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Old 03-07-2012, 04:51 AM   #1
Join Date: Feb 2010
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Default Low Final PH: Adding Baking Soda to Finished Beer

After tasting my cream ale, I have found that it is slightly sour. The beer is still young, 2 weeks old and I just started carbing it in a keg. I doubt that the sour flavor will mature out.

However, in a small test glass, I add a extremely small dash of baking soda and the the sourness was gone, resulting in a completely different beer.

Has anyone tried this?

Beer stats:
OG 1.050
FG 1.008
Yeast: WLP001

90% Two Row
10% Flaked Maize
12 IBU

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Old 03-07-2012, 04:52 AM   #2
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give it a little time. that looks like a basic recipe that should work. i use a little different recipe, but yours is ok too

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Old 03-07-2012, 12:09 PM   #3
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This is intriguing. Thanks for sharing this. I will have to give it a shot next time I have a beer that's a little too acidic. Or maybe I'll make one on purpose so I can try it.
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Old 03-07-2012, 12:53 PM   #4
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Your beer is likely sour tasting from a bit of acetaldehyde that was a byproduct of the yeast eating sugar and if you leave it alone for a bit the yeast will finish converting that to alcohol and the sour will be gone. You may need to let that beer sit where it is room temperature for a few days so the yeast doesn't go dormant.
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Old 03-07-2012, 01:06 PM   #5
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"Sodium bicarbonate can be used as a wash to remove any acidic impurities from a "crude" liquid, producing a purer sample. Reaction of sodium bicarbonate and an acid produce a salt and carbonic acid, which readily decomposes to carbon dioxide and water." - wikipedia quote.

There are a few by-products of yeast that are acidic and can be neutralized by adding baking soda, acetaldehyde being one of them. Acetaldehyde is formed by the oxidation of ethanol. (this is why you avoid contacting air with fermented beer, ie transferring to secondary or keg) Acetaldehyde is also thought to contribute to hangovers.

I see no reason why you can't do this and I may try it on the next batch that comes out a little sour.

(this was based off just a little research and a crude understanding of chemistry, so feel free to scrutinize)
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Old 10-11-2014, 02:02 PM   #6
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Default sodium bicarbonate

Your science is sound.....as per this science teacher and his similar experience. I don't drink coffee and am not accustomed to how acidic it can be. I made a coffee porter and added some espresso......too much espresso. I cut the acid with baking soda and ended up with no sour acid taste. In fact, it ended up tasting like root beer lol. Not my favorite batch, but far better than the coffee dominated first attempt. Lesson learned.
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Old 10-11-2014, 02:04 PM   #7

A little chalk will work well if the beer is carbonated.
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Old 10-11-2014, 07:13 PM   #8
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The only thing you need to be careful with NaCO3 is the sodium. If you have high Na water to begin you could end up raising Na levels above taste freshhold

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