12/06/10 10:12 PM
Mash pH and sour beers
Would a high mash pH lead to a less sour finished beer?
I've recently become aware that using my water untreated as I have largely done up until now has led to a high mash pH (5.3-5.5) for light- to medium-colored beers.
I would also describe my several completed sour beers as tart & acidic, but not as sour as I would have liked. And others in process seem similar. I know there are many factors involved in souring a beer (time, hop acids, temperature, bacteria types, commercial dregs, ingredients, etc), but I wonder if there is a relationship between my high mash pH and lack of sourness. I'm just theorizing that it takes the bacteria more "work" to drop the pH further.
I understand generally the mash efficiency implications of a non-ideal mash pH. And I'm beginning to read about the enzyme activity associated with mash pH levels. But for this post I'm specifically interested in the relationship between mash pH and final pH for sour beers.
Does anyone know of such a relationship or does the biology make sense? I'm going to target a lower pH for future sour beer mashes (probably acid malt & salt mods), and I'll be able to make comparisons (in like 12-18 months), but I'm looking for quicker learning.
Thanks for any insight!