The Great Bottle Opener Giveaway

Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Brew Science > Adding minerals to water and using Buffer 5.2

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 09-09-2009, 07:16 PM   #1
BeezBrew
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Gaithersburg, MD
Posts: 114
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

Default Adding minerals to water and using Buffer 5.2

I apologize if this has been asked before, but if the right proportion of minerals are added to my brewing water that is appropriate to the style of beer i'm brewing, is there a need for the Buffer pH 5.2 solution? Is it ok to add just to be safe? Will it harm the beer when added with the already added minerals? Thoughts?

__________________

God i miss Northwest brews.....

BeezBrew is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-09-2009, 07:24 PM   #2
The Pol
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 11,616
Liked 51 Times on 48 Posts

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by BeezBrew View Post
I apologize if this has been asked before, but if the right proportion of minerals are added to my brewing water that is appropriate to the style of beer i'm brewing, is there a need for the Buffer pH 5.2 solution? Is it ok to add just to be safe? Will it harm the beer when added with the already added minerals? Thoughts?
I add all of my salts, AND the 5.2. Beer tastes fine.
__________________
The Pol is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-09-2009, 07:41 PM   #3
lamarguy
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 1,657
Liked 20 Times on 20 Posts
Likes Given: 1

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by BeezBrew View Post
I apologize if this has been asked before, but if the right proportion of minerals are added to my brewing water that is appropriate to the style of beer i'm brewing, is there a need for the Buffer pH 5.2 solution?
5.2 buffer is helpful if the mash pH is out of range (5.0 > pH > 5.6). If you've already added salts to the water (to match a particular stype) and your mash pH is still out of range, as determined by litmus paper or a pH meter, then 5.2 may be enough to correct the problem.

I've conducted several experiments using Palmer's spreadsheet and a pH meter and I've found I can get reasonably close to a mash pH of 5.2 without using 5.2 buffer. For example, I brewed an Oktoberfest last Monday and I hit 5.4 after mash-in using a Munich water mineral profile. I then added 1/2 tsp (much less than the 1 tbs recommendation) of 5.2 buffer which brought the pH down to, you guessed it - 5.2.

My point is, I'm an advocate for measurement, not just adding things to my beer without cause.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BeezBrew View Post
Is it ok to add just to be safe? Will it harm the beer when added with the already added minerals?
You can add it "just to be safe", but I advocate measurement. Litmus paper is very cheap. Be forewarned, if you add more 5.2 buffer than what is recommended, you can significantly change the water mineral profile and taste of the beer.
__________________
Doggfather Brewery

Planned: Lambic, American IPA
Fermenting: 6 gals of 1.090 stout (Belgian) & 6 gals of 1.090 stout (English)
Tapped: Berliner Weisse, Black English IPA, German Pils, & Live Oak Primus
lamarguy is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-09-2009, 10:21 PM   #4
BigEd
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 2,317
Liked 109 Times on 96 Posts
Likes Given: 14

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by BeezBrew View Post
I apologize if this has been asked before, but if the right proportion of minerals are added to my brewing water that is appropriate to the style of beer i'm brewing, is there a need for the Buffer pH 5.2 solution? Is it ok to add just to be safe? Will it harm the beer when added with the already added minerals? Thoughts?
As long as you have a proper lineup of water ions for the beer style being brewed there wouldn't be any need for an additional product. If you are the worrying type or like giving money to the producers of 5.2 it won't do any harm if you put it in.
__________________
BigEd is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-09-2009, 11:30 PM   #5
boredatwork
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Sunnyvale, CA
Posts: 281
Liked 6 Times on 6 Posts

Default

I always add it anyway. We are not dealing in exact science here, so adding safeguards is always useful.

__________________
boredatwork is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-10-2009, 12:24 AM   #6
BeezBrew
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Gaithersburg, MD
Posts: 114
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

Default

Cool, thanks for the replies.

__________________

God i miss Northwest brews.....

BeezBrew is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-10-2009, 12:29 AM   #7
lamarguy
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 1,657
Liked 20 Times on 20 Posts
Likes Given: 1

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by BigEd View Post
As long as you have a proper lineup of water ions for the beer style being brewed there wouldn't be any need for an additional product. If you are the worrying type or like giving money to the producers of 5.2 it won't do any harm if you put it in.
If you're attempting to achieve an optimal mash, it's more complicated that just having the "proper lineup of water ions". If often takes multiple adjustments to hit a 5.2 mash pH.

Have you measured your mash pH lately?
__________________
Doggfather Brewery

Planned: Lambic, American IPA
Fermenting: 6 gals of 1.090 stout (Belgian) & 6 gals of 1.090 stout (English)
Tapped: Berliner Weisse, Black English IPA, German Pils, & Live Oak Primus
lamarguy is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-10-2009, 12:45 AM   #8
Bobby_M
Vendor and Brewer
HBT_SPONSOR.png
Vendor Ads 
Feedback Score: 2 reviews
 
Bobby_M's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Whitehouse Station, NJ
Posts: 21,822
Liked 899 Times on 600 Posts
Likes Given: 26

Default

I was under the impression that residual alkalinity, coupled with estimated malt acidity, was enough to nail the PH at least in an acceptable range. The concern I'd have with 5.2 is that it's adding to the salts and potentially overdoing it. What is 5.2 comprised of? Who knows. It's proprietary.

__________________
BrewHardware.com
Sightglass, Refractometer, Ball Valve, Weldless bulkhead, Thermometer, Decals, Stainless Steel Fittings, Compression Fittings, Camlock Quick Disconnects, Scale, RIMS tube, Plate Chiller, Chugger Pump, Super Clear Silicone Tubing, and more!

New Stuff?

Last edited by Bobby_M; 09-10-2009 at 12:48 AM.
Bobby_M is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-10-2009, 12:58 AM   #9
Tonedef131
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Fort Wayne
Posts: 1,906
Liked 20 Times on 10 Posts
Likes Given: 3

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobby_M View Post
The concern I'd have with 5.2 is that it's adding to the salts and potentially overdoing it. What is 5.2 comprised of? Who knows. It's proprietary.
Exactly my thoughts. I build my water out of a RO base and there is no reason to be using 5.2. However, if you are not wanting to mess with building water and just want to get your municipal water into the right range, it's a pretty good product.
__________________
Tonedef131 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-10-2009, 12:59 AM   #10
The Pol
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 11,616
Liked 51 Times on 48 Posts

Default

I build my water... I have also had this little tub of 5.2 forever... so I just put it in. I cannot detect anything wrong with doing so.

__________________
The Pol is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply


Quick Reply
Message:
Options
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Sources for water salts/minerals.. GilaMinumBeer Recipes/Ingredients 6 04-09-2014 04:06 AM
Scale for Water Salts/Minerals: Blade? Evan! Equipment/Sanitation 4 06-19-2009 03:13 AM
Help me with water. RO adding minerals back in... rshosted All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 19 02-09-2008 03:53 AM
Adjusting Minerals in Water? Johnny5 General Techniques 3 06-29-2007 10:02 PM
Bottled Water and addition of minerals gERgMan General Techniques 1 03-21-2007 03:50 PM