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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > First all grain and PH
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Old 11-30-2012, 10:21 PM   #11
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No water source is ideal for all beers. Learning what to adjust and how to adjust it is the whole point of brewing water chemistry adjustments. It sounds like the Dong has high alkalinity and can't brew a pale beer, but it may turn out that a fine darker beer can be brewed. A little learning could make it possible for that water to make better pale beers.

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Old 11-30-2012, 10:24 PM   #12
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IMO, unless you have extreme water, if you don't worry about the mash pH, you're probably going to be fine. Many good homebrews have been made without considering it.

That being said, paying attention to mash pH will probably improve your beers and help to brew more consistently. It's something to consider as you learn more about the hobby.

Personally, I'd be more concerned about the pH of the sparge water than the mash.

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Old 12-01-2012, 12:09 AM   #13
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I'm the first one to admit that even I don't understand the intricacies of water chemistry, but there is more to it than just looking at the pH.

"High" pH basically means nothing if the water is not very alkaline, which glancing at this water sheet it appears to not be alkaline at all. Akaline water resists pH change better than non-alkaline water. This water has very little alkalinity, so I don't theoretically see the grains having a tough time handling a pH of 7. Unfortunately some of the other important ions are missing from this brew sheet, so that's hard to really say if its "suitable" or not

To the originator of this thread: is your tap water pretty bad? Why do you use bottled water?

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Old 12-01-2012, 02:02 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheBeerist
To the originator of this thread: is your tap water pretty bad? Why do you use bottled water?
I've been using bottled and extract brewing for about 6 months now. My tap water is very hard and has chlorite in it. I haven't really started looking into my water supply until now when going all grain. I'm currently having my tap water tested, hopefully the results will be back next week.
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Old 12-01-2012, 05:17 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spartan1979 View Post
I'd be more concerned about the pH of the sparge water than the mash.
That's a good point because alkaline sparge water can lead to a reliably harsh beer. However, a very alkaline mash will extract sugars, but end up with an unpredictable flavor domain, and in my experience, with weird off flavors that are hard to isolate. Inland water has minerals, but places with surface water can be randomly soft compared to standard (ideal?) European water.

There's a tendency in homebrewing to notice how difficult something seems and wait until you're forced to change. Water chemstrity accounts for so much of the substrate of the bee, with all grain, and I believe it's worth biting the bullet to learn about it. Your beers will improve immensely.

To improve a beer, I think these are the ways that have noticeably changed the final product (assuming your process is consistent, and sanitation is clean):

1) water salts and mash pH
2) temperature control
3) starting yeast

See: http://braukaiser.com/wiki/index.php...vs_high_pH.jpg

Right is too high of a pH, making the beer darker than expect via Maillard processes.
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Old 12-02-2012, 08:47 PM   #16
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Thanks everyone!

I went ahead and used the water as is, we will see how it goes. The wort tasted great before I pitched. Unfortunately I had other issues and the OG came out to about 1.042.

As for temp control, I made a fermentation chamber before I started brewing, and I always make yeast starters unless pitching dry.

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Old 12-02-2012, 08:53 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BreezyBrew View Post
Thanks everyone!

I went ahead and used the water as is, we will see how it goes. The wort tasted great before I pitched. Unfortunately I had other issues and the OG came out to about 1.042.

As for temp control, I made a fermentation chamber before I started brewing, and I always make yeast starters unless pitching dry.
That's why pH is one of the last things a new, all grain brewer should be concerned about. As others have said...unless you have some sort of extreme water it won't be that major of a factor. For now I would just concentrate on learning the "intricacies" of your all grain equipment and focus on basic techniques.
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Old 12-02-2012, 10:23 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BreezyBrew
Thanks everyone!

I went ahead and used the water as is, we will see how it goes. The wort tasted great before I pitched. Unfortunately I had other issues and the OG came out to about 1.042.

As for temp control, I made a fermentation chamber before I started brewing, and I always make yeast starters unless pitching dry.
Glad to hear things turned out okay...its all about fine tuning now huh!
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