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Old 07-30-2008, 06:50 PM   #1
Tonedef131
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Default pH of finished beer?

I have had a couple of beers recently that seem a little sharp on the back of your tongue. I am wondering if they are too acidic so I checked the pH and they were both around 3.5. I haven't calibrated that in a month or more but I also tested my tap water and star san and they were both pretty close, so I would say it is within a point or two of accuracy. I know that most finished beers are around 3.7-4.1, and that if it gets too high they can taste sort of drab, but what happens to the beer if the pH gets too low?

I also tested a hefe I have on tap and it was right at 4. And so you don't have to ask, I brew with RO water treated with burton salts and 5.2 stabilizer. Also one of the ones I tested just finished primary fermentation so it could very likely just be far too young, and that is what I am tasting.

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Old 07-31-2008, 06:23 AM   #2
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I have had a couple of beers recently that seem a little sharp on the back of your tongue. I am wondering if they are too acidic so I checked the pH and they were both around 3.5.
Thats low. Sometimes I acidifie my Witbier while bottling, I'm letting pH to drop only to 3.9, and the beer is really tart at that point.
Maybe you add to much acid to mash or sparge water?
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Old 07-31-2008, 10:47 AM   #3
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I am not sure what could be causing it because I haven't changed my method and none of these beers featured dark grains. I haven't added any acid to the mash or sparge, just the 5.2 buffer. I think I might try a beer without that and test the pH along that way. I also am going to get some calibration fluids since those readings could be totally off.

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Old 07-31-2008, 10:56 AM   #4
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I'd advise you to but a set of pH strips, they are not very expensive; and control the pH - masch should be ~5.5 (5.2-5.6), sparge water below 6, wort ready for boiling 5.2-5.3.

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Old 07-31-2008, 11:02 AM   #5
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I brew with RO water treated with burton salts and 5.2 stabilizer.
Oh, and and that may cause problems (if it is all grain) - I'm not sure if butron salts contain all ingredients necessary for good fermentation - try to cut the RO water with some 1/3 of tap or botteled water, just to be on the safe side.
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Old 07-31-2008, 12:09 PM   #6
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My tap water is softener and my unsoftened water is full of iron, so that isn't an option. Burton salts are calcium sulfate, magnesium sulfate, and potassium chloride, so it should be everything the water needs. If you added the right ratio it would effectively make water with the same permanent hardness as Burton upon Trent.

I am making a batch tomorrow and I think I will try it without the 5.2 stabilizer and just monitor the pH. It's an English style IPA with rye, so I will try to get the water to emulate the Burton on Trent.

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Old 07-31-2008, 01:05 PM   #7
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Burton salts are calcium sulfate, magnesium sulfate, and potassium chloride, so it should be everything the water needs.
Yest also need zinc, cooper, iron... But if the fermentation is OK, don't bother.
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Old 07-31-2008, 01:36 PM   #8
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Well if the yeast need them they are getting them somewhere else, because yeast health has never been an issue. I mostly use dry yeast and they always ferment like heroes.

That said is there an easy way to supplement those into my water? I have never seen those as water additives at brewing suppliers, which is curious considering the number of brewers who start from scratch with purified water.

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