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Old 06-22-2008, 01:50 AM   #21
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I've done about 8 AG brews and I haven't worried about either pH or water chemistry. Maybe it's just dumb luck on my part, but my beers are coming out great. Why worry?

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Old 06-22-2008, 02:23 AM   #22
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I've done about 8 AG brews and I haven't worried about either pH or water chemistry. Maybe it's just dumb luck on my part, but my beers are coming out great. Why worry?
You're quite right not to worry. Never worry about your beer. I take it a step further, and make a concerted effort to not worry about ANYTHING. Worry and stress, kills: beer, and people too.

I'm just trying to maximize efficiency, by maintaining the ideal pH in my mash. But I'm certainly not worrying about it. Just part of the never ending evolution of my brewing methods, I'm always striving to improve. For me it's where a lot of the fun lies.
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Old 06-22-2008, 02:24 AM   #23
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Just from reading around, I when I started with AG brewing, I started with a pH buffer. Even with using a far less than ideal sparging setup made from a bottling bucket, I have been consistently getting mid to high 70's. I have no doubt with a proper setup, it would jump into the low to mid 80's. My beer comes out just fine, so I will continue to use it. If it works, no use trying to fix. Although I will be upgrading my MLT in the near future.

Interestingly enough, I am a chemist. I could go into far more detail than anyone really cares to know about buffers. It has nothing to do with how it actually works, but it might be easiest to think of it as a chemical sponge. Sucking up extra acidic and basic ions to keep the pH relatively constant.

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Old 06-22-2008, 02:26 AM   #24
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You're quite right not to worry. Never worry about your beer. I take it a step further, and make a concerted effort to not worry about ANYTHING. Worry, and stress, kills...beer, and people too.
Word!
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Old 06-23-2008, 04:30 PM   #25
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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.
With a pH of 8 I wouldn't try to brew without adjusting the pH. Most folks are lucky and have a neutral pH so they don't need to worry. But like you, mine's alkaline. My beers were cloudy and my efficiency was terrible until I started adjusting the pH.

+1 for 5.2 Stabilizer. A tablespoon in the mash and have no worries. It solved my problems.

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Old 06-23-2008, 05:04 PM   #26
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I used 5.2 for a while, but like many I did'nt know what my ph was to begin with. I got a water report and that gave me a starting point. My water is also high (8.5ph). With the help of my new ph meter, I have been able to track the results of using 5.2 stabalizer. It basically has little or no effect in water, the salts cannot dissolve and end up at the bottom of your HLT. Adding them directly to the mash does bring the ph down, but not far enough.

So much more to water than just ph, and when you start messing with water it can get very dicey! I have found that by adding lactic acid to my sparge water and gypsum to my mash, I have been able to achieve a true 5.2ph in the mash and then I am not using sparge water of 8.5ph, but somewhere close to 6ph. which allows me to keep the ph down.

What have I noticed? Well, my beers are cleaner, hops are brighter, attenuation is better, flavor is better! As BlindLemonLars said, "It is the evolution of our brewing methods, always striving to improve." and yes it adds excitement to brewing when you have your methods dialed in.

Eastside

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Old 06-23-2008, 05:14 PM   #27
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I've never even taken a pH reading of my water. I'm sure that there are some benefits to using a stabilizer, but I've been able to make good beer without it.

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Old 07-14-2008, 10:02 PM   #28
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I used 5.2 stabilizer for the first time last Saturday, and talk about some disgusting looking sparge water.....bleh I did about 3/4 TBLSP per 5 gallon like it said but the sparge water looked really cloudy and murky. I chose a blonde to test it out on so any differences will stick out more

Wort looked and tasted awesome though, so we'll see

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Old 07-14-2008, 11:28 PM   #29
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I used to use the 5.2 product by now with the Help of John Palmers spreadsheet I dial in my PH and it has been spot on. I think you really need to start with Residual Alkalinity.

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Old 07-14-2008, 11:50 PM   #30
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I don't worry about my pH...I just add a little gypsum to my strike and sparge water.

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