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Old 09-26-2008, 08:31 PM   #1
Mar 2007
Western PA
Posts: 190

I am looking at a few recipes for Guinness and some call for Acid Malt. I looked on Northern Brewer and didn't find that term. What is it? And does it go by a different name? thanks

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Old 09-26-2008, 08:40 PM   #2
May 2008
Lubbock, Texas
Posts: 1,329
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Not sure but this is on AHS's site:
Acid Malt (Sour) [00634]

Acid Malt (Sour)

The lactic acids on the outside of the grain gives the malt a slightly sour taste. It is often used in pilsners, wheat beers, and other light beers. Acid malt may be used to lower the mash pH. Reduction of wort pH leads to a better working mash, intensified fermentation, lighter color, improved flavor stability, and a "well-rounded" beer flavor.
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Old 09-26-2008, 10:28 PM   #3
Sep 2008
Spokane, WA
Posts: 261

It's sometimes called "sauer(sp) malt" as well.

The recipe calls for it to give the beer that characteristic Guinness "tang". (Guinness does this by added a small amount of stale/spoiled Guinness to the batch)
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Old 09-27-2008, 01:45 AM   #4
Sep 2006
Sacramento, CA
Posts: 362
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I read a couple of days ago that Pliny the Elder uses a bit of it to balance the hop sweetness.

Hopmonk Dinner: The beers of Russian River – Pliny with a Temptation chaser - What’s On Tap - The California Craft Beer Blog by William Brand

I've never seen it listed in the homebrew recipes Vinny provided nor have I really tasted a sourness in Pliny. It's an interesting idea though.

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Old 09-27-2008, 03:24 AM   #5
Nov 2004
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Acid malt is often seen as an ingredient in Guinness style stout recipes to add that mysterious "tang". Acid malt is German pilsner malt that has been sprayed with lactic acid for use to balance the pH of a mash. I can only believe that any "tang" it supplies to homebrewed Guinness clones is via the placebo effect.

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Old 09-27-2008, 12:23 PM   #6
fratermus's Avatar
Feb 2008
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Originally Posted by BigEd View Post
I can only believe that any "tang" it supplies to homebrewed Guinness clones is via the placebo effect.
I dunno. I added 4oz to a 5gallon batch I did recently. I don't know if it was the farmhouse yeast or the acid malt, but there is a subtle but definite (and very enjoyable) tang to it. I had totally forgotten the acid malt was in it when I tasted it, so don't think it was a placebo effect.

It was so good that today's batch is going to be a repeat.

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Old 09-27-2008, 01:28 PM   #7
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Jun 2007
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Acid malt is the opposite of Base malt.

Seriously, though, I think the intention of acid malt is to lower the pH of the mash in higher pH water. It's a way German brewers can do it without breaking the Reinheitsgebot. As for adding flavor, I doubt it, but don't know for sure.

Here's a definition I found on some university website:
A malt high in the phytase enzyme, which breaks down phytin into phytic acid, thus lowering the mash pH. Typically only used in Germany, where the Reinheitsgebot prevents brewers from using food-grade acids to do the same thing.

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Old 06-06-2010, 01:20 AM   #8
May 2009
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Recently I experimented with the acid malt in one of my stout recipes and purposely used a little extra to find out what it would change. It is clear that the finished product has a "twang" or acidic taste to it by adding only a couple extra ounces to an 11 gallon batch.
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Old 06-06-2010, 01:57 AM   #9
Jul 2007
Gainesville, FL
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It's real name is acidulated malt.

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Old 06-06-2010, 02:36 AM   #10
Jan 2008
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Actually it's real name is sauermalz. The bags from Weyermann sometimes say Acid Malt when they include the English.

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