Acidulated Malt - Can YOU taste it?

Postby GrahamT » Tue Feb 02, 2016 22:31

...or is it safe up to say 5% of the grist? I see that 8% is reported to start adding some sourness, so there doesn't seem much room for manoeuvre.

With my second hefeweizen planned, I've ordered some acidulated malt, to drop the pH of the mash a little (by 0.1pH per 1% of grist acidulated malt), along with a reduced amount of my usual CRS. We have just under 2:1 sulphate to chloride here, and typically 100-130ppm CaCO3 alkalinity. By the time I reduce that down to 20ppm or so with CRS, I think I will have pushed the sulphate forward quite a bit, and may be losing some of the malt character. Our calcium sits around 60mg/l, so by the time I've chucked gypsum in to boost that, the sulphate is going up even more I think.

I'm thinking I will canvass opinions and settle on a maximum level of the stuff, do some maths, and see how much more reduction with CRS I am likely to need.

PS I know the ultimate solution may be hydrochloric acid or something instead, but I'm still interested in testing out the AM on this occasion.

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Re: Acidulated Malt - Can YOU taste it?

Postby rpt » Wed Feb 03, 2016 00:38

I've used acidulated malt in a couple of lagers, at about 3% I think. Couldn't taste it.

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Re: Acidulated Malt - Can YOU taste it?

Postby pittsy » Wed Feb 03, 2016 08:09

I use it all the time and lactic acid , never been a problem so far . Your calcium is ok at 60 ppm as is , i would try to balance the chloride to sulphate too .
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Re: Acidulated Malt - Can YOU taste it?

Postby AltonAnt » Wed Feb 03, 2016 14:24

I must be very sensitive to lactic acid as I can detect it in low quantities.
It tastes like bile to me so I avoid it :ill:
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Re: Acidulated Malt - Can YOU taste it?

Postby Aleman » Wed Feb 03, 2016 15:26

AltonAnt wrote:I must be very sensitive to lactic acid as I can detect it in low quantities.
It tastes like bile to me so I avoid it :ill:

You are not the only one :D . . . 6ml in 50+ litres of Liquor . . . Sour Pilsner, not a new beer style :ill: :ill: Trust me it's not a new beer style. . . . Nowadays I'd call it a saison :P

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Re: Acidulated Malt - Can YOU taste it?

Postby pittsy » Wed Feb 03, 2016 17:31

All i can say to that is many have drunk my beers at the festival and none complain or comment about odd flavours ( as far as I know ) I often use around 0.12ml per litre of lactic acid and have approx 150/200 g of acid malt in a standard batch . Works for me and best of all adds no sulphate and ain't dangerous .
Oh and the Germans use it a lot too and they are supposed to be the best beer brewers in the world .
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Re: Acidulated Malt - Can YOU taste it?

Postby GrahamT » Wed Feb 03, 2016 18:11

Thanks for the comments. It sounds like people have different tolerances in tasting lactic.

150g would be about 3.5% of my grist for the hefe, so I'm tempted to throw that in, do a Salifert test and do the calcs for CRS the rest of the way. I'm also going to go even lower on the hops for the hefe, as advised by pittsy elsewhere, hoping to balance out any sulphate-forward result from the CRS.

It certainly sounds worth a go!

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Re: Acidulated Malt - Can YOU taste it?

Postby AltonAnt » Wed Feb 03, 2016 18:58

pittsy wrote:All i can say to that is many have drunk my beers at the festival and none complain or comment about odd flavours ( as far as I know ) I often use around 0.12ml per litre of lactic acid and have approx 150/200 g of acid malt in a standard batch . Works for me and best of all adds no sulphate and ain't dangerous .
Oh and the Germans use it a lot too and they are supposed to be the best beer brewers in the world .


Please don't think any comment was directed at you Pittsy. I've never really liked pils and it was only after learning about German brewing and the Reinheitsgebot I understood why. I've had some commercial beers in this style that have made me gag.
I can't remember the brand but I do know I was served by a young man called Sam Smith just before his music career took off.
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Re: Acidulated Malt - Can YOU taste it?

Postby Aleman » Wed Feb 03, 2016 19:17

My comments were not directed at anyone in particular either. We all have different taste thresholds for flavours, I an diacetyl blind for example, but am sensitive to lactate. I accept that it is a component of the flavours of a wheat beer . . . At very low levels, just like diacetyl is in a pilsner. I also think with my relatively mineral free water the flavours of some acids are much more perceptible than they are in mineral rich liquors.

please note:The use of punctuation, bold, underlining, italics, and different sized type, follows the convention used in writing, for many years, to place emphasis on the point being made, and to highlight the importance of that point in the opinion of the author. It is not the intention of the author to shout, if that was the case the author would adopt the, much more recent, convention of using all capital letters.
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Re: Acidulated Malt - Can YOU taste it?

Postby pittsy » Wed Feb 03, 2016 21:14

I didn't take it personal :D just didn't want you to put Graham off from trying acid malt :thumb:
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Re: Acidulated Malt - Can YOU taste it?

Postby robwalker » Wed Feb 03, 2016 23:15

I think Mark is saying nobody commented on any acidic flavours in his beer whatsoever despite the use of acid malt! Certainly I never noticed any in your wheats which were fantastic.
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Re: Acidulated Malt - Can YOU taste it?

Postby GrahamT » Wed Feb 03, 2016 23:49

By coincidence, I had a Ticketybrew Dubbel tonight. It was bizarrely sour, with exactly the same taste I've had in a kettle sour that had been made with a lacto culture. I can't imagine the Dubbel was intended to taste like that, at least not that prominently. (Either way, a shockingly bad dubbel.) I'm not taking anything from that, but it's reminded me of the taste (when it's strong).

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Re: Acidulated Malt - Can YOU taste it?

Postby Aleman » Thu Feb 04, 2016 21:35

robwalker wrote:I think Mark is saying nobody commented on any acidic flavours in his beer whatsoever despite the use of acid malt! Certainly I never noticed any in your wheats which were fantastic.

I didn't comment, but I certainly did detect it. As I said earlier it does add to the flavour profile of a wheat beer, but in the ideal world should be just below e taste threshold. Unfortunately some are more sensitive than others, so it would have been unfair on Mark if I had said something. As a judge I would have remarked on it but not necessarily removed any marks ;)

please note:The use of punctuation, bold, underlining, italics, and different sized type, follows the convention used in writing, for many years, to place emphasis on the point being made, and to highlight the importance of that point in the opinion of the author. It is not the intention of the author to shout, if that was the case the author would adopt the, much more recent, convention of using all capital letters.
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Re: Acidulated Malt - Can YOU taste it?

Postby pittsy » Thu Feb 04, 2016 21:44

Sounds like I need to reduce the amounts used , always trying to improve . :thumb: Doesn't help that I can't detect lactic very well , I'm more sensitive to bitter and sweet .
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Re: Acidulated Malt - Can YOU taste it?

Postby john luc » Thu Feb 04, 2016 23:18

Our local club had a tasting session last week and one of the beers was a German style Lager,the brewer said he used 6.5% acidulated malt. The beer was tasty but with a definite sour taste which worked.
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