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Old 01-20-2007, 11:11 PM   #1
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Default Guess my Water

I decided to start paying attention to my water so I bought some pH strips (generic colorphast ones) and tested the pH of my last mash...4.6 This was for a pale ale, (5kg (11lbs) german pale male, 500g (1.1lbs) munich and 1kg (2.2lbs) caramel).
While I wait for my test results (water test results that is) anybody want to throw some wild guesses at my water profile?

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Old 01-20-2007, 11:21 PM   #2
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4.6 is about right, isn't it? Water is usually 7-7.2, but grain is acidic, mash ought to be lower than 4.8?

I ddi have trouble witha primer though. I had made some Invert/Candy sugar with citric acid. It didn't kick off the yeast. So I bought some test strips. I had to dilute the starter 4:1 to get a reading of 4, so it must have been like PH 2? I guess I acid washed that vial of Cal V? Anybody have a program for the PH math?

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Old 01-21-2007, 12:58 AM   #3
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I've often wondered how you can test the pH of a mash with pH strips. I would have thought that the color of the mash would severely interfere with the readings from the pH strips.

-a.

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Old 01-21-2007, 01:04 AM   #4
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I don't know much about water profiles, but I'm going to guess that you're uber-soft.

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Old 01-21-2007, 03:58 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the_bird
I don't know much about water profiles, but I'm going to guess that you're uber-soft.
*insert flacid member joke here*

That's what I'm thinking. Too bad I like brewing dark ales and the like. I'm playing around with bicarbonate to adjust. But I'm finding the papers iffy in their readings.

We'll see if the efficiency changes on this batch.
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Old 01-21-2007, 04:03 AM   #6
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I tried to do a google search for a water quality profile for ya but no luck . . . .
What I did find out is the water in your area is the worlds best for making sake though

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Old 01-21-2007, 04:08 AM   #7
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宮水, Miya-mizu, Temple Water.
Great sake museum here too. No micros though... yet.

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Old 01-21-2007, 05:52 AM   #8
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I never trust those paper ph test strips. When I tried them I did 3 tests in a row and every one said the ph was different. I don't know what to believe. I just figure if the water doesn't taste like acid or on the other hand slime like texture, then it has to be good enough.

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Old 01-21-2007, 02:00 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by casebrew
4.6 is about right, isn't it? Water is usually 7-7.2, but grain is acidic, mash ought to be lower than 4.8?

I ddi have trouble witha primer though. I had made some Invert/Candy sugar with citric acid. It didn't kick off the yeast. So I bought some test strips. I had to dilute the starter 4:1 to get a reading of 4, so it must have been like PH 2? I guess I acid washed that vial of Cal V? Anybody have a program for the PH math?
Nope - and thinking water is "usually" 7-7.2 is kinda risky if you are trying to make a pale ale. San Antonio water has a ph of 7.9, my well water is 9.6. Totally sucks for making a pale ale, SA's water is GREAT for making dark beers though.

Where did you get the idea ph needed to be lower than 4.8? The lower the ph goes the more like acid your water becomes, the higher it goes the alkiline your water becomes. If your waters ph was 2 (or 4) when you put yeast in it, you put your yeast in acid, no wonder it didn't start, you killed it. Mash ph is a pretty small scale depending on style of beer (pale ale or dark like a stout).

Try here for ph spreedsheets and some reading, but you must know your waters profile to really use it. Get it from your water company. Tell them you want/need the following information, it's about all you really need to worry about;

Calcium(Ca): 4.0 ppm
Magnesium(Mg): 1.0 ppm
Sodium(Na): 10.0 ppm
Sulfate(SO4): 8.0 ppm
Bicarbonate(HCO3): 10.0 ppm
PH: 7.9 PH

Good luck with your brewing in acid with modified malts.
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Old 01-21-2007, 02:01 PM   #10
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pH strips don't tell you anything able water composition, other than pH. Hard water can make it difficult to change the pH.

When I brewed in Oakland, my brewbuddy's GF read the pH for us. I can't read the strips myself and so now I use pH 5.2 for mashing and sparge water.

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