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Old 07-27-2011, 03:14 PM   #1
Smidey
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Default Five Star 5.2

I'm about ready to start my first all grain batch, and I was considering buying 5.2. Using palmer's calculations in How to brew, i think that my mash PH will be somewhere around 5.8. In his book, palmer mentions that he doesn't like using phosphoric acid because it reacts w/ the calcium. What has been your experience w/ 5.2 or am I worrying too much about it.

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Old 07-27-2011, 03:25 PM   #2
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I blindly used 5.2 for a couple years. I recently started using Palmer's EZ water spreadsheet with mineral adjustments to control mash Ph and have had zero change in efficiency. Personally I think the 5.2 was a waste. I've also read a bunch of other testimonials of it not doing much. Just my $.02.

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Old 07-27-2011, 03:27 PM   #3
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It doesn't work particularly well in the mash for many people, but I've found it very helpful as a sparge water treatment to prevent the pH from getting into the territory where tannins become a problem.

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Old 07-27-2011, 03:35 PM   #4
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I think that stuff added a nasty taste to my all grain beers. I have since stopped using it with an improvement in flavor, no other changes.

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Old 07-27-2011, 05:01 PM   #5
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Don't do it, 5.2 just adds a lot of sodium to your brew and doesn't adequately promote a good mash pH. From the sound of the OP, they have their water report and have some knowledge of how the mash pH will go. More than likely, the alkalinity of that water is a little higher than desirable for this particular brew. If only alkalinity is the problem, then an acid addition is the preferred treatment.

Unfortunately, that passage in Palmer's book regarding phosphoric acid causing excessive calcium precipitation persists. The mash contains hundreds of times more phosphate ion than will be added by a phosphoric acid addition and therefore adding phosphoric acid does NOTHING to increase or decrease the precipitation of calcium in the mash. Using phosphoric acid in the mash and sparge water is OK.

Using other acids are OK too. Phosphoric may be preferred if the tap water has high alkalinity since it has the least flavor impact of any acid in beer. You might taste other acids like lactic or citric with the amount of acid you might have to add in the case of this high alkalinity water. If its only moderately alkaline, then those acids might be fine too.

You might appreciate the additional guidance and knowledge that Bru'n Water software can provide to help you with acid additions in brewing water treatment.

Enjoy!

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Old 07-27-2011, 05:28 PM   #6
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LISTEN TO MARTIN!!!! And go download his excellent water spreadsheet and info at the link in his sig!

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Old 07-28-2011, 01:02 PM   #7
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Thanks for your input guys. I decided against buying the 5.2. I ended up not needing it. My mash ph came in around 5.5 to 5.6. Hopefully it comes out as a success.

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Old 07-28-2011, 02:34 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ArcaneXor View Post
It doesn't work particularly well in the mash for many people, but I've found it very helpful as a sparge water treatment to prevent the pH from getting into the territory where tannins become a problem.
Actually according to 5 star, it does nothing in sparge water. It only "works" in the mash. He said it won't hurt anything and they sell more if people use it in sparge/strike water.


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Old 07-28-2011, 04:34 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wildwest450 View Post
Actually according to 5 star, it does nothing in sparge water. It only "works" in the mash. He said it won't hurt anything and they sell more if people use it in sparge/strike water.


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According to 5-star, it also buffers at 5.2, which it doesn't. This seems to be what's happening, and it seems correct to me, albeit only verified with pH strips.
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