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Old 09-22-2008, 02:34 AM   #11
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Thanks for all the help, I'll get it checked at the aquarium store and go from there.

I won't use the RO as everyone has recommended. I did use the RO 2 weeks ago for my batch of Extra Pale Ale but it was extract so hopefully it will be ok.

I have the grain already cracked from Thursday so I would like to brew in the next couple of days.

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Old 09-22-2008, 03:18 AM   #12
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FYI, you can't check the ph of RO water, there isn't anything in the RO water including any ions so ph readings won't be accurate in R0. Why you tap water is showing such a low ph is odd though.

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Old 09-22-2008, 04:11 AM   #13
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Deionized water (reverse osmosis or distilled) should have a pH of 7. You can test it anytime, but the only value i testing should be to show that your pH paper is okay. Either the water is not what they claimed, or more likely your pH paper is no good. You might try it one more time putting a couple of drops on the strip, just enough to wet it. If it still gives a reading of 5 on good RO or distilled water, take it back where they sold it, or toss it.

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Old 09-22-2008, 01:46 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ThreeDogsNE View Post
Deionized water (reverse osmosis or distilled) should have a pH of 7. You can test it anytime, but the only value i testing should be to show that your pH paper is okay. Either the water is not what they claimed, or more likely your pH paper is no good. You might try it one more time putting a couple of drops on the strip, just enough to wet it. If it still gives a reading of 5 on good RO or distilled water, take it back where they sold it, or toss it.
Thats only true for freshly prepared water, after a few hours the CO2 in the air is dissolved into it forming carbonic acid which brings it down to something close to pH 5.8

Planenut like others have said i doubt that your tap water (which is buffered by various salts) will have as low a pH as you have observed. Im sure the local fish shop should be able measure it for you, while they are doing it get them to check on the water hardness. When you know that you can start to tweak your brewing liquor using various brewing salts to get the best out of your water for both efficency and taste.
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Old 09-22-2008, 02:33 PM   #15
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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.
.
Does your water taste like vinegar ?

The strips may be bad. I have heard of that before, something like exposed to humidity or similar.
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Old 09-22-2008, 02:52 PM   #16
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Does your water taste like vinegar ?

The strips may be bad. I have heard of that before, something like exposed to humidity or similar.
Maybe my strips picked up some humidity on the flight home.

Tap water tastes great. I use it for coffee, tea and filling my water bottle during the day. RO was leftover from my salt water aquarium days and I still use it sometimes. I'm forgetting about the RO water and will use the tap.

My local aquarium store it really good. I'll get a ph test and calcium test.
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Old 09-22-2008, 03:37 PM   #17
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Thats only true for freshly prepared water, after a few hours the CO2 in the air is dissolved into it forming carbonic acid which brings it down to something close to pH 5.8

Planenut like others have said i doubt that your tap water (which is buffered by various salts) will have as low a pH as you have observed. Im sure the local fish shop should be able measure it for you, while they are doing it get them to check on the water hardness. When you know that you can start to tweak your brewing liquor using various brewing salts to get the best out of your water for both efficency and taste.

++++++++1 People.

Freshly made RO water will have no pH. Your meters or papers will still give you a reading, but it won't be accurate. To have a pH there must be H+ ions present (or another electron donor). The RO or distilling process removes these, therefore, no pH.

The RO will quickly absorb C02 and the pH will drop. Ignore this too, as the buffering capacity of the dissolved CO2 is so low that it won't take much of anything (like a tiny bit of grain) to get the pH into proper brewing range.

If you have really hard water then you might have some pH problems that will need to be addressed
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Old 09-22-2008, 04:18 PM   #18
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++++++++1 People.

Freshly made RO water will have no pH. Your meters or papers will still give you a reading, but it won't be accurate. To have a pH there must be H+ ions present (or another electron donor). The RO or distilling process removes these, therefore, no pH.

The RO will quickly absorb C02 and the pH will drop. Ignore this too, as the buffering capacity of the dissolved CO2 is so low that it won't take much of anything (like a tiny bit of grain) to get the pH into proper brewing range.

If you have really hard water then you might have some pH problems that will need to be addressed

Sorry, and with all due respect, but your statement is misleading. All water, no matter the concentration of any dissolved ions has a pH value. Pure water still has a pH, and that pH is 7.

There are plenty of H+ ions in DI water,

The water molecule exists in a constant state of association and dissociation, via the chemical reaction:

H2O = H+ + OH-

Where the thermodynamics of this association/dissociation reaction provide a pH of 7 for pure water. Google "water dissocation" for detailed derivations of the pH of pure water.

Sorry, I work as a water chemist and little things can get me worked up.

Paul
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Old 09-22-2008, 10:46 PM   #19
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While that may be true, pure water has no buffering capacity and that is the most important point from a brewing standpoint. People get all worked up about their water having the wrong pH before they have even added anything. Unless your water has a very high buffering capacity, there is no point in worrying about the pH of the water until AFTER the grains have been added. Even then, there are sufficient organic acids, etc. in the malt to put the pH exactly where it needs to be for most styles of beer - as long as you don't have really hard water.

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