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Old 07-17-2014, 09:03 PM   #1
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Default ph too low?

i have been attempting to dial in water and ph via brewers friend. i typically target around 5.4 using around 2% acid malt for lighter beers. on my last IIPA i noticed a small amount of tartness. not sour or overbearing to flavor, but a distinct twang. i used rahr 2row, from what i have read already has some acid sourced in the malt. im guessing now my calculations may have been wrong because of the rahr. using 2% acid malt in this recipe, is it possible my ph jumped too low? i dont think 2% of the acid malt would cause this flavor threshold.

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Old 07-17-2014, 09:36 PM   #2
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I prefer to use Bru'n water for it's accuracy although there is a small learning curve to using it and it has a real good primer for use and water.

Try downloading it and plugging your recipe in and see what you get. i wouldn't think 2% acid malt would break the threshold but it's possible depending on the rest of the grist.

You might also consider switching to using lactic acid as it's much more precise.

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Old 07-17-2014, 10:39 PM   #3
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Agree with Duboman. EZ Water or Bru'n Water are good resources (the accuracy of each varies by person, it seems).

I've read that the lactic acid concentrations on acid malts are inconsistent at best. You might get a batch at 2%, you might get some at 5%, or some other number that ISN'T the 2% you're basing your calculations on. You're much better going with a concentrated lactic acid solution and pipetting in the amount you need. Using my local water on most lighter beers, it's about 4ml worth on what will ultimately be a 6g batch. A 4oz bottle of lactic acid from MoreBeer is $4.99, and lasts ~30 batches.

Cheaper than acidulated malt grain, easier to measure/use, and more precise. No brainer.

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Old 07-17-2014, 10:44 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pfgonzo View Post
Agree with Duboman. EZ Water or Bru'n Water are good resources (the accuracy of each varies by person, it seems).

I've read that the lactic acid concentration on acid malts are inconsistent at best. You might get a batch at 2%, you might get some at 5%, or some other number that ISN'T the 2% you're basing your calculations on. You're much better going with a concentrated lactic acid solution and pipetting in the amount you need. Using my local water on most lighter beers, it's about 4ml worth on what will ultimately be a 6g batch. A 4oz bottle of lactic acid from MoreBeer is $4.99, and lasts ~30 batches.

Cheaper than acidulated malt grain, easier to measure/use, and more precise. No brainer.
im thinking of going that route. when do you add the lactic acid in the mash? just right when you dough in grain? also, do you guys have experience with Rahr 2row dropping lower than expected ph based off readings?
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Old 07-17-2014, 10:45 PM   #6
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Quote:
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Yes, my understanding is the rahr is of a of a lower pH than most other base malts. I assume that you do not have a pH meter?
nope, i know...i should get one
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Old 07-17-2014, 10:52 PM   #7
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I haven't done a batch with Rahr to be able to compare, sorry! My 2-row is from Great Western.

[Edit] Just saw your "when to add it" question. I throw it in my mash water while its heating to dough-in temps.

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Old 07-17-2014, 10:55 PM   #8
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I read somewhere that the mash pH with DI water for Rahr is something like 5.5. That would mean that you would not need any acid if you were mashing with DI water. But of course most people do not mash with DI water and I don't even really know if that's true.

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Old 07-17-2014, 11:09 PM   #9
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Quote:
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I read somewhere that the mash pH with DI water for Rahr is something like 5.5. That would mean that you would not need any acid if you were mashing with DI water. But of course most people do not mash with DI water and I don't even really know if that's true.
yup i think i read that too. if thats true than my ph via brewers friend would be more like 5.3. what ph do you guys think you would start to taste a tart note?
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Old 07-17-2014, 11:38 PM   #10
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Ph and a sour taste aren't relatable like that. Ph is just a measure of how acidic/basic a liquid is. Lactic acid just happens to have a sour flavor. Adding phosphoric acid to adjust ph, for example, won't give a sour flavor, but most brewers don't use it because it precipitates calcium and because of the sulfates (sulfites?) it can produce... it just tweaks the water chemistry too much.

Even with lactic acid, it's really about how much you use (and batch size), not ph measurements. I've never gone over 5ml, never had to, without noticing any sourness. I understand from others that 1/2oz (~15ml) produces a detectable tartness.

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