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Old 04-22-2013, 02:13 PM   #1
grathan
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Default PH woes

First brewday with the new RO system water, first time using Colorphast strips too. This ph stuff is driving me nuts.

My well water was tested at 216 Bicarbonate so the TDS of 16 on the RO was assumed mostly bicarbonate. I setup the batch for 8.5 gallons in EzWater.

10.3# pilsner malt
0.5# Vienna malt
4 grams gypsum
4 grams calcium chloride
3ml lactic acid %88

Does that seem ok for RO water? Ezwater said it looked good.

Anyways the ph strips said the starting water was at 5, i did 2 tests to confrim this. So I am thinking colorphast are off by at least 2 whole points? So I add the acid and now the strips are reading 4 (lowest possible reading on chart 4-7).

The water in my house was tested at Ward labs 2 samples at ph 7.7 and 8.1 (non filtered).
Can RO systems lower ph?


I threw a couple PH meters in the treated water (I don't trust them either) and they read 3.5


Should this mash turn out ok? will low ph denature emzymes? mashing at 148*F.

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Old 04-22-2013, 02:47 PM   #2
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Ran the numbers through bru'n water while waiting on the mash. It says I shoulod have expected a ph of 3.5 and only used 0.4ml of lactic.

I'll probably still sparge it and see what kind of gravity it gets. Perhaps I can bring the ph up with my bicarbonate water. I have enough grains for a redo though.

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Old 04-22-2013, 03:17 PM   #3
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Darn, the sulfate and the chloride seem way out of whack as well.

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Old 04-22-2013, 03:38 PM   #4
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I would have gone with 1 g calcium chloride, 0 calcium sulfate and very little acid, maybe .5 mL 88% lactic, as a guess. Check the primer: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f128/bre...primer-198460/

The pH that’s important is mash pH. That other stuff is just distracting. You want the right balance between the acid and the alkalinity.

Did you calibrate your pH meter? You need fresh buffers. http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f128/ph-...ration-302256/

It should read .2 higher than the test strip. http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f128/col...mation-363559/

Go ahead and brew with it, it will be beer. I think the salts will cause more problems than the acid.

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Old 04-22-2013, 03:50 PM   #5
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Looks like it's gonna be a do-over. the brix on the first drain was 22 for about 1.3 gallons, but then the mash tun tumbled off the workbench and wound up on me and covered the garage floor pretty good. The pump tripped the gfci even though the extension cord didn't even have a ground plug. This comes after flooding the upstairs last night trying to collect RO water in a carboy. Oh well, and so the brew season begins.

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Old 04-22-2013, 04:26 PM   #6
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RO water can easily have a pH well under 7.0. Carbon dioxide can pass fairly freely through the membrane and the product water tends to be saturated with CO2 and that means that the carbonic acid content will be higher. That drives the water pH down.

In municipal water systems, they often pass the RO product water through air stripping towers in order to help get that excess CO2 out of the water prior to putting the water into their piping system.

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