Author Topic: Water chemistry - measuring out acids  (Read 930 times)

Offline Hand of Dom

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Water chemistry - measuring out acids
« on: May 10, 2016, 08:11:07 PM »
I've only recently started treating my water, and from reading threads on here and elsewhere, I'm reasonably happy with the theory of it, where I'm having a little more difficulty is in the practice.  Specifically measuring out the acid doses.  I bought a jeweler's scale to measure out the salts accurately, but I'm not doing so well with the acids.   The only food grade acids I can find are lactic and phosphoric, both in highly concentrated form (88% and 85/80% respectively).  Using Bru'n Water I'm often being told to add say 2.1ml to my mash water, and 0.9ml to the sparge.  I've got a 5ml syringe that I'm trying to use, but it's only marked with gradations to 0.2ml, which leaves me estimating those odd numbered doses. 

How do you guys accurately measure acids out? (does it matter that much?)  Should I try diluting the solution first, and then measuring that?
Dom

Currently drinking - Amarillo saison
Currently fermenting - Pale ale 1 - 2017

Offline stpug

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Re: Water chemistry - measuring out acids
« Reply #1 on: May 10, 2016, 08:16:44 PM »
You're doing better than most with those 0.2ml markings. I wouldn't put any more effort or thought into being more precise than you are already.  The only way to be more precise would be to "learn your grains" and create your own spreadsheet.

Offline blair.streit

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Re: Water chemistry - measuring out acids
« Reply #2 on: May 10, 2016, 08:48:34 PM »
+1. The difference in acidity in your mash from one maltster's Munich malt to another (or even between different batches of the same maltster's Munich malt) are probably way bigger than the difference in 3.1mL of lactic or 3.3mL of lactic in your 5G batch.

With higher concentrations of stronger acids (like HCl) this could be an issue, but with 88% lactic if you're within 0.25mL the difference is probably not worth worrying about.

Offline mabrungard

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Re: Water chemistry - measuring out acids
« Reply #3 on: May 10, 2016, 08:56:20 PM »
Guestimating to 0.1 mL is plenty good. You have finer gradations than I have.
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Offline gman23

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Re: Water chemistry - measuring out acids
« Reply #4 on: May 10, 2016, 08:57:50 PM »
If you're worried about it try to find a 3 mL syringe. Mine has 0.1 mL markings. I think it came with liquid Tylenol for babies or something. A pharmacy or doctors office will probably just give you a few.
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Offline Hand of Dom

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Re: Water chemistry - measuring out acids
« Reply #5 on: May 10, 2016, 09:10:08 PM »
Thanks for the replies, I think I'll go with the "don't worry about it" approach.
Dom

Currently drinking - Amarillo saison
Currently fermenting - Pale ale 1 - 2017

Offline Stevie

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Re: Water chemistry - measuring out acids
« Reply #6 on: May 10, 2016, 09:28:26 PM »
I use 3ml graduated pipettes that are graduated at .5ml up to 2ml. Because of this I use my lactic in .5ml increments. I eyeball in between if I'm not close enough to my acceptable pH range.

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Water chemistry - measuring out acids
« Reply #7 on: May 10, 2016, 09:32:36 PM »
88% lactic weighs 1.21g/ml per its MSDS, so since Brunwater shows lactic in ml increments, I multiply ml needed by 1.21 and weigh it on my water salt scale in grams. Different strokes.
Jon H.

Offline denny

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Re: Water chemistry - measuring out acids
« Reply #8 on: May 11, 2016, 01:13:01 AM »
Thanks for the replies, I think I'll go with the "don't worry about it" approach.

You have just learned a very important lesson...99% of the time in homebrewing, that's the right thing to do!
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

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Offline Hand of Dom

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Re: Water chemistry - measuring out acids
« Reply #9 on: May 11, 2016, 07:50:29 AM »
Thanks for the replies, I think I'll go with the "don't worry about it" approach.

You have just learned a very important lesson...99% of the time in homebrewing, that's the right thing to do!

Very true, but it's good to have it confirmed by others
Dom

Currently drinking - Amarillo saison
Currently fermenting - Pale ale 1 - 2017

Offline JohnnyC

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Re: Water chemistry - measuring out acids
« Reply #10 on: May 11, 2016, 04:17:12 PM »
Thanks for the replies, I think I'll go with the "don't worry about it" approach.

You have just learned a very important lesson...99% of the time in homebrewing, that's the right thing to do!

And something I need to be reminded of every once in a awhile!