Author Topic: adjusting mash pH  (Read 1085 times)

Offline goschman

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adjusting mash pH
« on: September 26, 2014, 07:12:10 PM »
Fooling around with Bru'n Water. Can I just add the necessary amounts of lactic acid to make the mash more acidic and baking soda to make it more alkaline?

At this point, I am only worried about mash pH and not overall water profiles.
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Offline Wort-H.O.G.

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Re: adjusting mash pH
« Reply #1 on: September 26, 2014, 07:15:24 PM »
Fooling around with Bru'n Water. Can I just add the necessary amounts of lactic acid to make the mash more acidic and baking soda to make it more alkaline?

At this point, I am only worried about mash pH and not overall water profiles.

yes and yes. careful on the lactic - a little goes a long way and its a b**** to take back!
Ken- Chagrin Falls, OH
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Offline goschman

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Re: adjusting mash pH
« Reply #2 on: September 26, 2014, 07:17:51 PM »
Thanks.

I put in my wheat recipe just to test. It says that I would need about .6 mL/gallon of lactic acid to bring the pH down to 5.4 which is about 2.5 mL total. Is that a lot?

My porter would call for about 0.4 g/gallon of baking soda to get the pH up to 5.4...

I have no frame of reference...haha
« Last Edit: September 26, 2014, 07:21:11 PM by goschman »
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Offline Wort-H.O.G.

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Re: adjusting mash pH
« Reply #3 on: September 26, 2014, 07:20:52 PM »
Thanks.

I put in my wheat recipe just to test. It says that I would need about .6 mL/gallon of lactic acid to bring the pH down to 5.4 which is about 2.5 mL total. Is that a lot?

not a lot- but must consider your water profile. if you're using Ro or distilled water you can expect the calcs to be spot on. if using well water like i have, the buffering capacity is so high that if i didnt have my exact water profile loaded into brunwater, it wouldnt move the ph as needed.
Ken- Chagrin Falls, OH
CPT, U.S.Army
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Harveys-Brewhaus/405092862905115

http://braukaiser.com/wiki/index.php?title=The_Science_of_Mashing

Serving:        In Process:
Vienna IPA          O'Fest
Dort
Mead                 
Cider                         
Ger'merican Blonde
Amber Ale
Next:
Ger Pils
O'Fest

Offline goschman

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Re: adjusting mash pH
« Reply #4 on: September 26, 2014, 07:21:56 PM »
Thanks.

I put in my wheat recipe just to test. It says that I would need about .6 mL/gallon of lactic acid to bring the pH down to 5.4 which is about 2.5 mL total. Is that a lot?

not a lot- but must consider your water profile. if you're using Ro or distilled water you can expect the calcs to be spot on. if using well water like i have, the buffering capacity is so high that if i didnt have my exact water profile loaded into brunwater, it wouldnt move the ph as needed.

Ok. My water profile is kind of half assed but I am working on that...
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Offline morticaixavier

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Re: adjusting mash pH
« Reply #5 on: September 26, 2014, 07:23:54 PM »
it's important. Also, additional calcium will lower the pH some as well. so if you are at all short on calcium or chloride of sulfate you can add some calcium chloride or gypsum and it will get you part way there.
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Offline Wort-H.O.G.

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Re: adjusting mash pH
« Reply #6 on: September 26, 2014, 07:24:32 PM »
Thanks.

I put in my wheat recipe just to test. It says that I would need about .6 mL/gallon of lactic acid to bring the pH down to 5.4 which is about 2.5 mL total. Is that a lot?

not a lot- but must consider your water profile. if you're using Ro or distilled water you can expect the calcs to be spot on. if using well water like i have, the buffering capacity is so high that if i didnt have my exact water profile loaded into brunwater, it wouldnt move the ph as needed.

Ok. My water profile is kind of half assed but I am working on that...

yeah i wouldn't fly blind on water profile. i had RO system installed because my water is naturally extremely soft. i'd go with 100% RO or Distilled until you find out your water profile. ward labs is online and turns it around pretty quickly.
Ken- Chagrin Falls, OH
CPT, U.S.Army
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Harveys-Brewhaus/405092862905115

http://braukaiser.com/wiki/index.php?title=The_Science_of_Mashing

Serving:        In Process:
Vienna IPA          O'Fest
Dort
Mead                 
Cider                         
Ger'merican Blonde
Amber Ale
Next:
Ger Pils
O'Fest

Offline goschman

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Re: adjusting mash pH
« Reply #7 on: September 26, 2014, 07:39:07 PM »
Yeah the water company had a page for brewer in which they gave ranges so I am just using the averages to get a feel for it. I will get a lab test done before I actually start messing around with additions.

My 'half assed' profile with ranges is:
pH 7.74 (that is accurate)
Ca 12 (9-15)
Mg 2.5 (2-3)
Na 6 (4-8)
HCO3 32.2 - calculated from alkalinity?
S04 20 (17-23)
Cl 5.5 (4-7)
Alkalinity 26.5 (18-35)

I will stop now. I realize I am probably in the wrong section now.
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Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: adjusting mash pH
« Reply #8 on: September 26, 2014, 08:01:40 PM »
Yeah, but to help with flocculation and fermentation you NEED to get at least 50 ppm calcium in your ales, a little less for lagers.  The best way to get the Ca into your beer is to use gypsum (calcium sulfate) and calcium chloride  - common denominator?  Calcium.  But the cool thing,though, is that the sulfate and chloride ions from the latter half of those compounds help decide the beer's flavor balance - sulfate brings out hop character, where chloride emphasizes maltiness. So, you can use a combo of those to get your Ca levels, but vary the amounts of each to get the desired flavor profile of the beer you're making. After you get your desired Ca contribution from both compounds, you can add the amount of lactic acid or baking soda needed to get your pH to your target level. This is what I do.


EDIT  -  You won't need baking soda except for dark beers (with RO water anyway), as it will raise the excess low pH created by the acidity of dark/black malts. But you'll likely need to use lactic acid more often in small quantities for paler beers to drop pH a bit.  Regardless, you'll need a small quantity scale - I use this one to weigh water salts (and small hop quantities) - it's cheap and works great  :

http://www.amazon.com/American-Weigh-0-01g-Digital-Scale/dp/B0012LOQUQ
« Last Edit: September 27, 2014, 04:36:37 AM by HoosierBrew »
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Offline goschman

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Re: adjusting mash pH
« Reply #9 on: September 26, 2014, 08:26:20 PM »
Thanks!

That totally makes sense after looking at Bru'n Water. I see that I want the finished water profile in green. Looks like I am low on Calcium, Cloride, and Sulfate for most styles. Looks like gypsum and calcium chloride would take care of that as you mentioned.
On Tap/Bottled: Haze for Daze IPA, G Pils, Maibock, Watermelon Cider         

Fermenting: Kolsch
Up Next: Summer Ale, Gose