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Old 09-09-2010, 01:21 PM   #1
DrawTap88
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Default Acidify Sparge

How important is it to acidify the sparge water? I've heard that not treating it will cause astringency. If that's true, what should I use to acidify the sparge? Thanks in advance.

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Old 09-09-2010, 01:23 PM   #2
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It's my understanding the PH is only important in the Mash because of conversion and time period involved. The sparge water is just for rinsing. I'd imagine in batch sparging it wouldn't be necessary. Not sure about fly sparging.

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Old 09-09-2010, 02:23 PM   #3
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As long as your sparge water is below 6, you should be fine. Above that, you get tanin extraction. That's why in fly sparging it's important to keep an eye on the gravity of the runnings. When the gravity decreases, the PH increases. I believe the general rule is stop sparging when gravity drops below 1.010.

Since batch sparging is just stir and drain, it's not an issue.

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Old 09-09-2010, 04:50 PM   #4
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Your mash pH should be around 5.2 - 5.4 based on the stuff dissolved in the wort. As you start to rinse the wort out of the grains the pH naturally goes up and eventually, after you have rinsed everything soluble, the runnings will be at the pH of the sparge water. If the sparge water pH is high enough there is danger of it dissolving phenols from the barley husks. The best thing to do (IMO) is sprage with untreated water monitoring pH and extract (a refractometer is good enough for this). If runoff pH is low enough when you are down to 3 -4°P runoff (beyond which there isn't much point in collecting more) you can just terminate there and not worry about phenol extraction. If it hits pH 6 when you are still drawing 8 - 10 °P wort then you have a problem. Sparging with low alkalinity water (e.g. soft or RO) should solve the problem without the need for acidification.

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Old 09-10-2010, 01:19 PM   #5
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Thank you everyone. That is just the information that I was looking for.

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Old 09-14-2010, 09:48 PM   #6
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It is common practice in German breweries to stop collecting wort when the runnings reach a pH of 6.0. The water, unless acidified will always be much higher than this. After a pH reading of 6.0 tannin extraction is almost guaranteed.

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