Author Topic: Saisons on Acid  (Read 443 times)

Offline mulebroue

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Saisons on Acid
« on: February 28, 2014, 12:26:36 PM »
Long time lurker, 1st time poster.

Brewed a saison last weekend, everything went perfectly. Tasted my gravity reading and burned the holy s*** out of my tongue, throat & stomach.  Still feels like what I imagine is an acid burn.

I used 2% acidulated malt but otherwise no adjustments to my tap water (lake Michigan hard water). No sanitizer/cleaner etc made its way into the beer as far as I know.  Here's the 7 gallon recipe:

7# Belgian Pils
1# Flaked Oats
1# Flaked Rye
1# Flaked Wheat
4oz Acidulated malt
2# Corn Sugar

Rests at 142, 155 & mashout at 165. Pitched a big 'ol starter of 3724. Crystal/Galaxy hopped to the tune of 33 IBUs. OG of 1.051.

It took off like a rocket but has now slowed down into the classic Dupont stall (I'm not worried about that at all). Went to my 1st club (BABBLE of Lake County) meeting in 2 years last night to try and figure it out but it's a real head-scratcher.  Wondering if all of the simple sugar had something to do with it, but removing that takes my % of acid malt from 2 to 2.4%.

I haven't taken a ph reading yet. I read that Calcium Carbonate can help take acidity out of beer - anyone have any experience with this? Hoping I haven't brewed up a big batch of poison.  Any ideas would be much appreciated.

Cheers,

Jason

Online Steve in TX

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Re: Saisons on Acid
« Reply #1 on: February 28, 2014, 12:29:15 PM »
What temp did you ferment at? Does it taste like booze?

I doubt the acid malt would be the cause.
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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Saisons on Acid
« Reply #2 on: February 28, 2014, 12:34:14 PM »
Take the pH reading and report back to us.

If it converted, it could not have been too acidic. 1% acid malt will drop pH roughly 0.1 pH. That is 2.4% of the grain bill, no sugar in my calculation, so you would have only dropped 0.25 pH. The beer drops almost a point in pH +/-,during fermentation. Lambics don't burn to me but are sour, and they are down in the 3 to 3.5 pH range.
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Offline mulebroue

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Re: Saisons on Acid
« Reply #3 on: February 28, 2014, 12:38:40 PM »
The burn came from my gravity reading, I pitched before tasting it.

I will be able to take a ph reading this afternoon and will update ASAP, thanks guys.

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Re: Saisons on Acid
« Reply #4 on: February 28, 2014, 12:57:45 PM »
What do you use to clean your gear? Any chance it wasn't rinsed well enough?
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Offline mulebroue

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Re: Saisons on Acid
« Reply #5 on: February 28, 2014, 01:00:34 PM »
Using the cheapo strips: looks to be on the lowest end (yellow/gold in color, 4-4.5).

Just odorless soap + Star San like the past 50+ batches.  Been racking my brain to think of anything out of the ordinary but there's nothing I know of.

Offline Jimmy K

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Re: Saisons on Acid
« Reply #6 on: February 28, 2014, 01:31:05 PM »
4-4.5pH is a normal range for beer. Have you tried another sample? Does it still taste like this?
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Offline garc_mall

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Re: Saisons on Acid
« Reply #7 on: February 28, 2014, 01:33:38 PM »
Another thought, I know when I take gravity readings (as I move from Fermenter to Keg) I fill the siphon with Star San, and then run the star-san into a bowl, then fill the hydrometer tube, and then into the keg. If you didn't run all the star San out, maybe you had some of that in the hydrometer tube?
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Offline denny

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Re: Saisons on Acid
« Reply #8 on: February 28, 2014, 01:35:32 PM »
Using the cheapo strips: looks to be on the lowest end (yellow/gold in color, 4-4.5).

No offense, but those are likely so inaccurate you have no idea what the pH is.
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Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Saisons on Acid
« Reply #9 on: February 28, 2014, 01:36:51 PM »
did it leave any evidence? a rash/burn/redness?

How low would the pH have to be in order to cause phisical pain like that?

Is it possible you last used your hydrometer for an intense chilli pepper beer? had you been chopping habeneros?

Online HoosierBrew

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Re: Saisons on Acid
« Reply #10 on: February 28, 2014, 01:45:07 PM »
Another thought, I know when I take gravity readings (as I move from Fermenter to Keg) I fill the siphon with Star San, and then run the star-san into a bowl, then fill the hydrometer tube, and then into the keg. If you didn't run all the star San out, maybe you had some of that in the hydrometer tube?


My thoughts too. 2% acid malt wouldn't do that. I like to mash Saison at down near 5.2 pH for a slight crisp tartness, and have never gotten anything resembling that.
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Offline mulebroue

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Re: Saisons on Acid
« Reply #11 on: February 28, 2014, 01:50:51 PM »
Using the cheapo strips: looks to be on the lowest end (yellow/gold in color, 4-4.5).

No offense, but those are likely so inaccurate you have no idea what the pH is.

Heh, I kinda figured as much but I have no other way to read the ph at the moment.

The sample I pulled today seemed to be normal - no burning whatsoever. I'm still wondering what the hell happened - I don't sanitize my hydrometer and my wine thief was sanitized & dry when I took the reading. Strange.  I am also wonder what the ph would need to be to burn like that (my throat is still red and the less I tell you about my stomach, the better).

At any rate, I'll RDWHAHB for now and hope for the best. If there are any issues when the batch finishes up I'll update. I appreciate the responses, I rarely have problems like this but will definitely utilize the forum again.

Cheers.

Offline kramerog

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Re: Saisons on Acid
« Reply #12 on: February 28, 2014, 01:53:03 PM »
The pH may actually be below 4 because the strip bottomed out.  Take a sample of the beer (~10 ml) and measure the pH.  Now add a drop of StarSan to the sample, stir and take pH.  If the pH reading didn't change the strip is bottomed out and the pH could be below 4.

OR you could measure the pH with a pH strip for wine.

I've used calcium carbonate before.  A little bit goes a long way.  Unless you've get a scale that is good to a fractions of a gram it'll be hard to test adding calcium carbonate to a small sample of beer and then scale up for the whole batch. 

You can add a little calcium carbonate (purchase at wine store with pH strips for wine) and add maybe a 1/10th of a tsp of calcium carbonate, shake your fermenter a bunch, and see how much the pH changes.  You will probably get a lot of CO2 coming off both from the fermentation and from the neutralization of the calcium carbonate.  It is very easy to overshoot the additions as the pH can suddenly change as you approach a "tipping point."

You could probably also get some good advice from your local wine supply as adjusting the pH of wine is fairly standard.
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Offline duboman

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Re: Saisons on Acid
« Reply #13 on: February 28, 2014, 04:14:30 PM »
Using the cheapo strips: looks to be on the lowest end (yellow/gold in color, 4-4.5).

No offense, but those are likely so inaccurate you have no idea what the pH is.

Heh, I kinda figured as much but I have no other way to read the ph at the moment.

The sample I pulled today seemed to be normal - no burning whatsoever. I'm still wondering what the hell happened - I don't sanitize my hydrometer and my wine thief was sanitized & dry when I took the reading. Strange.  I am also wonder what the ph would need to be to burn like that (my throat is still red and the less I tell you about my stomach, the better).

At any rate, I'll RDWHAHB for now and hope for the best. If there are any issues when the batch finishes up I'll update. I appreciate the responses, I rarely have problems like this but will definitely utilize the forum again.

Cheers.

Sounds to me like you pulled a quick sample of very green beer with a lot of fusel alcohols in it and sucked up some co2 with it as well since your second pull did not have the same issue. Kind of like passing out because you stuck your head in a freshly opened vessel and get a big whiff of co2 knocking you on your arse!
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