Lactose addition question

Discussion in 'Beginners Brewing Forum' started by VagrantMind, Oct 24, 2020.

  1. VagrantMind

    VagrantMind New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2020
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    6
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Hello everyone!
    Apologies for the length.
    I'm looking for some guidance and experiences on adding lactose. I recently brewed an extract batch of imperial chocolate milk stout.
    https://www.brewersfriend.com/homebrew/recipe/view/1647/chocolate-imperial-stout

    The last comment is from me and includes the modifications we made to the original.
    After 4 days in primary I checked gravity. It was 1.025 so pretty much hit our mark. The recipe didn't call for lactose until secondary. This was our first time using lactose so we were just trying to follow the recipe. Last night we racked into secondary for clarification and to introduce the lactose. We brought about a pint of water to boil with the lactose for about 5 minutes to dissolve and sterilize, then let it cool to about 95° before adding it into secondary, before racking the beer on top. After we finished racking we noticed a white layer on the bottom of the secondary under the beer. It looks as though the lactose solution crystallized and remained separate from the beer.?
    The only thought I have is that the temperature difference caused the lactose to crystalize....
    Anyone ever have this happen?
    Any thoughts on how to get this to mix into the brew?
    All replies welcome and thanks in advance!
    Cheers!
     
  2. Josh Hughes

    Josh Hughes Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2020
    Messages:
    817
    Likes Received:
    1,889
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Teacher
    Location:
    KY
    Im sure someone can help you here. I have only added towards the end of a boil so I cant comment. Welcome to the forum!
     
  3. VagrantMind

    VagrantMind New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2020
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    6
    Trophy Points:
    3
    I look forward to it and thanks! Seems like a whole world of knowledge here.
     
  4. Donoroto

    Donoroto Member

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2020
    Messages:
    65
    Likes Received:
    60
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Atlanta
    Lactose has a solubility of about 190 grams per liter at 25C. A pound is 454 g, so it will dissolve completely in 2.5 liters of water, and you have ten times that amount of water/wort. It is possible that some lactose precipitated out of the (pint) of water as it cooled to 95F, but it should eventually re-dissolve in the full wort volume.

    Let us know if the white layer has reduced or disappeared in the meantime. I am curious.

    Disclaimer: Never used lactose, but I am familiar with the chemistry of solutions.
     
    VagrantMind likes this.
  5. VagrantMind

    VagrantMind New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2020
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    6
    Trophy Points:
    3
    So far, it looks as though it's the same. I'm debating giving it a swirl to try to incorporate it in but don't want to oxygenate the beer. My other thought was to rack again, leaving behind a half gallon or so and really swirling that together before adding it to the rest so I'm only agitating the least amount necessary to get this lactose mixed in.

    Maybe my beer is lactose intolerant
     
    Mark Farrall likes this.
  6. Mark Farrall

    Mark Farrall Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2017
    Messages:
    1,302
    Likes Received:
    1,423
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Melbourne Australia
    Not many sane ideas myself to explain this, but I did want to emphasise one of the best/worst jokes of today.

    Have you tried dissolving a small sample of the remaining lactose and see if it behaves the same?
     
    VagrantMind likes this.
  7. VagrantMind

    VagrantMind New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2020
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    6
    Trophy Points:
    3
    I don't have any leftover lactose that wasn't already added. I'm quite miffed.
    Unless you're talking about the stuff on the bottom of the carboy? In that case I haven't racked off of that yet. Thinking about doing it tomorrow as something to try...
    Cheers
     
  8. Mark Farrall

    Mark Farrall Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2017
    Messages:
    1,302
    Likes Received:
    1,423
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Melbourne Australia
    I was thinking leftover lactose. Though playing with the stuff in the carboy may give some clues. Though too late to do much about anything.
     
  9. VagrantMind

    VagrantMind New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2020
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    6
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Update: transferred to tertiary last night. Gravity reading was at 1.031 so it went up a bit since lactose addition. I'm assuming that means some was absorbed. There was still quite a considerable amount of settled lactose slurry at the bottom of the carboy before transfer. Not sure how many points per pound are expected. It definitely tastes better, less hoppy,more smooth. Cocoa is apparent in the nose and taste but I'm looking for more. Going to go to individual gallons with other test additions soon. Then bottling
     
    Megary and Trialben like this.

Share This Page

arrow_white