From the HBD Archive
From: Mark N. Davis <mndavis@pbhya.PacBell.COM>
Subject: Re: Acidified Sparge H2O
Date: 1992-07-16 02:56:21 GMT

John Freeborg asks:
> How many all-grain people adjust their sparge water pH? I've been reading
> about putting lactic acid in the sparge water to achieve the proper pH which
> helps improve extraction numbers.
> Should I worry about this? Do other people? Have you noticed a dramatic
> difference once you started doing this?

Before going any further I should warn you that I'm not an avid pH watcher.
Now that the disclaimer is handled...
I know from obtaining the official propaganda pamphlet from my local water
co. that my tap water is at a pH of 9.0. On my first two all-grain batches
my extraction rates were anything but good. I then began adding 1/4 to 1/2
teaspoon of citric acid to my 5 gallons of sparge water. Since then, my
extraction rates have improved. Whether this is caused by the lowered pH
of the sparge water, or an improvement in my handling of the sparges overall
(probaly a combination) I'm not sure. In fact, as I previously mentioned, I
don't even check the pH of anything, so I don't know just how much effect
the citric acid has. So when I stop and think about it, this post is not all
that helpfull is it? And its probaly too late even to win the MALTMILL.
Oh well, let's just say that a little acidification of the sparge water most
definitely appears to help, so its not a bad idea. How about one of you
chemistry kind of guys giving us a little more info on the details - but
please phrase it in a language even us programmers understand >:-)


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