When you have acid reflux or GERD, it can be difficult to go out and drink wine with your friends. The days of downing drinks without experiencing acid reflux symptoms are long gone. It makes sense that you are looking for a drink that is secure.
Consequently, the issue of beer’s acidity or alkalinity is raised. Anything that contains alcohol will have an acidic nature, even though the acid content will vary. In this article, we will present all you need to know about the acid in beer and how it affects your drinking adventures now.
Table of Contents
- Understand the pH Scale Explained
- Is Beer Acidic?
- Why Is Beer Acidic?
- Can I Drink Beer Without Getting Acid Reflux?
- Which Beer is Best for Acid Reflux?
- Beer vs Other Liquor
Understand the pH Scale Explained
pH plays a crucial role in the production of high-quality beer. Its value must be kept in check during the several stages of the entire process. Let’s briefly explore the pH scale before discussing the topic of acidic beer.
The pH scale ranges from 0 to 14, to comprehend precisely how acidic beer can be. Most of the food consumed by people is regarded as neutral, giving it a pH of roughly 7.0. The pH of the white vinegar that you use for cleaning and cooking is 2.4.
Household ammonia, on the other hand, has a pH of 11. Since the scale is logarithmic, the strength of bleach and egg whites (9.0 pH) differs significantly (10.0 pH).
By the way, alkaline substances include egg whites, bleach, and ammonia. Acids, or substances with a pH below 7.0, are found on the other side of the pH scale.
Since acids have hydrogen atoms that give away their nuclear nuclei, they are sometimes referred to as “proton donors” in chemistry. But for now, all you need to know is that acids can dissolve some minerals or stop minerals from developing.
You can learn everything there is to know about the pH scale from this entertaining video:
Beer includes a substantial quantity of acid because it ranges in strength from 3.0 to 6.0. The pH scale is frequently used by brewers to chart the enzymatic or chemical activity of their beer. However, from where do those acids come?
Is Beer Acidic?
There is one thing from which no beer is exempt, regardless of whether you choose to drink it based on its colour, scent, bitterness, mouthfeel, or flavour. Acidic beer is. Beer becomes more acidic because of fermentation, which converts carbohydrates into alcohol and carbon dioxide.
Popular domestic beers typically fall between the middle of the beer acidity spectrum with a pH between 4.0 and 5.0. While some lambics can have much less acid, sour beers typically have a pH between 3.2 and 3.5 and are slightly more acidic drinks (as expected). The pH range for ales is 3.0-6.0. IPAs typically have a pH between 5.3 and 5.4.
Sometimes the colour of the beer indicates how acidic it will be. For instance, a malt that has been darkly roasted will produce more acid, raising the brew’s overall pH. Some yeast or bacterial strains used in beer will also increase the acidity, such as lactobacillus, which produces lactic acid.
While it does happen occasionally, low acidity in beer is not something that is typical. Such a low amount of acidity is typically the result of a brewing error or contamination. Learn all about Beer Ingredients in our guide!
Understanding Titratable Acidity in Beer
When discussing acidity, sour beers are among the beer varieties that are in consideration. Acidity in this context indicates sourness or bitterness. Some makers of sour beer could refer to titratable acidity (TA) rather than pH.
Although pH is crucial when discussing how acidic a beverage is, the TA can provide more information on the beverage’s flavour. Two different beers with comparable pH values could have different levels of sourness.
The number of grammes of acid in one litre of beer is known as titratable acidity. It is possible to quantify lactic, acetic, citric, and phosphoric acids in this way. Here is a scale to assist you in determining the TA levels on various beers:
- 5 to 8 g/L – easy to drink and low in acidity
- 8 to 11 g/L – balanced beer with medium levels of acid
- 11 to 17 g/L – very sour and acidic
- 17+ g/L – overwhelmingly sour and highly acidic
It’s interesting to note that some sour beers, such lambics, have a lower pH than others because of the bacterial strains utilised to make the alcohol.
Is Non-Alcoholic Beer Acidic or Alkaline?
Although you may assume that reducing the alcohol in the beer would lessen its acidity, this is not the case. While the fermentation process creates the majority of the organic acids found in beer, some organic acids are still left over after production.
Remember that after the beer has been created, many non-alcoholic beer brands will remove the alcohol, leaving those acids in the liquid.
Why Is Beer Acidic?
The result of the entire fermentation process is beer acidity. Yeast consumes the sugars in the wort during the fermentation process of generating beer, turning them into carbon dioxide and alcohol. However, fermentation also produces a few additional by-products, such as the organic acids succinic and acetic acid.
Both acids have the ability to raise the pH of beer, giving it a crisper, more refreshing flavour. Again, read that. Alcohol is frequently described as “refreshing” or “drinkable” since the acidity counteracts any sweetness.
Therefore, even though it may not seem like it, you are receiving a beer type with a large quantity of acid if you read a review that describes it as refreshing.
pH During Brewing Process
Wort is created by combining or boiling malt or any other kind of grain with water. The pH of water and wort are not the same. This happens when adding grain and water causes the pH of the water to go below 7.
When the fermentation of beer styles starts, the pH continues to decrease. To achieve the ideal pH level, vigorous fermentation is necessary. While beer is fermenting, the pH continues to decrease until, after about 24 hours, the beer reaches its final pH level.
While this decline is happening, the colour of the beer begins to lighten, eventually reaching decolourization. This decrease happens at a somewhat slower rate. The final pH value reveals the beer’s stability after production.
In comparison to the fermenting wort, this value is very different. Beer that is sour or hazy has an irregular pH level and contains an undesirable alkaline component.
Brewers use other fermenting agents, including acid-producing bacteria, in addition to yeast during this process, particularly when brewing sour brews. As yeast takes up the sugar in the wort, it also produces carbon dioxide and alcohol (ethyl alcohol in most types of beer).
Beer’s acidity is caused by a number of organic molecules that are released as ethanol undergoes fermentation, including acetic acid, lactic acid, succinic acid, and many others. The pH value of beer is primarily lowered to the acidic range of the pH scale by carbonation or the presence of carbon dioxide in beer.
Learn more about the importance of pH in beer brewing in this YouTube video:
Can I Drink Beer Without Getting Acid Reflux?
Beer is likely to trigger symptoms of GERD or acid reflux, as it is among most forms of alcohol that are generally considered as being acidic. If beer is consumed excessively, it will undoubtedly make symptoms worse.
Increased amounts of stomach acid are also produced due to the additional calories in beer. This will ultimately lead to acid rising up the oesophagus, therefore, you should control the amount of beer you drink.
It’s advised to pay attention to your body and how it reacts if you’re desperate to have a beer. It’s always a good shout to opt for a beer which has lower acid. To be able to drink a can or bottle of beer without any unwanted adverse effects, you should also take an antacid.
If unsure, seek professional help to discuss your situation.
Which Beer is Best for Acid Reflux?
You could presume right away that non-alcoholic beer is the best choice for people with GERD and acid reflux. That is not entirely accurate. Keep in mind that many non-alcoholic beers include the very acids that trigger your stomach to produce acid in excess.
Even the options that don’t include acid can upset your stomach. The one benefit of alcohol-free beer is that it has significantly less gas than beers that include alcohol. It might be a better option for people with acid reflux and digestive issues only based on that.
If you don’t want to avoid alcohol, though, your two best options are:
- Barley wine
- Barley malt lagers
One grain that produces relatively little acid during fermentation is barley. For those who want to avoid acid, barley wine, commonly known as pinot noir or brewer’s brandy, is a great option. Although barley wine has a high alcohol by volume (ABV), its pH value, which ranges from 5.3 to 5.8, is closer to neutral.
Barley Malt Lagers
Most beers that employ barley malts wind up having less acid than other varieties of beer since barley is inherently low in acid. These mildly acidic beers have a pH between 4.0 and 5.0 and are well-balanced.
Pilsners (like Pilsner Urquell), Helles, and Vienna styles are examples of barley malt lagers. You can also drink light lagers.
Beer vs Other Liquor
Which Is More Acidic Beer or Wine?
Regular beers have a pH between 4.0 and 6.0, whereas wine has a pH of 3.0 or below, making it more acidic. Organic acids are abundant in wine, and white wine has significantly higher acidity than red kinds.
You would be wrong, though, if you believed that alcohol was now significantly worse for GERD and heartburn. It seems that when it comes to acid reflux, both beer and wine have a similar impact on the body.
Which Is More Acidic Beer vs Whiskey?
The acidity of whiskey and beer is comparable. Whiskey has a pH between 4.0 and 5.0 before maturity. This value falls to 4.0 and 4.45 pH after a few years of age. Beer typically has a pH between 4.0 and 6.0, which makes it slightly less acidic. However, the differences in acidity between wine and beer are largely the same.
In either case, drinking alcohol in moderation is necessary if you want to prevent absorbing too much acid. Alcoholic beverages such as beer, whiskey, wine, and others can increase the risk of acid reflux.
No, beer is not beneficial for persons who have acid reflux disease or an acidic stomach. In reality, research has shown that drinking alcohol like beer and wine can cause acid reflux. If you don’t want stomach acid issues, stay away from alcohol.
The little acidity of the beer. The pH range for lager beers is 4.0 to 5.0. The pH range for ales is 3.0-5.0.
Gin, rum, tequila, grain alcohol, and barley malt lager beers are the six least acidic alcoholic beverages. Gin’s pH level of 7.4 makes it the finest alcoholic beverage for people who want to avoid heartburn.
Even more readily available than the typical beer, soda is one of the most acidic beverages available. It also depends on the brand you are using, though. On the pH scale, most ales and lagers fall between 3.0 and 5.0, whereas most sodas fall between 2.5 and 4.5. For instance, Pepsi and Coke are quite acidic with a pH of 2.5.