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Old 04-10-2008, 08:56 PM   #1
The Pol
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Default 5.2 buffer questions?

Anyone used the Five Star 5.2 buffer before? I used it, at a rate of 1tbsp per 5 gallons of water in my mash and my sparge water. Does it turn your water really cloudy? Does it leave a residue in your kettle when you heat your water? I am sure that it is supposed to, it just surprised me. Wish my sample tube had not MELTED, Id have loved to have checked my eff. #'s. I will be brewing twice in May, so I will check it out then.

What sort of increase in your eff have you noticed while using it? I used it mainly because I used a mixture of 50% SPRING and 50% R/O water and needed to drop my PH.

How do you like 5.2??



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Old 04-10-2008, 09:02 PM   #2
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I've used it on my last few batches and I added it to my mash tun after adding the strike water. It definitely turned it cloudy. I didn't bother with it in my sparge water as the instructions indicated it was 1 tablespoon per 5 gallons after the boil.

I didn't see any efficiency change (mine was already mid 80's) so I guess my water is pretty good for the beers that I make. I guess I will keep using it while I have it, I don't think I'll buy more though.



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Old 04-10-2008, 09:03 PM   #3
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It works well. I went up somewhere between 5% and 12% efficiency after using it in the mash. I tried adding it to the sparge water yesterday as well and it did turn the water cloudy and left residue. It also didn't help my efficiency any so I'll leave it for only the mash from now on.

It's good stuff though. Best part is you don't have to d!ck around with reading water reports and whatnot.

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Old 04-10-2008, 09:20 PM   #4
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Cool, I read the instructions, and I decided to add it to ALL of my water... which ammounted to .5 tbsp more 5.2 used... oh well. This was the first time I accurately calculated my water requirement, so I hit my boil volume when my grain bed ran dry... so I HOPE to have gotten all of the sugars out. In the past I got about 78% without the 5.2 and while leaving gallons of water in the mash tun.

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Old 04-10-2008, 09:43 PM   #5
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The phosphates in the buffer are reacting with the Ca in the water to form insoluble calcium phosphate. The warmer the water, the faster the reaction. If you have a LOT of Ca in your water this can reduce the buffering ability of the 5.2.

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Old 04-10-2008, 09:54 PM   #6
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It is my understanding that you want to add the 5.2 to the mash. I have added it to sparge water as well, but as was mentioned 5.2 doesn't do much to water to lower ph. It happens in the mash. I have a ph of 8.5 in my water so 5.2 doesn't quite get me down far enough, so I've gone to adding a few grams of gypsum to the water. Ph will affect your efficiency some but it has a lot to do with hop brightness as well. Just my .02

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Old 04-10-2008, 10:02 PM   #7
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I Toss 5.2 in the mash some water, and 5.2 go into the tun then the grain then stir then top off with more water. I have decent water to begin with, and get ok efficency mid 70s without the addition, but the 5.2 gives me peace of mind when I am making light beers, so it is worth every penny to not have to put to much thought into the stuff.

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Old 04-10-2008, 10:09 PM   #8
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+1, the cloudiness is from insoluble calcium phosphate. Have you checked the calcium levels in your water? I used to use 5.2 in my mash and sparge because I have VERY low Ca and VERY high bicarb, and noticed a huge improvement. Lately I have been diluting all my water with RO, adding some gypsum and epsom salt, and just using 5.2 in the mash. The last couple beers have been nice as well, but I need to finish experimenting with this.

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Old 04-11-2008, 01:17 AM   #9
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We have horrible water, so we have a softener, so I cannot use water from my home. I was advised at my LHBS to use 1/2 RO water and 1/2 Spring Water for my past brew (Blonde Ale), as well as the 5.2 to lower the PH. The water was in the kettle heating 150F or so when I added the 5.2. I am not concerned about the cloudy water, just curious about the experiences of others.



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