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Old 09-03-2012, 01:48 AM   #21
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I have been searching for a little while now and cannot find any info on this. You say that each different grain tends to lower the ph of the mash. Is there a rule of thumb when try to calculate the ph you will hit. Such as if you start with a ph of 8, add 5 lbs of 2-row it lowers the ph X amount, then 3 pounds of Munich it lowers the ph X amount.

Are you able to calculate according to your grist what your ph should come out too?

Also I have been reading about the lactic acid itself and cannot find a place where they describe the quantity needing to be added. Such as if your mash ph was 6.5 and you wanted to lower to 5.2 how much would you need to add. Or is it more of add some mix together retest and continue to add until you hit your desired ph, hoping you don't go too low..

This is all good info guys, thanks

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Old 09-03-2012, 02:04 AM   #22
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Rather than try to find the source material on this I'd suggest you get copies of some of the spreadsheets (Bru'n water, EZ...) and fiddle around with additions of different types of malt to distilled (at first) water and then water with various amounts of mineral content (alkalinity and hardness) will show an effect. Do this with at least 2 spreadsheets. You will get 2 different answers. This is because the different spreadsheets use different models of the malts and of the chemistry which sets mash pH. And that gets us to the experiment until you hit mash pH comment. That is, ultimately, what you should do but the spreadsheets will get you within striking range of the ultimate answer.

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Old 09-03-2012, 02:08 AM   #23
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I can't give you info on calculations of the grains (I use Martin's spreadsheet which is fairly close for me) but I CAN help with the proper amount of acid or base to add in a mash if you miss your pH! I have this chart in my brewery, from Kai Troester's website (braukaiser.com): http://braukaiser.com/wiki/index.php...ash_pH_control Scroll to the bottom- it's down there!

I use the spreadsheet (link is above in Mabrungard's signature) to get really close and then have the chart handy in case I miss. I haven't yet, but I have it ready! I also use EZ water to "check my work" but that one is always a bit higher. I've used Kai's as well (on his website I linked above) and his is almost the same as Mabrungard's.

I like having Mabrungard and ajdelange here in the forum, helping people like me. I've found that since I went with RO water for almost all of my beers, using the acid malt that AJdeLange suggested, and using Mabrungard's spreadsheet (as well as all the help they've provided in the forum with water chemistry), I think my beers have gone the "extra distance". They were always good to very good, but conquering water was the really the boost I needed.

One thing I find for me is that I'm actually a big believer in "less is more". I use very little in the way of additions, and my beer is "cleaner" and better. I've used more sulfate in the past, and I like moderation in both the sulfate in chloride in ALL beers, even the hoppiest.

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Old 09-03-2012, 02:16 AM   #24
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I've found that since I went with RO water for almost all of my beers, using the acid malt that AJdeLange suggested, and using Mabrungard's spreadsheet (as well as all the help they've provided in the forum with water chemistry), I think my beers have gone the "extra distance".
Do you think the sauermalz gives the advertized "... well-rounded, complex beer flavor."?

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One thing I find for me is that I'm actually a big believer in "less is more". I use very little in the way of additions, and my beer is "cleaner" and better. I've used more sulfate in the past, and I like moderation in both the sulfate in chloride in ALL beers, even the hoppiest.
I think more and more home brewers are beginning to realize this. And craft brewers too. The brewer at my favorite brew pub makes intensely hoppy beers that I actually like and they are good because his sulfate is low out of the tap and he doesn't add gypsum. Lots and lots of hops flavor and the bitterness is there too but it isn't harsh.

Interested in the comment about chloride. It's definitely a plus up to a point (I'm really adding calcium chloride for the chloride as much as the calcium) but I don't know where that point is. How much are you using?
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Old 09-03-2012, 02:31 AM   #25
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Do you think the sauermalz gives the advertized "... well-rounded, complex beer flavor."?
Not that I've noticed, sorry to say! BUT, and this is a big but- I haven't made a light lager or lighter ale since I bought the RO system and seriously looked at my alkalinity issues. I was mixing RO water and tap water, but didn't check pH with a meter until January.

My last BoPils was 100% RO water (last winter) but I don't recall it being more complex than without the sauermaltz. Of course, it was a triple decoction and so if there was any well-rounded or complex flavor, I would have attributed it to the decoctions.

I do mostly IPAs, American ambers, and APAs with an odd English ale, a stout or two, and then a few lagers a year.

I LOVE my IPAs now. I've found that I hit my desired pH each and every time, with Mabrungard's spreadsheet, using 1-2% sauermaltz and few additions to the RO water (generally 5 grams of gypsum and 3 grams of CaCl2 to my mash). I sparge with RO water.

Now, is the well-rounded flavor but firm bittering (but not harsh) due to the RO water, the tiny amount of gypsum, the perfect mash pH, or the acid malt? I cannot say.

I know that even though ajdelange is not an IPA guy that I would hand both him and Mabrungard one of those IPAs and both would like them. Maybe my sulfate would be a little low for Martin's taste, maybe not. But he'd like it, even IF the sulfate was lower than he'd like. The important thing is that to my taste, it's just right, and I'm proud to serve those beers.
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Old 09-03-2012, 02:35 AM   #26
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The important thing is that to my taste, it's just right, and I'm proud to serve those beers.
I'm always going on about optimality criteria. IMO this is one that most brewers should be working under.
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Old 09-03-2012, 01:58 PM   #27
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I'm with AJ on optimality. I like to use a simple criteria to rate how enjoyable a beer is. If a beer is drinkable, but not really enjoyable...that's a 1 beer rating. In other words, I'd only drink 1 glass of it. If the beer is really good, but still has a nuance or two that would keep me from drinking a lot of it...that's a 2 beer rating. If the beer is great and I'd probably keep drinking it all that way to 3 glasses, then its a 3 beer rating. Obviously this doesn't really work with a strongly flavored beer or a high gravity beer just because you would be fatigued, but its a decent criteria for deciding how great a beer is. We have our style guidelines and they are helpful, but for a commercial venture, this criteria ends up being more important to sales.

I have to admit that my next pale ale will be brewed with a much lower sulfate content to test AJ's advice on using a reduced sulfate content in beer. Since I've brewed my standard PA probably 2 dozen times, it should be a good test of my perception of an identical recipe. The good thing is that I can always add the missing sulfate to the keg if I find the test result is not to my liking. Maybe AJ is Obi Wan and I need to learn to use the force. Mr. Chloride may be right, I'll have to find out.

Yooper, has the pH prediction in Bru'n Water been accurate with acid malt? I don't use that malt, so I haven't had a chance to verify its accuracy. When I first included acid malt in the program, I used Kai's acidity value and the result was no where near the 0.1 pH drop for 1% rule of thumb that Weyermann quotes. The revised acidity I include for acid malt now produces approximately that effect. I'd be happy to hear your findings.

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Old 09-03-2012, 02:14 PM   #28
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Yooper, has the pH prediction in Bru'n Water been accurate with acid malt? I don't use that malt, so I haven't had a chance to verify its accuracy. When I first included acid malt in the program, I used Kai's acidity value and the result was no where near the 0.1 pH drop for 1% rule of thumb that Weyermann quotes. The revised acidity I include for acid malt now produces approximately that effect. I'd be happy to hear your findings.
Yes, it's been pretty accurate. If anything, I miss a wee bit low (say, 5.35 instead of the predicted 5.4 which is in the error of my pH meter, I assume) so I normally try to aim a bit higher and do ok. I also figure I can easily bring it down with a bit of phosphoric or lactic acid, but it's much harder to bring it UP! I normally use very little acid malt- maybe 1.5-2% depending on the grainbill. Often it's only 3 ounces or so in a typical APA batch for me.
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Old 09-03-2012, 03:47 PM   #29
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If the beer is great and I'd probably keep drinking it all that way to 3 glasses, then its a 3 beer rating.
When you get to be my age it doesn't matter how good the beer is. More than 3 and you're asleep.



[QUOTE=mabrungard;4382848]... test AJ's advice on using a reduced sulfate content in beer.[QUOTE]

Remember that the recommendation is to try lower sulfate. No guarantee that you'll like it but based on what people tell me the chances are good enough that you will that it's worth a shot.
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Old 09-05-2012, 11:28 PM   #30
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So I input what I believe is the correct information in the excel sheet and it says it is unbalanced. Have I entered the information into the spreadsheet incorrectly. I have recently finished a blue moon clone and it has a little bit of an off flavor, but I can pinpoint what it is. Will the high alkalinity cause certain off flavors.

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