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Lactic Acid in brews


read 1686 times • 21 replies • posted 9/21/2012 11:53:01 AM

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TheHOFF43 1734:105
I have been told and read that some breweries use lactic acid in beer (for souring) and also to clean tanks and other equipment.

One thing I have plenty of access to (albeit in large volumes) is lactic acid due to my job.

I would be interested in trying this in some home brews if there is any evidence/guidance/support from this forum as I am not incredibly knowledgeable or experienced with homebrew projects aside from the very basics.

Cheers,
Kyle
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HornyDevil
Though Iíve not done it myself, those that have done this type of thing have reported that they ended up with very one-dimensional sourness. You can look on Oldsockís blog The Mad Fermentationist and he has some good info on it there.

9/21/2012 11:57:56 AM

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TheHOFF43 1734:105
What about the prospects of breweries or homebrewers using it for cleaning?
9/21/2012 12:08:16 PM

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seymour 1401:44
I havenít heard of adding lactic acid to a recipe. Iíve brewed several sour beers, but itís lactic bacteria like acidopholous that creates the acid for me.

I donít know anything about using it for cleaning, sorry. My guess is that if it contains any of the souring bacteria, brewers would be very nervous using it. Rather, thatís the stuff youíre trying to clean away...
9/21/2012 12:20:11 PM

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nathanjohnson
Lactic acid can be used for lowering the mash pH, oftentimes in pale beers, eg, helles.
9/21/2012 12:34:09 PM

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NobleSquirrel 3437:209
Most people use Phosphoric acid to clean with.
9/21/2012 12:36:05 PM

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SamGamgee 2452:182
We use lactic acid to passivate new stainless steel in the brewery. But for cleaning, we use a nitric-phosphoric blend cleaner. You use acid cleaner to get rid of mineral build up like beer stone. It isnít good for cleaning organic residue, which is your standard soiling in a kettle or fermentor. For that you need an alkaline cleaner like PBW or caustic.

As far as in beer, Iíve had good berliner weisse that was soured with lactic acid, and itís great for lowering mash pH. I say give it a shot.
9/21/2012 3:41:31 PM

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Fred82 2114:7
Iím also quite curious about brewing a Berliner Weisse with Lactic Acid. They say it give a boring profile compared to the sour mash method (see Joe Mcpheeís recipe) but Iím still curious to see how it goes. Iíve read about someone who won a BJCP homebrew competition with a lactic acid based BW...
9/21/2012 4:02:56 PM

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bitbucket 2159:63
Originally posted by nathanjohnson
Lactic acid can be used for lowering the mash pH, oftentimes in pale beers, eg, helles.

Yes. It is the alternative to using acidulated malt, which as been sprayed with it. The malt is probably a bit more convenient to measure, less convenient to store.
9/24/2012 8:07:23 AM

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JoeinEscazķ 1325:278
You guys have much experience with acid/sour malt? I want to start playing with some of these crazy tropical fruits down here, and I think a simple tart Berliner base is the way to go. Suggestions for malt bills?
9/24/2012 8:43:54 AM

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wnoble 1251:
I used lactic acid in my last pilsner to treat all the mash water down to 6.0 prior to mash in and sparge. Worked well. great flavor profile.
9/24/2012 8:55:46 AM

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