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Old 10-07-2012, 03:23 PM   #11
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What did your PH end up being during the mash?

Also, isn't it true when doing darker beers from brown ales to stouts that you can keep the minerals out of the mash water (to help out that much more with keeping the PH from going lower depending on how many dark malts are in the grain bill) and add to the kettle for yeast health (50ppm Ca), and Cl for malt accentuation? I don't really like the idea of adding CaCO3 to the mash all that much.

I understand that you can always add the darker grains at vorlauf as well but my LHBS doesnt have a lot of the grains and when I asked Northern Brewer if they could bag the specialty grains separate I was told they could not, so that throws out the adding the grains at vorlauf.
I ended pretty low- 5.3
My mistake was that I didn't look at mabrungard"s sheet and adjust it by both sheets, EZ water gave me 5.5 and mabrungard"s 5.3.

I steeped specialty grains separately and added wort in boil kettle. I"ll stick with adding it at vorlauf as I do usually- less job and simpler.
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Old 10-09-2012, 03:35 PM   #12
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Adding all the dark stuff at vorlauf is what I think I'll do too from now on, as long as I can get the grains separated anyway.

I did an 80 shilling on Sept 22nd, used RO water and treated all the water (9gallons) with 8 grams CaCl. I checked the PH at about 15 minutes and it was 4.3 so I added 2 teaspoons of Carbonate to the mash and it brought it up around 5.2 and by the time I got done sparging it was 5.4. I tasted it this past weekend and it just seemed a little flat and watery even though the hydrometer still had it at 1.022, but had a really nice malty flavor. I also mashed in a Blichmann at 154 but the temp dropped down to 149 so I think that might have something to do with the less mouthfeel I'm getting. Looking forward to seeing what a little carbonation does to the mouthfeel though.

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Old 10-09-2012, 05:34 PM   #13
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What was your grain bill?
4.3 is pretty low.. I suppose that was with special grains.
In what form you added carbonate?

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Old 10-09-2012, 05:42 PM   #14
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It was a NB kit:

-- 9 lbs. British Golden Promise
-- 1 lbs English Medium Crystal

S-33 Safale Yeast fermented at 62F

There really wasnt too many special grains though but I guess it was enough to really pull down the PH when using distilled water. The Calcium Carbonate was the powder I got from LHBS.

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Old 10-09-2012, 08:19 PM   #15
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Maybe I am misleading something, but with this grain bill and water treatment you couldn't end that low w/pH.
Are you sure you calibrated pH meter properly?

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Old 10-09-2012, 08:23 PM   #16
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Maybe I am misleading something, but with this grain bill and water treatment you couldn't end that low w/pH.
Are you sure you calibrated pH meter properly?
I agree. It's absolutely impossible to have a pH of 4.3 in the mash. Adding the carbonate doesn't do anything (it has to be dissolved in water, bubbled with co2, etc), so that was the "real" pH all along. You must have just had a bad reading the first time.
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Old 10-09-2012, 08:25 PM   #17
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I calibrate it every time I use it with 7.0 or 4.0 PH calibration solution, the meter is very easy to calibrate. I always use fresh solution and it never gets put back into the bottle, rinsed with distilled water after I check the mash, and stored in storage solution. The SRM was 10 but that's really not all that dark. I'll have to brew it again and see what I get.

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Old 10-09-2012, 09:28 PM   #18
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I agree that it would be difficult to bring a mash pH into the low 4's without an external acid addition. I have brewed a rather acidic Mild Ale grist that included 20% crystal and 5% roast malts with straight RO water and the pH fell to 4.9 before I added the dose of pickling lime that Bru'n Water said I needed. That was an extreme grist and most grists are not going to be as acidic as that one. The 4.3 pH measurement was probably an error of some sort.

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Old 10-09-2012, 09:40 PM   #19
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I hope it was and error of some sort in the readings. I'll brew it again but this time I'm going to find a supplier that will separate the dark grains out and I can add them at vorlauf. Or I might do it the same way to see if I get different readings.

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Old 10-10-2012, 04:33 PM   #20
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Last time I brewed I tried to take a mash pH reading at twenty minutes and it was crazily low, 4-something. I just figured that whatever chemistry was going on wasn’t complete and I had a bad indication.

I mash in the oven so it’s difficult to pull samples. Out of the lauter tun, it was 5.3. I suppose the right way to do it is to pull the mash pot out of the oven, stir it well, take a sample, put it back in the oven. Too much trouble.

Then again, if y’all say it’s not possible, maybe I had a contaminated container, maybe a little StarSan. It was a pretty small sample. I do rinse the electrode with RO from a spray bottle.

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