New Giveaway - Wort Monster Conical Fermenter!

Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > Brewing Salts with PH 5.2?




Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 01-30-2008, 01:33 AM   #1
Mr. Mojo Rising
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Mr. Mojo Rising's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Charleston, Il
Posts: 212
Liked 3 Times on 3 Posts

Default Brewing Salts with PH 5.2?

According to John Palmer's Water Profile adjustment chart, my next brew, an Amber Ale needs a Residual Alkalinity boost. My local water profile suggests a 4-6 SRM brew, but the Amber Ale is calculating to around 12-13 SRM. Therefore I am considering using some baking soda to raise my RA to see if it will help my efficiency some. Should I use PH 5.2 with my mash if I am going to do this salt addition? Will the 5.2 just stabilize my Ph no matter what salts I add? I know that it is the minerals that count and that the Ph is just a ratio of the mineral effects. Anyone ever tread on this ground or am I just nerding it up



__________________

15 Gal Conical - The Three Nobles-German Pils
Secondary - The Comrade-Imperial Russian Stout
Tap 1 - The Goodness-APA
Tap 2 - The Unicorn-Honey Nut Brown
Tap 3 - The Blarney-Irish Red
Mr. Mojo Rising is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-30-2008, 12:53 PM   #2
jas0420
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 1 reviews
 
jas0420's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: College Station, Texas
Posts: 165
Liked 3 Times on 3 Posts
Likes Given: 4

Default

I'm wondering the exact same thing....

I'm currently under the impression that if you're building your water profile correctly for the beer style that you are brewing that session, that your special water + that particular blend of grains = the perfect mash pH all by itself... In other words, I sort of thought the goal to building your own water was to end up with something that would balance out with the grain as far as pH goes. As an example, I assume in Dublin, they aren't messing with the pH to make a Guinness....

I've only done a couple of custom water batches, and only attempted to actually measure the pH on the last one, and found my assumptions above incorrect. I had to add lactic acid to bring the pH down. I was considering getting some 5.2 for my next batch... Wondering if it's necessary though, or if I just picked poorly on my water profile choice. I used BreWater 3 to pick my water from and was very careful in my measurements.



__________________
jas0420 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-30-2008, 01:22 PM   #3
TexLaw
Here's Lookin' Atcha!
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
TexLaw's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 3,694
Liked 24 Times on 23 Posts

Default

I understand that the 5.2 stabilizer is a fairly powerful buffer. It's not bulletproof, so you could raise the pH with enough baking soda, but that amount probably would affect your beer in negative ways. If making mineral additions for pH reasons, I would not add the buffer.


TL

__________________
Beer is good for anything from hot dogs to heartache.

Drinking Frog Brewery, est. 1993
TexLaw is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-30-2008, 02:10 PM   #4
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 45 Times on 31 Posts

Default

The 5.2 buffer works to both raise or lower the pH to the the point the buffer was designed, although their website claims it works better at lowering the pH since that's the problem most people have. This is the best no-brainer solution IMO.

That said, if you build your water with other additions, either according to Palmer, BrewWater, etc., and you're in the right SRM range then you shouldn't need to add anything else. The acidity of the mash will bring the pH into the proper range.

Jason, I don't know how long that pH stabilization takes, so that may be why your pH was still reading high.

__________________
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 01-30-2008, 03:05 PM   #5
Kaiser
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Kaiser's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Pepperell, MA
Posts: 3,904
Liked 113 Times on 71 Posts
Likes Given: 4

Default

Do you have a program that you can use to calculate the mineral content of your brewing water based on your water analysis and the salts you are adding?

Yes you can use baking soda, but if you have to add to much, you will also add a lot of sodium. That's why it would be nice to check your resulting mineral levels. Otherwise you may want to use chalk which adds calcium and cabonates. Palmer has a speadsheet for that.

BTW, I prefer this over using 5.2 as you will know what salts are in your water.

Kai


Last edited by Kaiser; 01-30-2008 at 03:08 PM.
Kaiser is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-30-2008, 04:20 PM   #6
jas0420
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 1 reviews
 
jas0420's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: College Station, Texas
Posts: 165
Liked 3 Times on 3 Posts
Likes Given: 4

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lil' Sparky
Jason, I don't know how long that pH stabilization takes, so that may be why your pH was still reading high.
That could be. Either that, or I shouldn’t have been messing with making my own water. I guess I should qualify what I said above with my observation from brewing with you this weekend....... I don't know if this is an endorsement for 5.2 stabilizer, or an indicator that there's some leeway in Palmer’s nomograph, but……

Here in College Station, the bicarbonates are published at 459 ppm. That’s the second highest I’ve seen published in the brewing software I’ve looked into. If I followed the nomograph correctly, this water is wayyyyyyy off the charts until you get down to a concentration of something crazy like 3% local water and 97% distilled, and that only got you into the darkest beers.

That’s how I wound up trying to make my own water and complicating my process yet another degree. I’ve been on a quest lately to improve some off flavors, paying more and more attention to things that the “relax, don’t worry, have a homebrew” philosophy had convinced me were ok to leave to chance.

Fast-forward to this past weekend. Lil’ Sparky has me over for a brew day that he put together. I was pretty much expecting to see a science lab, thinking he must have gone down the same path I’m currently on since he has to cope with the same water. While he has a sweet setup, I was honestly pretty surprised to see the mash process. It amounted to roughly 50% reverse osmosis water, and 50% of the “off the chart” College Station water, and a couple tablespoons of 5.2. That was it. No brewing salts, no ColorPhast strips, no milligram scale… Very much the laid back enjoyable brew day that we all think it should be. I was lucky enough to find my way to his kegerator (he didn’t hide it very well) and sampled the two he had on tap. They were absolutely excellent, and I’m not just saying that b/c I know he’ll probably read this eventually. Far superior to anything I’ve churned out here, and they would be right at home at any fine brewpub. Perhaps the science ahd been worked out long ago and what I witnessed was just a comfort level from those past experiences, but he most certainly was getting stellar results from water that I had written off as unusable.

So, while surprised, I was also very encouraged. I am absolutely going to be giving 5.2 a shot next time around and hope to start removing some of the complications and variables I’ve introduced upon myself (like making my own water).

[steps on soapbox]
In case any newer folks are reading this... if there’s a lesson here, I wish that I had found someone experienced to brew with a long time ago. I'd probably be much happier with my results by now!! I certainly could have skipped a lot of the trial and error that I was going through.
[steps off soapbox]

-jas
__________________

Last edited by jas0420; 01-30-2008 at 07:23 PM.
jas0420 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-30-2008, 04:25 PM   #7
pjj2ba
Look under the recliner
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
pjj2ba's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: State College, Pennsylvania
Posts: 3,411
Liked 190 Times on 156 Posts
Likes Given: 21

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Mojo Rising
Will the 5.2 just stabilize my Ph no matter what salts I add? I know that it is the minerals that count and that the Ph is just a ratio of the mineral effects. Anyone ever tread on this ground or am I just nerding it up
It depends on the salt. Some contribute more to pH than other. Of all the salts one typically adds to a mash, Bicarbonate will affect pH the greatest. It is a buffer, just like 5.2, just at a different pH (8-9). As long as you have more 5.2 present, your pH will be fine. It shouldn't take that much bicarbonate to match the water profile you want

Quote:
I'm currently under the impression that if you're building your water profile correctly for the beer style that you are brewing that session, that your special water + that particular blend of grains = the perfect mash pH all by itself... In other words, I sort of thought the goal to building your own water was to end up with something that would balance out with the grain as far as pH goes. As an example, I assume in Dublin, they aren't messing with the pH to make a Guinness....
They aren't messing with the water, they're messing with the grain bill. The acidity of the roasted malts will help conteract the high carbonates in the water to give a good pH for the mash.

That being said, one might think then that using 5.2 would solve all the missmatched water/style problems. Nope. I can dial in my pH with 5.2, but I have high carbonates so if I don't take steps to lower them my bitterness can leave a little bit of a harsh aftertaste in lighter beer styles.
__________________
On Tap: Ger. Pils, OKZ (std Amer. lager), CZ Pils, Maibock,
Kegged and Aging/Lagering:CAP, Bock, CAP II, Wheat lager, Imperial Pilsner, Ger. Pils
Secondary:
Primary: OKZ (std Amer. lager), OKZ II (for base malt comparison), Saison, light beer - yes, light beer
Brewing soon: IPA, Belgian IPA, Saison
Recently kicked : ( IPA, Bock, Saison,
Pilsner Urquell Master Homebrewer
(1st NYC 2011, 2nd NYC 2012)
P U crowns winners in its inaugural master HB competition
pjj2ba is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-30-2008, 06:42 PM   #8
Kaiser
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Kaiser's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Pepperell, MA
Posts: 3,904
Liked 113 Times on 71 Posts
Likes Given: 4

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by pjj2ba
They aren't messing with the water, they're messing with the grain bill. The acidity of the roasted malts will help conteract the high carbonates in the water to give a good pH for the mash.
That's true for most, but not for all. I know that Dortmunder water is not well suited for brewing Dortmunders w/o water treatment. And those brewers have been some of the pioneers in water treatment.

It is especially off-the chart water where you have to watch out for using 5.2 since you may have to add to much of it to counteract the water.

Mash pH is not only important for the mash, it sets the stage for lauter and boil pH. Lauter pH will control the tannin extraction and boil pH affects the bitternes and bittering quality you get from the hops. All of this are flavors that you may want to improve on or keep the as they are. And unless you are brewing new recipes all the time, you only have to mess with the pH the first few times you brew a particular receipe after that you already know what to add. And even if you choose to use 5.2 you may want to measure the pH to check how well it works (especially with very hard or soft water).

Kai
__________________
BrauKaiser.com - brewing science blog - Twitter - water and mash chemistry calculator
Kaiser is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-30-2008, 11:57 PM   #9
Mr. Mojo Rising
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Mr. Mojo Rising's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Charleston, Il
Posts: 212
Liked 3 Times on 3 Posts

Default

So all this being said, if I understand correctly, the bicarbonate profile still needs to be changed to suit style, but could raise the Mash Ph beyond an acceptable level if the grainbill is not particularly dark. In that case, adding 5.2 buffer is OK? I don't have a good way to test Ph, so has anyone ever done this successfully. Really, I am only going to 13 or so SRM and my local water suggests 6 SRM. I just don't want to double salt

__________________

15 Gal Conical - The Three Nobles-German Pils
Secondary - The Comrade-Imperial Russian Stout
Tap 1 - The Goodness-APA
Tap 2 - The Unicorn-Honey Nut Brown
Tap 3 - The Blarney-Irish Red
Mr. Mojo Rising is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-31-2008, 12:32 AM   #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 45 Times on 31 Posts

Default

I'd just add 1/2 Tbsp of 5.2 buffer and forget about it. You're really close as it is.



__________________
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
Display Modes


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
brewing salts - a little help? JLem Recipes/Ingredients 1 09-27-2009 11:55 PM
Brewing Salts? RonRock Brew Science 5 09-23-2009 08:13 PM
pH and Brewing Liquor (water treament and brewing salts) TheChemist Brew Science 22 07-06-2009 06:31 PM
Brewing Salts Xiren General Techniques 3 11-09-2008 04:23 PM
Brewing salts? zythe84 Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 1 02-22-2007 10:52 PM