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Author Topic: Flameout pH adjustment...  (Read 12274 times)

Offline HighVoltageMan!

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Re: Flameout pH adjustment...
« Reply #15 on: February 04, 2021, 09:05:58 am »
The reason that kettle pH is high, is that it helps in the conversion of SMM to DMS and it helps with the utilization of hop bittering components.  When you are brewing a beer with little or no pils malt (it has high SMM content), there isn't really a reason to keep the kettle wort pH high (say around 5.4).  When brewing without pils content, then its OK to target a kettle pH lower than 5.4.  The only drawback is the slight reduction in hop utilization. 

Why drop pH?  Well you do want your wort and subsequent beer pH to be below the upper 4's as soon as possible to assist in knocking out beer spoilers in the wort.  Although yeast are the ultimate arbiters of where the beer pH will fall, helping out in getting the pH down may help the beer achieve a lesser pH.  I'm not sure that's always a good thing, but its a thing.

I target the pH of lighter beers (Pils, Helles, etc) at the beginning of the boil. A boil pH of 5.0-5.2 keeps the beer from turning dark and still maintaining great malt character, basically it limits the maillard reaction. I have not seen any negative effects of boiling at lower pH's. I do notice a difference in acid used to drop the pre-boil pH. Lactic acid will drop slightly during the boil and phosphoric will rise slightly. I'm no chemist, so I don't know the reason for this. But it happens consistently.

Offline BrewBama

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Flameout pH adjustment...
« Reply #16 on: February 04, 2021, 10:00:04 am »
The best possible hot break occurs during the boil when a (room temperature measured) Wort pH of 5.1 to 5.2 is achieved in the kettle just prior to adding finings (such as Irish Moss or Whirlfloc).  With 5.2 being the ultimate ideal kettle pH target.  5.0 may be too low.  And adjusting post boil at flameout may miss the hot break altogether.

Quoting the Crisp malting company:
Quote
pH also plays a key part in trub formation. The optimum pH for trub formation is 5.2, but the pH of the wort at the start of the boil can be between 5.8 and 5.9.  The pH drops by around 0.2 units during the boil due to:

Melanoidin formation
Hop acids
Precipitation of phosphates and polyphenols by calcium
Release of H+ ions

To reduce the pH further, you can add phosphoric or lactic acid or calcium salts such as calcium chloride or calcium sulphate.  Remember, Sulphate and Chloride remain in the wort and will add to the total levels in the beer.  You will need to keep the ratios correct for the beer style you are producing.
https://crispmalt.com/news/the-crisp-guide-to-wort-boiling/

“... Sulphate and Chloride remain in the wort and will add to the total levels in the beer.  You will need to keep the ratios correct for the beer style you are producing.”

Wonder how much remains. All? Some? 

If some, do they both reduce by the same amount maintaining the ratio or do they remain at different amounts changing the ratio?


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« Last Edit: February 04, 2021, 10:02:31 am by BrewBama »

Offline dmtaylor

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Re: Flameout pH adjustment...
« Reply #17 on: February 04, 2021, 01:19:17 pm »
100% of the chloride and sulfate salts remain in the beer. I am pretty sure lactates stay in also. Phosphates largely precipitate out, which is one of the advantages of phosphoric (for some styles anyway).
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Offline erockrph

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Re: Flameout pH adjustment...
« Reply #18 on: February 04, 2021, 02:52:10 pm »
100% of the chloride and sulfate salts remain in the beer. I am pretty sure lactates stay in also. Phosphates largely precipitate out, which is one of the advantages of phosphoric (for some styles anyway).
Right. Calcium phosphate has limited solubility in water and will precipitate under the right circumstances. Sulfate and chloride don't form insoluble compounds in wort AFAIK, and I wouldn't expect them to come out of solution.

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Offline beersk

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Re: Flameout pH adjustment...
« Reply #19 on: February 04, 2021, 03:07:24 pm »
I do this only on beers with SRM lighter than about 6. For pilsner and helles styles I always add about 1mL lactic acid or so within the last 10 minutes of the boil.

I do this mainly because lager yeasts tend not to drop the pH as low and efficiently as ale yeasts. So usually on ales I don't bother with the pH adjustment in the boil. Maybe I should though...

But after I started doing this I noticed a big difference in the finished beer on my pilsners and helles beers. I'm very unscientific about it so take that with a grain of salt.
Jesse

Offline BrewBama

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Re: Flameout pH adjustment...
« Reply #20 on: February 04, 2021, 04:57:41 pm »
100% of the chloride and sulfate salts remain in the beer. I am pretty sure lactates stay in also. Phosphates largely precipitate out, which is one of the advantages of phosphoric (for some styles anyway).
Right. Calcium phosphate has limited solubility in water and will precipitate under the right circumstances. Sulfate and chloride don't form insoluble compounds in wort AFAIK, and I wouldn't expect them to come out of solution.

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Good stuff guys. I wish there was a paper or text that described the levels at the beginning and end of the mash, beginning and end of the boil, and beginning and end of fermentation so we could see the results.


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Offline Village Taphouse

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Re: Flameout pH adjustment...
« Reply #21 on: February 04, 2021, 06:14:54 pm »
100% of the chloride and sulfate salts remain in the beer. I am pretty sure lactates stay in also. Phosphates largely precipitate out, which is one of the advantages of phosphoric (for some styles anyway).
Right. Calcium phosphate has limited solubility in water and will precipitate under the right circumstances. Sulfate and chloride don't form insoluble compounds in wort AFAIK, and I wouldn't expect them to come out of solution.

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Good stuff guys. I wish there was a paper or text that described the levels at the beginning and end of the mash, beginning and end of the boil, and beginning and end of fermentation so we could see the results.


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Do the research and publish the results yourself.  ;)  You're a good brewer... I would read that paper.  :D  This is an interesting topic and I have some pale gold lagers planned in the next few weeks so they're ready when the warmer weather comes.  I will be looking into it further.  Cheers Beerheads. 
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Offline goose

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Re: Flameout pH adjustment...
« Reply #22 on: February 05, 2021, 09:40:22 am »
The reason that kettle pH is high, is that it helps in the conversion of SMM to DMS and it helps with the utilization of hop bittering components.  When you are brewing a beer with little or no pils malt (it has high SMM content), there isn't really a reason to keep the kettle wort pH high (say around 5.4).  When brewing without pils content, then its OK to target a kettle pH lower than 5.4.  The only drawback is the slight reduction in hop utilization. 

Why drop pH?  Well you do want your wort and subsequent beer pH to be below the upper 4's as soon as possible to assist in knocking out beer spoilers in the wort.  Although yeast are the ultimate arbiters of where the beer pH will fall, helping out in getting the pH down may help the beer achieve a lesser pH.  I'm not sure that's always a good thing, but its a thing.

Thanks Martin.  So target a flameout kettle pH of around 5.0 if someone were looking to do this?

Mine usually come out in the 5.0-5.1 range after the boil with no adjustment.  So I don't bother with kettle acidification
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Offline Village Taphouse

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Re: Flameout pH adjustment...
« Reply #23 on: February 06, 2021, 08:10:29 am »
The reason that kettle pH is high, is that it helps in the conversion of SMM to DMS and it helps with the utilization of hop bittering components.  When you are brewing a beer with little or no pils malt (it has high SMM content), there isn't really a reason to keep the kettle wort pH high (say around 5.4).  When brewing without pils content, then its OK to target a kettle pH lower than 5.4.  The only drawback is the slight reduction in hop utilization. 

Why drop pH?  Well you do want your wort and subsequent beer pH to be below the upper 4's as soon as possible to assist in knocking out beer spoilers in the wort.  Although yeast are the ultimate arbiters of where the beer pH will fall, helping out in getting the pH down may help the beer achieve a lesser pH.  I'm not sure that's always a good thing, but its a thing.

Thanks Martin.  So target a flameout kettle pH of around 5.0 if someone were looking to do this?

Mine usually come out in the 5.0-5.1 range after the boil with no adjustment.  So I don't bother with kettle acidification
I generally do not take the measurement at that point in the process but I was wondering where my pH was near the end of the boil.  I will not find out anytime soon because all brewing activities have been put on hold until the VOLAR PORTEX has gone back to Canada.  :P
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Offline Village Taphouse

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Re: Flameout pH adjustment...
« Reply #24 on: June 05, 2021, 07:27:10 am »
I'm updating a thread from February.  I have been looking into this and you would think that with the amount I brew I would have a better feel for it already but not really.  Yesterday I made a gold lager with an SRM of about 4.  My room-temp mash pH was 5.38.  I have been using about 25% distilled water lately to lower my bicarb and I have been able to add less acid as a result.  I took a quick check of my sparge pH and it was also 5.38.  With about 10 minutes left in [my 30-minute] boil, the pH was 5.35.  I added about 1.5ml of 88% lactic acid to the kettle (this was after a few batches where 1ml seemed to do very little) and the final wort pH as it was going into the fermenter was 5.27.  Clearly I won't know what flavor or clarity impact will come from this until I sample the beer but should I be looking to go lower?  I will say that my wort was very, very clear and I got 100% clear wort into the fermenter so I look forward to the beer being clear.  But what flavor impact will come from a 1.5ml addition of acid with 10 minutes left in the boil?
Ken from Chicago. 
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Offline Village Taphouse

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Re: Flameout pH adjustment...
« Reply #25 on: July 22, 2021, 02:00:20 pm »
Resurrecting an older thread. I had a pale lager on tap (my sister, one of my sons and his girlfriend were here putting a dent in my supply) and of the glasses I had of it, I noticed a crisper finish. That keg went down last night and I replaced it with another beer (my Cabana Lager). I gave it a sip and noticed the same thing... a dry and crisp finish. Both beers were made with Omega 113 Mexican Lager which is new to me and I thought it was just attenuating well. Turns out that the first beer had 1ml of acid added around midway through the boil. The second one had 1.5ml added. This was in an attempt to get the final wort pH closer to 5.0 (which btw DID NOT lower it that much). So this drier, crisper character is coming from the acid addition, IMO. The character is NOT a bad one but I don't think I want to continue doing this. I see that there is another gold lager where I added 2ml midboil (I kept upping the amount trying to get the pH closer to 5.0 - 5.1) and that's the last beer I tried it on. I plan to use some amylase enzyme in ONE batch just to compare the dry/crisp character of that.  The acid addition is supposed to help kettle finings knock out more schputz and produce a clearer beer.  The first of these was VERY clear.  This second one is also clear so that part might be working as it should.
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Offline Village Taphouse

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Re: Flameout pH adjustment...
« Reply #26 on: July 22, 2021, 04:25:41 pm »
On second thought, I might have to rethink this.  It's a beautiful day here, grill is started and I just tapped one of these Cabana Lagers.  This might be the thing to do afterall.  Wait until about 15 minutes into the 30 minute boil, add about 1.5ml of lactic, use the whirfloc or Kick Carageenan at it's normal time, etc.  It's got a very nice snap to it and the finish is nice and dry.
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Offline HighVoltageMan!

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Re: Flameout pH adjustment...
« Reply #27 on: July 23, 2021, 06:12:55 am »
Keep in mind your yeast plays a huge role in finish pH. Each yeast will produce different levels of excreted acids. Some strains produce more than others. If the pH of your wort is too high, the yeast cannot lower the finish pH as much. If the pH is too low (5.0 or lower) the yeast will not produce as much acid, the finish beer pH usually doesn't drop as much as one would expect. Finish pH on lagers should be around 4.2-4.4. Pitching at 5.0-5.2 makes it more likely to hit the proper pH range for a lager. A higher finish pH can lead to a flabby, undefined finish and bitterness tends to be harsher. The mistake brewers often make is that they miss the target pH so much because of poor water modifications or really hard water, that they try to compensate by adding too much acid. It's better to get the pH in the correct range with water and water salts, then do fine adjustments with acid so the boil and pitch pH are between 5.0-5.2. This will reduce the likelihood of tasting your acid additions in the beer.
« Last Edit: July 23, 2021, 06:14:28 am by HighVoltageMan! »

Offline Village Taphouse

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Re: Flameout pH adjustment...
« Reply #28 on: July 23, 2021, 08:48:11 am »
Keep in mind your yeast plays a huge role in finish pH. Each yeast will produce different levels of excreted acids. Some strains produce more than others. If the pH of your wort is too high, the yeast cannot lower the finish pH as much. If the pH is too low (5.0 or lower) the yeast will not produce as much acid, the finish beer pH usually doesn't drop as much as one would expect. Finish pH on lagers should be around 4.2-4.4. Pitching at 5.0-5.2 makes it more likely to hit the proper pH range for a lager. A higher finish pH can lead to a flabby, undefined finish and bitterness tends to be harsher. The mistake brewers often make is that they miss the target pH so much because of poor water modifications or really hard water, that they try to compensate by adding too much acid. It's better to get the pH in the correct range with water and water salts, then do fine adjustments with acid so the boil and pitch pH are between 5.0-5.2. This will reduce the likelihood of tasting your acid additions in the beer.
Understood and thank you.  To make this a decent test, I actually brewed the exact same beer two weeks apart with the same yeast.  Batch 1 had 1.5ml of acid added to the kettle at the midway point in the boil.  Batch 2 did not.  Batch 1 is on tap right now and at first I detected something that I thought might not be right.  But I believe I got that impression because I went from one beer to another on that first taste.  Yesterday I started with this "batch 1" beer and concluded that the results of the acid addition are quite good.  When batch 2 goes on tap I will try to come to a conclusion on this.  I made THREE total batches with the boil addition and then I stopped because I wasn't sure what the result would be.  Cheers & thanks.
Ken from Chicago. 
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Offline beersk

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Re: Flameout pH adjustment...
« Reply #29 on: July 27, 2021, 01:15:59 pm »
Ken,

You're doing 30 minute boils exclusively? Sounds like you're having positive results. I know that when I started adding an acid addition at the end of the boil for my lighter lagers I noticed a positive effect in the finished beer; it was just crisper, brighter, and better tasting.
Jesse