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Water profile for my Vienna lager

Opinions on my modified profile for my upcoming Vienna lager? Wondering if it will be noticeable if I acidify my mash water or not. It’s 5.5 mash pH with the below profile and 5.7 without any acid. Not that I mind doing it but I always like to keep things as simple as possible. Using the Amber Malty profile in brunwater.

That looks pretty good. Personally, I’d try to get the mash pH down to 5.3. Not sure how much more lactic you’re going to want to add though before it starts to show. You might be able to up it a little more. The mineral amounts all look good though, if not just slightly high. I shoot for around 50ppm calcium and chloride. Lately I’ve been trying to keep my sulfate low for German lagers.

I’d be looking at almost 4mL of lactic to the mash to get it to around 5.3. This is only my second brew adjusting water profiles so not sure if a total of 7mL of lactic will cause the flavor to come through in the finished product.

I would stay away from using that much lactic acid. I believe the rule of thumb is no more than 4ml for 5G. I am exceptionally sensitive to it and would not go beyond 2ml personally. Unfortunately, you and I will need to cut with distilled to accomplish this. I would see if you can use CaCl to hit mash pH with the 50/50 cut without acid and save the acid for sparge. A mid range pH would be what I would do (5.4-5.5). I tend to think a Vienna as a cross between a pils and Maibock or a lighter Ofest.

Even with 50% dilution, adding enough CaCl to reach 5.5 pH I’m looking at a finished profile of:

Ca - 89
Mg - 5
Na - 6
SO4 - 17
Cl - 136

That seems a little high for Ca and Cl. Again just a newb here when it comes to water adjustments so maybe that’s fine?

That’s what I guessed and this is about the exact strategy for my next hefe. Remember you are NOT adding the CaCl to sparge/boil so the concentrations should come down in the finished product. How much acid to hit 5.5 for the sparge? Hopefully under 2ml. If you want to get the pH lower the acid additions should be reasonable with the water cut 50/50. In the interest in full disclosure, I have not brewed a Vienna nor is it my favorite style, so Beersk’s pH recommendation of 5.3 may have some merit, but 5.5 is within range to me.

Changing the dilution of the water doesn’t decrease the acid addition to sparge water on the Adjustment Summary tab. Do I need to do something on the Sparge Acidification tab to compensate for diluted sparge water?

One of rare few quirks of bru’n water… Just dilute old school and half the alkalinity figure.

That cuts it down to 1.5mL for 6 gallons of sparge water.

I like it. Hope it turns out well! Obviously, the other strategy is go build completely from distilled but I think this process is similar to what german brewers would do.

What is your grain bill? I would like to someday try 100% vienna on something like this but so many beers and so little time…

How does the lactic acid show up? Sour taste?

Getting mash ph adjusted downward is always a challenge for me. I have used upwards of 5ml lactic in a batch or 2.

Maybe I should consider starting to use acidulated malt in some of my lighter grist mashes?

[quote=“dannyboy58”]How does the lactic acid show up? Sour taste?

Getting mash ph adjusted downward is always a challenge for me. I have used upwards of 5ml lactic in a batch or 2.

Maybe I should consider starting to use acidulated malt in some of my lighter grist mashes?[/quote]

acidulated malt is just malt with lactic acid sprayed on it by the maltster. It’s functionally identical to using lactic acid.

Did you notice any sour flavors in your beers that were around 5mL?

Here is an experiment from Kai about the taste threshold of lactic acid: http://braukaiser.com/wiki/index.php?ti … experiment

He dosed different beers with different amounts of lactate and it appears it was difficult to detect up to 400mg/l

[quote=“zwiller”]I like it. Hope it turns out well! Obviously, the other strategy is go build completely from distilled but I think this process is similar to what german brewers would do.

What is your grain bill? I would like to someday try 100% vienna on something like this but so many beers and so little time…[/quote]

So you don’t think 136 chloride will be too high. Brunwater says 100ppm is the upper limit of the ideal range. My understanding is that is can add a harshness to the finished beer. Of course with 50% dilution this puts my sulfates down to 17 which might make this OK?

Grain bill for this is almost strictly out of BCS. 5lbs Vienna, 3lbs Munich, 3.4lbs Pilsner and 3oz Carafa II. Mashing at 150ish

[quote=“mattnaik”][quote=“zwiller”]I like it. Hope it turns out well! Obviously, the other strategy is go build completely from distilled but I think this process is similar to what german brewers would do.

What is your grain bill? I would like to someday try 100% vienna on something like this but so many beers and so little time…[/quote]

So you don’t think 136 chloride will be too high. Brunwater says 100ppm is the upper limit of the ideal range. My understanding is that is can add a harshness to the finished beer. Of course with 50% dilution this puts my sulfates down to 17 which might make this OK?
[/quote]

Its not really that big a deal. The real worry is when sulfate content creeps up too. It shouldn’t add harshness in this case. Maybe some sweetness when paired with sodium.

[quote=“mattnaik”][quote=“zwiller”]I like it. Hope it turns out well! Obviously, the other strategy is go build completely from distilled but I think this process is similar to what german brewers would do.

What is your grain bill? I would like to someday try 100% vienna on something like this but so many beers and so little time…[/quote]

So you don’t think 136 chloride will be too high. Brunwater says 100ppm is the upper limit of the ideal range. My understanding is that is can add a harshness to the finished beer. Of course with 50% dilution this puts my sulfates down to 17 which might make this OK?

Grain bill for this is almost strictly out of BCS. 5lbs Vienna, 3lbs Munich, 3.4lbs Pilsner and 3oz Carafa II. Mashing at 150ish[/quote]

I’ve gone up to 300ppm chloride and it was not a problem, but it was not more malty either…

I have seen some references to acid malt being less objectionable than acid but cannot validate this.

Wifey picked up some SN Kellerweis. I can just tolerate it… It’s obviously made with lactic acid/malt. Too much for me, it’s on the do not buy list now. I admit I am sensitive to the stuff… The brews (hefes) I made with close to 4ml per 5G I had many other people taste and ALL agreed that it was objectionable. From memory there were a few folks in Kai’s study that could pickout the flavor at smaller concentrations, just not ALL of the panel.

Would love to get a down in the dirty test for you guys, maybe Martin can double check me on my math. From my old brewing days I learned 1 eyedrop is a standard measurement equal to 50ul or .05ml. With lactic acid @ 88% that would be 40ul or .04ml per drop over 1000ml or 40ppm. So 10 drops to 400ppm of 1L/qt or 5 drops to a pint of beer. Maybe I am way off?

[quote=“zwiller”][quote=“mattnaik”][quote=“zwiller”]I like it. Hope it turns out well! Obviously, the other strategy is go build completely from distilled but I think this process is similar to what german brewers would do.

What is your grain bill? I would like to someday try 100% vienna on something like this but so many beers and so little time…[/quote]

So you don’t think 136 chloride will be too high. Brunwater says 100ppm is the upper limit of the ideal range. My understanding is that is can add a harshness to the finished beer. Of course with 50% dilution this puts my sulfates down to 17 which might make this OK?

Grain bill for this is almost strictly out of BCS. 5lbs Vienna, 3lbs Munich, 3.4lbs Pilsner and 3oz Carafa II. Mashing at 150ish[/quote]

I’ve gone up to 300ppm chloride and it was not a problem, but it was not more malty either…

I have seen some references to acid malt being less objectionable than acid but cannot validate this.

Wifey picked up some SN Kellerweis. I can just tolerate it… It’s obviously made with lactic acid/malt. Too much for me, it’s on the do not buy list now. I admit I am sensitive to the stuff… The brews (hefes) I made with close to 4ml per 5G I had many other people taste and ALL agreed that it was objectionable. From memory there were a few folks in Kai’s study that could pickout the flavor at smaller concentrations, just not ALL of the panel.

Would love to get a down in the dirty test for you guys, maybe Martin can double check me on my math. From my old brewing days I learned 1 eyedrop is a standard measurement equal to 50ul or .05ml. With lactic acid @ 88% that would be 40ul or .04ml per drop over 1000ml or 40ppm. So 10 drops to 400ppm of 1L/qt or 5 drops to a pint of beer. Maybe I am way off?[/quote]

I think you’re pretty close. The other thread Matt started regarding the lactic acid taste threshold cites 1.2ml per gallon which breaks down to about .15ml per pint if my math is correct.

Sour taste is just low pH. You won’t taste lactic acid as sour unless you lower the pH of the beer so much that you make the pH low.

Not sure I agree entirely with this. There is definitely some flavor attributes to lactic acid besides increasing acidity/sourness. I am gonna come right out and say it… Spoiled milk, vomit, or in my case, the taste in my mouth upon waking up after an all nighter with old friends and cheap beer.

Also, in Kai’s study, he neutralized the acid so that acidity was not a factor. Maybe there’s a correlation to lactic acid sensitivity and danky hops? I am in the simcoe is cat piss camp… :lol:

I have ruined (dumped) 2 hefes with around 3-4ml lactic acid and just want to prevent someone else from sharing the same pain. I love Kai’s work and hold it in highest regard, but that study doesn’t jive with my personal experience.

I recently switched to using phosphoric for my acid additions. I was using acid malt. Phosphoric is supposed to have less flavor contribution, which is why I made the switch. But, that flavor contribution is supposedly a good thing for German lagers…I don’t know.
Also, it’s good to know that you can go high on calcium chloride and not have a negative effect. I usually try to keep my calcium, chloride and sulfate levels to around 50ppm, but have been pushing the lower limits lately.
I remember the days when I didn’t do anything to my tap water and beers still turned out fine and cleared fine. Those levels are well below 50ppm for my tap water. So I don’t know…

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