Phosphoric acid.. is this suitable?

While Beer is 90-97% water, it is a very tricky subject.

Phosphoric acid.. is this suitable?

Postby NickW » Mon Jun 22, 2015 11:09

CRS is nearly gone and I'd rather use another acid and add calcium chloride / gypsum to attain my mineral levels.

Is this suitable for brewing?

http://pages.ebay.com/link/?nav=item.vi ... r_id%253D0
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Re: Phosphoric acid.. is this suitable?

Postby Aleman » Mon Jun 22, 2015 11:36

I'm not a fan of phosphoric acid . . .

Yes it will reduce alkalinity,
Yes it is the acid released from the malt in the phytin reaction, so it should be neutral

BUT

It reacts with calcium forming calcium phosphate (Probably as apatite) which deposits on heating elements and is fecking hard to shift . . . And what if your calcium levels are marginal??

And worst of all when brewing pale(ish) beers with high alkalinity liquors I am convinced that I can taste it

We can reduce the mineral content of the liquor using RO Water and use less acid, but that screws with other ion levels that you may want, meaning that you have to add something else. . . .whereas using an appropriate acid (sulphuric or hydrochloric) reduces the alkalinity and adds desirable anions.

YMMV, as it obviously does for a lot of US brewers

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Re: Phosphoric acid.. is this suitable?

Postby NickW » Mon Jun 22, 2015 11:52

Cheers aleman. Always appreciate your advice. I was contemplating sulphuric and chloride acid but I am quite tight and didn't want to buy both ! I may bite the bullet.... where is recommended?
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Re: Phosphoric acid.. is this suitable?

Postby wallybrew » Mon Jun 22, 2015 16:17

NickW wrote:I was contemplating sulphuric and chloride acid but I am quite tight and didn't want to buy both ! I may bite the bullet.... where is recommended?


For you and all other tightwads

Phosphoric and sulphuric have virtually identical molecular masses of around 98, however, sulphuric is diprotic and phosphoric is triprotic but in terms of its neutralising of carbonate/bicarbonate it acts as a monoprotic acid.

Your 250mL of the phosphoric you linked to contains about 332g of phosphoric acid
250mL of sulphuric (conc 98%) contains 451g of acid

In terms of the amount of calcium carbonate they will neutralise

250mL of your phosphoric will neutralise 339g of calcium carbonate
250mL of concentrated sulphuric will neutralise 920g of calcium carbonate

you can buy a litre of concentrated sulphuric for about a tenner

I'll leave you to work out which is the best value for money ++++++++ useful anions added with phosphoric = none.

Over to Aleman to link to the how to dilute acids safely bit
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Re: Phosphoric acid.. is this suitable?

Postby NickW » Tue Jun 23, 2015 12:55

Thanks for the advice guys. I'd be running in circles without this forum!
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