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Old 07-26-2011, 02:43 AM   #1
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Default Water test PH 7.2

I had my well tested for bacteria and nitrates. As long as I was doing that I had the lab measure the PH of my water. The result came back at 7.2PH.

In general, will this water be better suited for lighter colored beers, or, darker?

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Old 07-26-2011, 03:56 AM   #2
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In general...darker beers. Darker malts will lower your pH.

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Old 07-26-2011, 07:30 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suthrncomfrt1884 View Post
In general...darker beers.
Given the single (irrelevant) datapoint of the water pH of 7.2? Please explain.

Apparently pale malts in a mash, according to you, do not also affect a pH lower than that of the water alone...?
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Old 07-26-2011, 11:33 AM   #4
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With a pH of 7.2 you will be able to make beers with SRM between about 4 (home brewers are hard pressed to hit even as low as 4) and 300 or more if you want to mess with Sinamar. IOW pH has nothing to do with the color of the beer you can make. pH by itself is not very informative to a brewing chemist though it is necessary to know it in order to have a complete picture of the water. There is a weak correlation between beer color and alkalinity i.e. historically light colored beers have been made with water with low alkalinity and dark beers with highly alkaline water but this varies also with the hardness. The correlation is so weak that one can, if he proceeds properly, make beer of any color depth with any level of alkalinity. You will do well to forget you ever heard the common myth that one is limited by water chemistry to certain colors of beer.

To get a listing of the more relevant water ion concentrations send a sample off to Ward Labs. They do a report suited to brewers for about $25 and the turnaround is good.

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Old 07-26-2011, 01:13 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by 944play View Post
Given the single (irrelevant) datapoint of the water pH of 7.2? Please explain.

Apparently pale malts in a mash, according to you, do not also affect a pH lower than that of the water alone...?
He wanted a general answer, I gave one to him. While I could have gone into a long detailed explanation of why pH isn't that important to color (as someone has already pointed out), it was late, and he just wanted to know a color.

In general, higher pH waters have been used historically to make darker beers.
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Old 07-26-2011, 09:41 PM   #6
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Thanks for the replies. I will be moving my brewery to an old farmstead I purchased. I will be moving in the fall or winter.

I did run my water through a testing lab mainly to determine water safety for drinking. I did though add a PH test as well and the lab reported the results.

I am interested in the treatment of brewing water and am just beginning the process of learning. I tend to enjoy lighter beers, IPA's, Pale Ales etc and was wondering if the PH of 7.2 would lend itself to those beers, or, darker styles.

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Old 07-26-2011, 10:13 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gammon N Beer View Post

I am interested in the treatment of brewing water and am just beginning the process of learning. I tend to enjoy lighter beers, IPA's, Pale Ales etc and was wondering if the PH of 7.2 would lend itself to those beers, or, darker styles.
Please make use of the many sticky topics and posts in this section. The pH alone of your water is almost irrelevant. It is the makeup of the water, its' ion content and alkalinity factors that are the major keys in determining what, if anything, the water is suited for without treatment and what treatments are to be recommended for various beer styles and colors.
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Old 07-27-2011, 05:49 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suthrncomfrt1884 View Post
In general, higher pH waters have been used historically to make darker beers.
That's not really true. The correct statement is that higher alkalinity waters have been traditionally used to make darker beers or better yet that higher residual alkalinity waters have been used to make darker beers as this accounts for the hardness of the water.

Although your intuition may tell you otherwise in water that is in equilibrium with CO2 and lime stone (such as the water from many wells, ground water...) the lower the pH the higher the alkalinity (because the higher partial pressure of CO2 in such situations increases the amount of bicarbonate formed). Not all waters are formed this way but lots are.
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Old 07-27-2011, 10:18 PM   #9
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Example: My Ward Labs report said my water had a pH of 7.1. My alkalinity was listed as 214.

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