Back to Shopping at NorthernBrewer.com

Acid addition for batch-sparger

Am a newb when it comes to water chemistry. It is my final frontier in brewing.

Tried to use Bru’nwater, but it was too complicated and non-user-friendly. A buddy recommended “Ezy water,” and I found it to be sooo much easier to use and understand.

Anyhow, I am crafting a Belgium Blond, and using 2 gals wellwater/8 gals distilled, with salt additions of 1g Gypsum, 1/2g Epsom Salt, and 2g Cal Chloride at mash-in. I am also using those same amounts of salts at the beginning of the boil. Sound legit (I know I am giving extremely low background info, just wondering if what I’ve said so far sounds incredibly way off somehow)?

Secondly, Ezywater tells me if I add 3ml of lactic acid it will bring my MASH soundly into the sweet-spot of 5.5 pH (my grist and my salts brought it down some, but it seems acid addition is needed to get it there all the way).

Other than “does this sound right?” in general; my main question is: when do I add the acid? I am assuming I do so during the strike (beginning of mash), and not during “sparge.” Keep in mind I am a batch-sparge brewer and my sparge-water could be considered 1)strikewater itself 2) infusion water just before first runoff or, 3) second runoff water

Denny, Mark Twain, other batch-sparge and/or chemists?

First thing the will ask for is your water report do you have one ?

For a light colored beer like that you can add acid (phosphoric or lactic, but I prefer phosphoric) to get your water pH down to 6.0 or so. That should get your mash down to the 5.2 range. Go slow with the acid, it is easy to overshoot. The amount of acid you need will vary depending on your water, but you can use this method with a pH meter for just about any water profile. I add all my salts ahead of time, and acidify both mash and sparge water, as do several of the professional brewers in my area (we have fairly alkaline water). The calcium will help with mash acidification, and the sulfate/chloride will still be there to influence flavor later. Knowing how much calcium, sulfate and chloride is in your water will help determine how much you really need to add as well.

yes i have water profile and plugged all the numbers into the EZYwater blocks. No probs there. Like I said, I’m a batchsparge guy. I guess I will add half the acid at strike, then the other half for second runoff. It really doesnt equate to how fly spargers do it, the way I see it.(?)

Easy doesn’t necessarily equal accurate. My results using Bru’nwater were far superior to what I git using EZWater.

[quote=“beermebeavis”]Am a newb when it comes to water chemistry. It is my final frontier in brewing.

Tried to use Bru’nwater, but it was too complicated and non-user-friendly. A buddy recommended “Ezy water,” and I found it to be sooo much easier to use and understand.

Anyhow, I am crafting a Belgium Blond, and using 2 gals wellwater/8 gals distilled, with salt additions of 1g Gypsum, 1/2g Epsom Salt, and 2g Cal Chloride at mash-in. I am also using those same amounts of salts at the beginning of the boil. Sound legit (I know I am giving extremely low background info, just wondering if what I’ve said so far sounds incredibly way off somehow)?

Secondly, Ezywater tells me if I add 3ml of lactic acid it will bring my MASH soundly into the sweet-spot of 5.5 pH (my grist and my salts brought it down some, but it seems acid addition is needed to get it there all the way).

Other than “does this sound right?” in general; my main question is: when do I add the acid? I am assuming I do so during the strike (beginning of mash), and not during “sparge.” Keep in mind I am a batch-sparge brewer and my sparge-water could be considered 1)strikewater itself 2) infusion water just before first runoff or, 3) second runoff water

Denny, Mark Twain, other batch-sparge and/or chemists?[/quote]

First exposure to BrunWater can seem like trying to sip from a fire hose. There are lots of moving parts. Fortunately, Martin has included LOTS of info to help you make it work and it turns out that you don’t have to understand all those moving parts.

Spend an hour reading the instructions (a couple of times), put in your water info, and magically you’ll have the answer to the question you asked.

I really am an old dog, but the BrunWater trick was worth the effort. I haven’t tried EZWater, but your question tells me it doesn’t provide some of the info I want. Finally, BrunWater has given me good results.

[quote=“beermebeavis”]
Other than “does this sound right?” in general; my main question is: when do I add the acid? I am assuming I do so during the strike (beginning of mash), and not during “sparge.” Keep in mind I am a batch-sparge brewer and my sparge-water could be considered 1)strikewater itself 2) infusion water just before first runoff or, 3) second runoff water

Denny, Mark Twain, other batch-sparge and/or chemists?[/quote]

If you know you are going to need the same amount of acid for your mash and 2nd sparge, You could just add all your acid up front to your HLT.

If you are not sure how much you will need, you will have to add it when needed.

Personally, after mineral additions to meet my target water styles, I don’t use acid in the mash. If it get’s to that point, I start subbing Distilled water for a % of my tap. My calculations (Bru’nWater) always indicates I need it in my 2nd sparge if I’m going to use it.
That’s what seems to work for me so far.

Here’s a “walk through” for Bru’nwater that may be helpful.

http://accidentalis.com/archives/275

OK guys thanks. So, one of my questions was, “‘when’ do I add acids - during first sparge or second or in liqour tank or what??” kerms and dsiets especially - thanks for that info. Also, I didn’t realize Bru’nwater could break it down for you and tell you when to add acid, but sounds like it does. I may have to take another look at it.

BTW, adding distilled water doesn’t always solve the problem. My batch yesterday was 80 percent distilled water but needed acid.

[quote=“beermebeavis”]OK guys thanks. So, one of my questions was, “‘when’ do I add acids - during first sparge or second or in liqour tank or what??” kerms and dsiets especially - thanks for that info. Also, I didn’t realize Bru’nwater could break it down for you and tell you when to add acid, but sounds like it does. I may have to take another look at it.

BTW, adding distilled water doesn’t always solve the problem. My batch yesterday was 80 percent distilled water but needed acid.[/quote]

There’s no reason using distilled water would make an acid addition unnecessary…as you’ve found!

Also, why are you doing 2 sparges? Unless your cooler isn’t big enough to hold all the sparge water at once, one sparge is enough.

[quote=“Denny”]Here’s a “walk through” for Bru’nwater that may be helpful.

http://accidentalis.com/archives/275[/quote]

thanks for posting that link Denny! I’ve been using Brunwater for a while now. I add lactic acid to my sparge water prior to boiling it. I’ve had pretty good luck using brunwater to dial in for my mash but I’ve noticed no matter how much lactic acid I add brunwater won’t get my mash pH inline. So I’ve been using that magic 5.2 stuff.

The walk through pointed out that you need to select the “water used for mash” field to adjusted water. That helps!

So now I find that for a pale ale for example, I have to add 1.0 ml of lactic acid per pound to get pH to 5.4.

Your beer will be much better once you quit using the 5.2.

Yes it will. It makes beer salty tasting.

Yes it will. It makes beer salty tasting.[/quote]

I’ve heard this before but of course others chime in and say they use it all the time. I’ve never noticed any off taste from it personally but I don’t claim to have the most well developed palate either.

Also, why are you doing 2 sparges? Unless your cooler isn’t big enough to hold all the sparge water at once, one sparge is enough.[/quote]

…About 14(?) years ago, I read a BYO or Zymurgy article written by yourself describing “batch-sparge method of brewing”. There were several pictures provided as well, showing mash tun design, etc (It was a rectangular cooler with stainless braid, BTW).

Anyhow, it described how you make two runoffs to produce your wort. The first runoff yielding approx 1/2 your total wort, and the second runoff yielding the remainder.

My very-general routine for a normal (60OG) brew: MASH-- grist = 12 lbs; strikewater = 4 gallons. Add 1 gallon infusion (boiling) before first runoff. Add second-runoff liqourwater into tun = 4 gallons water; and runoff. That yields about 7.5 gallons wort.

To me, that is sparging “twice”. But maybe semantics are confusing me as to what you mean, sir.

…About 14(?) years ago, I read a BYO or Zymurgy article written by yourself describing “batch-sparge method of brewing”. There were several pictures provided as well, showing mash tun design, etc (It was a rectangular cooler with stainless braid, BTW).

Anyhow, it described how you make two runoffs to produce your wort. The first runoff yielding approx 1/2 your total wort, and the second runoff yielding the remainder.

My very-general routine for a normal (60OG) brew: MASH-- grist = 12 lbs; strikewater = 4 gallons. Add 1 gallon infusion (boiling) before first runoff. Add second-runoff liqourwater into tun = 4 gallons water; and runoff. That yields about 7.5 gallons wort.

To me, that is sparging “twice”. But maybe semantics are confusing me as to what you mean, sir.[/quote]

Yeah, the terminology does seem to get misunderstood. In that BYO article, I defined “sparge” as adding water. So you drain the mash, then you add water for a sparge. To me, that’s a single sparge.

Ok, sir. Thank you very much. I think I have a good, educated view on it now.

Back to Shopping at NorthernBrewer.com