Author Topic: Post-ferment pH adjustment  (Read 652 times)

Offline nateo

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Post-ferment pH adjustment
« on: May 06, 2011, 11:03:03 AM »
Not sure if this is the right place to put this, mods please move if wrong.

Does anyone measure and adjust pH post-fermentation? I know this is something wine guys do a lot, but I was wondering if anyone does this for beer. I've only tried this on a few witbiers. A little acid can really make some flavors pop, and make the beer taste a lot better.

Does anyone have a pH range for finished beers? I've seen ranges of 4.1-4.5 given. Does that sound right?
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Offline SpanishCastleAle

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Re: Post-ferment pH adjustment
« Reply #1 on: May 06, 2011, 11:23:05 AM »
I measure it but haven't adjusted it.  There was a Q&A on Brew Strong with Charlie Bamforth where someone asked this exact question; worth a listen imo (but then I always think Bamforth is worth a listen!).  He said it affects the perception and told a story of a certain lager maker that had steadily increased the final beer pH from ~4.0 up to ~4.5 over the course of (I think) a year or so.

It may also depend on the style.  I have a Vienna lager that is 4.29 and AJ Delange said that he thought it was a tad low. I think the beer tastes a bit acidic but is still pretty good.

Offline nateo

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Re: Post-ferment pH adjustment
« Reply #2 on: May 06, 2011, 11:28:15 AM »
Thanks Castle, I'll check that out. I could spend months just listening to podcasts, there's so much info out there.

I'd be interested to hear your feedback, if you have some KHCO3 or something similar, if you raised the pH a few ticks on a pint of your Vienna lager, how it would change the flavor profile.
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Offline gordonstrong

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Re: Post-ferment pH adjustment
« Reply #3 on: May 06, 2011, 11:51:59 AM »
Not sure if this is the right place to put this, mods please move if wrong.

Does anyone measure and adjust pH post-fermentation? I know this is something wine guys do a lot, but I was wondering if anyone does this for beer. I've only tried this on a few witbiers. A little acid can really make some flavors pop, and make the beer taste a lot better.

Does anyone have a pH range for finished beers? I've seen ranges of 4.1-4.5 given. Does that sound right?

That's a decent range for most beers. Keeping it no higher than 4.5 is important to keep it from spoiling. Lower can taste better, to a point, depending on the style. It's something you can do to taste. Experiment and see.

I talk about it in my book.  It's discussed in brewing textbooks.
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Offline SpanishCastleAle

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Re: Post-ferment pH adjustment
« Reply #4 on: May 06, 2011, 11:55:11 AM »
All I have is chalk and baking soda.  Don't know if the amount of baking soda required to raise the pH would render it salty.  Need to get some pickling lime but I pretty much never have to adjust my pH up so I haven't really pursued that.  I will try that though, good idea.

Offline nateo

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Re: Post-ferment pH adjustment
« Reply #5 on: May 06, 2011, 12:27:53 PM »
Not sure if this is the right place to put this, mods please move if wrong.

Does anyone measure and adjust pH post-fermentation? I know this is something wine guys do a lot, but I was wondering if anyone does this for beer. I've only tried this on a few witbiers. A little acid can really make some flavors pop, and make the beer taste a lot better.

Does anyone have a pH range for finished beers? I've seen ranges of 4.1-4.5 given. Does that sound right?

That's a decent range for most beers. Keeping it no higher than 4.5 is important to keep it from spoiling. Lower can taste better, to a point, depending on the style. It's something you can do to taste. Experiment and see.

I talk about it in my book.  It's discussed in brewing textbooks.

The only textbook I have is Briggs et al. They talk about pH mostly as it relates to taste threshold of different acids, but don't elaborate on how varying the pH on the same beer would alter the flavors.
In der Kürze liegt die Würze.