Author Topic: pH and the effect on hop flavors.  (Read 1658 times)

Offline curtdogg

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pH and the effect on hop flavors.
« on: July 06, 2017, 06:19:18 AM »
I recently brewed a place ale and I must say it was my best beer to date.
In order to refine my process I'm going to brew it again this Friday.
I plan on using the same grain bill, same hops and same water profile ( tasty's hoppy water)
The only thing I'm thinking of doing diffrent is to mash at a lower pH. I want to see if a lower pH effects the hop charecter at all.
Last brew I mashed at a pH of 5.5 and the beer finished at a pH of 4.8.
This time my plan is to bring the mash pH to 5.2 by adding lactic acid in addition to the brewing salts.

If anyone can shed some light on the possible effect pH will have on the hops and or the process in which I've chosen to lower the pH, that would be great.
I appreciate everyones advise.

Curtis.
 


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Offline mabrungard

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Re: pH and the effect on hop flavors.
« Reply #1 on: July 06, 2017, 07:13:30 AM »
Ah, fumble fingers! I love Place Ale!

A pH of 5.5 may be a little too high, but I find that you don't want to take the pH much lower for a typical pale ale or IPA. Somewhere in the 5.3 to 5.4 range helps with extracting bitterness and flavor from the hops. Pushing pH lower does subdue that character a bit.

I do find that using a high sulfate water like Tasty's profile, will enhance the beer's dryness and that accentuates the hop character and bittering. So keep that up. You may want to dial it back slightly if the beer was too dry.
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Offline homoeccentricus

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Re: pH and the effect on hop flavors.
« Reply #2 on: July 06, 2017, 07:22:08 AM »
Martin, would you recommend adjusting the pH at the end of the boil (whirlpool?), say to 5.1?
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Offline zwiller

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Re: pH and the effect on hop flavors.
« Reply #3 on: July 06, 2017, 07:48:28 AM »
http://braukaiser.com/wiki/index.php?title=How_pH_affects_brewing

I am with Martin a lower pH makes the bitterness less course in a hoppy beer.  Ideally you want to end up 4.5 or lower and if you need to use more acid to get there so be it.  Beers that end up a bit higher taste amateurish or "homebrewed".  SN mashes at 5.1 since chico is a low acid producer but alternately kettle acidification can be done.  My SOP is mash and sparge at 5.4 for IPA with phosphoric acid and sulfate loading. 
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Offline curtdogg

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Re: pH and the effect on hop flavors.
« Reply #4 on: July 06, 2017, 08:17:28 AM »
Ah, fumble fingers! I love Place Ale!

A pH of 5.5 may be a little too high, but I find that you don't want to take the pH much lower for a typical pale ale or IPA. Somewhere in the 5.3 to 5.4 range helps with extracting bitterness and flavor from the hops. Pushing pH lower does subdue that character a bit.

I do find that using a high sulfate water like Tasty's profile, will enhance the beer's dryness and that accentuates the hop character and bittering. So keep that up. You may want to dial it back slightly if the beer was too dry.
I enjoyed the mouthfeel and dryness of the beer as is, it seemed pretty balanced to me. What I'm trying to correct per se is a background flavor I was getting from the hops. It was almost a pithy flavor from the Citra (IMO). Could just be the hop charecter. It did fade quickly so its not a huge deal.

Thanks for your wisdom Martin.

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Offline curtdogg

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Re: pH and the effect on hop flavors.
« Reply #5 on: July 06, 2017, 08:21:03 AM »
http://braukaiser.com/wiki/index.php?title=How_pH_affects_brewing

I am with Martin a lower pH makes the bitterness less course in a hoppy beer.  Ideally you want to end up 4.5 or lower and if you need to use more acid to get there so be it.  Beers that end up a bit higher taste amateurish or "homebrewed".  SN mashes at 5.1 since chico is a low acid producer but alternately kettle acidification can be done.  My SOP is mash and sparge at 5.4 for IPA with phosphoric acid and sulfate loading.
Thank you for the link Zwiller. I'll do some research.

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Offline zwiller

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Re: pH and the effect on hop flavors.
« Reply #6 on: July 06, 2017, 08:32:47 AM »
Pithy flavor that fades sounds like excess polyphenols.  You acidify sparge liquor?  This being said, I am not a fan of citra and find it harsh and scale it back compared to other IPA hops. 
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Offline The Beerery

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Re: pH and the effect on hop flavors.
« Reply #7 on: July 06, 2017, 08:42:43 AM »
I find a boil pH of above 5.4, can impart a slight vegetally character with a lot of hops are used. I can pick it up in my beers and in commerical. Therefore on my pale ales (the only beer I brew with a lot of hops), I use a multi-acid approach. I use sauergut but anything can be used. So my routine is something like this..

Mash target 5.45
Boil start target (acid addition needed) 5.25
Flame out target (acid needed) 5.0-5.1 I see about a .6-.7% decrease in pH from boiling.

I only do this for American hop heavy/forward beers.
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Offline curtdogg

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Re: pH and the effect on hop flavors.
« Reply #8 on: July 06, 2017, 10:26:02 AM »
Pithy flavor that fades sounds like excess polyphenols.  You acidify sparge liquor?  This being said, I am not a fan of citra and find it harsh and scale it back compared to other IPA hops.
Yes, I treated all brewing water up front.
6 gallons.  4 for mash and 2 for batch sparge.

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Offline curtdogg

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Re: pH and the effect on hop flavors.
« Reply #9 on: July 06, 2017, 10:49:53 AM »
I find a boil pH of above 5.4, can impart a slight vegetally character with a lot of hops are used. I can pick it up in my beers and in commerical. Therefore on my pale ales (the only beer I brew with a lot of hops), I use a multi-acid approach. I use sauergut but anything can be used. So my routine is something like this..

Mash target 5.45
Boil start target (acid addition needed) 5.25
Flame out target (acid needed) 5.0-5.1 I see about a .6-.7% decrease in pH from boiling.

I only do this for American hop heavy/forward beers.
I saw a 7/10 decrease in pH from mash to finished product. Theoretically if I reduce my pH to 5.4 I should see a pH of 4.7 at FG. But of course I will monitor and try to keep it on track.

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Offline The Beerery

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Re: pH and the effect on hop flavors.
« Reply #10 on: July 06, 2017, 10:51:52 AM »
I find a boil pH of above 5.4, can impart a slight vegetally character with a lot of hops are used. I can pick it up in my beers and in commerical. Therefore on my pale ales (the only beer I brew with a lot of hops), I use a multi-acid approach. I use sauergut but anything can be used. So my routine is something like this..

Mash target 5.45
Boil start target (acid addition needed) 5.25
Flame out target (acid needed) 5.0-5.1 I see about a .6-.7% decrease in pH from boiling.

I only do this for American hop heavy/forward beers.
I saw a 7/10 decrease in pH from mash to finished product. Theoretically if I reduce my pH to 5.4 I should see a pH of 4.7 at FG. But of course I will monitor and try to keep it on track.

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Interesting. I can't say I have ever seen it static like that. Usually finished pH is set by yeast strain and fermentation vigor.
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Offline curtdogg

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Re: pH and the effect on hop flavors.
« Reply #11 on: July 09, 2017, 10:31:45 AM »
I find a boil pH of above 5.4, can impart a slight vegetally character with a lot of hops are used. I can pick it up in my beers and in commerical. Therefore on my pale ales (the only beer I brew with a lot of hops), I use a multi-acid approach. I use sauergut but anything can be used. So my routine is something like this..

Mash target 5.45
Boil start target (acid addition needed) 5.25
Flame out target (acid needed) 5.0-5.1 I see about a .6-.7% decrease in pH from boiling.

I only do this for American hop heavy/forward beers.
I saw a 7/10 decrease in pH from mash to finished product. Theoretically if I reduce my pH to 5.4 I should see a pH of 4.7 at FG. But of course I will monitor and try to keep it on track.

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Interesting. I can't say I have ever seen it static like that. Usually finished pH is set by yeast strain and fermentation vigor.
Additionally I noted that my fermentation temp was between 62 and 67F. WLP 001 ideal range is 68-73F. Should I see more pH drop from the yeast at a higher more ideal temp?


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Offline zwiller

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Re: pH and the effect on hop flavors.
« Reply #12 on: July 09, 2017, 12:06:48 PM »
Not much is well understood how to control the drop but I find it fairly predictable when using using same yeast. Chico definitely needs help.  Over at HBT there's a thread where folks posted pre and post ferment. Interesting.

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Offline curtdogg

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Re: pH and the effect on hop flavors.
« Reply #13 on: July 09, 2017, 04:09:20 PM »
Not much is well understood how to control the drop but I find it fairly predictable when using using same yeast. Chico definitely needs help.  Over at HBT there's a thread where folks posted pre and post ferment. Interesting.

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HBT?
Chico, will that cause cloudy beer?


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Offline erockrph

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Re: pH and the effect on hop flavors.
« Reply #14 on: July 09, 2017, 05:06:03 PM »
I find a boil pH of above 5.4, can impart a slight vegetally character with a lot of hops are used. I can pick it up in my beers and in commerical. Therefore on my pale ales (the only beer I brew with a lot of hops), I use a multi-acid approach. I use sauergut but anything can be used. So my routine is something like this..

Mash target 5.45
Boil start target (acid addition needed) 5.25
Flame out target (acid needed) 5.0-5.1 I see about a .6-.7% decrease in pH from boiling.

I only do this for American hop heavy/forward beers.
I saw a 7/10 decrease in pH from mash to finished product. Theoretically if I reduce my pH to 5.4 I should see a pH of 4.7 at FG. But of course I will monitor and try to keep it on track.

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Interesting. I can't say I have ever seen it static like that. Usually finished pH is set by yeast strain and fermentation vigor.
Not to mention that pH is a logarithmic scale, so the drop shouldn't typically scale in linear fashion.

This thread is good info. I'll definitely be playing around with this in the near future.

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