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Dry Lagers

I just tapped a lager that turned out a bit dry. I take that to mean astringency and that I will need to get a Ph meter and use it going forward (I have resisted water chemistry issues in the past by simply using a home delivered spring water that had great numbers per a long ago prior post confirmed by those in the know – I still use the same bottled water, but I have long since lost the water analysis data from the company). What is the preferred method of raising acidity to counter the astringency?

The lager isn’t so dry as to be undrinkable, but it isn’t where it needs to be, either.

:cheers:

3-4% acid malt in your grist is a good start.

[quote=“ynotbrusum”]I just tapped a lager that turned out a bit dry. I take that to mean astringency and that I will need to get a Ph meter and use it going forward (I have resisted water chemistry issues in the past by simply using a home delivered spring water that had great numbers per a long ago prior post confirmed by those in the know – I still use the same bottled water, but I have long since lost the water analysis data from the company). What is the preferred method of raising acidity to counter the astringency?

The lager isn’t so dry as to be undrinkable, but it isn’t where it needs to be, either.

:cheers: [/quote]

Is is dry or is it astringent? They’re two different things. Astringency is most often caused by over-sparging and letting the pH get up too high. Too dry could be from the recipe, mash temp or some combination. The pH control could be as simple as getting your Calcium adjusted properly for the beer. But you really need to know what the starting numbers are on your base water first. The real source of the problem needs to be determined before a fix is applied. :cheers:

It is dry, which I take to mean slightly astringent in the following way: It is not astringent in the alum puckering sense, rather in the cotton ball in the throat sense. Sparging was done per Beersmith 2 calculations. Mash was 90 minutes at 149F; 90 minute boil. Water analysis sent to me is:

Milligrams Per 8-oz Glass

Arsenic				ND
Barium				ND
Cadmium				ND
Chromium				ND
Herbicides				ND		
Lead				ND
Mercury				ND	
Pesticides & PCB’s		ND	
Volatile Organics			ND	
Calcium			 	7.57		
Chloride				8.75		
Fluoride				ND
Radium				ND
Magnesium			4.97
Nitrates				0.33
Sodium				4.26	
Sulfates				1.89
Zinc				ND
pH				6.4
	   ND = Not Detected	

That is why I indicated that I need to watch the Ph, but I presently don’t have a Ph meter.

Thoughts?

[quote=“ynotbrusum”]It is dry, which I take to mean slightly astringent in the following way: It is not astringent in the alum puckering sense, rather in the cotton ball in the throat sense. Sparging was done per Beersmith 2 calculations. Mash was 90 minutes at 149F; 90 minute boil. Water analysis sent to me is:

Milligrams Per 8-oz Glass

Arsenic				ND
Barium				ND
Cadmium				ND
Chromium				ND
Herbicides				ND		
Lead				ND
Mercury				ND	
Pesticides & PCB’s		ND	
Volatile Organics			ND	
Calcium			 	7.57		
Chloride				8.75		
Fluoride				ND
Radium				ND
Magnesium			4.97
Nitrates				0.33
Sodium				4.26	
Sulfates				1.89
Zinc				ND
pH				6.4
	   ND = Not Detected	

That is why I indicated that I need to watch the Ph, but I presently don’t have a Ph meter.

Thoughts?[/quote]

That water is very low in mineral content. There isn’t enough Calcium as is for proper mashing & brewing IMO. If you are not making any water additions it’s likely the mash pH is too high. That long mash @ 149F will also dry out the beer and if your thermometer is reading high it’s going to be even drier. Check your thermometer for accuracy and add some Calcium to your mash, Calcium Chloride is your best choice for this beer. Get the Ca+ up to 50-75ppm for your next batch.

I have tried the 5.2 product, but then read from others that it was not the way to go, so I only used it a couple of times. How much calcium chloride should I add for a 5 gallon and a 10 gallon batch (I would assume it is linear, but I am no scientist).

I don’t have a ph meter but have been using this method to build my RO water:

[quote]The following recommendations apply to “soft” water. Here we will define soft as meaning RO or distilled water or any water whose lab report indicates alkalinity less than 35 (ppm as CaCO3 – all other numbers to follow mg/L), sulfate less than 20 (as sulfate – Ward Labs reports as sulfur so multiply the SO4-S number by 3 to get as sulfate), chloride less than 20, sodium less than 20, calcium less than 20 and magnesium less than 20. If your water has numbers higher than these, dilute it with RO or DI water. A 1:1 dilution reduces each ion concentration to 1/2, a 2:1 dilution to 1/3 and so on. If your water contains chloramines add 1 campden tablet per 20 gallons (before any dilution)

Baseline: Add 1 tsp of calcium chloride dihydrate (what your LHBS sells) to each 5 gallons of water treated. Add 2% sauermalz to the grist.

Deviate from the baseline as follows:

For soft water beers (i.e Pils, Helles). Use half the baseline amount of calcium chloride and increase the sauermalz to 3%

For beers that use roast malt (Stout, porter): Skip the sauermalz.

For British beers: Add 1 tsp gypsum as well as 1 tsp calcium chloride

For very minerally beers (Export, Burton ale): Double the calcium chloride and the gypsum.[/quote]
This is from a lengthy thread over at Homebrewtalk.com
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f128/brewing-water-chemistry-primer-198460/
.

Thanks GM. Any idea how to convert my readings from milligrams per 8 oz glass to parts per million? Or is it already another way to state ppm?

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