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Old 01-13-2012, 04:17 AM   #1
Bonestar
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Default pH Help. Lactic Acid.

My local water runs in the 7'ns for pH. Neutral. Using Lactic Acid... does anyone have any methods for lowering the mash pH to 5.2 for a 5 gallon batch? This will be my first run at All Grain.

What is the best way to go about lowering the pH?
Do I adjust the HLT or the Mash?

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Old 01-13-2012, 05:15 AM   #2
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Adjust the mash, but the grains will alter the pH, the darker the more acidic they are, the lighter the less acidic, if u use latic acid you lower the Residual Alkalinity significantly, until you learn about the brewing water I would not mess with lactic acid, I've never used the stuff but the people who make Star San make a 5.2pH buffer, which in theory "locks" your mash pH in at 5.2, like I said I've never used it but I've heard both that it works and that it doesn't. Its like 10 bucks. I thought about getting some but I don't notice a big pH problem. I use the chalk/iodine startch test and my mash seems to convert normally so I don't think my pH is off.

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Old 01-13-2012, 07:15 AM   #3
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I use the 5.2 in the mash along with a tsp of gypsum, then I treat my sparge water with 1 to 1.5 tbsp lactic acid, depending on the recipe. Since I adopted this method , my beer improved a lot, no off flavors . I think mostly from the alkaline sparge water causing astringency.

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Old 01-14-2012, 07:40 PM   #4
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Get a water report. Download EZ water. Use 1-2% acid malt. 5.2 stabilizer, from what I've heard, is a buffer, and won't lower your mash ph.

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Old 01-14-2012, 08:54 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by tgmartin000 View Post
Get a water report. Download EZ water. Use 1-2% acid malt. 5.2 stabilizer, from what I've heard, is a buffer, and won't lower your mash ph.
Right. Do NOT use the 5.2 stabilizer without knowing what's in your water make up. (And even then, don't use it). I bought some, and used it twice and all it did was give my beers a bit of a salty flavor and didn't fix the mash pH anyway!
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Old 01-14-2012, 10:18 PM   #6
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Check the Brew science forum. Sticky on brew water science. Its just a mind boggling beginning without a report. Cheers

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Old 01-14-2012, 10:45 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yooper View Post
Right. Do NOT use the 5.2 stabilizer without knowing what's in your water make up. (And even then, don't use it). I bought some, and used it twice and all it did was give my beers a bit of a salty flavor and didn't fix the mash pH anyway!
Ditto. I bought some and also used it twice with my first two lagers. Both times, I had a noticeable off flavor in the beer. After aging for about 9 months, the off flavor had diminished, but was still there. After 2 brews, I stopped using it and the off flavor went away, but I did have to use some lactid acid to lower the mash pH.

-a.
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Old 06-19-2012, 10:37 PM   #8
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Lactic acid can be a tricky thing to use, especially in the mash, but knowing what ph your mash will settle in at naturally will help determine what treatment(if any)you may need.for example;a mash made up of 11 lbs two row pale and one pound crystal 60L at 1lb/1.25qt with my water source will settle in at a ph of 5.5.To drop the ph .3, I would use about 3-4oz. of acid malt which is about 2.5% of the total grist(1% of grist bill per .1 drop in ph).To determine what ph your mash will be, make a mini mash for your yeast starter, 1 lb of base grain and 1.5oz of crystal 60 in 1.25+/- qts of water(scaled down from previous grist bill).Mash at desired temp and test ph after 15 min.At this point you could even make scaled down salt additions(i.e gypsum)to see if those would help.Trust me, it's better for your sanity to screw up a yeast starter than to screw up a 5 gal batch!!!Hope this helps.

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Old 06-19-2012, 11:54 PM   #9
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Blindly throwing crap into your mash or water is a recipe for disaster. If you want to control mash pH, step one is to get a pH meter. Step two is to check out the water chemistry primer sticky in the brew science forum.

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Old 06-20-2012, 12:32 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SC_Ryan
Blindly throwing crap into your mash or water is a recipe for disaster. If you want to control mash pH, step one is to get a pH meter. Step two is to check out the water chemistry primer sticky in the brew science forum.
+1.

Though I would say step one is to get a pH meter, step two is to read the pH calibration sticky, step 3 the water chemistry primer sticky.

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