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Author Topic: bicarbonates in water  (Read 5951 times)

Offline erockrph

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Re: bicarbonates in water
« Reply #15 on: December 10, 2015, 05:51:42 am »
I'd try Citric Acid, personally.  If I remember correctly, Calcium Citrate is insoluble, and will precipitate out of solution.  Plus it's available at the LHBS in the wine-making section.

That said it might be better for adjusting strike water then the actual mash where you have any number more compounds floating around.
Calcium citrate is plenty soluble in water at the temperatures and concentrations we're talking about (0.85g/L at room temp). It's superior solubility is the main reason why it is preferred over calcium carbonate for calcium supplementation.

Citrate has an even sharper flavor than lactate in my opinion. I don't feel that it has a place in beer, except possibly in a fruit beer that falls a bit flat in flavor (and even then, I'm not so sure),
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narvin

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Re: bicarbonates in water
« Reply #16 on: December 10, 2015, 06:17:53 am »
What's your water profile look like?   

Offline leejoreilly

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Re: bicarbonates in water
« Reply #17 on: December 10, 2015, 06:32:45 am »
I've followed Kai's guidance of no more than ..5ml / lb grist, and don't pick up any flavors. But with my well water , I had to far exceed that. Never tried phosphoric .

I use phosphoric since, at the levels I need to acidify for pale beers, lactic is at my threshold to smell and taste (1mL/gallon of hot liquor).

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Offline mabrungard

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Re: bicarbonates in water
« Reply #18 on: December 10, 2015, 07:03:13 am »
Aha, so calcium carbonate reacts with lactic acid to form calcium lactate, which has an unpleasant flavor?

I detect a basic misunderstanding of ionic chemistry. The reactants above do react, but their products remain calcium and lactate ions until their concentrations exceed their solubility limit and they precipitate from solution as calcium lactate. At the concentrations we typically employ, precipitation is not likely.

I also noted a mention that lactate is just H, C, and O. While that is true, that fact is that they are combined into a molecule and are not ions by themselves. The lactate molecule can be an ion. How atoms are assembled into a molecule has profound consequences...take C and N, when they are combined into a CN form (cyanide), they are deadly. They weren't when they were just C and N.

Citric acid is a chelator in the presence of divalent metals. There are water softening systems that employ citric acid. The Ca does precipitate as calcium citrate and generally can't create scale on surfaces. However, a small portion of the calcium and citrate remain in solution as ions.

In those cases where brewers use phosphoric acid, high Ca content can cause a precipitation reaction creating calcium phosphate. It can reduce the calcium content of the brewing liquor, but that is not a problem since this reaction does not occur unless the calcium content of the water is already high. Since beer and yeast do not benefit from excessive Ca content in the water, loosing some Ca is not a problem. The concern with using phosphoric acid is a 'red-herring' and is not a concern.
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Offline homoeccentricus

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Re: bicarbonates in water
« Reply #19 on: December 10, 2015, 07:29:03 am »
My question was more of a theoretical nature. I myself use demi-water for pale beers and dilute my 180 ppm bicarbonate tap water for dark beers, thanks to what I have learned on this forum and by using Bru'nwater. But what I see homebrewers do in Belgium and the Netherlands is simply add lactic acid to their tap water (which typically has 150-250 ppm bicarbonate), and quite high amounts at that. For example, in one APA recipe that won a first price I noticed the addition of 8,50 ml lactic acid in a 14 liter batch. This should be have a negative impact on the beer, right? I was then wondering what exactly causes the off-flavor, and if I understand this thread correctly the flavor "provider" is lactate, which has a flavor threshold of around 400 ppm.
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Offline homoeccentricus

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Re: bicarbonates in water
« Reply #20 on: December 10, 2015, 08:23:59 am »
On this thread, the impact of lactic acid on flavor was also discussed: https://www.homebrewersassociation.org/forum/index.php?topic=14882.15

Question: can someone describe the "twang" caused by too much lactate? I want to be able to recognize it myself...
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Offline erockrph

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Re: bicarbonates in water
« Reply #21 on: December 10, 2015, 08:24:07 am »
My question was more of a theoretical nature. I myself use demi-water for pale beers and dilute my 180 ppm bicarbonate tap water for dark beers, thanks to what I have learned on this forum and by using Bru'nwater. But what I see homebrewers do in Belgium and the Netherlands is simply add lactic acid to their tap water (which typically has 150-250 ppm bicarbonate), and quite high amounts at that. For example, in one APA recipe that won a first price I noticed the addition of 8,50 ml lactic acid in a 14 liter batch. This should be have a negative impact on the beer, right? I was then wondering what exactly causes the off-flavor, and if I understand this thread correctly the flavor "provider" is lactate, which has a flavor threshold of around 400 ppm.
The fault in this logic is that you are considering lactate as an "off" flavor. Lactate provides flavor above a certain threshold, and at too high a level it may be out of style for a particular beer, but I don't consider it an off flavor the way I would something like chlorophenols, for example.

Lactate does not create a negative impact on a beer simply by default, although in most styles the allowable amount would likely be very low.
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narvin

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Re: bicarbonates in water
« Reply #22 on: December 10, 2015, 08:31:17 am »
Yeah, I wouldn't call it an off flavor.  3% of acid malt in a lager contributes something, in my opinion, but it's traditional and not bad.

Offline homoeccentricus

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Re: bicarbonates in water
« Reply #23 on: December 10, 2015, 08:34:47 am »
My question was more of a theoretical nature. I myself use demi-water for pale beers and dilute my 180 ppm bicarbonate tap water for dark beers, thanks to what I have learned on this forum and by using Bru'nwater. But what I see homebrewers do in Belgium and the Netherlands is simply add lactic acid to their tap water (which typically has 150-250 ppm bicarbonate), and quite high amounts at that. For example, in one APA recipe that won a first price I noticed the addition of 8,50 ml lactic acid in a 14 liter batch. This should be have a negative impact on the beer, right? I was then wondering what exactly causes the off-flavor, and if I understand this thread correctly the flavor "provider" is lactate, which has a flavor threshold of around 400 ppm.
The fault in this logic is that you are considering lactate as an "off" flavor. Lactate provides flavor above a certain threshold, and at too high a level it may be out of style for a particular beer, but I don't consider it an off flavor the way I would something like chlorophenols, for example.

Lactate does not create a negative impact on a beer simply by default, although in most styles the allowable amount would likely be very low.

And which not necessarily negative flavor I prithee. Yoghurt-like?
Frank P.

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Offline erockrph

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Re: bicarbonates in water
« Reply #24 on: December 10, 2015, 08:41:40 am »
My question was more of a theoretical nature. I myself use demi-water for pale beers and dilute my 180 ppm bicarbonate tap water for dark beers, thanks to what I have learned on this forum and by using Bru'nwater. But what I see homebrewers do in Belgium and the Netherlands is simply add lactic acid to their tap water (which typically has 150-250 ppm bicarbonate), and quite high amounts at that. For example, in one APA recipe that won a first price I noticed the addition of 8,50 ml lactic acid in a 14 liter batch. This should be have a negative impact on the beer, right? I was then wondering what exactly causes the off-flavor, and if I understand this thread correctly the flavor "provider" is lactate, which has a flavor threshold of around 400 ppm.
The fault in this logic is that you are considering lactate as an "off" flavor. Lactate provides flavor above a certain threshold, and at too high a level it may be out of style for a particular beer, but I don't consider it an off flavor the way I would something like chlorophenols, for example.

Lactate does not create a negative impact on a beer simply by default, although in most styles the allowable amount would likely be very low.

And which not necessarily negative flavor I prithee. Yoghurt-like?
It's hard to quantify as much at a lower level, but a clean Berliner Weisse is probably the closest comparison. If you can clearly pick it out as lactic tasting, then you're over the threshold for most non-sour beers.

Spike a beer with increasing amounts until you taste something, that's probably the best way to teach your palate.
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narvin

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Re: bicarbonates in water
« Reply #25 on: December 10, 2015, 08:45:14 am »
But what I see homebrewers do in Belgium and the Netherlands is simply add lactic acid to their tap water (which typically has 150-250 ppm bicarbonate), and quite high amounts at that. For example, in one APA recipe that won a first price I noticed the addition of 8,50 ml lactic acid in a 14 liter batch.

That does seem like a lot... maybe roughly equivalent to 8% acid malt.

Offline toby

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Re: bicarbonates in water
« Reply #26 on: December 10, 2015, 09:12:09 am »
On this thread, the impact of lactic acid on flavor was also discussed: https://www.homebrewersassociation.org/forum/index.php?topic=14882.15

Question: can someone describe the "twang" caused by too much lactate? I want to be able to recognize it myself...

It's a tart/sourness thing.  There is a mouthfeel component from lactic acid in addition to the aroma/flavor.  While not exactly the same, many sour or tart candies use malic acid which is a similar sensation.  Really the best thing to do is find a clean Berliner Weisse.  That lactic twang is why some people cut them with syrups.

Offline homoeccentricus

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Re: bicarbonates in water
« Reply #27 on: December 10, 2015, 09:33:31 am »
Really the best thing to do is find a clean Berliner Weisse.

That's going to be difficult as there's two things in Belgium that we try at all cost to keep out of the country: terrorists and Berliner Weisse.
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Offline Wort-H.O.G.

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Re: bicarbonates in water
« Reply #28 on: December 10, 2015, 02:10:13 pm »
On this thread, the impact of lactic acid on flavor was also discussed: https://www.homebrewersassociation.org/forum/index.php?topic=14882.15

Question: can someone describe the "twang" caused by too much lactate? I want to be able to recognize it myself...

that was me. twang to me was as the others describe here. sour, tartness-not necessarily negative for some beers like a wit, hefe for instance. if i didn't have a brew with lots of crystal and roast to help drop PH, i was needing 10+ml in mash to drop PH into acceptable range. Knowing what I know now, I think I could get that dosage down for several beers, using all my brewing salts in the mash would help.  but for me, RO or distilled is just a better option to brew beer.
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narvin

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Re: bicarbonates in water
« Reply #29 on: December 10, 2015, 09:05:24 pm »
Really the best thing to do is find a clean Berliner Weisse.

That's going to be difficult as there's two things in Belgium that we try at all cost to keep out of the country: terrorists and Berliner Weisse.

I don't really blame you for that.  They started popping up all over the place in the US but the one dimensional sourness is pretty boring to me.  I don't care for Berliner Weisse much either.