The typical lightly kilned Pils malt will produce a wort pH of 5.7 to 5.8 with distilled water. Since you have the meter, a quick test should be easy to conduct. If the pH of the wort is lower than 5.7, it is likely that they are acidifying the grain. In many ways, acidification is a smart thing for a maltster to do. Most brewers have some alkalinity in their water source and they often don’t perform any treatment. So this is a way to get brewers to do something that is almost always needed.
Wow, that’s a huge correction! Much bigger than Martin recommends for Rahr malt. I’m kinda suspicious. Also, how about contacting Castke and asking them? It might end the guessing.[/quote]
Yeah, I was suspicious the first time. Figured I must have made a (big) measuring error. The second recipe was exactly the same as the first, except I used white wheat instead of red wheat. The third recipe was entirely different. The repeatability of the pH discrepancy and the consistency of my process tells me there’s something going on with the pilsen malt.
to figure out how to treat your water. When you’re entering your grain bill, enter a darker color for Castle Pilen instead of the typical color. Possibly as high as 16°L. I have not had a chance to test the color assumption.
While you can alter the color rating of the base malt to affect a change in the prediction, its getting cumbersome to know that some malts need that and others don’t. I’m working to gain an understanding of the base malts that seem to have this ‘problem’. In a way, its not a problem since most mashes need extra acidity. But it is a problem due to not knowing that some malts seem to have extra acidity.
More than anything, these tests were to prove a point to my local friends who do nothing to their water apart from using a charcoal filter or campden tablets…and they tease me for claiming water is one of the most important ingredients in beer.
On a whim I submitted to a local competition one of my wheat beers that had a 5.09 mash pH. It scored a 40 in the Standard American Beer category. One of the judges was a master judge with sensory training. The suggestion for improving it was to lower the pH to make it less “flabby.” I don’t think I want to do that. :mrgreen: