View Full Version : acidulated malt

03-04-2008, 07:44 AM
I was wondering if any of you have used acidulated malt (Weyerman's) to sour a beer? I'm a little hesitant to introduce a lactic culture into my brewery and this seems like a great alternative. I'm looking to add a noticeable but not mouth puckering sourness. Right now I'm thinking around 33% of my grain bill, I'm curious as to what success and at what % of the grain bill others have used.



03-04-2008, 01:24 PM
I guess it really comes down to what are you trying to do...?

Acid malt wasn born out of the necessity to apply the Reinheitsgebot to German Brewing... Remember nothing but Malt, Hops, Water and Yeast... How do you acidify if you can't use anything but the 4 ingredients...

Do you remember Celis White? They use(d) Lactic Acid post fermentation to get a bit of Lactic tartness.

When I brew my Wit beer I make a 100lb Sour Mash a few days in advance. I follow the procedure that is in Greg Noonan's book "New Lager Brewing". Since this Sour Mash gets added to my main mash, it get's boiled and thus bacteria killed you don't have a lot to worry about. Just make sure you muck out asap or it turns into a stinky mess!



03-04-2008, 03:19 PM
I have brewed with acidulated malt many times and have found that 5-8% gives your beer a slightly tart taste. More than that will change your mash into a viscous non running hell of a brew day. I dose my serving tank with 2 litres of lactic acid for a 7 bbl batch and then carbonate. If you need more you can always re-dose. The beer is a Rodenbach clone and quite tart, we also add sour cherry juice and it's got quite a following.
Good Luck.

03-04-2008, 07:19 PM
Sour mash is the way to go if you have the equipment. Sour mash gives a complex, multidimensional depth of character that LA or other acid won't. In trying to emulate Kentucky Kommon Beer, the only indigenous beer to Louisville, I tried many methods of sour mash;
1. mash-in the whole batch at 160 deg. F. let sit overnight. Handle as usual next day.
2. mash-in 10% whole batch at 160 deg. F. let sit overnight. Mash-in balance next day. Handle as usual.
3. Mash-in 100 lbs. in yeast propagator @ 160, set controller for 122 on heat, stir daily for four days. Transfer to main mash.

Guess which method gave the best results.

No really guess.

03-04-2008, 09:46 PM
ok, I'll play. #3??

03-05-2008, 03:04 AM
Number 3 seems like the most logical option so I'm sure it's not it. I'll guess number 1.


03-05-2008, 06:24 AM
Number one smelled of fetid meat. I processed as usual and the beer tasted great but still smelled funny.

Number two didn't work too well due to lack of heat in the mash tun. It was mildly sour but didn't fit the style I was shooting for.

Number three worked very well. The top of the sour mash would have a green-grey color, two inches down the mash was flourescent yellow, had a clen sour aroma and tasted like malt lemonade. I have used this method for Irish dry stout as well with good results.

03-12-2008, 12:57 AM
So those of you that do you food-grade lactic acid in your brews, at what point and what concentration are you using it?

03-12-2008, 06:28 AM
Ahh sauermalz - what a great snack to nibble on!

I believe that for every 1% acidulated malt used in your grain bill your mash pH will be lowered by 0.1. We use about 3% in our weizens just to bring the pH under control to about 5.2.

I've heard of some pretty nice berliner weizens being brewed with a high level of acidulated malt to get a really great tartness out of it. I reckon a 33% level in your beer would be super tangalistic!

Larry Horwitz
03-12-2008, 11:48 AM
also remember the Thomas from Weyermann say NOT to use the malt to make your beer sour, only to lower your pH. 33% is crazy....

if you want the beer to be sour add acid our do a sour mash. Our sour mash technique is a little different.

mash in, rest, mash off, cool mash down (we vourlauff through the HE) grind in one bag malt, stir. Cover mash with plastic, flood mash tun with CO2 or suitable inert gas. go home. Wait 1-3 days. Run off.

makes very sour beer without aerobic bacteria problems...but I think you get almost the same character by adding acid in small quantities.


05-05-2008, 02:50 PM
"Berliner Weisse from Weyermann Acidulated Malt
Question Hello, I have a couple of questions regarding usage of your acidulated malt.

I am planning on making a Berliner Weisse style beer at our brewpub. I am considering replacing the lactobacillus fermentation with acidulated malt...is this feasable? I am not too familiar with the product. I have read that usage should not exceed 10% of the malt bill. The Berliner Weisse typically has a pH of 3.2-3.4.

My question is, would using acidulated malt to achieve the flavor profile of a Berliner Weisse negatively affect the fermentation of the beer, and how much would I need to use in order to achieve that nice sour, acidic bite that is present in the beera?

I appreciate your time and any suggestions that you might have on the matter. Keep up the good work...I find all of your products to be superb!
Answer Weyermann Acidulated Malt is perfect to adjust the pH level in mash or wort. There is a simple formula to calculate the dosage of Acidulated Malt: You have to use 1% of Acidulated malt to reduce the pH by 0.1. (Example: 3% Acidulated malt reduce the pH leve in mash by 0.3).

The exact effect depends of course on the special conditions in the mash or wort (buffering capacity …) and on the composition of the brew water.

Weyermann Acidulated Malt is produced by using lactic acid, which is generated by on grain natural occurring lactic bacteria. Therefore Acidulated Malt is also a wonderful possibility to produce beer styles with a typical “sourish” character like “Berliner Weisse”.

To reach the “sourish” character 8% of Acidulated malt are a perfect rate. In my recipe there are also recommendations for Fermentis Yeast strains for an authentic aroma and flavour profile.

Malt bill for "Berliner Weisse"

40% Weyermann Pilsner Malt
45% Weyermann Wheat Malt Pale
7 % Weyermann Carahell®
8 % Weyermann Acidulated Malt"