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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > Forgot my 5.2
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Old 07-27-2009, 04:22 AM   #1
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Default Forgot my 5.2

I made my second AG batch today, and I brewed a version of BM's Centennial Blonde so I could try out my 5-gallon MLT. Everything went well, and my efficiency was apparently higher than average as well. The only problem I ran into this afternoon is that I noticed that I forgot to put my 5.2 stabilizer in the grain before I mashed. What kind of problems might I run into because of this?

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Old 07-27-2009, 04:30 AM   #2
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Many a good beer has been brewed without 5.2

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Old 07-27-2009, 05:12 AM   #3
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Many a good beer has been brewed without 5.2
I'm sure I'm just new at all-grain and I don't have the materials to test pH. I also don't do iodine tests. I just assume that things are doing what they should be. My gravity readings were above expectations though. I don't know why I even bother to print out the brewing steps sheet from BeerSmith. Obviously I don't look at it once I get started or I would not have this problem
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Old 07-27-2009, 05:59 AM   #4
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Obviously not using pH 5.2 leads to higher efficiency. If your water residual alkalinity was not ideal for the grains you were using it could cause a poor pH reading. If the pH is too high or low the enzymes don't have the same efficacy and the conversion may suffer. The whole idea of the product is to buffer the mash at an IDEAL pH so you don't have to worry about the water chemistry. Sounds like you might not need it for that color of beer and the water profile you used but this assuming too much.

Chapter 15 of Palmer's book describes water pH very well if you have questions. This is what I base my response off of.
http://www.howtobrew.com/section3/chapter15.html

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Old 07-27-2009, 06:11 AM   #5
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I have done about 75 all-grain brews now, and I have never used 5.2 or checked my pH. I know that my water is pretty good for brewing so I don't worry about it. If I started having flavor problems that persisted, I'd start checking into the water chemistry, but until then I don't care much.

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Old 07-27-2009, 09:16 PM   #6
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+1
your beer will be fine. I used 5.2 for my first couple AG batches, but haven't used it in my last 20? batches, all with no problems. I also have never checked my pH or messed with my water (other than using a charcoal filter). Although i am planning on playing with different water profiles very soon for experimental purposes.

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Old 07-27-2009, 09:21 PM   #7
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What would be the main consequence of forgetting the buffer - a drop in efficiency - was obviously not a problem.

So the only solution I see is to dump the batch.

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Old 07-27-2009, 10:16 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by schristian619 View Post
+1
your beer will be fine. I used 5.2 for my first couple AG batches, but haven't used it in my last 20? batches, all with no problems. I also have never checked my pH or messed with my water (other than using a charcoal filter). Although i am planning on playing with different water profiles very soon for experimental purposes.
If you are planning on messing with your water profile I would suggest using the beersmith tool and chapter 15 of Palmer's book which can be found at howtobrew.com. Pay attention to calculating "Residual alkalinity". Using both of these sources made my first water profile change relatively easy and most importantly I understood what I was doing. This was for my last brew on Saturday.
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Old 07-27-2009, 10:35 PM   #9
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Default Don't use 5.2 for all beers.

Adding 5.2 stabilizer to your mash makes the water very hard and can have adverse effects on the flavor of some beer styles. (even though they say it doesn't).

If you're making a big malty beer like a Stout or a Bock or anything that uses darker grains, than go ahead and use this if you like. It's a nice way of making sure the PH is locked in at 5.2

But if you are making lighter beers like APA's and Blond ales (especially if you're using Citrusy American Hop varieties), you don't want to use 5.2 stabilizer because it will give a harsh minerally flavor to your hops. Kind of like orange flavored baby aspirin if you're using Cascade for example. The point may be moot if your water is already hard.

In general, PH tends to be too high so add 1/2 pound of acidulated malt to bring down the PH. PH does effect the efficiency of the enzymes, but another very important thing to remember is that a high PH above 6 will cause the Leaching of tannins from the grain husks. This will lead to your beer being very astringent.

Water chemistry can be a pain in the @%^!$, but it is 95% of your beer and can quite often be a limiting factor in the beers you can make.

The best case scenario is to start with soft water and add minerals if necessary.

You may also want to invest some money (200 to 300$) in a PH meter or go in on it with some friends. Once you get a feel for the PH you won't need to use the meter all the time.

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Old 07-27-2009, 11:34 PM   #10
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In general, PH tends to be too high so add 1/2 pound of acidulated malt to bring down the PH.
That's just crazy. I might use acidulated malt in a wheat style but sparingly (certainly not .5lbs). You might use more if you're doing a Berliner style or trying to emulate guinness.

First of all, you can't adjust your water without knowing what's in your water. Generally a little calicium carbonate in darker styles would be appropriate and a tsp or two of calcium chloride will do for lighter styles.

I use 5.2 regularly, but generally think checking pH is over rated.
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