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Old 02-19-2011, 10:39 PM   #11
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I did a quick online brewery store search for PH meters. Do you have any recommendations? I know paying more doesn't always get you more. Are the PH and temp tools ok or is it best to stay away from something that's trying to do two things but may not do either well? The prices I am seeing ($30 to $80 ish) don't seem bad but it would be nice to avoid one or another if something is known to be a bad product.
Recommendations are tough because I use meters you wouldn't even want to consider (but I drive a beat up old pickup truck). I did buy a pHep 5 in the 0.05 accuracy configuration and have checked it against other meters a few times and it seems OK. But I don't use it in my regular brewing or experimentation. Others here recommend other meters. They say its accuracy is only 0.05 but if you cal it it reads better than that in the cal buffers and I don't really see how you can screw up readings between the buffers if it is on for the buffers unless the A/D is really coarse or non linear.

I know how you feel about thing that slice and dice but knowing temperature accurately is important for a pH meter which means that any good meter will be reading temperature quite accurately (and this includes the under $100 ones).

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So are you saying that the generalized additions are a 'quick fix' for the water and that a commercial brewery would alter there brewing methods to compensate for or utilize better the water they have to work with?
That was what they did traditionally. Remember that they brew the same beers over and over and have, therefore, the opportunity to try it with 10 kilos of sauermalz this week and 11 next and probably have some kind of trained panel to evaluate the 2 resulting beers to see which is better.


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Or do they avoid some styles due to their water and just brew with what they have and stick to what they can make well with it?
Again that's what the did traditionally. They didn't brew Boh Pils in Dublin nor Stout in Pilsen.

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I will try your recommended additions. I have just put an IPA into a keg so I'll brew the same in the next few weeks and do a comparison of the two. Of course this will take a while as I think its at a good drinkable state at about a month and a half from brew day.
That's the only way to get really dialed in. Do it over and over again. Take good notes. Have your friends taste it etc.

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Bit of a bummer on the no books front - I guess I'll start another binder and do some searching, if you have any recommendations please post.
You can look at Kai Tröster's site and Martin Brungard's as well. They both know what they are talking about. You are welcome to look at my site (www.wetnewf.org) as well but I tend to be more geeky than those guys.

If you really want to understand this get a good chemistry text and read up on the Law of Mass Action, ionic equilibria, Henderson - Hasselbalch equation and things like that. Once you understand how that works you can calculate the distribution of carbonic, bicarbonate and carbonate ions from pH and alkalinity data. If you can do that you are 90% of the way there.
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Old 02-20-2011, 01:30 AM   #12
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I'll do some reading in some of the prospective meter candidates and go from there. My trucks not that old but I still want to keep the budget within sight.

My friends always seem fine with trying my latest so that won't be an issue. I take what I consider fair notes, the water variations will add another fold though.

I have an old Chem text here somewhere I'll have to see if it covers any of the topics you mention otherwise I'll see what the library has to offer.

If you've been messing with this subject for more than 20 years I'll take it that your at a different level than a casual home brewer.

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Old 02-20-2011, 03:03 AM   #13
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I tried your site a couple of times but it does not come up. Maybe a maintenance issue or something I'll give it another try over the next few days.

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Old 02-24-2011, 04:53 PM   #14
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My water does not have an overbearing chlorine smell but it does have some. If I use a filter with charcoal to remove the chlorine will that change the water in any other way? I am not thinking a full RO set up just one of the under sink or 'full house' style sold at home depot or lowes.

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Old 02-24-2011, 05:22 PM   #15
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1. For Henderson Hasselbalch try a biochemistry text.

2. My website is sometimes difficult to get to. It's on a old Mac Mini (that's also busy logging fermenter temperature data at the moment) and connected to an ISP that does everything it can to discourage people from operating web sites on their own

3. A carbon filter will remove organics, chlorine and chloramine but will not remove any ions such as calcium, magnesium, sulfate etc.

4. Yes, I suppose I know more about brewing water chemistry than the average home brewer but I still don't understand it all.

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Old 02-24-2011, 06:23 PM   #16
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I'll swing by the library this week to see if there is a biochem text covering HH.

I've been able to get onto your site since my initial trial. Looks like lot's of good info. I have started reading some, some of this is above my current knowledge base but that's how progress is made.

I'll pre-fill some 5 gal water jugs with filtered water so I have a ready supply for brew days.

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Old 02-28-2011, 04:40 PM   #17
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ajdelange,

For the PH/Temp meters I have seen some with a temperature range of 23 to 140 F (-5 to 60 C) sold at brewing supply sites. Are these of any use to a brewer? Won't I need something with at least ATC at or above 160F.

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Old 02-28-2011, 04:44 PM   #18
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ajdelange,

For the PH/Temp meters I have seen some with a temperature range of 23 to 140 F (-5 to 60 C) sold at brewing supply sites. Are these of any use to a brewer? Won't I need something with at least ATC at or above 160F.
You'll want to cool your sample down.
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Old 02-28-2011, 05:09 PM   #19
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This one (HM Digital PH-200 pH/Temp Meter/Tester/Waterproof on e-bay) has a high end of 176F and an accuracy of 0.02, its a bit more$. Is this unnecessary? I want to get a decent usable tool and not have to buy another after I find out I made a purchasing mistake. I've been through the 'I'll save money and just get this one' loop before I don't want to dump cash for no reason though.......

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Old 02-28-2011, 05:43 PM   #20
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Yooper;
The simple solution may be the best!


BTW; nice AEON flux style avatar.

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