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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > Using 5.2 with Bo Pils
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Old 11-04-2013, 09:10 PM   #1
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Default Using 5.2 with Bo Pils

OK, I have looked all over in researching my first Bo Pils for this info. The recipe I have formulated is from a few sources but is calling for 10% Acid malt to drop the PH when using a high percentage of RO water. I am concerned that 10% will come through in the flavor and that is NOT what I want. I don't have any real experience with water chemistry but I used a calculator to come up with 85% distilled and 15% tap water based on my local water report to get pretty dang close to Bo Pils water without salt additions.

Now, I read that Acid malt will drop PH .1 units per 1% of grist. My local water PH is 7.7 (average) and distilled is around that as well, so even using 10% Acid malt won't get me down down to 5.2 , and I am definitely not going 25%.


Soooo, the question is: If I use the 5.2 PH stabilizer stuff, will it throw off any of the other minerals necessary for a Bo Pils. Ingredients are neutralized, so I don't think so, but unsure. Have any of you done it with good or bad results? Am I figuring correctly here as far as dropping my PH? Is there another better way to control PH? I am hoping to simply do an 85-15% distilled to tap ratio and dump in some 5.2 and call it good. No Acid malt preferably. What do ye think?

Thanks All

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Old 11-04-2013, 09:24 PM   #2
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Don't use the 5.2.

10% acid malt is too much for a Boh pils (or for any pils for that matter) so that recipe is suspect to me. I don't know what your local water mineral profile is, but using only 15% and the rest distilled....I'd probably use 100% distilled and then follow the water primer. Definitely use some acid malt, 3% is great and provides a flavor addition as well. 10% is too much. Go with the 3% acid malt, use a little calcium chloride, 100% distilled, and then mash/brew as usual, you won't be disappointed.

I said it at the beginning, and I'll say it again. Don't use the 5.2.

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Old 11-04-2013, 09:26 PM   #3
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There have been a ton of threads about that 5.2 stuff in the brew science forum. Most of them say the stuff is completely useless. I threw mine away after reading them.

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Old 11-04-2013, 09:26 PM   #4
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You're better of taking the money you were going to spend on the 5.2 and buying 10 gals of RO water. You should be able to use a 3% max acid malt addition along with about 1/2 tsp of CaCl. This should get you close to the correct pH and maintain a soft water profile. By the way, a 10% acid malt addition seems really high, even for hard water.

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Old 11-04-2013, 09:27 PM   #5
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You want the mash pH to be 5.2, not your water. Just the act of mashing your grain ought to lower the pH fairly close to the target range, so you really shouldn't need anything near 10% acid malt. I would try something like 1% and see how that works.

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Old 11-04-2013, 09:34 PM   #6
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I just read that recipe again and it's an extract recipe, so not sure what they were going for with the acid malt - obviously just a flavor addition. Maybe that .75 lbs acid malt adds the right "tang", not sure. Stick with the water primer.

To add, the pH of your tap isn't all that crucial, it's the buffering capacity of the minerals it contains that are of concern. The pH of distilled is essentially meaningless is it really has no buffering capacity, so you can't just compare pH of distilled and the pH of your local water - it's not an accurate or meaningful comparison.

The distilled water with calcium chloride gives you a known starting point, mash your light grains (and the acid malt) with it and it'll get you in the ballpark on pH.

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Old 11-04-2013, 09:39 PM   #7
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What? It's an extract recipe? Then there should be no water adjustments.


But if it's really extract, why is it posted in the AG forum?

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Old 11-04-2013, 09:50 PM   #8
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I am not referencing the recipe really, just the information above it.

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Old 11-04-2013, 10:00 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GrizBrew View Post
I am not referencing the recipe really, just the information above it.
Can you post the recipe?

Just because you're starting off with water of pH 7.7, doesn't mean you have to add 25% acid malt to get to 5.2. Adding grain to the mash (as weirdboy posted above) brings your mash pH very close to being within range. The act of mashing acidifies your starting water. The "problem" with light grain bills is that they don't quite get it there without a little help, this is where the acid malt comes into play. Although you do get variability in pils malts - from maltster to maltster, from lot to lot from the same maltster, and from season to season - it's been shown (probably mostly by AJ, the author of the primer - thanks a million times for this) that the mash pH is pretty predictable when you start with a known water profile (the distilled with a little calcium chloride in the primer). To get any closer, you need to utilize a pH meter and check your mash every time.
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Old 11-04-2013, 10:07 PM   #10
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My actual recipe is:


OG: 1.059
IBUs: 41.8
Color: 4.9 SRM
ABV: 5.8%


24 lbs Floor Malted Bohemian Pilsner
2 lbs Munich
1 lbs Acid Malt (adjusted per your recommendations)
1 lbs 8.0 oz Cara-Pils
3 oz Saaz [3.00 %] - Boil 75.0 min
3.5 oz Saaz [3.00 %] - Boil 60.0 min
3.5 oz Saaz [3.00 %] - Boil 30.0 min
3 oz Saaz [3.00 %] - Aroma Steep 10.0 min
3 oz Saaz [3.00 %] - Aroma Steep 0.0 min
2.0 pkg Urquell Lager (Wyeast Labs #2001)


This is my water profile entered into the calculator referenced above.

screen-shot-2013-11-04-2.51.23-pm.jpg  
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