Ss Brewing Technologies Giveaway!

Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > 5star 5.2 buffer and efficiency
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 08-14-2008, 04:58 PM   #1
slim chillingsworth
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Austin Tx
Posts: 313
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

Default 5star 5.2 buffer and efficiency

i just used the 5star 5.2 stabilizer in my mlt for the first time, and i got some of the worst efficiency i've ever hit, around 52%.

i usually use 10% phosphoric acid to bring my 9.7 pH water down to a proper level. i get consistent results with this, but wanted to give the 5star stuff a try, so i used 1 tablespoon for a 5 gallon batch, as recommended on the package (and in beersmith).

it was kind of a sloppy mash-in because the markings on my mlt were more faded than i thought, and i may have ended up mashing a bit thin. i hit my 154* mash temp and held it for an hour, then batch sparged (2 batches with recirculation).

has anyone else had trouble with the buffer? there is a good chance that it was a coincidence and something else was the problem, so i'll give it another chance.

__________________

"I don't understand why everybody is focusing only on details. It is impossible to produce a good beer with details."
Jean-Marie Rock, head brewer at Orval

SERIOUS BUSINESS BREWERY
---serious -mod edit- business---

my commercial beer notes garret oliver on beer and foodjosh oakes on beer and food

slim chillingsworth is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-14-2008, 05:03 PM   #2
Lil' Sparky
Cowboys EAC
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Lil' Sparky's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Honolulu, HI
Posts: 4,013
Liked 50 Times on 33 Posts

Default

Most places here in central TX have water with bicarbonate levels off the chart. I know ours is. The buffer will work great for most people, but it probably just isn't strong enough to buffer how much residual alkalinity is in your water.

FYI - even if you add enough acid to bring the mash pH down, you still probably don't want to use water that high in bicarbonates. You might consider diluting with 50% RO and and then adding the buffer.

What are most other Austin brewers doing with their water?

__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by duffman2 View Post
I dub this beer the Double Slutty Triple Nutty Bodacious Booty Brunette!
Lil' Sparky is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-14-2008, 05:04 PM   #3
wildwest450
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 9,099
Liked 165 Times on 150 Posts
Likes Given: 4

Default

Call me crazy, but how can 5.2 affect your efficiency?

__________________
wildwest450 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-14-2008, 05:13 PM   #4
slim chillingsworth
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Austin Tx
Posts: 313
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by wildwest450 View Post
Call me crazy, but how can 5.2 affect your efficiency?
well, from a quick google search i found this on Home Brew Digest:

Mash pH. A mash pH that is drastically too high or low will adversely affect extraction efficiency, by inhibiting the enzymes that convert starches to sugars.
__________________

"I don't understand why everybody is focusing only on details. It is impossible to produce a good beer with details."
Jean-Marie Rock, head brewer at Orval

SERIOUS BUSINESS BREWERY
---serious -mod edit- business---

my commercial beer notes garret oliver on beer and foodjosh oakes on beer and food

slim chillingsworth is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-14-2008, 05:16 PM   #5
slim chillingsworth
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Austin Tx
Posts: 313
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lil' Sparky View Post
FYI - even if you add enough acid to bring the mash pH down, you still probably don't want to use water that high in bicarbonates. You might consider diluting with 50% RO and and then adding the buffer.
i haven't had any problems that i've noticed. what are the symptoms of high bicarbonate levels?

i'm going to be adding a filter to my setup within the next couple of batches, is there something specific i should look for that can help with bicarbonate?
__________________

"I don't understand why everybody is focusing only on details. It is impossible to produce a good beer with details."
Jean-Marie Rock, head brewer at Orval

SERIOUS BUSINESS BREWERY
---serious -mod edit- business---

my commercial beer notes garret oliver on beer and foodjosh oakes on beer and food

slim chillingsworth is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-14-2008, 05:29 PM   #6
Lil' Sparky
Cowboys EAC
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Lil' Sparky's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Honolulu, HI
Posts: 4,013
Liked 50 Times on 33 Posts

Default

Wildwest450 - there is a slim pH range that the malt enzymes will work properly. Like slim said, if your mash pH is too high, your enzymes won't be doing their job fully converting the starches, so you end up with low efficiency - and if the pH is too high, you'll probably end up with some astringency, too.

From what I've read, the high bicarbonates can affect the finished product. For example, bicarbonates intensify the bitterness in hops. Lower levels will make it easier to hit your mash pH, no matter what technique you're using anyway.

I don't think normal filters remove bicarbonates. Reverse osmosis does, along with everything else.

__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by duffman2 View Post
I dub this beer the Double Slutty Triple Nutty Bodacious Booty Brunette!
Lil' Sparky is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-14-2008, 05:38 PM   #7
slim chillingsworth
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Austin Tx
Posts: 313
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lil' Sparky View Post
From what I've read, the high bicarbonates can affect the finished product. For example, bicarbonates intensify the bitterness in hops. Lower levels will make it easier to hit your mash pH, no matter what technique you're using anyway.
that makes sense, burton water is high in bicarbonate. i haven't had any problems with the bitterness in my beers that i've been able to detect. i also haven't had any problem hitting my mash pH using phosphoric acid. i usually add 2 tsp of 10% to 5 gallons of water, a ratio suggested by a friend of the guys at AHS who is a chemist at UT. i think i'm going to try a bit of phosphoric acid in combination with the 5.2 buffer next time.
__________________

"I don't understand why everybody is focusing only on details. It is impossible to produce a good beer with details."
Jean-Marie Rock, head brewer at Orval

SERIOUS BUSINESS BREWERY
---serious -mod edit- business---

my commercial beer notes garret oliver on beer and foodjosh oakes on beer and food

slim chillingsworth is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-14-2008, 05:41 PM   #8
adrock
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Fort Thomas, KY
Posts: 732
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by slim chillingsworth View Post
i haven't had any problems that i've noticed. what are the symptoms of high bicarbonate levels?
Slim, the major symptom of high bicarbonate concentration is crazy high pH -- Bicarbonate is the main ingredient used to add basicity to powdered laundry detergents, so it works rather well at raising pH. 9.7 definitely qualifies as crazy high. I can't say whether bicarbonate is the culprit of your basic water for sure or not, but your high pH readings coupled with Sparky's knowledge of high bicarbonate levels in Texas water sure point to it.
__________________
On Tap: American Barleywine, English Bitter, Irish Red Ale, Pumpkin Spice Ale
Brewing: English Bitter, Hopped-up Amber
Up Next: Old Ale, West Coast IPA
adrock is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-14-2008, 05:55 PM   #9
slim chillingsworth
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Austin Tx
Posts: 313
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by adrock View Post
Slim...
i guess i should have phrased it differently. i know that my pH is high and have been effectively treating that. i was asking about the symptoms of high bicarbonate in the finished product in order to determine whether or not i need to do something in addition to treating the pH problem related to high bicarbonate.
__________________

"I don't understand why everybody is focusing only on details. It is impossible to produce a good beer with details."
Jean-Marie Rock, head brewer at Orval

SERIOUS BUSINESS BREWERY
---serious -mod edit- business---

my commercial beer notes garret oliver on beer and foodjosh oakes on beer and food

slim chillingsworth is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-14-2008, 05:58 PM   #10
Lil' Sparky
Cowboys EAC
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Lil' Sparky's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Honolulu, HI
Posts: 4,013
Liked 50 Times on 33 Posts

Default

I'd PM EdWort and see what he (and other Austin brewers) do.

I've found a few methods that seem to work OK for me here, but getting the skinny from someone local might really help out.

__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by duffman2 View Post
I dub this beer the Double Slutty Triple Nutty Bodacious Booty Brunette!
Lil' Sparky is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply



Quick Reply
Message:
Options
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
PH 5.2 Buffer JVD_X All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 49 04-05-2012 06:25 PM
pH buffer batfishdog37 All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 8 04-10-2009 08:19 PM
Do I need to use 5.2 Buffer? caskconditioned General Beer Discussion 9 12-31-2008 06:40 PM
Buffer 5.2, yay or nay? EamusCatuli All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 11 12-04-2008 01:58 AM
Buffer 5.2 brewjunky All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 12 06-12-2008 10:09 PM