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-   -   How much do you worry about pH? (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f36/how-much-do-you-worry-about-ph-69826/)

mrkeeg 06-20-2008 09:08 PM

How much do you worry about pH?
I'm brand new to AG and my first batch will be as low tech and simple (read: lazy and easy for my poor mind to comprehend) as possible.

I think I have a pretty good idea of what I need to do.

From what I understand, your pH during mash should be around 5.2. I don't see a lot of discussion here about playing with pH though - is it because people don't worry about it? ... or because it absolutely must be done and so is taken for granted?

My municipal water runs around pH 8 last I checked, and is well buffered (flows from the "chalky rockies" to my tap...) .... this seems like a recipe for a headache if I try to alter it.


Evan! 06-20-2008 09:11 PM

I don't worry at all. I just dump some 5-Star pH Stabilizer into my mash and sparge water. Sets it to 5.2 with no headache. I highly recommend it.

Passload 06-20-2008 09:17 PM

^^+1 on 5.2 stabilizer

riored4v 06-20-2008 09:36 PM

i've only done some PM's so i havent worried about it. When I switch to AG, i'll be using the 5.2 stabilizer mentioned above.

Gabe 06-20-2008 09:48 PM

AG for 2 years now and have never bothered. I start with a Ph of 7 and I think the Malt brings it down within range. My beers have won awards, so I guess its just a matter of preference. I wouldn't worry about it now and try and get through a brew sess without hangups first. Good Luck and happy brewing.

uglygoat 06-20-2008 10:05 PM

what does the stabilizer do? how does it know the initial ph to bring it down to five point two? :D

phooka 06-20-2008 10:08 PM


Originally Posted by uglygoat (Post 721677)
what does the stabilizer do? how does it know the initial ph to bring it down to five point two? :D

What he said.

Brewsmith 06-20-2008 10:10 PM

I've been all grain brewing for a couple years now and have never checked my pH. I know my water is moderately hard which is right for most styles, and through a little trial and error, and alot of tasting I've got the sparge down where extracting tanins aren't a problem.

malkore 06-20-2008 10:13 PM


Seriously though, there's A TON of chemistry behind it. You have to have a solid grasp at the molecular level of how pH works, and how buffers like Alkalinity and other buffering salts play a role in pH.

In very simple terms, the malted grain itself is going to try to create an acidic pH darn close to 5.2 all on its own.

the pH 5.2 is formulated to help the malt get down there, but not really go much lower.

if you added pH 5.2 to plain water, with no malt, it shouldn't drop the pH down to 5.2, though it would lower a bit.

Brewsmith 06-20-2008 10:19 PM

Be careful with the 5.2 though. Too much can lead to a mineral flavor in the beer. Some people use half the recommended amount.

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