Author Topic: BrunWater lactic acid additions  (Read 1121 times)

Offline brewinhard

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BrunWater lactic acid additions
« on: May 25, 2015, 05:12:47 PM »
Is there a spot on the spreadsheet (I could not find one) where you can calculate how much lactic acid or phosphoric acid to add to a mash if the initial pH comes in to high?  I see there is a place to adjust sparge water and the mash with acid but only in advance of doughing in.  I was just curious if there is any way to figure out acid additions needed after mashing in if necessary?

If there is no such thing then how does one determine the correct amount of acid to add to reduce mash pH without dropping out the bottom too far?

Offline toby

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Re: BrunWater lactic acid additions
« Reply #1 on: May 26, 2015, 02:39:57 AM »
With Bru'nwater, it basically assumes you're dialing it in correctly beforehand.  You shouldn't need to adjust on the fly unless you've entered your water values incorrectly (or the water company has made seasonal changes to their treatment).

Offline JT

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Re: BrunWater lactic acid additions
« Reply #2 on: May 26, 2015, 03:34:49 AM »
There are wild cards that occur though and yes you can adjust your mash on the fly rather easily.  For instance, using a malt such as Rahr that doesn't behave like a normal base malt, I dropped my pH a bit low.  I'd heard about the added pH drop from Rahr, but being stubborn had to test it myself.  No worries, I just went back to the spreadsheet and added the appropriate amount of baking soda to boost the mash 2 tenths. 
The same can sort of be done with acid, I'd just go easier than what it says, since the water is hot the acid works a bit more efficiently to drop pH.  You can always add a bit more, but it's hard to take it out.
« Last Edit: May 26, 2015, 03:37:43 AM by JT »

Offline leejoreilly

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Re: BrunWater lactic acid additions
« Reply #3 on: May 26, 2015, 12:07:06 PM »
With Bru'nwater, it basically assumes you're dialing it in correctly beforehand.  You shouldn't need to adjust on the fly unless you've entered your water values incorrectly (or the water company has made seasonal changes to their treatment).

I agree with Toby, that Bru'nwater assumes you get it right, first shot. But if for some reason you don't, I think you could estimate the effect of "sneaking up" on your desired mash pH in Bru'nwater by increasing the lactic dosage slightly on the "Water Adjustment" tab and seeing what it does to estimated mash pH in the "Adjustment Summary" tab. That should give you some feel for how much additional lactic it'll take to drop your pH by, say, an additional tenth of a point.

I'd advise waiting until 15-20 minutes or so into your mash to measure your pH so that you see the full effect from your grains. Also, I'm pretty sensitive to the taste of lactic in the finished beer, so I limit my total input to under 4 ml or so.

Offline Wort-H.O.G.

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BrunWater lactic acid additions
« Reply #4 on: May 26, 2015, 12:19:56 PM »
1 ML of lactic will move about .1 point PH in most my recipes with my RO water. In my pils, i use 3ml to drop from 5.57 to 5.27

and yes, s*** does happen. i have had different malt bases that we either more acidic and or higher lovi, and resulting lower PH. Ive also had the exact opposit resulting in higher PH vs target and lactic acid was needed.
« Last Edit: May 26, 2015, 12:51:53 PM by Wort-H.O.G. »
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Offline mabrungard

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Re: BrunWater lactic acid additions
« Reply #5 on: May 26, 2015, 01:07:03 PM »
The response of mash pH is fairly linear, especially when you are only moving the pH a tenth or so. You should be able to alter the acid addition quantity in the program and see how much the pH changes. Consider that difference in acid quantity per tenth of pH as your guide if you do find the mash significantly off.

Another caution: Do mix all your minerals and acids with the mashing water BEFORE adding the grain. This is the ONLY way to assure that the constituents are completely distributed in the mash. If you add the minerals and/or acids to the mash and try to mix them in, it is very difficult to produce a uniform distribution. Matt C did a study of that and found significant variation in pH and temperature in his study when that was attempted. I've heard from many brewers that insist on adding these amendments after the grains have been added and then they complain that the program caused them to overdose the mash with acid. What is more likely: they had those amendments well-mixed into only the upper layers of the mash and little in the bottom. REPEAT: Add all minerals and acids to the water and mix them up thoroughly before adding the grains.
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Offline bengelbrau

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Re: BrunWater lactic acid additions
« Reply #6 on: May 26, 2015, 01:46:18 PM »
Quote
Do mix all your minerals and acids with the mashing water BEFORE adding the grain.

I tried adding my stuff to the water in the kettle, but found that the chalk settled really nicely. I still have a thin layer on the bottom of the kettle. Since that experience, I've added the minerals to the grist prior to adding the water, and stirring the grist well as the water heats. Any techniques for getting this stuff to dissolve?

Offline morticaixavier

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Re: BrunWater lactic acid additions
« Reply #7 on: May 26, 2015, 02:10:54 PM »
Quote
Do mix all your minerals and acids with the mashing water BEFORE adding the grain.

I tried adding my stuff to the water in the kettle, but found that the chalk settled really nicely. I still have a thin layer on the bottom of the kettle. Since that experience, I've added the minerals to the grist prior to adding the water, and stirring the grist well as the water heats. Any techniques for getting this stuff to dissolve?

don't use chalk! it really won't dissolve in the kettle. you can dissolve it by carbonating the water in a keg with the chalk ahead of time. the pH drop from the carbonic acid will dissolve the chalk.

but you can add everything except the chalk to the kettle.
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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: BrunWater lactic acid additions
« Reply #8 on: May 26, 2015, 02:16:57 PM »
Quote
Do mix all your minerals and acids with the mashing water BEFORE adding the grain.

I tried adding my stuff to the water in the kettle, but found that the chalk settled really nicely. I still have a thin layer on the bottom of the kettle. Since that experience, I've added the minerals to the grist prior to adding the water, and stirring the grist well as the water heats. Any techniques for getting this stuff to dissolve?

Baking soda or picking lime dissolve. Chalk? Takes a long time at mash pH, there beer would be in the fermenter.
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Re: BrunWater lactic acid additions
« Reply #9 on: May 26, 2015, 02:53:40 PM »
don't use chalk! it really won't dissolve in the kettle. you can dissolve it by carbonating the water in a keg with the chalk ahead of time. the pH drop from the carbonic acid will dissolve the chalk.

+100

CaCO3 is self regulating. I have a deep well that produces low-TDS water that contains dissolved  CO2.  The pH is between 5.9 and 6.0 coming out of the ground.  I had to install an acid neutralizing filter that uses calcite (a form of CaCO3) to buffer the pH up to around 7.0. From what I have experienced, calcite appears to readily dissolve until a pH of around 6.5 is reached.  From that point upward, the filtering process appears to reach a point of diminishing returns until the pH stabilizes at around 7.0.  Apparently, the solubility of CaCO3 and other minerals is a function of pH, temperature, reduction-oxidation (redox) potential (Eh), ionic strength, and the concentration of something known as ligands, which are molecules and ions that bind to metals.  I am certain that Martin can explain this phenomenon in much better detail.
« Last Edit: May 26, 2015, 04:31:27 PM by S. cerevisiae »

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Re: BrunWater lactic acid additions
« Reply #10 on: May 26, 2015, 02:56:15 PM »
The response of mash pH is fairly linear, especially when you are only moving the pH a tenth or so. You should be able to alter the acid addition quantity in the program and see how much the pH changes. Consider that difference in acid quantity per tenth of pH as your guide if you do find the mash significantly off.

Another caution: Do mix all your minerals and acids with the mashing water BEFORE adding the grain. This is the ONLY way to assure that the constituents are completely distributed in the mash. If you add the minerals and/or acids to the mash and try to mix them in, it is very difficult to produce a uniform distribution. Matt C did a study of that and found significant variation in pH and temperature in his study when that was attempted. I've heard from many brewers that insist on adding these amendments after the grains have been added and then they complain that the program caused them to overdose the mash with acid. What is more likely: they had those amendments well-mixed into only the upper layers of the mash and little in the bottom. REPEAT: Add all minerals and acids to the water and mix them up thoroughly before adding the grains.

I find this hard to believe in my case. I do a no sparge with a a HERMS. I add my acid to room temp mash water, and minerals with the grain. Stir with a large whisk and start the recirc.

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: BrunWater lactic acid additions
« Reply #11 on: May 26, 2015, 02:59:32 PM »
don't use chalk! it really won't dissolve in the kettle. you can dissolve it by carbonating the water in a keg with the chalk ahead of time. the pH drop from the carbonic acid will dissolve the chalk.
+100


+2.  Baking soda and pickling lime dissolve readily and work well.
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Offline mabrungard

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Re: BrunWater lactic acid additions
« Reply #12 on: May 26, 2015, 04:56:09 PM »

I find this hard to believe in my case. I do a no sparge with a a HERMS. I add my acid to room temp mash water, and minerals with the grain. Stir with a large whisk and start the recirc.

And I should have included that discussion that moving the liquid with recirculation is much more effective at homogenizing than is moving the solids by mixing, since I brew with RIMS. You caught me there. I do add some additions in the tun since I can reliably count on the recirculation to mix it all up.

Chalk solubility is largely driven by pH and ionic concentration. In most potable water, chalk has a saturation limit of around 50 ppm if I remember correctly. Many groundwater sources can have much higher concentration due to dissolved CO2 in that water that increases the solubility of chalk. This fact is one reason why increasing atmospheric CO2 is killing ocean reefs. The higher percentage of CO2 is making the water more acidic via carbonic acid and that is dissolving the reef exoskeletons.

PS: Unless you are going to the extreme of dissolving chalk with CO2 (as mentioned above), don't use chalk in brewing. It does not dissolve in the mash to the degree desired and any chalk that carries over into the kettle will increase the kettle wort pH and that might not be what you want there.
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Offline brewinhard

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Re: BrunWater lactic acid additions
« Reply #13 on: May 26, 2015, 08:46:25 PM »
Thank you for all the replies.  It appears that the best bet to adjust (even if needed) is to mess around with the lactic acid additions on the spreadsheet and see what pH changes as a result.  Then use that to make any necessary adjustments in the mash.  Cool!

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Re: BrunWater lactic acid additions
« Reply #14 on: May 26, 2015, 08:50:35 PM »
I'm pretty sensitive to the taste of lactic in the finished beer, so I limit my total input to under 4 ml or so.
I'm more sensitive to the aroma, which is why I changed to phosphoric.  My LHBS gets the 75% version, so amounts are pretty close to the same (I use Bru'nwater to calculate amounts), but no real impact on aroma/flavor.