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Old 09-22-2008, 12:32 AM   #1
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Default PH 5.2 or substitute

I just determined my RO and Tap water are 4.2 or less on the ph scale.

I have my ingredients for my next beer and no LHBS in my area. What can I get locally to increase my PH?

I'm going to brew a EdWort's Kolsch recipe.

Thanks

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Old 09-22-2008, 12:46 AM   #2
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baking soda will raise your ph. not sure what effect it will have on the beer as a whole however.

also the grain will effect ph so I would test it with grain and see how your ph changes before adding anything.

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Old 09-22-2008, 12:50 AM   #3
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Tap water is pH 4.2? That doesn't seem right. Tap water is usually alkaline (pH >7) as to not corrode pipes.

Are you all grain? I would not use RO to brew all grain.

It is also important to note that water pH is not that import. It is the components that contribute to the pH of the mash that really matter.

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Old 09-22-2008, 12:51 AM   #4
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How did you determine your ph? It's hard to imagine having tap water or RO water more acidic than vinegar. I guess if your water supply has lots of acid rain or something, it might be possible, but would corrode your pipes unbelievably.

Anyway, calcium carbonate can raise the ph, but I'm not sure what effect that will have on the beer, especially if you have hard water.

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Old 09-22-2008, 12:56 AM   #5
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I bought the PH test strips and dipped it in a cup of RO water for about 1-2 seconds like directions said. Then I compared it to the color on the chart w/in 15 seconds. It stayed bright yellow.

I tried the same method with tap water and the strip might have changed slightly to 4.6.

Is it ok to test plain water or are the strips to test wort?

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Old 09-22-2008, 12:57 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by planenut View Post
I bought the PH test strips and dipped it in a cup of RO water for about 1-2 seconds like directions said. Then I compared it to the color on the chart w/in 15 seconds. It stayed bright yellow.

I tried the same method with tap water and the strip might have changed slightly to 4.6.

Is it ok to test plain water or are the strips to test wort?
I don't know, but I would really question those readings. Your ph should be in the 7-8 range, for most tap waters. Try it in vinegar and see what it says- vinegar should be around a ph of 5.
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Old 09-22-2008, 01:22 AM   #7
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Vinegar also stayed yellow.
I rechecked tap water and it might be close to 5.0 (used a different cup).
I rechecked RO water and it stayed yellow.

I can take a sample to the local aquarium shop and get some tests. maybe my test kit is bad.

Would you recommend some bottled water from the grocery store? or just use my tap water if the ph checks out? my tap water tastes good, the RO is just left over from my saltwater aquarium days.

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Old 09-22-2008, 01:27 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by planenut View Post
Vinegar also stayed yellow.
I rechecked tap water and it might be close to 5.0 (used a different cup).
I rechecked RO water and it stayed yellow.

I can take a sample to the local aquarium shop and get some tests. maybe my test kit is bad.

Would you recommend some bottled water from the grocery store? or just use my tap water if the ph checks out? my tap water tastes good, the RO is just left over from my saltwater aquarium days.
as long as your tap water tastes fine, it works well enough for brewing. Of course, it can always be improved but if it is drinkable it is brewable.
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Old 09-22-2008, 01:29 AM   #9
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Quote:
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Try it in vinegar and see what it says- vinegar should be around a ph of 5.
I hate to pick a nit, but household vinegar is 5% acid - the pH is 2.4

Still, I agree that it's highly doubtful that tap AND RO water have such a low pH.
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Old 09-22-2008, 01:30 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by planenut View Post
Vinegar also stayed yellow.
I rechecked tap water and it might be close to 5.0 (used a different cup).
I rechecked RO water and it stayed yellow.

I can take a sample to the local aquarium shop and get some tests. maybe my test kit is bad.

Would you recommend some bottled water from the grocery store? or just use my tap water if the ph checks out? my tap water tastes good, the RO is just left over from my saltwater aquarium days.
I definitely don't recommend RO water, unless you plan to "rebuild" it with brewing salts to fit a water profile.

If your tap water doesn't have chloramines, and tastes fine, it will probably be fine to brew with.

Your ph samples just don't make sense to me- it might be a good idea to have that checked. I've made wines that finish with a ph of under 4, but that's the norm for wine. I can't imagine tap water being that acidic.
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