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Lactic Acid and Chalk Question

Ok so since I do a lot of lighter color beers I am usually adding lactic acid in to drive my PH down. Now my question is doing this also kills my Bicarbonate levels. I have been adding chalk to end of boil but, I just had question to make sure I am doing it right on my Brunwater spreadsheet. I add in the right amount of lactic acid to get my PH in range. Then I go back and take out the acid and plug in the amount of chalk I will add at end of boil to get my bicarbonate levels right. Am I doing this correctly?

With my water I am using way more acid to drive my PH levels down then it tells me too. I might start mashing with less water to get PH down naturally.

Post your water profile

Cal 0
Mag 2
Sod 26
Sulfate 0
Chloride 2
Bicarb 103
Alkalinity 85

Ph 7.5

Why are you adding chalk to a light-colored beer?

The beer in question wasnt a lighter color beer. But because the amount of lactic I need to add makes my bicarb levels almost non existent. So I like to add some back at end with chalk.

If the beer isn’t light-colored, you shouldn’t have to add much, if any, lactic acid to drop the pH - the dark and roasted grains drop the pH for you. And then you often need to add chalk or lime to keep the pH up in the mash.

Post a recipe if you want a more informative response.

No beers require bicarbonate. Only the mash MIGHT need some bicarb to keep the mash pH from dropping too low. But otherwise don’t add bicarbonate. Assuming you did all the other water preparation correctly, there should be no reason to add chalk to the boiled wort. The wort pH should already be in the correct range.

Ok this was something I was getting mixed responses on. I would rather not have to worry about bicarbonate levels because it kind of messes with my boil ph levels and I don’t want that. Some water profiles show that the bicarbonate levels were high and due to me adding lactic acid it drove that number down. I am glad to hear this is not something I have to worry about. I have well water and have to use more lactic acid than I usually think to get my PH down to 5.4-5.5. I found this odd. I just bought a brand new meter and calibrated it 3 times just to make sure it was right on.

Ignore the profiles and concentrate on getting the pH correct throughout the process. You will find that you don’t need to add chalk to a light-colored beer unless you have overdone the acid or the gypsum/chloride additions and that you have to add chalk/lime to a dark beer to keep the pH down. You can adjust the gypsum/chloride ratio in the kettle if you wish.

I think my main confusion was worrying soo much about bicarb levels. If that isn’t much of and issue and I can worry more about PH and other levels than that will make my life alot easier. Getting the hang of this water chemistry thanks to the spreadsheet but, its gonna take me a little longer to nail it down.

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