Lactic Acid For Mash ?

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I think i have worked out why my lighter/larger style AG beers dont come out as well as my big Bock & Ale ones. It could be the PH. So what (if anything) do u guys use to lower the mash PH in these style of beers? Can you use Lactic Acid or something else, and if so i cant see why you could not use it for all mashs as it is buffed at about 3.5 ? i think. A little acid but as i understand it up to 5.0 is fine for beer.
Maybe one of you smart blokes could fill be in on the details
The best thing would be to grab a hold of your water supplier's water quality report. This will detail the concentrations of all the ions we care about. Once you know these concentrations, Palmer ( has an excellent section on water/mash chemistry.
My next door neighbour is a chemical engineer and runs his own chemical engineering business.

Over one of my brews we discussing lower ph in the mash.
I asked him what he thought was better - Lactic Acid or Phospheric acid.

He has given me a 500ml bottle of 88% Lactic Acid for PH adjustment.
He tells me that Lactic Acid - that he gets is natural - and not as harsh as Phospheric - esp in flavour.
Note that i have not used any acid for adjusting ph yet....
an u probably need more lactic acid than Phospheric (been told that this is what is in coke and the levels of Phospheric make it dangerous cargo - hence the trucks carrying coke have hazchem on them, also been told that this acid leaches the calcium out of your bones and is very bad for you. But at the concentrations brewers use to adjust PH this should not be a problem)

Once I get a PH meter - then i will start adjusting PH Levels.
Also read somewhere that Mash hopping helps with PH Buffering.

If i am wrong on the mash hopping - sure someone on the board will point it out.

Hope this helps.
hi sjw
i havent used it but ph adjustments can be achieved by using acidulated malt.

big d
I have used phosphoric acid to adjust the pH of the sparge water. From listening to folks who have tried to adjust the mash pH it is like trying to turn the ocean yellow by pissing in it. The buffering power of the mash makes it hopeless.

Anyway - the phos acid worked a treat, only needed a few drops to get the sparge water pH right down and my final runnings (for a pils) was under 5.6 IIRC.


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