Author Topic: Yeah, the 5.2 stuff. Don’t get me started on that.  (Read 2681 times)

Offline tomsawyer

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Re: Yeah, the 5.2 stuff. Don’t get me started on that.
« Reply #15 on: January 31, 2011, 07:28:01 PM »
Kai, Star San has phosphoric acid in it and when I make it with tap water the stuff gets cloudy.  Presumably this is due to calcium phosphate precipitating, and the pH goes up.  So I think it is entirely possible for this to happen in a mash.  Whether or not this affects the pH, it does affect the calcium level in an unpredictable way.
« Last Edit: January 31, 2011, 07:34:40 PM by tomsawyer »
Lennie
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Offline tomsawyer

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Re: Yeah, the 5.2 stuff. Don’t get me started on that.
« Reply #16 on: January 31, 2011, 07:36:47 PM »
Phosphoric is a stronger acid than lactic.  Lactic is a carboxylic acid and doesn't dissociate as completely, its pKa is 3.86.  Phosphoric acid has a pKa of 2.15.  Since this is a log scale, I think it means the phosphoric is 10X more acidic than the lactic.

More importantly, Palmer says that phosphoric acid precipitates out as calcium phosphate, messing up your calcium level.
OK - I have not Googled it, but can you explain to a dumb engineer what pKa is with the acids?

The little chemistry that I had was in another universe, a long long time ago...
 

Just a way to describe how much an acid dissociates at a given pH.  Look up "Henderson Hasselbach equation" for a simple enough formula for the relationship.

Lennie
Hannibal, MO

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Re: Yeah, the 5.2 stuff. Don’t get me started on that.
« Reply #17 on: January 31, 2011, 07:43:46 PM »
Kai, Star San has phosphoric acid in it and when I make it with tap water the stuff gets cloudy.  Presumably this is due to calcium phosphate precipitating, and the pH goes up.  So I think it is entirely possible for this to happen in a mash.  Whether or not this affects the pH, it does affect the calcium level in an unpredictable way.

If there is no significant pH change other than that coming from the acid, then I don't think the addition of phosphoric acid will precipitate a significant amount of calcium.

I'm not saying that every brewer has to use phosphoric acid, but many brewers do and they may want guidelines on how much to add. I myself may use it in an upcoming IPA. Mainly to see how it behaves in the mash and if I can replicate what I saw in small scale mashing.

Kai

Offline tomsawyer

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Re: Yeah, the 5.2 stuff. Don’t get me started on that.
« Reply #18 on: February 01, 2011, 07:27:05 AM »
I have some 10% phosphoric acid and wouldn't mind using it, my initial thought was it would be a good nutrient for the yeast.  Plus it wouldn't bring a flavor contribution, not that lactic does at typical levels.  I've read where over 2ml per gallon is the threshold for lactic flavor perception.

Also read where calcium phosphate becomes less soluble as the temp increases, making its use in mashing more problematic.
« Last Edit: February 01, 2011, 08:45:43 AM by tomsawyer »
Lennie
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Offline Kirk

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Re: Yeah, the 5.2 stuff. Don’t get me started on that.
« Reply #19 on: February 01, 2011, 10:14:27 AM »
I'm brewing a Pilsener Friday, will do an acid rest.  If the ph is ok I'll add nothing.  If it's a little high, I'll add either acidulated malt or lactic acid.  Does acid malt in small quantities affect Pilsener flavor negatively at all?
Sparge water (ph 7.9) would you add lactic acid and what ph would you aim for?  6?
Kirk Howell

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Re: Yeah, the 5.2 stuff. Don’t get me started on that.
« Reply #20 on: February 01, 2011, 10:59:01 AM »
Also read where calcium phosphate becomes less soluble as the temp increases, making its use in mashing more problematic.

I read that about magnesium phosphate. This has also been cited as one of the reason's why the wort pH falls during boiling.

Does acid malt in small quantities affect Pilsener flavor negatively at all?
Sparge water (ph 7.9) would you add lactic acid and what ph would you aim for?  6?

I'd choose lactic acid over phosphoric acid for a pils. Mainly because that's what German brewers do. The need for sparge water acidification depends on the water's alkalinity and not so much on its actual pH.

Kai
« Last Edit: February 01, 2011, 11:01:27 AM by Kaiser »

Offline Kirk

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Re: Yeah, the 5.2 stuff. Don’t get me started on that.
« Reply #21 on: February 05, 2011, 09:52:25 AM »
Okay, I'm weaned from the 5.2 crap.  I adjusted the mash and sparge ph yesterday with LA88 and got great results.  The 5.2 stuff wasn't lowering the ph as advertised, IME.  I can't say that for sure because I didn't have a ph meter when I was using it.  Just judging from results.  For instance, I couldn't believe how much of that pale pasty stuff I left behind in the MLT.  Is that protein?  It was the clearest wort I've ever made, and the efficiency broke all my previous records.  And, my water report is on it's way. 8)
Kirk Howell

Offline mabrungard

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Re: Yeah, the 5.2 stuff. Don’t get me started on that.
« Reply #22 on: February 05, 2011, 10:33:09 AM »
I like that designation for lactic acid 'LA88'.  Good short hand that I hadn't seen before.

That stuff was probably calcium phosphate precipitates, but its hard to tell. 

Sparks water is probably pretty good.  Doesn't it come out of Lake Tahoe?  You should have little problem if it does.
Martin B
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Offline Kirk

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Re: Yeah, the 5.2 stuff. Don’t get me started on that.
« Reply #23 on: February 05, 2011, 12:07:17 PM »
Sparks water is probably pretty good.  Doesn't it come out of Lake Tahoe?  You should have little problem if it does.

Yep, the Truckee River is our main source, but they do augment with local wells.  But it is good water, and soft.  I'll post my report when it comes in, and then maybe you guys can offer some style suggestions.  Not that I won't get into the books and study some myself, but this is a great forum, and why not take advantage of it?
Kirk Howell

Offline Kirk

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Re: Yeah, the 5.2 stuff. Don’t get me started on that.
« Reply #24 on: February 09, 2011, 08:54:21 AM »
I have my water report, now maybe I can get myself more edumacated...

pH 8.0
Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) Est 115
Electrical Conductivity, mmho/cm 0.19
Cations / Anions, me/L 1.6 / 1.5
ppm
Sodium, Na 15
Potassium, K 2
Calcium, Ca 12
Magnesium, Mg 4
Total Hardness, CaCO3 47
Nitrate, NO3-N < 0.1 (SAFE)
Sulfate, SO4-S 2
Chloride, Cl 12
Carbonate, CO3 3
Bicarbonate, HCO3 58
Total Alkalinity, CaCO3 53
Kirk Howell

Offline hokerer

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Re: Yeah, the 5.2 stuff. Don’t get me started on that.
« Reply #25 on: February 09, 2011, 09:18:30 AM »
Yep, that looks like some pretty nice brewing water
Joe

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Re: Yeah, the 5.2 stuff. Don’t get me started on that.
« Reply #26 on: February 09, 2011, 10:34:28 AM »
There is a little something wrong with the bicarbonate and carbonate levels they report.  I think someone miss-keyed the pH either into their calculator or onto the report.  The reported pH with that alkalinity would provide 64 ppm bicarb and almost no carbonate.  A pH of 9 will give the carb and bicarb results they report.    Minor errors.  Still really good water for brewing.
Martin B
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Offline Kirk

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Re: Yeah, the 5.2 stuff. Don’t get me started on that.
« Reply #27 on: February 09, 2011, 04:17:35 PM »
Thanks Martin,
I'm feeling a little foolish about my handling of this.  Now that I have a report, (And, yeah, let's not forget the PH meter, what a great tool) and some reference material (like Palmer, which I've had forever), it's not that hard to understand.  I suppose it's just laziness or not wanting to wade in there.  Anyway, I'm glad I did.  Sometimes, if you are not willing to risk looking like a fool you don't learn anything.  Thanks to all.
Kirk Howell