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Old 12-28-2011, 07:07 PM   #1
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Default Phosphoric Acid vs Lactic Acid

I have a fresh bottle of phosphoric acid. I've never used it before, but I saw on Braukaiser's website that 0.1-0.135 ml would lower mash pH by 0.1, while the amount of lactic acid used for the same drop would be 0.125-0.21 ml.

I typically use 5 ml of lactic 88% in 5 gallons of sparge water. Can I assume roughly the same amount for using the phosphoric acid to start?

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Old 12-28-2011, 07:28 PM   #2
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I was always under the assumption that you used lactic acid for the mash and phosphoric only if you treated sparge water.

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Old 12-28-2011, 09:32 PM   #3
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I'm hoping that there is a strength indication on that phosphoric acid, like 10% or 75%.

To get to the point, you can't assume the use of phosphoric will be like your use with lactic. The acid strength may be quite different.

There is a full-featured acidification calculator in Bru'n Water for those who wonder how much acid they should be adding to their water. That will enable Yooper to figure this problem out.

PS: you can use any type of acid you want for either mash or sparge.

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Old 12-28-2011, 09:37 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mabrungard View Post
I'm hoping that there is a strength indication on that phosphoric acid, like 10% or 75%.

To get to the point, you can't assume the use of phosphoric will be like your use with lactic. The acid strength may be quite different.

There is a full-featured acidification calculator in Bru'n Water for those who wonder how much acid they should be adding to their water. That will enable Yooper to figure this problem out.

PS: you can use any type of acid you want for either mash or sparge.
I'm having trouble with your spreadsheet in OpenOffice, so I'm not using it at this point. I'm going to try libreoffice next.

My phosphoric acid is 10%. I supposed that is important!

I decided to try phosphoric acid in my sparge water as the lactic acid I'm using IS below the taste threshold at this point, but I was thinking about make a cream ale and I didn't want any "tang" to it at all. I do use acidulated malt in the mash.
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Old 12-28-2011, 10:48 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Yooper View Post
I decided to try phosphoric acid in my sparge water as the lactic acid I'm using IS below the taste threshold at this point, but I was thinking about make a cream ale and I didn't want any "tang" to it at all. I do use acidulated malt in the mash.
In "Brewing Better Beer", Gordon Strong says (page 50): "Adding phosphoric acid is the easiest way to lower the pH of sparge water without adding undesirable flavors. Lactic acid is a distant second choice."
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Old 12-28-2011, 11:10 PM   #6
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In "Brewing Better Beer", Gordon Strong says (page 50): "Adding phosphoric acid is the easiest way to lower the pH of sparge water without adding undesirable flavors. Lactic acid is a distant second choice."
That's where I was going with my poorly worded post. Fwiw, i've never had any discernible flavors from lactic acid in the mash, even in a cap, now sauermalz, that's a different story.


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Old 12-29-2011, 12:03 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Yooper View Post
I'm having trouble with your spreadsheet in OpenOffice, so I'm not using it at this point. I'm going to try libreoffice next.

My phosphoric acid is 10%. I supposed that is important!

I decided to try phosphoric acid in my sparge water as the lactic acid I'm using IS below the taste threshold at this point, but I was thinking about make a cream ale and I didn't want any "tang" to it at all. I do use acidulated malt in the mash.
Libre Office forked from OO when Sun got stupid. They are still pretty much the same code base.
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Old 12-29-2011, 12:05 AM   #8
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Phosphoric acid is a very good choice for brewing use. It has the least flavor impact since there are already similar anions in the mash. Adding a few more does not alter the flavor. Lactic has a distinct taste that is certainly pleasant and desirable in some styles. The same can be said for sulfuric and hydrochloric. They are just more hazardous to handle. The whole issue of taste impact is contingent upon the amount of alkalinity you're having to deal with. If its a lot of alkalinity, then other forms of treatment are probably needed.

Lorena, I had poor impressions of OpenOffice also. I've been much more impressed with LibreOffice. Its almost like using real Excel. Bru'n Water should work well for you there.

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Old 12-29-2011, 12:07 AM   #9
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Phosporic is more reactive and will drop the pH much quicker than lactic. pH is logarithmic as I am sure you know, but phos will drop the bottom out very fast. Use a couple drops in the water, don't add to the mash because you will all of a sudden be at 2.0 pH.

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Old 12-29-2011, 12:36 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by onthekeg View Post
Use a couple drops in the water, don't add to the mash because you will all of a sudden be at 2.0 pH.
What does this mean?
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