For a "softer" beer add Zinc and mash somewhat higher in pH

Homebrew Talk - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Forum

Help Support Homebrew Talk - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Forum:

Silver_Is_Money

Larry Sayre, Developer of 'Mash Made Easy'
Joined
Dec 31, 2016
Messages
6,277
Reaction score
2,050
Location
N/E Ohio
This advice comes from Weyermann. If you find your homebrew beers to be generally somewhat harsh, and you would like to soften that a bit, this might just be the cure. It is even proclaimed to lead to better overall fermentation.

Zinc for Softer Beer.png


http://********************/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/Weyermann_TKW_Mash-pH_2010.pdf
 

mabrungard

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Feb 22, 2011
Messages
6,115
Reaction score
2,129
Location
Carmel
I agree with that advice. Considering that a good light lager water is likely to have little mineral and zinc content, adding a zinc supplement is wise.

Mashing and boiling at a slightly higher pH does enhance the reduction of DMS. Post-boil wort pH reduction can help improve crispness in the beer if the yeast can’t get the pH down adequately.
 

Die_Beerery

Banned
Joined
Aug 21, 2017
Messages
842
Reaction score
640
They are promoting the use of sauergut. Sauergut has high amounts of zinc. Whether it be pure sauergut (the best), or acid malt (malt sprayed with sauergut), both products they of course sell.
Lastly, sauergut.
 

McKnuckle

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 10, 2014
Messages
3,245
Reaction score
2,725
Location
Anywhere But Here
So the TL;DR version is to acidify with Weyermann acid malt, and aim for a mash pH median of 5.6, rather than, say, 5.4. Got it. Actually I did flip through the slides - pretty cool.
 

hopjuice_71

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 26, 2016
Messages
374
Reaction score
372
This is interesting. I'm not clear if that 0.10-0.18 mg/L is final concentration (i.e. does it include what might already be in the malt) or if it is the amount to be added? I presume that zinc sulphate or zinc chloride would be appropriate salts to use.
 

Die_Beerery

Banned
Joined
Aug 21, 2017
Messages
842
Reaction score
640
This is interesting. I'm not clear if that 0.10-0.18 mg/L is final concentration (i.e. does it include what might already be in the malt) or if it is the amount to be added? I presume that zinc sulphate or zinc chloride would be appropriate salts to use.


Not exactly, zinc should be added directly to wort in the FERMENTER, since like 95% of zinc gets bound in the mash and in the trub. Zinc in the mash has little to nothing to related to finished wort concentrations, nor does it help the wort enzymes in any way shape or form.
I don't even feel like discussing the ph part, but likely that would be a decoction starting ph.
 

Vale71

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 1, 2018
Messages
3,632
Reaction score
2,008
Just to be clear, Weyermann is not endorsing adding zinc supplements in any phase of the brewing process as this is illegal in Germany.
They are somehow implying that adjusting mash PH using their Sauermalz will lead to 0.1 to 0.18 mg/l zinc in knockout wort. How this should come to pass will forever remain a mystery as the slides do not reveal the reason for this (alleged) effect.
 
OP
OP
Silver_Is_Money

Silver_Is_Money

Larry Sayre, Developer of 'Mash Made Easy'
Joined
Dec 31, 2016
Messages
6,277
Reaction score
2,050
Location
N/E Ohio
Just to be clear, Weyermann is not endorsing adding zinc supplements in any phase of the brewing process as this is illegal in Germany.
They are somehow implying that adjusting mash PH using their Sauermalz will lead to 0.1 to 0.18 mg/l zinc in knockout wort. How this should come to pass will forever remain a mystery as the slides do not reveal the reason for this (alleged) effect.

Indeed, zinc doesn't just magically appear out of nowhere. It must initially be present within one of the constituents which are transformed into Sauermalz, else the Sauermalz will be zinc free. If it is in Lactobacillus, it would be expected to be found in Lactic Acid also, unless Lactic Acid is formed purely via chemical reaction(s) and thereby does not involve Lactobacillus.

As to zinc, I add 3 drops of this to the fermenter for a 6.5 gallon fermentation:
https://www.amazon.com/Good-State-Liquid-Ionic-Concentrate/dp/B00D0VI0A8

10 drops provides 15 mg of Zinc, so 3 drops would be 4.5 mg.
 
Last edited:

hopjuice_71

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 26, 2016
Messages
374
Reaction score
372
Not exactly, zinc should be added directly to wort in the FERMENTER, since like 95% of zinc gets bound in the mash and in the trub. Zinc in the mash has little to nothing to related to finished wort concentrations, nor does it help the wort enzymes in any way shape or form.
I don't even feel like discussing the ph part, but likely that would be a decoction starting ph.

Hmm, OK, the statement in that slide is really not clear. I wasn't worried about pH or enzyme activity, more about what that concentration actually mean as it is weirdly implied to be the concentration of zinc in the mash. Just looked on Google Scholar and, as @Vale71 stated, it seems to relate to zinc concentrations in the final wort. Thank you for the clarification that it should be added to the fermenter.
 

Clyde McCoy

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 1, 2020
Messages
189
Reaction score
209
This advice comes from Weyermann. If you find your homebrew beers to be generally somewhat harsh, and you would like to soften that a bit, this might just be the cure. It is even proclaimed to lead to better overall fermentation.

View attachment 671009

http://********************/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/Weyermann_TKW_Mash-pH_2010.pdf

Interesting to see this recommendation from Weyermann, considering Kimmich's views on the topic:

John Kimmich, The Alchemist Brewery: “I use lactic acid to acidify…you have got to be hitting your mash pH, if you are not hitting between 5.1 and 5.3 [at mash temperature; 5.3-5.5 at 65°F] you’re at a disadvantage…if you’re over 5.3, you are at a serious disadvantage. If you come in under, it’s much more forgiving. You can have a more acidic mash and still have a beautiful, crisp, nice beer at the end. If you’re up in the 5.4, 5.5, 5.6 — forget it, it’s going to be a muddled piece of s***.
 
OP
OP
Silver_Is_Money

Silver_Is_Money

Larry Sayre, Developer of 'Mash Made Easy'
Joined
Dec 31, 2016
Messages
6,277
Reaction score
2,050
Location
N/E Ohio
Interesting to see this recommendation from Weyermann, considering Kimmich's views on the topic:

John Kimmich, The Alchemist Brewery: “I use lactic acid to acidify…you have got to be hitting your mash pH, if you are not hitting between 5.1 and 5.3 [at mash temperature; 5.3-5.5 at 65°F] you’re at a disadvantage…if you’re over 5.3, you are at a serious disadvantage. If you come in under, it’s much more forgiving. You can have a more acidic mash and still have a beautiful, crisp, nice beer at the end. If you’re up in the 5.4, 5.5, 5.6 — forget it, it’s going to be a muddled piece of s***.

It doesn't seem as if he is doing or recommending acidifying post run-off in the kettle (either pre-boil or sometime during the boil, or a combination of both) to hit 5.0 to 5.2 pH (room temperature) post boil and cooling as the peer reviewed literature which says to mash at 5.4 pH (measured at mash temperature) advises. He therefore must count upon his single acid addition to the mash to accomplish everything within the mash, while at the same time adding enough acid to hit 5.0 to 5.2 pH post boil and cooling. This seems doable and repeatable when you are making the same recipe the same way over and over again, and you can hone in a repeatable system that works for you such as he has done. He also has the clear advantage of measuring true mash pH at mash temperature, which nigh-on all home brewers do not have.
 
Last edited:

Clyde McCoy

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 1, 2020
Messages
189
Reaction score
209
It doesn't seem as if he is doing or recommending acidifying post run-off in the kettle (either pre-boil or sometime during the boil, or a combination of both) to hit 5.0 to 5.2 pH (room temperature) post boil and cooling as the peer reviewed literature which says to mash at 5.4 pH (measured at mash temperature) advises. He therefore must count upon his single acid addition to the mash to accomplish everything within the mash, while at the same time adding enough acid to hit 5.0 to 5.2 pH post boil and cooling. This seems doable and repeatable when you are making the same recipe the same way over and over again, and you can hone in a repeatable system that works for you such as he has done. He also has the clear advantage of measuring true mash pH at mash temperature, which nigh-on all home brewers do not have.

Sounds right to me. Just pointing out that a mash pH of 5.5-5.6 is higher than what Kimmich is recommending (and in fact warns against). Although a mash pH of 5.3 (upper limit of Kimmich) at mash temperature isn't that far off pH 5.5 at room temperature, so maybe there is less conflict here than I thought.
 

Clyde McCoy

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 1, 2020
Messages
189
Reaction score
209
This advice comes from Weyermann. If you find your homebrew beers to be generally somewhat harsh, and you would like to soften that a bit, this might just be the cure. It is even proclaimed to lead to better overall fermentation.

View attachment 671009

http://********************/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/Weyermann_TKW_Mash-pH_2010.pdf

Just realized that on the actual Pliny the Elder brew log it says: "Add Zinc to WP, 11 ml"

Can be found here:

https://www.homebrewtalk.com/forum/threads/pliny-the-elder-with-amarillo.522636/
 

TheMadKing

Western Yankee Southerner and Brew Science Nerd
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jun 17, 2015
Messages
3,945
Reaction score
2,122
Location
Gainesville
On a slightly different note but related, does adding Servomyces to the boil result in the same effect or is it entirely bound in the trub in the BK and/or consumed by the yeast

I got a little personal seminar from a white labs technical sales rep and he explained that Servomyces is basically made of dead yeast cells that have been propagated in a very zinc rich environment.

He was selling something obviously, but he said that you can't get the proper amount of zinc uptake by your yeast unless you add a toxic (to humans) dose of zinc to the wort. Their Servomyces essential does that, and then they collect the dead yeast which has bound some of the zinc into a molecule (he didn't says what) that is more readily usable by live yeast.
 
OP
OP
Silver_Is_Money

Silver_Is_Money

Larry Sayre, Developer of 'Mash Made Easy'
Joined
Dec 31, 2016
Messages
6,277
Reaction score
2,050
Location
N/E Ohio
On a slightly different note but related, does adding Servomyces to the boil result in the same effect or is it entirely bound in the trub in the BK and/or consumed by the yeast

I got a little personal seminar from a white labs technical sales rep and he explained that Servomyces is basically made of dead yeast cells that have been propagated in a very zinc rich environment.

He was selling something obviously, but he said that you can't get the proper amount of zinc uptake by your yeast unless you add a toxic (to humans) dose of zinc to the wort. Their Servomyces essential does that, and then they collect the dead yeast which has bound some of the zinc into a molecule (he didn't says what) that is more readily usable by live yeast.

Servomyces works for adding zinc, but that stuff is outrageously expensive.
 

Die_Beerery

Banned
Joined
Aug 21, 2017
Messages
842
Reaction score
640
Open the capsule and add it directly to the wort as you run off the kettle. Adding it in the boil is pointless.
 

Northern_Brewer

British - apparently some US company stole my name
Joined
Aug 16, 2017
Messages
3,672
Reaction score
3,305
Location
UK
Raffaele De Nicola's 2006 PhD thesis may be of interest, going into the detailed mechanisms of transport from p80 (PDF p93), the chapter summaries are thus :

3.4 Summary
The results of the research presented in this chapter showed that:

• Zinc uptake by industrial yeast strains was generally very fast and the element entirely disappeared from the medium. Zinc supplementations in the first hours of growth also resulted in quick uptake by the yeast cells.

• Zinc uptake was influenced by temperature (e.g. reduced at lower temperatures).

• Zinc uptake was metabolism dependent. Dead cells failed to take up zinc while uptake in protein synthesis inhibited cells was unaltered.

• Calcium concentrations (range 16-76 ppm) did not significantly influence zinc uptake.

• Various zinc salts (22 ppm of zinc) added did not significantly influence zinc uptake.

• Zinc uptake was metabolism-dependent. During brewing processes, it is suggested to add zinc at time of pitching, when optimal sugar levels are available as sources of driving energy. For the same reason it is discouraged to add zinc at low temperatures (~0°C) and when sugar sources are minimal (e.g. during acid-washing or yeast storage).

4.4 Summary
The results of the research presented in this chapter showed that:

• The yeast cell wall does not play a key role in zinc uptake during fermentation.

• Zinc is rapidly stored into the vacuole and shared from mother to daughter cells during cell division.

• In brewing and bioethanol industries, where yeast biomass is recycled for several fermentations, particular attention must be paid to the practice of removing part of the yeast crop. This may lead to the depletion of an important reservoir of zinc from the yeast biomass.

5.4 Summary
The results of the research presented in this chapter showed that:

• Zinc concentration in the range 0.4- 1 ppm gave fastest fermentation rates in brewing fermentation and using lager strain B. At lower concentrations, fermentations were sluggish. High levels of zinc (eg. 23 ppm) were not toxic to yeast, but did slow fermentation rates. The optimal zinc level was yeast strain dependent.

• Various zinc concentrations in the range 0-23 ppm did not adversely affect yeast cell viability in both brewing and wine yeasts.

• Irrespective of zinc availability, yeast membrane fluidity varied with culture age. There was a complex relationship between yeast cell zinc status and membrane fluidity, but it appeared that cells with low zinc content exhibited low GP levels indicating high membrane fluidity. Such cells would be more susceptible to membrane fluidisation by ethanol.

• Brewing yeast cells preconditioned with zinc performed very well, even in very low zinc wort.

• Initial zinc levels influenced esters and higher alcohol profiles in green beer.

• At pilot plant brewing scale, the intracellular zinc content of yeast may be different at various fractions of the yeast cone. Attention should be paid to selectively remove appropriate parts of the yeast cone when the yeast cells are recycled for the following fermentation.

• Some yeast strains may release zinc back into the medium. This phenomenon was observed in the wine strains and may depend on the ethanol stress imposed on cells during the fermentation process.

6.4 Summary
The results of the research presented in this chapter showed that:
• Yeast cells of the lager strain B insulted by oxidative and acid-washing stresses were not affected in terms of viability and intracellular zinc content, at the conditions herein studied.
• Severe and prolonged exposure to ethanol, temperature and osmotic stresses decreased both viability and intracellular zinc content of the lager strain B.
• Freeze-drying treatments, using the procedure described in this Thesis, killed the cells of the lager strain B but did not alter dramatically the intracellular zinc content.
• Cells of the lager strain B stored in liquid nitrogen maintained high viability, although they lose some of their intracellular zinc, if they were pre-conditioned in high malt wort zinc levels.
• Ethanol and heat stresses have a synergistic and accelerated effect on mortality and on released zinc cell content of the lager strain B.
• Yeast cells of the lager strain B killed by temperature, ethanol and temperature/ethanol stresses lose magnesium and reduced their intracellular ATP levels. This phenomenon might have depended on alterations in plasma membrane permeability.• Generally, a relationship appeared to exist between cell zinc loss and decrease in viability.
• Control and correct management of the physico-chemical properties of the environment are essential to avoid stresses leading to diminished fermentation performance and zinc loss.
• Further investigations are necessary to establish the role of zinc in stress protection, including the determination of the optimal intracellular zinc content for plasma membrane stability during chemical and physical stresses.

7.4 Summary
The results of the research presented in this chapter showed that:
• In batch culture, in conditions of zinc depletion, the growth of the brewing strain B was not arrested but considerably impaired as was ethanol production.
• In chemostat continuous culture, in conditions of zinc limitation, the fermentative profiles of zinc limited cultures of the haploid strain CEN.PK-113D were similar to those found in nitrogen or carbon limited cultures.
• In anaerobic chemostat continuous culture, acetate and glycerol production rates were higher compared with nitrogen and carbon-limitations. This was probably due to a redox problem. Higher production of acetate may indicate a limited capacity of ADH for ethanol production.
• In zinc-limited chemostat continuous culture, in both anaerobic and aerobic conditions, zinc supplementation to cells in steady state produced an immediate increase in biomass yield, glucose consumption and CO2 production. These changes were presumably due to immediate uptake of zinc ions by yeast cells from the growth medium.
• The establishment of zinc-limitation conditions in chemostat continuous culture has allowed the identification of Zn-signature transcripts obtained by DNA microarrays. The determination of up and down regulated genes during zinc-limitation will generate important information for both fundamental research and practical applications in biotechnology. The former is aimed at understanding the role of zinc in yeast physiology. The latter is aimed at determining specific sets of genes (zinc-responsive molecular biomarkers), to be used to detect zinc cellular deficiency in yeast during industrial processes.

JFTR he thanks "Heineken Supply Chain, European Social Fund (ESF) and the American Society of Brewing Chemists (ASBC) for financial support....I greatly appreciate all the help received during my experiments in the pilot plant at Heineken Supply Chain." His Lager B and C strains came from Heineken, so should be Frohberg types similar to 34/70 - I guess the project started before Heineken took over Scottish & Newcastle, his Lager A came from Scottish Courage in Edinburgh, so presumably the yeast used at Fountainbridge for such quality drinks as Kestrel lager.
 
Last edited:

Cavpilot2000

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 11, 2017
Messages
1,561
Reaction score
1,107
Location
Boston, Unterfranken
I agree with that advice. Considering that a good light lager water is likely to have little mineral and zinc content, adding a zinc supplement is wise.

Mashing and boiling at a slightly higher pH does enhance the reduction of DMS. Post-boil wort pH reduction can help improve crispness in the beer if the yeast can’t get the pH down adequately.
Not directly related to the thread, so slight derail:
Martin, I am a step-infusion brewer. I've been using BNW for years and devising my own adaptations of BNW to step infusion mashing, but is there any version of BNW on the horizon that would account for phased infusion mashes?

As it is, I use the "mash" portion of water for my strike water to set initial pH as if it were a single infusion, then I use the "sparge" portion for all my infusion and sparge water. More steps would be great to better predict and track pH.
 
Last edited:

Clyde McCoy

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 1, 2020
Messages
189
Reaction score
209

mabrungard

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Feb 22, 2011
Messages
6,115
Reaction score
2,129
Location
Carmel
Not directly related to the thread, so slight derail:
Martin, I am a step-infusion brewer. I've been using BNW for years and devising my own adaptations of BNW to step infusion mashing, but is there any version of BNW on the horizon that would account for phased infusion mashes?

Never thought of needing that, but that is an interesting aspect. One reason that I'm far less concerned with intermediate pH's, is that I found that pH varies significantly during the mash. Depending upon the fineness of your crush, the time to have mashing pH stabilize differs. In the case of a ASBC grain pH procedure, the grist is ground very fine and they consider the testing period complete at 30 minutes. But for those of us that have to lauter their wort, it does take more time. For my somewhat fine crush, I find that it takes about 45 minutes for the pH to become stable. I can imagine that a coarser crush could extend that time.

So, I believe that its largely the final pH that deserves the greatest concern and attention. Can you help me understand why those intermediate pH's might matter and what a prediction would do for you?

Bryan I'm not familiar with the Servomyces production method, but I know that boiling would help lyse (break open) yeast cells and adding it to the boil may be very necessary if White Labs isn't pre-grinding or -lysing the cells as part of their production.
 

Clyde McCoy

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 1, 2020
Messages
189
Reaction score
209
Never thought of needing that, but that is an interesting aspect. One reason that I'm far less concerned with intermediate pH's, is that I found that pH varies significantly during the mash. Depending upon the fineness of your crush, the time to have mashing pH stabilize differs. In the case of a ASBC grain pH procedure, the grist is ground very fine and they consider the testing period complete at 30 minutes. But for those of us that have to lauter their wort, it does take more time. For my somewhat fine crush, I find that it takes about 45 minutes for the pH to become stable. I can imagine that a coarser crush could extend that time.

So, I believe that its largely the final pH that deserves the greatest concern and attention. Can you help me understand why those intermediate pH's might matter and what a prediction would do for you?

Bryan I'm not familiar with the Servomyces production method, but I know that boiling would help lyse (break open) yeast cells and adding it to the boil may be very necessary if White Labs isn't pre-grinding or -lysing the cells as part of their production.

A few follow-ups here:

Is the zinc supplement used by pro brewers typically zinc sulfate (ZnSO4)? In the Pliny brew log Russian River adds "zinc" during the whirlpool in the form of 11 ml.

How does pH typically change during the mash? E.g. before, during, and after?

Somewhat related, what is your view on knockout/pitch pH? My understanding is that a low knockout pH of ~5.0 promotes/accelerates a healthy fermentation.

Thanks in advance!
 

Cavpilot2000

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 11, 2017
Messages
1,561
Reaction score
1,107
Location
Boston, Unterfranken
Never thought of needing that, but that is an interesting aspect. One reason that I'm far less concerned with intermediate pH's, is that I found that pH varies significantly during the mash. Depending upon the fineness of your crush, the time to have mashing pH stabilize differs. In the case of a ASBC grain pH procedure, the grist is ground very fine and they consider the testing period complete at 30 minutes. But for those of us that have to lauter their wort, it does take more time. For my somewhat fine crush, I find that it takes about 45 minutes for the pH to become stable. I can imagine that a coarser crush could extend that time.

So, I believe that its largely the final pH that deserves the greatest concern and attention. Can you help me understand why those intermediate pH's might matter and what a prediction would do for you?

Bryan I'm not familiar with the Servomyces production method, but I know that boiling would help lyse (break open) yeast cells and adding it to the boil may be very necessary if White Labs isn't pre-grinding or -lysing the cells as part of their production.

So as to not further derail the thread, I'll PM you tomorrow.
 
OP
OP
Silver_Is_Money

Silver_Is_Money

Larry Sayre, Developer of 'Mash Made Easy'
Joined
Dec 31, 2016
Messages
6,277
Reaction score
2,050
Location
N/E Ohio
Sounds right to me. Just pointing out that a mash pH of 5.5-5.6 is higher than what Kimmich is recommending (and in fact warns against). Although a mash pH of 5.3 (upper limit of Kimmich) at mash temperature isn't that far off pH 5.5 at room temperature, so maybe there is less conflict here than I thought.

If (for room temperature pH measurement throughout) the mash is carried out at no higher than 5.8 (Rochefort would say 5.9 here), but then you acidify post mash and lautering plus all sparge run off to hit 5.4 pre-boil in the kettle, and then you lastly acidify within the kettle again, at the tail end of the boil, or alternately completely post boil, to hit 5.0 to 5.2 going into the fermenter, you are meeting the Kimmich criteria. He is clearly making compromises which walk a very fine line in doing only a single acidification.

Boiling at 5.4 (room temperature measured) initial pH allows for a compromise* wherein you get decent hop utilization while at the same time mitigating Maillard induced color rise during the boil. Then acidifying to 5.0-5.2 leading into the fermenter helps the yeast to bring the final beer into a pH range that is below the range where bacteria can thrive, promoting longer term freshness. Rochefort intentionally hits 5.2 pH here to hit their desired target flavor profile while adequately addressing the bacteria survival pH threshold.

compromise*:
*The lower the Wort pH is leading into the boil, the less utilization one receives from the hops. Less utilization means more hops will need to be added. *The higher the pH at the onset of boil, the higher the beers final color.
 

Mer-man

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 10, 2014
Messages
867
Reaction score
224
Location
Copenhagen, Denmark
Servomyces works for adding zinc, but that stuff is outrageously expensive.

Buy the big pack (500g?) and split it with friends. Because it's dead yeast, if you keep it sealed from air and cold, it will keep basically forever. I spoke to the product manager in UK about this and he said long term storage won't have a meaningful effect on it.

Meanwhile, I have enough for a lifetime ahahah.
 

Mer-man

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 10, 2014
Messages
867
Reaction score
224
Location
Copenhagen, Denmark
...
compromise*:
*The lower the Wort pH is leading into the boil, the less utilization one receives from the hops. Less utilization means more hops will need to be added. *The higher the pH at the onset of boil, the higher the beers final color.

Just want to point out that if you boil a high pH wort gently, you can still have a very pale beer.
 
Top