Acidulated Malt

Acidulated Malt is an ingredient that I wanted to learn more about, so I did some research around the topic and consolidated it into this post.  Acidulated malt appears to be the brand name by the Weyermann Company.  Other maltsters may call this malt “acid malt.  It is produced using lactic acid.  From the Weyerman site, lactic acid is not added to the grain; it’s produced using the naturally occuring lactic bacteria on the malt.    

Most sources explained that this malt can be used to change the pH of the mash or wort.  Having a more acidic pH assists in enzymes breaking down more starch for fermentation.  The Weyermann site gave a simple equation to lower the pH:

1% of the grain bill to reduce the pG by 0.1.

Flavor: Sour Character

Color: 1.7° – 1.8° lovibond

Use:  If your water is high in alkalinity, using this special malt may help you make better beer.  I think a good understanding of your water and getting very familiar with all grain brewing are prerequisites before using this malt for this purpose (you may not need to adjust the pH of your mash/wort).

Outside of adjusting your pH, you could use this malt in making the sour beer style of the Berliner Weisse.   The Weyermann site suggested using 8% of your grain bill of acidulated malt to produce the intended result.   I have the idea that this beer could be used to make other sour beer styles too.

Comments

  1. …very useful information. Besides the obvious Berliner Weisse, a number of beers gain their unique taste quality by souring (both during and after the mashing process). The infamous Guinness Stout derives its wonderful flavor, in part, from the addition of “spoiled” wort. Of course, there are the many French, Belgian nad German beers which use the process of sour-mashing. IMHO, this is a process shich is underutilized in North America.

    Na Zdrowie!

  2. I thought about using some of this in a cherry-lime american wheat that I brewed at a friend’s request. Not knowing much about it, I decided not to. I feel like the beer could definitely benefit from some acidity, but am planning to just pour some lime juice into it at this point.

  3. Aaron,
    I am not sure if the lime addition will really get you where you want to be. It seems like it would take a lot to increase the acidity noticably. Not to mention you’d be adding some sugar too that would have to ferment out at some point.
    Maybe try some “acid blend” that wine makers and mead makers use to increase the acidity post ferment. I think that would be much more predictable and controllable.

  4. What maximum percentage of grain bill will oversour a bright beer when using Acidulated Malt (non mineralized water control).
    I’ve seen 8% tops as a refference point at this time but believe it can be alot more.
    Will the effect of PH lowering for the wort increase the resultant sourness (in taste) exponentially?

  5. Hi Boylie,

    I couldn’t find anything more than 10% in use for recipes and in advice on boards.

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