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Old 01-12-2010, 04:09 PM   #1
chemman14
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Default buffer 5.2

I am about to place an order with northern brewer for my all grain setup and was wondering if I should get buffer 5.2? I recently asked for a water report to be sent to my house from the local water company. Is buffer 5.2 meant to be used alone or is it meant to be used in addition to water salts?

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Old 01-12-2010, 04:27 PM   #2
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If you use salts to adjust your mash, then you should not need the 5.2. Part of the reason of adjusting your water is to have it at the correct residual alkalinity, that way when you dough in, the grains acidify the mash and drop it into the correct pH. It wouldnt hurt to use the 5.2 buffer, but if you do the water additions right, its not a necessary step

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Old 01-12-2010, 04:32 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chode720 View Post
If you use salts to adjust your mash, then you should not need the 5.2. Part of the reason of adjusting your water is to have it at the correct residual alkalinity, that way when you dough in, the grains acidify the mash and drop it into the correct pH. It wouldnt hurt to use the 5.2 buffer, but if you do the water additions right, its not a necessary step
hmm, OK I think I will order it as I didnt plan on getting into water adjustments until I got a couple all grain brews under my belt
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Old 01-12-2010, 07:32 PM   #4
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I had much the same question. Here is my take. If your water is naturally soft, low on all minerals, etc, don't get it. Test and adjust yourself. (That's unusual, but it's my situation) If it's hard or already is alkaline(what most people have), it'd probably help the mash.

But once you get the water test, you'll want to do it yourself, so you know what's going on.

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Old 01-13-2010, 11:17 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by RichBenn View Post
I had much the same question. Here is my take. If your water is naturally soft, low on all minerals, etc, don't get it. Test and adjust yourself. (That's unusual, but it's my situation) If it's hard or already is alkaline(what most people have), it'd probably help the mash.

But once you get the water test, you'll want to do it yourself, so you know what's going on.
+1 on this.

My water is suited for beers that are in the 9-14 SRM range. Whenever I brew a beer in this range, I add calcium and magnesium to get the nutriet levels up, as my water is low in both, and then adjust the chloride to sulfite ratio. A lot of your adjustments and gameplans will come once you know your water profile
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Old 01-13-2010, 05:40 PM   #6
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I experimented with 5.2 for several months and found that most of the time it didn't work for me.

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Old 01-13-2010, 06:10 PM   #7
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We have very hard water and have not wanted to pay for a water analysis to be done on our well. We have used ph5.2 in every mash and consistently get better than 80% efficiency, and the beer's good! I think it's helping but I know it's not hurting. We'll keep using it.

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