Let me drill down a little on mash PH opinions I have been seeing...
Broadest range...get your PH in the fives and you'll be okay? 5.0 to 5.9?
Mash base malt in distilled water and you'll hit high fives and this produces bland beer, you need some acid...so eliminate 5.6 or above? 5.0 to 5.5?
5.2 has inspired it's own product and homebrewers use this with good results so weight the range to the low end of the scale? 5.0 to 5.4?
As PH meters become more commonly used, homebrewers check there favorite mash recipes and they are finding they have been using a higher PH than expected with good results. 5.2 loses some fans? 5.3 to 5.5?
Listen to a talk this summer given by brew guru John Palmer. He suggests 5.4 to 5.8? Ok now what?
I been building water using reverse osmosis water and mineral addtions to build water with general alkalinty ranges...0 to 50 for pale, 50 to 150 for amber, and 150 to 300 for dark beers. This has been giving me good results and even some really good beers. But I really want to dial in my process and recipes. I have been using Brunwater Spreadsheet and see many positive comments about the accuracy being close to actual mash PH. Right now I feel good about 5.3 to 5.5.
Do you have a general PH range you are shooting for?
Does it vary for certain styles? How?
Primary: American Alt, Golden Cream Ale
Kegged: Conceited Bastard, Pineapple Pale Ale
Bottled: Concord-Cherry Wine, Dark Winter Spiced Ale
Future: Steam Beer
I love beer...it gives head and never complains.