lactic acid or phosphoric acid?

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North_of_60

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This is my first time adding acid to my mash. It’s a Blonde Ale, the recipe and MME numbers are attached.

Is 7.08 ml a lot of lactic acid for an 8 gallon BIAB full volume mash for a 5 gallon batch? Am I going to get a sour taste?

At what point should I consider using phosphoric acid?

This Blonde is the lightest beer that I make. My Oatmeal Stout only calls for 2.76 ml of lactic acid. My stouts and porters taste pretty good with no additions. Though, I think lowering the pH will help them be even better. My Irish Red was ok but definitely could have used some help. So if I can be ok with 7 ml lactic acid in my Blonde I will only have to keep one kind of acid in the house. I like to keep things simple. Thanks.
 

Silver_Is_Money

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Others will toss up a huge red flag to Lactic Acid at this quantity and recommend phosphoric acid instead, but Kai Troester (Braukaiser) once stated that from his testing it was determined that acidulated malt (malt that is sprayed with lactic acid) can be used at up to 8% of grist weight without likely flavor detection. If one assumes that acidulated malt is roughly 3% lactic acid by weight, that comes close to an upper limit of 10 mL of 88% Lactic Acid for a ballpark 5.5 to 6 gallon batch.

Interestingly enough, the beer in which high concentrations of lactic acid proved hardest for Kai's assembled group of testers to detect was Bud Light. He attributed this to their lack of familiarity with that beer.

Clearly though, if you want to be completely safe, go with phosphoric acid. The problem as I see it is that your 144 ppm of alkalinity is clearly on the high side for a Blonde Ale.

PS: Mash Made Easy is now at version 2.35, and it will likely reduce the need for acid slightly. Base wheat malt has its own drop-down, as does Carapils. These two corrections will increase your need for acid. But then again, Briess 2-Row Brewers should be set to "5.63 to 5.68 DI_pH" (see drop down at lower right) and this will remove some need for acid.
 
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North_of_60

North_of_60

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I’m kind of ignorant on this subject. I thought the acid reduced the alkalinity. What can I do about the alkalinity and where should it be? Should I blend in some RO water?

I attached my water sheet and my Ft Worth Water report. I may have filled out the water sheet incorrectly.
 

Silver_Is_Money

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You should take mid-range average values for your water, as opposed to entering the maximum detected limits for each constituent. But unfortunately your local water has high alkalinity.

Yes, acid reduces alkalinity. And so would cutting your local water say 50/50 with RO. Does your city water have chlorine and/or chloramines added as a bactericide?
 

Silver_Is_Money

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As to your Stouts and Porters, these two types of ale may benefit flavor-wise from setting your target mash pH to 5.50 as opposed to 5.40. This change in pH target may eliminate any software calculated need for a lactic acid addition, and make your ~126 ppm alkalinity water (when averaged) just about ideal for these two ale types.
 

z-bob

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I have used 6ml of lactic acid in a very light-colored 4 gallon recipe that turned out extremely well with no off-tastes. And you are way below that level.
 

mabrungard

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7 ml of 88% lactic in 8 gallons of water is not in danger of incurring taste effects in the resulting beer. No need to worry, but phosphoric is a less-flavorful option for acidification. I prefer the lactic.

Its not until your dosage gets into the 1.5 ml / gallon of 88% lactic that you need to worry.
 

Silver_Is_Money

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Here is what your recipe looks like after I tossed a few fixes at it. In the end not significantly all that different. Chaos theory at work. In the end a handful of changes that I made resulted in a mash pH difference of only 0.05 pH points (as to get 7.08 mL of lactic acid as the answer in match of your result, I had to set the mash pH target to 5.35). Some changes I made moved it in one direction, and other changes I made moved it in the other direction, and chaos theory blended all of them into what was in the end close to a net wash.

Blond Ale.png


The changes I made:
----------------------------
1) Took mid-ranges on your source water analyticals.
2) Used the proper drop-down selections for wheat malt and Carapils.
3) Set the DI_pH range for the 2-Row Brewers malt to 5.63 to 5.68.
4) Applied version 2.35 of 'MME' vs. version 2.30
5) Buffer default on version 2.35 is 35 vs. 40 for version 2.30
 
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North_of_60

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Thanks all of you for all the input. That’s good to know about the acid to mash ratio. I’ll use lactic acid.

Thanks Silver, I’ll download the newer version of MME and put the numbers in the way you did. Yes on the chlorine, I’ll use a half a campdon tablet in the mash water.

I’m out of state working now but will be home later this week. I’ll be brewing the Blonde then. I’m hoping to get my first great tasting light colored beer.

Martin, I can’t get Bru’n Water to open in Excell on my iPad. It says can’t open because it’s password protected. Is that an iPad thing? When I opened it on a computer it said circular reference in the pH box so it won’t work. It was and older version of Excell.
 

mabrungard

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Martin, I can’t get Bru’n Water to open in Excell on my iPad. It says can’t open because it’s password protected. Is that an iPad thing? When I opened it on a computer it said circular reference in the pH box so it won’t work. It was and older version of Excell.
Bru'n Water does employ circular references to refine it's recommendations. Users need to change a setting on their Excel or LibreOffice program to accommodate the circular calculations. In Excel, go to File/Options/Formulas and enable Iterative Calculation. In LibreOffice, go to Tools/Options/LibreOffice Calc/Calculate and enable Iterative References.

To my knowledge, Bru'n Water doesn't run on ipads or phones.
 
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Bru'n Water does employ circular references to refine it's recommendations. Users need to change a setting on their Excel or LibreOffice program to accommodate the circular calculations. In Excel, go to File/Options/Formulas and enable Iterative Calculation. In LibreOffice, go to Tools/Options/LibreOffice Calc/Calculate and enable Iterative References.

To my knowledge, Bru'n Water doesn't run on ipads or phones.

Thanks, I’ll try that when I get back to my computer..
 

TestTickle

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Old thread I know, but I just started researching the subject myself. Isn’t the lactic acid to water ratio based on final batch side, not mash water volume?
 

Silver_Is_Money

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Old thread I know, but I just started researching the subject myself. Isn’t the lactic acid to water ratio based on final batch side, not mash water volume?
If you are speaking of the flavor threshold, this would be correct.
 

TestTickle

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If you are speaking of the flavor threshold, this would be correct.
Yes, that what I meant. Regarding the MME spreadsheet, is there a reason that it states to only select one form of acid to achieve the target mash pH? Just curious if there is an issue with using more than one...for example, lactic and phosphoric acid in the same mash.
 

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Yes, that what I meant. Regarding the MME spreadsheet, is there a reason that it states to only select one form of acid to achieve the target mash pH? Just curious if there is an issue with using more than one...for example, lactic and phosphoric acid in the same mash.
I have used lactic in the mash and phosphoric to acidity the sparge water before. It works just fine. (now I don't bother acidifying the sparge)
 

Silver_Is_Money

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Yes, that what I meant. Regarding the MME spreadsheet, is there a reason that it states to only select one form of acid to achieve the target mash pH? Just curious if there is an issue with using more than one...for example, lactic and phosphoric acid in the same mash.
If you fully and properly understand how to ratio them on a mEq basis you can use more than one if you desire. Nothing is stopping you from doing so. But the MME spreadsheets output gives you the quantities required for each individual acid to accomplish the task of moving the mash to the pH target independent of the others, so the mixing (or blending) of acids is not something it was ever intended to be used for.
 

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