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Old 03-26-2007, 01:03 PM   #1
cweston
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Default Buffer 5.2 questions

My tap water is perfectly fine for most of the beers I brew: the only time I really *need* to do any modification is for base-malt-only light colored beers and for very dark beers.

Since I usually don't need to fiddle much with pH, I'm thinking it might be convenient to just use buffer 5.2 on those few batches where my pH needs adjusting and just RDWHAHB.

I know it's pretty expensive: what is the recommended amount to use? (In other words, how many batches worth come in that $9 container?) I'm notoriously cheap: the alternatives (Gypsum, Epsom Salts, Calcium Chloride, Calcium Carbonate) are all very cheap.

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Old 03-26-2007, 01:26 PM   #2
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I use two teaspoons directly in my mash. I've done partial mashes, so you might need a tablespoon for a full mash. Tablespoon was the recommended amount I've seen.

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Old 03-26-2007, 01:38 PM   #3
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I think it calls for 1 Tbs/5gal. It's a pretty big tub. My guess is it'll last several dozen batches.

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Old 03-26-2007, 01:59 PM   #4
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Yeah, I use that, too. One tablespooon for every five gallons, and I do five gallon batches. I think it'd probably do about twenty batches for me. My results have been great, but I haven't actually done any measurements to quantify the difference.

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Old 03-26-2007, 02:24 PM   #5
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Ive used it several times but stopped. You can get a lot of batches out of it. I think I'd use 1-2 tbs. (1 in the mash, 1 in the sparge)

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Old 03-26-2007, 02:31 PM   #6
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I've also cut the recommended ammount in half and it seems to work just the same. You can stretch it out over a LOT of batches.

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Old 03-26-2007, 03:35 PM   #7
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I've been working on one tub for five years, but I only make 8-10 batches a year. If your water is of good quality and a neutral pH to start, you can half the amount safely. I don't bother.

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Old 03-26-2007, 03:55 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by david_42
I've been working on one tub for five years, but I only make 8-10 batches a year. If your water is of good quality and a neutral pH to start, you can half the amount safely. I don't bother.
That sounds like what I have in mind.

My pH is a little on the high side (9.3 per my water report), but my general harness, infact, my levels of almost everything, are pretty low--so it's very easy for me to adjust my water. I think the only kind of beer where I really *need* to adjust the pH is light-colored, all-base-malt beers.

I don't lager, so about the only beers I ever do in that category are Belgians (I really like Siason and Tripel).
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Old 03-27-2007, 02:44 AM   #9
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You could also just use acid malt or lactic acid for those lighter beers. The acid malt is probably easier...the lactic acid can change things in a hurry.

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Old 03-27-2007, 04:22 AM   #10
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When I've used the buffer (at the recommended dosage), it's made a big difference in my efficiency. I forgot it last time, and when Kai checked my PH, I was a little on the high side (5.6 IIRC). Until I really start learning how to interpret a water report and can invest in a PH meter, I'll keep using the buffer (when I remember it) as a basically foolproof way of improving my efficiency.

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