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Old 08-01-2013, 07:28 PM   #11
marvso
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Well said and makes sense. A ph meter it is. As long as I am going through the work and fun of brewing, I want it to be as great as possible

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Old 08-01-2013, 07:50 PM   #12
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The calculators cannot predict what will happen using the grains you are using because they only know about those grains in general terms. That is, a typical pilsner base malt has a titration curve that looks like the one on the 4th graph at http://www.wetnewf.org/pdfs/estimating-mash-ph.html. Your particular bag of malt will be somewhat different. So at best there will be variation (error) from the differences between the malt modeled and the malt being used. I say 'at best' because, AFAIK, none of these calculators use the complete titration curve in their models. It is very difficult and time consuming to get such data. If pressed I'll guess that the predictions are ±0.15 pH. Is that good enough? That's really up to you to decide. I wouldn't be comfortable with that but I think many would.

IMO, then, you really should obtain and learn how to use a pH meter. Others may disagree. I found that controlling pH, by use of a meter, made a pretty substantial improvement in my beers. For others this might not be the case.

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Old 08-01-2013, 10:32 PM   #13
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I sure am appreciating all this help! I just ordered a PH meter that I think will do the trick. If I am to understand this correctly I would put my additives into the Mash that EZ water is estimating that I need. Check my mash after about 15 or twenty minutes into the mash for PH and adjust my PH there by making anymore additions I might need to get desired PH. Is this correct thinking?

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Old 08-01-2013, 10:42 PM   #14
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In general, yes but I'll make one additional suggestion and that is that you check pH and make adjustments on a small mash made from a portion of the grist you plan to use. When this test mash is at the right pH you can scale the acid additions for the whole mash and should be quite close when you brew the whole volume.

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Old 08-02-2013, 12:52 AM   #15
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I am a big fan of Kai's calculator:

http://www.brewersfriend.com/mash-ch...er-calculator/

This calculator will help you see what your additions will do to residual alkalinity, one of the most important variables to consider in looking at mash pH. I think dialing in mash pH is the most important thing you can do with water treatments.

Of course, alkalinity in the mash is going to depend heavily on what kinds of grains you use; darker grains drive pH down.

Also keep in mind that in some of these calculators, you need to make sure you plug in your sulfate value properly. Ward labs gives you a sulfate value as only sulfur (which is only 33% of that ion). So, plug in 'ppm as S' with values from their report (or multiply by 3 if your calc of choice doesn't let you correct this).

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Old 08-02-2013, 05:29 PM   #16
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great advice on making a small grist ratio. Not sure I would have ever thought of that. Thanks everyone for all of their great insights.

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Old 08-19-2013, 08:51 PM   #17
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I achieved a ph of 5.3 in Mash thanks to everyone's help. Thank you all so very much. I noticed that my wort was a different quality while boiling this time. Usually it tries to foam over when it first starts the boil but I noticed it was foaming off and on during the boil this time. OG was much higher then normal so I am pretty sure getting the mash ph set correctly greatly improved this.

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