I just got my pH meter back. It worked, briefly, but it drifted pretty quickly. Aside from not recommending the Milwaukee pH meters, I will just suck it up.
Anyway, I checked the pH of my mash while it seemed to be "close enough" going back and forth between the buffers.
The mash pH was 5.29. That seemed low (Brunwater predicted 5.5) but then I remembered that I finished off the bag of Rahr two-row and if I remember correctly that base malt has a much lower pH in distilled water. (5.5 I think).
That was fine, and then for the first time I took the pH of the finished wort after the boil. It was 5.35 at 59 degrees.
That got me thinking about things I've read and heard about the pH during the entire brewing process.
I know there are big thick textbooks about this, but if anyone has the time and inclination to give me the cliff notes, I'd appreciate it.
The reason I ask is that this is the very first time my wort was not completely clear in the fermenter. The hydrometer sample did start to drop clear after sitting a bit, but usually it's clear right out of the CFC.
I know that many things go into this- calcium content, the pH, break material, etc, but in this case I'm thinking it has to be the pH.
Why does the pH change from the mash through the boil? What's the optimum pH for the wort, and why? I understand why the pH would change during fermentation, of course.
Am I on the right track here, or way out to lunch? (I figure a 50/50 chance at either!).