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Old 05-12-2012, 03:31 PM   #1
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Default Second Runnings pH

Just tried out my pH meter for the first time. Calibrated it with a buffer solution. Took samples of first and second runnings (batch sparging). The first runnings came in at 5.6. The second runnings after the sparge came in at 6.0. I realize that next time a little acid malt would probably help. But, for now, do you think I will end up have tannin extraction from the sparge?

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Old 05-12-2012, 04:51 PM   #2
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Just tried out my pH meter for the first time. Calibrated it with a buffer solution. Took samples of first and second runnings (batch sparging). The first runnings came in at 5.6. The second runnings after the sparge came in at 6.0. I realize that next time a little acid malt would probably help. But, for now, do you think I will end up have tannin extraction from the sparge?
No, 6.0 is a good maximum target for the sparge pH. You'll be fine.
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Old 05-12-2012, 05:12 PM   #3
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How hot was the sparge? It takes pH over 6 and water over 170 to extract tannins.

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Old 05-12-2012, 05:19 PM   #4
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Oh that's good. The sparge temp was about 165. Thanks for the replies. How much above 6 do you have to get before off flavors become an issue? For example, if you are sparging at 175 and 6.2 pH are the tannins going to be noticeable? Or do you really have to push it well above the limit?

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Old 05-12-2012, 05:29 PM   #5
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Hopefully the sparge water had low alkalinity. That helps prevent tannin extraction. Be sure to acidify the sparge water to reduce alkalinity if the tap water has high alkalinity. Bru'n Water has the tool for figuring out your sparge water acidification.

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Old 05-13-2012, 12:57 AM   #6
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How hot was the sparge? It takes pH over 6 and water over 170 to extract tannins.
I don't think that is the case at all. I am sure you can extract tannins at mash temps if the pH is too high.

The temperature isn't very important, but the pH is very important. You can boil grain and not extract tannins, IF the pH is right.

But if you oversparge, even with 150 degree water, you will extract tannins due to a rise in the pH.
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Old 05-13-2012, 12:50 PM   #7
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Quoting John Palmer in "How to Brew", he has this to say.

"The analogy to a tea bag is a good one in that if the grain is left in for too long (hours), astringent tannin compounds (a.k.a. phenols) can be extracted from the grain husks. The compounds give the wort a dry puckering taste, much like a black tea that has been left to steep too long. The extraction of tannins is especially prevalent if the water is too hot - above 170°F. Previous practices regarding the use of specialty grains had the brewer putting the grain in the pot and bringing it to a boil before removal. That method often resulted in tannin extraction."

While the temperature is important, you still cannot extract tannins without a high pH, or at least not is sufficient quantity to make your beer "puckery". Again from "How to Brew",

"Water chemistry also plays a role in tannin extraction. Steeping the heavily roasted malts in very soft water will produce conditions that are too acidic and harsh flavors will result. Likewise, steeping the lightest crystal malts in hard water could produce conditions that are too alkaline and tannin extraction would be a problem again. In this case, the terms Hard and Soft Water are being used to indicate a high (>200 ppm) or low(<50 ppm) level of carbonates and the degree of alkalinity of the brewing water. "

That implies that both high temperature and high pH are necessary. I have found this information elsewhere too but can't put my finger on it right now.

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Old 05-13-2012, 12:55 PM   #8
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That implies that both high temperature and high pH are necessary. I have found this information elsewhere too but can't put my finger on it right now.
I read that differently- I don't think he says that high temperature is really the key. Sure, you're more likely to pull tannins at temps over 170 and with a high pH than a lower temperature (read what you put in red) but alkaline water will pull tannins even at a cool temperature. (Read what you put in red in the second line). No where does he say that the temperatures MUST be 170 to extract these tannins!
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Old 05-13-2012, 01:39 PM   #9
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I think you are right, you can get some tannins if your pH is too high even if your temperature is cool but from this quote from Palmer I gather that the temperature is pretty important too.

"The water should be no more than 170°F, as husk tannins become more soluble above this temperature, depending on wort pH. This could lead to astringency in the beer. "

If you sparge slowly you would extract more tannins at the cooler temperature but the solubility is low which limits what gets extracted in the time it takes for a normal sparge. If you heat the water too much, the rate of solubility goes up substantially but only if the pH is too high. Controlling the pH and temperature should limit tannin extraction to a very low level.

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Old 05-13-2012, 04:44 PM   #10
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I would suggest that you could extract tannins just as easily with a cool sparge if the water alkalinity is high as you could with a too-hot sparge. The pH is really the key here. If your pH is in range, it doesn't really matter what temperature you steep/mash/sparge at. But you will certainly extract tannins if you have a high pH, even at mash temps.

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