sparge water acidification?

Discussion in 'Homebrewing' started by cracker, Mar 25, 2013.

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  1. cracker

    cracker Initiate (0) May 2, 2004 Pennsylvania

    Do any of you who batch sparge acidify your sparge water to keep mash pH stable and thus prevent tannin extraction? I know it's probably a good idea if you fly sparge. I've heard that it's not so critical when batch sparging but am beginning to think I should. Thoughts?
     
  2. hopfenunmaltz

    hopfenunmaltz Meyvn (1,397) Jun 8, 2005 Michigan

    I make sure it is below a pH of 6, but using RO water I probably don't have to do it. Usualy 2 drops of phosphoric for a 10 gallons batches sparge water is all it takes.

    Do you know what your water's alkalinity is like? There are calculators for this, try Brunwater.
     
  3. cracker

    cracker Initiate (0) May 2, 2004 Pennsylvania

    Yes it's 89ppm (as CaCO3). Moderate alkalinity...
     
  4. hopfenunmaltz

    hopfenunmaltz Meyvn (1,397) Jun 8, 2005 Michigan

    With a guess of an 8.3 pH (that is just a guess), you would need 0.1 tsp/gallon of 88% lactic acid to get to a alkalinity of 16.

    Best to download Brunwater and do the calculations yourself.
     
  5. cracker

    cracker Initiate (0) May 2, 2004 Pennsylvania

    Thanks I'll take a look at it. I've been using another spreadsheet for mash water additions. My pH is ~8.9 to 9.1
     
  6. inchrisin

    inchrisin Initiate (0) Sep 25, 2008 Indiana

    Off the top of your head, do you know how lactic acid stacks up to phosphoric acid? I have lactic acid I'd like to use, and I think both are 80% or 88%. I don't have the bottle in front of me. :slight_smile:
     
  7. hopfenunmaltz

    hopfenunmaltz Meyvn (1,397) Jun 8, 2005 Michigan

    Usually 88% for lactic, you will need less. It can have flavor impact, so use caution - some stuff on Braukaiser.
    Phosphoric is weaker, but has little flavor impact.
     
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  8. inchrisin

    inchrisin Initiate (0) Sep 25, 2008 Indiana

    http://braukaiser.com/wiki/index.php?title=Lactate_Taste_Threshold_experiment

    Holy crap that sounds way too forgiving:
    Conclusion

    It was surprisingly difficult for panelists to pick out beers that had lactate added even at levels that correspond to an equivalent acidulated malt use of 13% and higher. Note that the acidity of the lactic acid was neutralized with slaked lime. A general recommendation for home brewers is to keep the use of acidulated malt below 5%, which corresponds to a level of 264 mg/l added lactate in a 12 Plato beer with 85% efficiency into kettle. Many of the panelists were not able to pick up the added lactate at a level of about 400 mg/l which corresponds to about 7.5% acidulated malt. Based on that we can safely say that even 8% acidulated malt won't ruin a beer if that amount is needed to counteract water alkalinity.
     
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