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Using acid malt

Wanting to brew a witbier and the recipe calls for 8 oz of acid malt in a 5 gallon batch. Does acid malt affect the water profile of the beer? Was planning on using the yellow balanced setting in Beersmith and I’ve never used acid malt before.

It won’t change your water profile but it will drop your pH. Without knowing your water profile and adjusting accordingly I would omit it as it is only contributing a drop in pH for the recipe. It provides no flavor contribution.

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Well, I just use distilled water and build up from there. Is the acid malt necessary for a better mash though? The grist is basically 50/50 pale malt/ flaked wheat. I just don’t understand if should consider a different water profile with the expected tartness from using the acid malt.

You can use the same water profile you intended. You’ll just need to account for the additional pH drop. For every 1% of acid malt in the grist the pH will drop 0.1.
You won’t get additional tartness unless you adjust your water for the correct pH and then use the malt.

I think I understand what you’re saying. So if you saw that a recipe had acid malt in it, would you use it or would you make ph adjustments with salts?

I use RO water so I’ve never used acid malt. I would only use it if I had good water that fell into my desired range and would only need to adjust with lactic acid. So if you are using distilled there is no reason to use it other to save liquid acid additions. If you already bought it though you might as well use it up

I haven’t bought it yet so I will just skip that malt. Thank you!

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Good choice. Stick to what you’re comfortable with.

If you’re starting with distilled water it’s highly unlikely you’ll need that much acid malt in a five gallon batch. That’s a lot. I think I use half pound in 11 gallon batches of pilsner with 7.2 ph water as the starting point.


Like mentioned above the amount of acid malt is dependent on your water source and recipe. I’m really surprised they posted a recipe with acid malt at all. I think it would have been better to say adjust your pH to such and such. My water has a pH of 7 which is the same as distilled and I would probably add 4 or 5 in a light beer like a wit


Here’s the original article with the recipe:

I’ve never done a recipe with 50% flaked wheat. I’d think that would be very sticky. Iv always used wheat malt and just a little flaked wheat in a wit. Interested to hear how your mash goes.

Funny that he mentions using acid malt for ‘zing’ yet doesn’t mention a target mash pH…
If you target a mash pH of the upper end, say 5.5pH you’ll get a much different beer than targeting a 5.2ph while using that malt (if you don’t take the malt into account).
I have enjoyed reading Josh’s works but that is borderline irresponsible when using it that way. It’s no different than just a blanket statement of saying add a teaspoon of gypsum without knowing a water profile…


I recently brewed a belgian wit that was 40% flaked wheat. I thought it was a lot. I never actually tasted it after it was carbed but my buddy I brewed it for absolutely loved it. He, his daughter and her BF killed the whole keg one night. He said it was incredibly smooth with a big mouthfeel and excellent taste.

12 lbs pilsner malt
10 lbs flaked wheat
3 lbs white wheat
8 oz acid malt

1/2 oz hallertau at 60
1.5 oz saaz at 15


That’s for 10 gallons. 9 gals 7.2pH strike water. The acid malt put my mash at 5.4 pH.


I scaled down the recipe to my stove top BIAB setup and this is what I came up with - without acid malt.

2 lbs 4 oz - Pale Malt
2 lbs 4 oz - Flaked Wheat
8 oz - Flaked Oats

10 oz Pacific Jade at 10 min for 12 ibu

Beersmith has my mash pH at 5.61 (without acid malt) so maybe add 2 -3% acid malt to bring the pH down like @loopie_beer said? I don’t have any lactic acid on hand

Every 1% will drop your pH by 0.1 so I would shoot for 4% of your grist if your using acid malt. This will put you at 5.2.

Cool. Thank you. One day I’ll move up from to a Grainfather but for now I’m still using my original 20 qt pot so that’s the reason for the small grain amounts

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No worries. Grain bills in % are no problem.

I have been brewing wit biers for a while now, my favorite style. My water from the tap is 8.0 pH. If I use 2 oz acid malt in my mash on a 5 gallon batch, it drops my mash pH to 5.2 which is perfect.

What else are you adding?

yea same question as @brew_cat along with how are you checking pH?

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