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Lager question

Discussion in 'General Recipe Discussion' started by Doctormcbrewdle, 4/11/17.

 

  1. Doctormcbrewdle

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    Posted 4/11/17
    Hi all

    I'm looking to make a commercial type clean, crisp quaffable eu lager. I've always had a little trouble with mine being a tadd too tasty using all grain malts. I'm looking at using 5 or so percent simple sugar to dry it out but then I go and think about the German purity law so they're definitely not using sugars in the big breweries.

    What suggestions would you give on achieving this outcome? Are they watering their product down to lower fg? they measure around 1.008 taken from a flattened bottle left open overnight and mine finish around 1.012 using pilsner malt to the same abv
     
  2. 2cranky

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    Posted 4/11/17
    Hi DrMac
    Have you tried:
    Gladfields German Pilsner Malt

    From the website:

    What is it?
    Base malt modelled after popular European pilsner malts.

    How does it taste?
    Slight raw dough character, no malt taste and with an outstanding clean finish.
    What does it add to the beer? – Solid malt backbone with minimal flavour, also it is plain, simple and offers plenty of flexibility.

    Typical Beer Styles:
    Base malt for traditional European style beers and Belgian style beers.

    Typical Usage Rates:
    Up to 100%

    If you mash lower you can 1.008. My Czech Pilsner finished at 1.009.
     
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  3. Gloveski

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    Posted 4/11/17
    As above try lowering your mash temp
     
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  4. Doctormcbrewdle

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    Posted 8/11/17
    Thanks guys.
    Question, can I use my pool acid (hydrochloric acid 310g p/litre) to lower mash ph? And what ph am I aiming for?
     
  5. warra48

    I've drunk all my homebrew and I'm still worried.

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    Posted 8/11/17
    Do yourself a favour, and use a product we know works well in brewing. I use it, and I'm still alive.
    http://www.brewman.com.au/web/showproduct.asp?prodid=870
     
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  6. Gloveski

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    Posted 8/11/17
    Use phosphoric or lactic aim for a ph of about 5.2 . Just starting to play around with water adjustments myself
     
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  7. Lyrebird_Cycles

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    Posted 8/11/17
    I routinely use sulphuric acid as a mash pH adjuster, you could also use hydrochloric.

    Note that you'll need to take the anion into account for your mash and kettle salt additions. Since I don't make any beers with high chloride levels it works out for me.
     
    Last edited: 8/11/17
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  8. labels

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    Posted 8/11/17
    Personally, adding acid to the mash is a stab in the dark, guesswork and best left in the hands of alchemists.
    Before adding any acid to the mash you have to know the pH of the mash - not the water. Without this knowledge you're having a wild guess at best with an unknown and unmeasurable outcome. Do you know the pH buffering power of the mash? the point at which adding any more acid has a zero effect ?
    Going back to post No. 1, getting a drier, fully attenuated beer is not that hard without adding any adjuncts. A two-step mash is a good start allowing the mash to rest both in Alpha and Beta amylase range. A decent long boil, use a high attenuating yeast and most of all give the beer time. Lagers take five weeks at least to get to their best going through the propor temperature regimes along the way. Then you will win.
     
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  9. Brewman_

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    Posted 9/11/17
    German purity laws is why they use acidulated malt. They can't add acids, and adjust PH with this malt. We can do it that way or with say lactic acid, and sometimes it is a very convenient way to just build the malt into a recipe. I see this a lot, some guys add this to nearly everything.

    Eating acidulated malt is my favourite one, it tastes like a cross between a base malt and a war head lolly.

    Key to lagers / Pils is big healthy yeast pitches at the right temperature, which is another topic entirely
     
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  10. Bribie G

    Adjunct Professor

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    Posted 9/11/17
    I use a mix of lactic acid and calcium lactate. This buffers to a pH of .... over to you Brewman as you sell them.:cool:

    Works for me.
     
  11. MHB

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    Posted 9/11/17
    I don't agree at all!
    If you have a fair idea what your water is like, can read a COA and know the pH you want you can get pretty dam close to a target pH by adding Acid Malt.
    Yes using a decent pH meter would get you a lot more accurate and repeatable results. Even in distilled water the pH if you are brewing a pale beer you wont get down to ideal values, Acid malt is calibrated to reduce the pH by 0.1/1% of grist. Same sort of information is available for the common mash acidifying acids. It isn't just a stab in the dark.
    I do agree on mash regimes and yeast choices, personally I think the two indispensable ingredients in Lager brewing are really huge amounts of yeast and very good temperature control.
    Mark
     

    Attached Files:

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  12. Crusty

    The Electric Brewery

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    Posted 9/11/17
    I use acidulated malt in quite a lot of my beers to tweak my mash pH.
    Pretty small amounts in a 20L batch, up to 100gms or so depending on recipe.
     
  13. Droopy Brew

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    Posted 10/11/17
    Firstly, just like to ask the OP why are you concerned about German purity laws? You are a homebrewer, make what you like how you like IMO. You are not selling commercially in Germany so why bother? Most commercial breweries do use dex in their beers to thin them out- in Australia anyway.
    Secondly, if you use dex to prime, any salt additions or acid then you are not within these laws anyhow.

    And that brings me to Brewmans post- I'd be interested to know if acidulated malt is allowable under GPL. It is malt laced with lactic acid so surely the acid on the malt would break the law? Interesting one.
     
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  14. labels

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    Posted 10/11/17
    In response to MHB, the point I was making is 'you have to know something of the pH of your mash before trying to adjust it' simple science, don't just add acidulated malt because you think it's a good idea.

    As for Crusty and Droppy Brew, I can't argue your principals here, small amounts added BUT just adding without knowing of course comes back to just guessing. Droopy brew answer is why use acidulated when the only reason the Germans use it is to comply with the purity laws, just use lactic acid, gets the same results, makes sense, we're not in Germany.
     
  15. Crusty

    The Electric Brewery

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    Posted 10/11/17
    Whose guessing?
    My grain bill is input into a spreadsheet that has all the spec info on the grain together with a water analysis chart to give you a pretty spot on pH of the mash. Acidulated malt is added to the grain bill if needed to bring the mash pH to the desired level if it's still a touch high. It's also checked with a pH meter to verify.
    No guess work in my brewery, it's all about the numbers.
     
  16. Brewman_

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    Posted 10/11/17
    Acidulated Malt made at Weyermann. I doubt they'd make anything that couldn't be used in the home country.

    The thing with the acidulated malt is it is not laced with acid, rather developed on the malt. I found this below from Beer and brewer magazine on line.

    Quote:
    ___
    Acidulated
    is a pale malt (color: roughly 3 to 6 EBC/1.7 to 2.8 SRM) that has been subjected to a lactic acid fermentation after kilning and a second finishing drying cycle. The lactic-acid bacteria reside naturally in the malt. The purpose of acidulated malt is to reduce the pH value of the mash. Proper mash pH (5.4 to 5.6) helps assure the enzymatic performance on which the brewer relies to break down gums, proteins, and starches. It also leads to proper wort pH, which affects yeast performance during fermentation and the final flavor profile of the resulting beer. Every 1% of acidulated malt (by weight) of the total grain bill reduces the mash-pH by 0.1 point. In highly alkaline mashes, acidulated malt can make up as much as 10% of the grain bill.

    The optimum wort pH of most barley-based beers is 5.2, and of most wheat-based beers is 5.0. Measurement of the pH values from the mash-in to the finished beer informs the brewer if a pH correction is necessary and how much acidulated malt, if any, should be used in the mash.

    Acidulated malt is widely used in Germany, where the Beer Purity Law (Reinheitsgebot) proscribes the direct use of acids in the mash, the wort, or the finished beer. See reinheitsgebot.
    ___
    End quote.

    Cheers Steve
     
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  17. labels

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    Posted 10/11/17
    Sounds like you got things under control with some calcs and and measurements Crusty. Why would I have a problem with that when my last two posts specifically point adding stuff without knowing stuff?
     
  18. Brewman_

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    Posted 10/11/17
    The Lactic acid, or other acids, are a luxury that we can use because, true we aren't in Germany, and we are home brewers.

    Like many things in brewing, there is not always one answer that is right. There are many ways to achieve the result. Ask three brewers how to achieve a goal and likely get 4 answers.

    I know some brewers, me included have a set % of acidulated malt that are built into some recipes. Other times I'll use lactic acid.
    I like the convenience of the acidulated malt.
     
  19. Crusty

    The Electric Brewery

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    Posted 10/11/17
    All good.
    I was just replying to this part of your response about guessing without knowing.
    I usually verify with a pH meter against the spreadsheet but it's pretty close. I quite often add small amounts to a lot of my beers especially if the mash pH is too high. I also add brewing salts to get me in the ball park if I'm chasing a malt forward, hop forward or a balanced beer. I've never used acid so can't comment on that but the acidulated malt is something I always have on hand.
     
  20. Doctormcbrewdle

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    Posted 12/11/17
    Cheers guys

    Just in regard to yeast pitch. I understand that brewing at lager temps requires a hell of alot more yeast than ale. Is 2x Saflager 34/70 fine or should I go 3 sachets? Gets pretty expensive using 2 or 3 but if it's definitely better then I'll go with it. Thinking of brewing at 12 degrees with straight pilsner malt and hallertau at 60, 20 and 5(?) For a Euro type lager
     

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