what it says.  I'm not as concerned about the pH as the taste threshold.  Is that enough to taste in a 5.5 gal. batch if that's what I need to hit my pH?

No, you won't taste sourness from that amount of Lactic acid.  If anything, it adds to the "german flavor".

Anywhere from 2 to 3% acid malt is common in German light lagers.  If you download Kai's water calculator spreadsheet, there is an option to enter either ml of lactic acid or % grist as acid malt.  I'm pretty sure what you're using is within this range.

+1
If you add 2% acid malt to the grist, you'll probably find you don't need much else. You may not remember it, but you really liked my Pils last year and that's what I did. It went 1st in category at both Sasquatch and HOV. Our water is probably pretty close.
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Offline nateo

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Re: Too much lactic acid?
« Reply #10 on: January 01, 2013, 05:21:59 PM »
Acid malt is just pils malt that's been sprayed with lactic acid. Adding liquid lactic acid will do the same thing.
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Offline narvin

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Re: Too much lactic acid?
« Reply #11 on: January 01, 2013, 05:23:31 PM »

I thought that the actual addition of any type of acid to a German lager was against the reinheitsghebot? I thought that is why they used acid malt???

Do pragmatist beatniks follow the R-hgbot?  Other than the hocus pocus, lactic acid should be the same.
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Offline nateo

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Re: Too much lactic acid?
« Reply #12 on: January 01, 2013, 05:39:08 PM »
Do pragmatist beatniks follow the R-hgbot?

That's just for Bavarians. North Germans play loose and fast with the rules.
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Too much lactic acid?
« Reply #13 on: January 01, 2013, 05:42:34 PM »

I thought that the actual addition of any type of acid to a German lager was against the reinheitsghebot? I thought that is why they used acid malt???

Do pragmatist beatniks follow the R-hgbot?  Other than the hocus pocus, lactic acid should be the same.


I don't know, the more I get into this the more I believe in hocus pocus. ;)
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Offline Alewyfe

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Re: Too much lactic acid?
« Reply #14 on: January 01, 2013, 05:45:37 PM »

I thought that the actual addition of any type of acid to a German lager was against the reinheitsghebot? I thought that is why they used acid malt???

Do pragmatist beatniks follow the R-hgbot?  Other than the hocus pocus, lactic acid should be the same.
Ouch...so much for a kinder gentler 2013. Too bad it's not a leap year.;) There' d be an extra day to give Denny crap!
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