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Old 11-22-2012, 06:54 PM   #1
TNGabe
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Default Acid testing sour wort/beer?

Listened to the Dan Carey interview on Sunday Session from a while back. He recommended a wine acid test kit for sour mash/wort/lacto ferments. At least if I understood correctly, he said the acid % is what's important, not the pH. First time I've heard or read about this. Who uses an acid test or knows anything about it?

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Old 11-27-2012, 08:07 PM   #2
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I screwed around with acid titration for sour beers based on that suggestion as well. Using a wine acid test kit works, but you really need to dilute the beer with distilled water (especially if it is darker), and place it in a wide white-backed container to observe the color change. I doubt it's necessary, but when you are trying to dial in a beer as precisely and repeated as New Glarus it isn’t a bad idea. For me, taste and pH are enough to get the job done.

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Old 11-27-2012, 08:19 PM   #3
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I've recently used an acid titration kit for a red wine must to determine the total acidity. Fairly simple and painless process, and the kit is only about $10 from most LHBS. There's plenty of solutions to check 50+ batches (maybe more). My understanding is that the lye solution can/will change over time and give inaccurate results, but the overall experience was fun to do.

With the dark red wine must I was using I needed to dilute with distilled water to a rose color. Since the distilled water is neutral pH no adjustments need to be made to the process. I DID find out that your starting amount of wort/must needs to be the amount indicated in your instructions prior to dilution.

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Old 12-01-2012, 11:46 PM   #4
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I think the other option would be to do a full proper titration to figure out the total acid content. Essentially that's what the test kits are just with visual indicators rather than using a bench pH meter and a stirplate using a burette to dose with the alkali.

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