Castle Pilsen Acidified?

I’ve brewed 3 batches with Castle Pilsen and all three ended up with a low mash pH.

#1 and #2: Target pH: 5.30. Actual pH: 5.09 (59% Castle Pilsen)
#3: Target pH: 5.40. Actual pH: 5.16 (70% Castle Pilsen)

Seems like the malt is heavily acidified. Anyone else have this experience with Castle Pilsen malt?

By the way, using Bru’n Water to predict pH. Actual pH normally ends up pretty much spot on.

Playing around with numbers in Bru’nWater I’d need to enter 16°L in order to get the right pH prediction for Castle Pilsen based on these three batches.

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.

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.

I was shocked when I saw the correction factor.

I’ll do this test when I have some time this week. Out of curiosity, I’ll do the same with Rahr 2-row and Crisp MO since I have some on hand.

I also have such problems. So I’m wondering have you find the solution?

If you don’t already, use Bru’nWater

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.

I use Castle pils fairly regularly, and the mash pH seems to line up pretty closely to what Bru’n Water predicts.

I got 5.42 in distilled using a calibrated MW102 meter.

For convenience, I used a water:grist ratio of 2.0. That’s a bit higher than the ratio I had used on batches I’ve used this malt in (1.8 and 1.95).

Wow! That is lower than expected for DI water mash. It sure appears that they are acidifying that malt.

That number is so low it makes me wonder if it was a QC issue in the lot.

Out of curiosity, I did the same test using municipal water
and the 3 base malts I have on hand. The outcome:

Rahr 2-row: 6.10
Crisp MO: 5.89
Castle Pils: 5.69

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:

Yesterday I used Castle Pils for the first time since starting this thread. To test my theory, I input 16°L as the assumed color on the Malt Acidification worksheet in Bru’n Water.

Target mash pH: 5.23
Measured mash pH: 5.26

I consider this case closed.