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Old 01-17-2013, 05:25 AM   #1
humulene
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Default Water ph in first all grain batch...

I'm planning on doing my first all grain batch next month and I've been reading up on water chemistry. Although I know there is more to water chemistry than ph, that's what I've been concerning myself with so far.

In the past I've made extract beers with steeping grains with bottled water. I plan to do the same in my all grain batch.

My question is, should I add anything to the water? My rule of thumb has always been if it's good water it will make good beer. I don't have a way to test ph. I did find a "bottled water ph chart" on the internet and it lists several bottled spring waters between 5.0 and 5.5. Should I seek out those brands?

Looking to keep it simple!

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Old 01-17-2013, 05:30 AM   #2
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The pH of the bottled water you choose, won't make much difference. The simple answer to this is that water has little "buffering" capacity for changes in pH.

If you don't have a pH meter, don't mess with it, seriously. If you use some decent bottled water or good tap water, chances are your going to be pretty close anyway on your pH. You may not get the best conversion ever but it e'll be beer.

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Old 01-17-2013, 01:47 PM   #3
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AJ has a good primer here: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f128/bre...primer-198460/

If its your first AG batch, don't worry too much about it. But water chemistry is definitely something you want to look into in the future.

Kai

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Old 01-17-2013, 07:48 PM   #4
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Thanks for the help. I will likely leave my water alone in my first batch but...

I guess I'm still missing something. I had read the primer but it doesn't really clear it up for me. Is there a step by step "if, then" instruction I could look at?

For instance, if your mash pH is high then add xx. If it's low then add xx.

The primer mentions soft water treatment. Are the strips an option for testing? I know they aren't as good as a meter but they sure are cheaper!

P.S. Kaiser, I really enjoyed your decoction videos!

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Old 01-17-2013, 08:06 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by humulene View Post
For instance, if your mash pH is high then add xx. If it's low then add xx.
brew your beer, don't worry about mash pH and while its fermenting read this:

http://braukaiser.com/wiki/index.php...ash_pH_control

Kai
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Old 01-18-2013, 07:18 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaiser View Post
brew your beer, don't worry about mash pH and while its fermenting read this:

http://braukaiser.com/wiki/index.php...ash_pH_control

Kai
I've been reading quite a bit lately. Let's say 'hypothetically' I were to find some typos in your WIKI. Is there an easy way to alert you to them from there?
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Old 02-20-2013, 07:39 AM   #7
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Humulene. I live in Spokane as well and I have a Ward lab report of my tap water, this is typical water for our area I think.

calcium=37
mag=17
sodium=5
sulphate=15
chloride=1
bicarbonate=153

I don't use my tap water because I usually make lighter colored beers. You could however if you wanted to, just get some type of acid to drop the bicarbonate down and add some salts to suit your beer style. I recommend phosphoric acid unless your making a beer that would benefit from some sourness, in that case lactic acid or acid malt will do the trick. I use crystal geyser alpine spring water by Roxane, they have it in Rosauers, Yokes etc. here's a link to their water reports:

http://www.crystalgeyserasw.com/quality.html

Find the Mt Shasta report as they have several different sources, I've only found mt. Shasta water here in Spokane. The bicarbonate level is around 60ppm +/- 5ppm. My last beer was a pale ale with an SRM of 7, it took 1.25 ml of phosphoric acid 85% to hit a mash pH of 5.4 (room temp/verified with two different mfg. meters)
I can tell you that before I started dabbling into water chemistry I had some beers that were really terrible, my darker beers were fine, the really pale ones came out VERY light colored and astringent, it was worse when using British malt vs Munich or domestic two row.
I don't want to discourage you from keeping it simple for your first all grain and using the water you have, I just wanted to let you know that if you use Spokane water maybe a dark amber or brown ale would be best to start with.

Greg

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