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Author Topic: Flameout pH adjustment...  (Read 12276 times)

Offline Village Taphouse

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Re: Flameout pH adjustment...
« Reply #30 on: July 27, 2021, 05:12:04 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.
I am mashing and boiling at a pH in the mid-5s which is working nicely all the way around but the original concept of the pH addition in the kettle was to help fining agents like Whirfloc operate in conditions that are better suited for them.  I also think that the late addition of acid (I have been doing it with 10-minutes left in the boil... 3 minutes prior to Whirfloc) is doing something positive for the beer flavor.  If I mash and boil at a pH of 5.5-ish, I feel like the beer could be 'flabby' without an adjustment.  Also, I know the thread title is "flameout pH adjustment" but it's really an adjustment just prior to adding finings.

More:  Do the expert members of the panel think this is something that should only be done on pale beers?  Last Saturday I brewed a dark lager.  I milled the dark grains (3 ounces of MW) separately and added them at the end of the mashed and then began to recirc and run off.  With 10 minutes left in the boil I dropped 1ml of acid into the kettle to get the pH a little lower.  It appeared to help the whirfloc do its thing (wort was very nice and clear) and I assume it will have a positive impact on flavor as well.  Thoughts?
« Last Edit: July 27, 2021, 05:54:38 pm by Village Taphouse »
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Offline beersk

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Re: Flameout pH adjustment...
« Reply #31 on: July 28, 2021, 06:45:30 am »
I personally only do it on lighter beers and not before adding fining. Maybe I should rethink that. I always add the whirlfloc at about 15 minutes from the end of the boil and the acid addition around maybe 5 minutes left. Maybe I should flip those additions around.
Jesse

Offline Village Taphouse

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Re: Flameout pH adjustment...
« Reply #32 on: July 28, 2021, 07:11:52 am »
I personally only do it on lighter beers and not before adding fining. Maybe I should rethink that. I always add the whirlfloc at about 15 minutes from the end of the boil and the acid addition around maybe 5 minutes left. Maybe I should flip those additions around.
I use whirfloc for 7-8 minutes so an acid addition at 10 minutes allows the majority of the boil to take place at the suggested pH (mid-5s) and then the acid addition lowers it a bit which helps the whirfloc.  On the topic of light v. dark wort acid addition, I'll see how this dark lager comes out.  I have an amber-colored lager on tap now where I did not make a boil acid addition and it's a little flat-tasting... a bit flabby.  I'm tempted to hit that keg with 1ml of acid... anyone ever done that before?  It would be a first for me, I believe. 
Ken from Chicago. 
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Offline pete b

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Re: Flameout pH adjustment...
« Reply #33 on: July 28, 2021, 10:26:59 am »
  I have an amber-colored lager on tap now where I did not make a boil acid addition and it's a little flat-tasting... a bit flabby.  I'm tempted to hit that keg with 1ml of acid... anyone ever done that before?  It would be a first for me, I believe.
How much sodium is in your water? I think a lot of people forget about the flavor enhancing nature of sodium in brewing. That's the first thing I think about when a beer is "flabby". If you ever forgot to put the salt when making a loaf of bread you know the importance of that tiny amount of salt. You could sprinkle a little salt in your pint and see if it perks it up.
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Offline Village Taphouse

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Re: Flameout pH adjustment...
« Reply #34 on: July 28, 2021, 10:58:13 am »
  I have an amber-colored lager on tap now where I did not make a boil acid addition and it's a little flat-tasting... a bit flabby.  I'm tempted to hit that keg with 1ml of acid... anyone ever done that before?  It would be a first for me, I believe.
How much sodium is in your water? I think a lot of people forget about the flavor enhancing nature of sodium in brewing. That's the first thing I think about when a beer is "flabby". If you ever forgot to put the salt when making a loaf of bread you know the importance of that tiny amount of salt. You could sprinkle a little salt in your pint and see if it perks it up.
Somewhere around 12-13 ppm.  It's on the low side but this has never been an issue before.  I have some beers that boiled at a lower overall pH and those beers had a good final flavor.  My goal here was to boil at what is considered the 'proper pH' (if that's an acceptable term) which is higher than what I have been doing.  I feel like the lack of acid/lower pH is causing an issue in some of these recent beers so my plan is to mash and boil in the mid-5s and make this late boil addition of acid to help finings and potentially flavor. 
Ken from Chicago. 
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Offline Village Taphouse

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Re: Flameout pH adjustment...
« Reply #35 on: August 02, 2021, 07:54:17 am »
It appears that this switch to boiling at a pH of about 5.5 and also getting the wort pH lower before using something like whirfloc is helping with my clarity.  It's either that the whirfloc is working better at that lower pH or else boiling the wort at the lower pH (which I was doing before) is causing haze.  I had a house full of people here yesterday and everyone was drinking my beer.  I saw clear glasses of beer everywhere except for one amber lager that I made prior to this switch... it was very hazy.  Any thoughts on the clarity impact of this?
Ken from Chicago. 
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Offline HighVoltageMan!

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Re: Flameout pH adjustment...
« Reply #36 on: August 02, 2021, 08:08:20 am »
It appears that this switch to boiling at a pH of about 5.5 and also getting the wort pH lower before using something like whirfloc is helping with my clarity.  It's either that the whirfloc is working better at that lower pH or else boiling the wort at the lower pH (which I was doing before) is causing haze.  I had a house full of people here yesterday and everyone was drinking my beer.  I saw clear glasses of beer everywhere except for one amber lager that I made prior to this switch... it was very hazy.  Any thoughts on the clarity impact of this?
I almost always boil at 5.1-5.2 and my beers have a polished clarity. I don't think boil pH has much, if anything, to do with clarity, except maybe in theory. Boiling at a higher pH will definitely cause the wort get darkened more than at a lower pH. I think you entered a rabbit hole.

Edit: It is common for pH to drop during the boil by .05-.1.
« Last Edit: August 02, 2021, 08:12:05 am by HighVoltageMan! »

Offline Village Taphouse

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Re: Flameout pH adjustment...
« Reply #37 on: August 02, 2021, 09:17:47 am »
It appears that this switch to boiling at a pH of about 5.5 and also getting the wort pH lower before using something like whirfloc is helping with my clarity.  It's either that the whirfloc is working better at that lower pH or else boiling the wort at the lower pH (which I was doing before) is causing haze.  I had a house full of people here yesterday and everyone was drinking my beer.  I saw clear glasses of beer everywhere except for one amber lager that I made prior to this switch... it was very hazy.  Any thoughts on the clarity impact of this?
I almost always boil at 5.1-5.2 and my beers have a polished clarity. I don't think boil pH has much, if anything, to do with clarity, except maybe in theory. Boiling at a higher pH will definitely cause the wort get darkened more than at a lower pH. I think you entered a rabbit hole.

Edit: It is common for pH to drop during the boil by .05-.1.
Some of this was a simplification of my processes and I am liking the changes and liking the results too.  I don't know if it's a rabbit hole or not but I generally want to know the "hows" and "whys" of things.  If my results are satisfactory and I don't know the reasons why things changed then I'm okay with that but when things so south (poor clarity, poor head retention, off-flavors) I want to know why so I have a better understanding.  All of the recent beers have been clearing very well and have had excellent flavor, head retention, etc. so I am going to try to ride these new processes for awhile.  Cheers.

EDIT:  I also wondered if mashing at too low of a pH could cause haze issues.  When I first used BNW and punched in all my water information, it showed that I needed 4ml of 88% lactic acid to get my mash into the proper range.  I am now just getting my source water to a pH of 5.5 prior to mashing and to get to that point I need about 2.75ml of lactic acid.  I add the acid, heat the water and take the pH of the mash which is usually around 5.4 which translates to 5.2 at mash temp which I consider to be good.  I'm going to continue this way and see how the beers come out.  Mash at this pH, boil in the mid-5s, add 1ml lactic acid with about 10 mins left in the boil, add whirfloc. 
« Last Edit: August 02, 2021, 11:42:47 am by Village Taphouse »
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Offline PORTERHAUS

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Re: Flameout pH adjustment...
« Reply #38 on: August 06, 2021, 11:05:17 am »

EDIT:  I also wondered if mashing at too low of a pH could cause haze issues.  When I first used BNW and punched in all my water information, it showed that I needed 4ml of 88% lactic acid to get my mash into the proper range.  I am now just getting my source water to a pH of 5.5 prior to mashing and to get to that point I need about 2.75ml of lactic acid. I add the acid, heat the water and take the pH of the mash which is usually around 5.4 which translates to 5.2 at mash temp which I consider to be good. I'm going to continue this way and see how the beers come out.  Mash at this pH, boil in the mid-5s, add 1ml lactic acid with about 10 mins left in the boil, add whirfloc.

Do you typically reference mash ph at mash temp or room temp? Mash ph is referenced as a standard at room temp. So whatever you read from your sample at room temp is what to reference unless I am understanding you wrong.

Offline Village Taphouse

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Re: Flameout pH adjustment...
« Reply #39 on: August 06, 2021, 08:57:48 pm »

EDIT:  I also wondered if mashing at too low of a pH could cause haze issues.  When I first used BNW and punched in all my water information, it showed that I needed 4ml of 88% lactic acid to get my mash into the proper range.  I am now just getting my source water to a pH of 5.5 prior to mashing and to get to that point I need about 2.75ml of lactic acid. I add the acid, heat the water and take the pH of the mash which is usually around 5.4 which translates to 5.2 at mash temp which I consider to be good. I'm going to continue this way and see how the beers come out.  Mash at this pH, boil in the mid-5s, add 1ml lactic acid with about 10 mins left in the boil, add whirfloc.

Do you typically reference mash ph at mash temp or room temp? Mash ph is referenced as a standard at room temp. So whatever you read from your sample at room temp is what to reference unless I am understanding you wrong.
Maybe I am wrong.  I thought I heard a number of people say that it's referenced at mash temp.  Is our mash pH supposed to be 5.2 at mash temp or room temp?  I thought the 5.4 at room temp = 5.2 at mash temp was correct.  Maybe someone else will set me straight. 
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Offline Silver_Is_Money

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Re: Flameout pH adjustment...
« Reply #40 on: August 07, 2021, 04:41:06 am »
I'm of the opinion that before home brewers (and the magazine and book industry that evolved from catering to it) got it wrong and then morphed into an explosion of micro-brewers (who merely continue to parrot the trend...) the nominal 'ideal' target of 5.4 mash pH was intended to be 5.4 as measured at mash temperature, which would be roughly 5.6 pH if measured at room temperature.  And I'm also of the opinion that a careful read of peer reviewed brewing industry documents from yore (meaning before home brewing was legalized, and soon after sprouted endless micro-breweries) will support my opinion.

Offline dmtaylor

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Re: Flameout pH adjustment...
« Reply #41 on: August 07, 2021, 06:30:38 am »
I'm of the opinion that before home brewers (and the magazine and book industry that evolved from catering to it) got it wrong and then morphed into an explosion of micro-brewers (who merely continue to parrot the trend...) the nominal 'ideal' target of 5.4 mash pH was intended to be 5.4 as measured at mash temperature, which would be roughly 5.6 pH if measured at room temperature.  And I'm also of the opinion that a careful read of peer reviewed brewing industry documents from yore (meaning before home brewing was legalized, and soon after sprouted endless micro-breweries) will support my opinion.

Ditto.
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Offline Village Taphouse

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Re: Flameout pH adjustment...
« Reply #42 on: August 07, 2021, 07:53:39 am »
I'm of the opinion that before home brewers (and the magazine and book industry that evolved from catering to it) got it wrong and then morphed into an explosion of micro-brewers (who merely continue to parrot the trend...) the nominal 'ideal' target of 5.4 mash pH was intended to be 5.4 as measured at mash temperature, which would be roughly 5.6 pH if measured at room temperature.  And I'm also of the opinion that a careful read of peer reviewed brewing industry documents from yore (meaning before home brewing was legalized, and soon after sprouted endless micro-breweries) will support my opinion.
I would have assumed that before thinking that it was 5.2 at room temp which would mean 5.0 at mash temp.  What I have been doing lately is just getting my strike water to 5.5 prior to brewing and I'm liking it.  Better break, better clarity all the way around.  I believe I was mashing lower than this for awhile and a dodgy meter didn't help.  Cheers and thanks. 
Ken from Chicago. 
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Offline narcout

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Re: Flameout pH adjustment...
« Reply #43 on: August 07, 2021, 09:14:02 am »
I thought I heard a number of people say that it's referenced at mash temp.

Unless a poster specifically says otherwise, I assume they are talking about a room temperature measurement, since that is the generally the temperature of the sample they are measuring.  Also, I think a lot of people are using Bru'n Water, and the estimated mash pH output in that program is a room temperature measurement.
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Offline Village Taphouse

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Re: Flameout pH adjustment...
« Reply #44 on: August 07, 2021, 10:02:15 am »
From page 34 of Brewing Better Beer by Strong:  The mash pH should be in the 5.2 to 5.5 range with a target of about 5.3.  Note the mash pH is measured at mash temperatures, not cooled.  If you cool the mash, the pH will read about .35 higher than at mash temperature.

That's where I saw it. 
Ken from Chicago. 
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