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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > "5.2" in the sparge water
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Old 09-15-2009, 06:32 AM   #1
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Default "5.2" in the sparge water

So I usually always put 1 tbsp of "5.2" in my mash water. But I got to thinking, should I be putting it in the sparge water as well?

pH is just as important during the sparge as the mash, right?

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Old 09-15-2009, 06:37 AM   #2
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From what I have read it is not really as important as the mash. The mash needs a good pH so that the full conversion can happen. The sparge does continue conversion (unless you do a mash out) but not at the same level.

I always adjust my mash water, but never my sparge water. I am no expert though and would be interested to hear what the more seasoned guys have to say.

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Old 09-15-2009, 07:21 AM   #3
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i use it in both mash and sparge. i don't remember why right now but thats what i do lol

i think i might have read some where that you should use it for both but i'm not sure

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Old 09-15-2009, 07:36 AM   #4
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I only add it to the mash. However, I treat my water (both sparge and mash) for the style I'm brewing and for the taste I'm trying to get. In other words the water I'm using is rather specific for the color of beer I'm brewing. If my brewing waters residual alkalinity was way off from the color of beer I was brewing I would most likely add 5.2 to the sparge water as well.

I'm simply using the 5.2 as insurance if my calculations for correcting residual alkalinity are off.

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Old 09-15-2009, 02:14 PM   #5
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I add it to both. But i heat all my water (strike and sparge) together since I like to boil it first to sanitize it. Then I let it drop to my strike temp. Then i put the lid on and wait about 40 minutes. The left over water i use for sparging drops to about 120-140 in that time. About 15 to 20 minutes prior to sparge time i turn the heat back on and get my sparge water up to temp.

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Old 09-15-2009, 02:17 PM   #6
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If your sparge water has high residual alkalinity, particularly if you fly sparge, you want to treat your sparge water (with something) so that you don't extract a lot of tannins when you sparge. The problem probably isn't as bad if you batch sparge, depending on how alkaline your water is.

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Old 09-15-2009, 03:47 PM   #7
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+1

Lil Sparky is correct. I have hard water and always treat my sparge water, and depending on style, sometimes the mash too.

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Old 09-15-2009, 03:53 PM   #8
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Yes and no. As I understand it, it is best to not have your sparge water pH below 6 (7 preffered) as, depending on your grist, the grain you are sparging may not have the buffering capacity to counter a low, or high, pH.

I used to treat my HLT with 5.2 and, via pH papers, could see it work. However, I stopped becuse I was also seeing a higher rate of sedimentation in my HLT thus requiring more rigourous cleaning.

Now, I use Lactic Acid as a amendment to pH and find that a mere 4 mL/14gal can bring my avg pH 9.3 water to pH 7 with no alteration in taste. Now, I just use the 5.2 in the mash and my HLT is happier (cleaner) for it.

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Old 09-15-2009, 05:00 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GilaMinumBeer View Post
Yes and no. As I understand it, it is best to not have your sparge water pH below 6 (7 preffered) as, depending on your grist, the grain you are sparging may not have the buffering capacity to counter a low, or high, pH.

I used to treat my HLT with 5.2 and, via pH papers, could see it work. However, I stopped becuse I was also seeing a higher rate of sedimentation in my HLT thus requiring more rigourous cleaning.

Now, I use Lactic Acid as a amendment to pH and find that a mere 4 mL/14gal can bring my avg pH 9.3 water to pH 7 with no alteration in taste. Now, I just use the 5.2 in the mash and my HLT is happier (cleaner) for it.

Jeepers, your water pH is 9.3?

I'd say that if you have high pH water (maybe 7.5-8.0 or higher) and you're fly sparging, it's probably a good idea to treat your water with some acid to get the pH down in the 6-7 range.
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Old 09-15-2009, 05:53 PM   #10
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I just recently listened to a podcast from The brewing network where J. Palmer and crew talked about 5.2 and they only talked about using it in the mash if I remember correctly. They also said they only use 3/4 the amount suggested to protect against possible off flavors from the 5.2.

They said they had the same results by using 3/4 when they tested it. So I really don’t have an answer but it sounds like a good idea to possibly use 1/2 and 1/2 for mash and sparging. My only concern is that with the mash maybe most of the product is absorbed by the gains and adding it to the sparge will pass more into your wort possibly causing a slight off flavor from the 5.2 itself?

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