acidifying sparge water...how?

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by oliver, Dec 16, 2017.

  1. soccerdad

    soccerdad Well-Known Member

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    My situation is different since I BIAB. My mash water and sparge water are one and the same. My water is such that dark beers pretty much acidity themselves, and for light colored beers I can add 1 to 4 ounces of Sauermalz (German acidulated malt) to acidity the water.

    I am not 100% clear on this, but I believe acidulated malt was developed by the Germans to abide by the Reinheitsgebot and use only water, malt, hops and yeast
     
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  2. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    so whats the question
     
  3. oliver

    oliver Well-Known Member

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    so now I'm thinking if the pH of DI water isn't really 7, and the CO2 in the air drops it significantly, plus any other things getting in when applying heat to it before grains go in, than I've been miscalculating in the first place, and don't need as much acid going in before the grains, yes?
     
  4. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    It would seem to be the case Oliver according to Ozarks thoughts sone carbon dioxide absorption gee it's pretty technical. What's wrong with your tap water?

    Have you got a PH meter handy that will give you a definitive answer on PH?
    Yeah I'd be hesitant on adding half a mil even of acid. Like I said my water is around 7ph or there abouts and I've more than once gone one to many drops and dropped PH easily below 5ph! It doesn't take much to drop neutral water down under 6. Remember you only need it below 6 Ph on the sparge to reduce " tannin extraction" from the grains.
     
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  5. ACBEV

    ACBEV Active Member

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    I like to keep things as simple as possible. I modify all my brew water before I start, in most cases for me between 5.8 - 6.0, depending on malts.

    It is important to measure PH at 20c/68f, or you are comparing oranges with elephants.
     
  6. oliver

    oliver Well-Known Member

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    Ca...Mg...Na...Cl...SO4...CaCO3...pH
    48...12....30....38...17......148........9.2

    I think that report is from 2014 or 2015...And the water changes per season. They add stuff depending on the weather and if the brain eating amoeba (not joking about that) get into the water supply. Among a bunch of chlorine and other garbage in the water here, I'll never make another beer again in New Orleans without using DI water or using a serious filtration system. It's just so much easier to build up from DI.
     
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  7. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Same problem here. Water varies - I noticed that I was getting different mash pH values with the same treatment at different times of the year. And yes, I know of the brain eating amoeba AND the flesh-eating bacteria that occasionally get into the water that far down the estuary. Important to keep in mind: Water pH is not the relevant measurement, mash pH is. Mash pH depends on the amount of calcium, magnesium and carbonate in your water, plus the composition of your grist. Managing the mash pH will do nice things for your beer like make the malts more pronounced, giving the beer a more lively flavor, helping it clear better, improving your conversion efficiency. Sparge pH is simply to ensure you don't extract tannins from the grain husks. I usually control it to pH 5.4 using the Brewer's Friend calculator. If you came up with zero, for some reason your water was already acidic enough that the resultant amount of acid was less than or equal to zero. Either that or some input, likely the water analysis, was missing. It's a tool problem, not a water problem.
     
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  8. Matt Fuctard

    Matt Fuctard New Member

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    Yes it most definitely will. I overdid it once and it tasted like a red wine vinegar pale ale.
     
  9. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    if your making small batches you can boil the tap water, decant off the solids then add a campden tablet and it should help some
     

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