How are most of you guys controlling your pH? Lactic acid? Acid malt? Something else? For those of you using acid malt only, here's my question: If the water being used for the mash is at a higher pH (say, 7) and then that water comes in contact with the grains which have some amount of acid malt in it, will the acid malt lower the pH of the mash before anything unsavory could happen? Many years ago I would do a sparge where the water was not acidified and I got that harsh, husky and tannic character in the beer. As of now I'm using lactic acid in the strike water so the water pH is already low and I'm acidifying my sparge water too. But what if you're relying on acid malt to do the pH lowering for you in the MT?
On the LO forum, they talk about sauergut. Mix some pilsner malt with some water and get it warmer and allow it to sour... then add that to your strike water or mash to lower the pH of the mash. Interesting because a brewer might come up with a very unique character in their sauergut which could lead to a very unique character in the finished beer... for better or worse. The thinking there is that sauergut is preferred, acid malt is the second choice and lactic acid is the last resort. The lactic acid works for me but I have a few pounds of acid malt too. I would need to do some Bru'N'Water testing to see how much I need to equal about 4ml of lactic acid which is what I typically use on a 5 gallon batch.