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-   -   pH paper testers (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f128/ph-paper-testers-293758/)

Pugs13 01-11-2012 01:51 PM

pH paper testers
I am completely new to this pH testing. I just got some of those universal pH testing papers but they don't really explain how to use them. Can someone give me a quick low down...I wanted to test my tap water to see if it was ok to use for brewing. Let me know what you think. Thanks

ajdelange 01-11-2012 02:05 PM

The best way to use them is to grasp them firmly in the left hand while raising the lid of the garbage can with the right hand. Then vigorously toss them into the garbage can with the left hand.

Put another way, they are pretty useless in brewing. If you poke around on this site and others you will find extensive documentation of this fact including experiments people have done.

That's the bad news. The good news is that electronic pH meters are no longer as expensive or difficult as they once were. But I wouldn't recommend getting one just yet. You are obviously just setting out here and need to understand quite a bit more than you currently do before a pH meter would be of much use to you. One of the first things you will find is that the pH of the source water has very little to do with its performance in the mash tun. It is the alkalinity you are concerned with through its effect on the pH of the mash.

Homercidal 01-11-2012 02:37 PM

That is funny, aj. And spot on.

I bought some a while back, in the range for brewing, and they did NOTHING!

OP I suggest doing a bunch of reading and trying the several spreadsheets that are online. I know there are a couple of great podcasts from basicbrewing.com and thebrewingnetwork.com as well on water chemistry.

While you are filling your mind with all of that, send out for a water report from Ward Labs. With that and a spreadsheet you can get close.

AFTER you get a good feel for how it all works, use the money you have been saving up while learning to buy a good portable pH meter.

ajdelange, mabrungard, Kaiser, and some others, really have a good handle on pH and water chemistry and can really help you understand. Many of them are willing to answer questions directed at them.

Lastly, once you have your report, post it on here and someone will be along to help diagnose it for brewing. :mug:

Pugs13 01-11-2012 03:20 PM

Sounds good thanks

BrewMU 01-12-2012 02:15 AM

You match the color to the color spread on the tube - it's only approximate. Good for getting a general idea, like making sure your Star San is <ph 3, or that your mash between 5 and 5.6, etc.

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