Acid Malt Question

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Jan 31, 2007
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I don't want the sourness of berliner weiss, but do want a sour hint, and was wondering if acid malt would do this without having to add a lactic bacteria. I have seen a few recipes using 2-4oz., but I'm not sure if this is only effective and used for lowering PH, or if it adds a lactic tartness, even though the recipes I have seen it in have all been sour beers or hefe's using a lactic bacteria?
yes, it will add sourness (or, more appropriately and as you described, a "tartness.") but take it from me (from personal experience) you add too much and it will taste like a soda beer. i don't use more than 1-2 oz per 5 gallon batch. it's actually a major ingredient in one of my wheat beers, but don't overdo it!


if you want true sourness, look into so-called "wild yeasts"...someone else may know better than me about this, as it's not a style i prefer.
I have looked a bit into the wild yeasts and bacteria, but don't really know if I want to deal with the different pitchings for the different cultures, some coming after others and vice versa. I also don't really want a lot of sourness, just a hint to emphasive the flavors, so I don't know if that warrants the use of another strain and I planned on using WYeast 1010 American Wheat Ale.

It's actually an American Wheat that I am making, think a cross between Sunshine Wheat and Beliner Weisbier.

Thanks for your advice though, right now I am thinking around an ounce or so of the acid malt.
You can also add some lactic acid directly to the finished beer, then you can just add it to taste to get it where you want it. Wouldn't be a great way to go if you wanted to make a very sour beer, as it's kind of the "cheating" way to do it instead of using bacteria, but if you're trying to give it just a small sour edge then I would expect it would be fine, especially if you start off with a small amount of acid malt in the mash to kick it off, and then only use a small amount of lactic to tweak. But, I haven't done this myself so take my advice for what it's worth (not much). At the very least, you could experiment with it in just a pint of beer without risking the whole batch.

On that note, one of my favorite quotes was from the Jamil show episode on Berliner Weisse, he compared using lactic acid as the sole means to sour a Berliner Weisse to "cooking a steak in the microwave" - it'll technically work, but it's just not the same :p

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