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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > Should i use 5.2 mash ph adjuster?
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Old 05-01-2013, 01:34 PM   #21
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Hi AJ, quick question for you: I've read over and over (including in your posts in this thread) that I should be using campden tablets if there is any chloramine present in my tap water. Well, according to my city's latest water report (which can be found here: http://www.charlestonwater.com/downl...ity_report.pdf), they do use chloramine.

Is there some threshold for this measurement that I need to be aware of before using campden tablets, or should I just use them if there's any chloramine present whatsoever?

Thank you, sir!

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Old 05-01-2013, 02:09 PM   #22
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The best thing to do is obtain a test kit (be sure it tests total chlorine and not just free). These are available from a number of sources and are pretty inexpensive. With a kit you would experiment with doses until the kit indicates 0 total chlorine after treatment.

In general, 1 campden tablet will treat 20 gal but campden tablets are of different weights and different chemical (sodium vs. potassium metabisulfite) compositions. I usually suggest that people crush the tablet (I just talked this weekend to a club member who uses the round end of a White Labs vial as pestle and a 1 tbsp measuring spoon as pestle), suspend it in some water and add the water incrementally until the chlorine aroma is gone or until the water begins to smell, when agitated, of sulfur dioxide. That should be enough to take care of the chloramine. See
Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Brew Science > Campden Tablets (Sulfites) and Brewing Water.

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Old 05-01-2013, 02:16 PM   #23
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Also, do Camden tablets effect ph in anyway? I've never done any kind if tests for ph.
I never did answer this question. Yes, they have a slight effect on pH. As the table at http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f128/cam...-water-361073/ shows use of campden tablets in sufficient quantity to neutralize 3 ppm chloramine as chlorine also neutralizes 1.43 ppm as CaCO3 alkalinity. This is insignificant given typical mash buffering capacities.
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Old 05-01-2013, 02:22 PM   #24
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Thanks, AJ! You're most helpful as always, and I for one sincerely appreciate your contributions!

I have never detected the smell of chlorine in my tap water, so I'm not going to worry about it. I also will likely begin using RO water anyway, so it's sort of a moot point.

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Old 05-02-2013, 05:03 AM   #25
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And then declare publicly that you are going to ignore the answers given to you by people who have done the research and experiments and taken the trouble to answer your questions.

I'm sorry you were offended but if you put a 'kick me' sign on your backside you are going to have to expect to be kicked from time to time. Has it occurred to you that when you tell someone who has tried to help you that you are going to ignore his advice that such a person may be offended?

You must do as you see fit. There are lots of other useless things you can do while brewing too.
Ok...

Not really sure where you get the idea I am ignoring info. I have a system right now that works for me FOR THE TIME BEING! I am gleaning information slowly to improve it over time. I do plan on taking advice from this post when I can afford the proper equipment and have water analyzed. I'm just in the planning phases of that.

All I am saying is you don't have to make wise cracks about how people are going about their brewing. You have already impressed me with your vast knowledge of brewing chemistry. There's no need to have a condescending tone to one whom you are teaching. It doesn't jive with the whole idea of sharing said knowledge.

I do truly appreciate your time in helping me learn. And thanks for the clarification on the use of Camden tabs.
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Old 05-02-2013, 01:23 PM   #26
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Ok...
Not really sure where you get the idea I am ignoring info.
Probably here:

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Thanks all for the input. I think I will continue doing as I have been for the time being... Using Camden tabs and 5.2.
You ask for opinions and input. The thread explicitly asks if you should use 5.2. You get some holy-crap-well-researched answers. Then say you're not going to change anything. The people trying to help you feel like they wasted their time. Their answers aren't just subjective "I don't like it" comments.

Maybe a better course of action would be to take a recipe you are happy with using your current process, and try to apply their process. Even if it means you have to buy RO water for one batch. No need to buy probes or equipment first. Post your results back in this thread. You never know, you might find out that your beer could be even better. If it isn't, then it would contribute to the data about 5.2 - maybe you've found a corner case where 5.2 is perfect.

At any rate, enjoy your beer.

Cheers,
mj
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Old 05-02-2013, 02:28 PM   #27
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All I am saying is you don't have to make wise cracks about how people are going about their brewing. ... There's no need to have a condescending tone to one whom you are teaching. It doesn't jive with the whole idea of sharing said knowledge.
Actually sometimes it does. In this case I've apparently gotten under your skin to the point where you have posted a couple of times about it. That in itself is not a positive thing but if in your displeasure you have decided you are going to check this out and find out if that arrogant SOB knows what he is really talking about, IOW if I have, by my condescending tone, caused you to think then I have achieved my goal. I'll bet you've had teachers who used this technique - I surely did. But maybe that's not politically correct any more.
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Old 05-03-2013, 03:52 AM   #28
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Quote:
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Actually sometimes it does. In this case I've apparently gotten under your skin to the point where you have posted a couple of times about it. That in itself is not a positive thing but if in your displeasure you have decided you are going to check this out and find out if that arrogant SOB knows what he is really talking about, IOW if I have, by my condescending tone, caused you to think then I have achieved my goal. I'll bet you've had teachers who used this technique - I surely did. But maybe that's not politically correct any more.
I'll give you that...

But I am excited to tweak this aspect of my brewing methods. I actually was looking to buy an RO unit for my house anyway about a year ago. Now I have more of a justification to do so.

Just out of curiosity, with using the 5.2 it was said earlier about salty beer... I know it wouldn't be salty like adding table salt... Table salt is NaCl. I didn't think 5.2 had chemicals that would react to for NaCl. I thought it mainly used potassium salts to buffer pH?

I know ionic compounds are called salts in general. What would these "salty" compounds taste like in beer since I still have beer where I used 5.2.

It very possible I just don't have a good enough palate to pick these "salty" flavors up. Would it be a chemical-like flavor or even a texture in my mouth when I finish?
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Old 05-03-2013, 10:26 AM   #29
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I think I meant to say phosphorous salts...

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Old 05-03-2013, 12:33 PM   #30
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Table salt is NaCl. I didn't think 5.2 had chemicals that would react to for NaCl. I thought it mainly used potassium salts to buffer pH?
They do, AFAIK. This I deduced by measuring the pH of a DI water solution of 5.2. This allows me to calculate the ratio of monobasic to dibasic phosphate and with that in hand knowing the weight I used to make the solution sodium would not 'close' the calculation. Thus it must be potassium. Also a test for potassium shows that there is lots and lots but there could be some sodium too.

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I know ionic compounds are called salts in general. What would these "salty" compounds taste like in beer since I still have beer where I used 5.2.
In beer/brewing water we find calcium, magnesium, potassium, sodium, chloride, sulfate, carbonate, bicarbonate, and phosphate (mono and di basic). Any of the first 4 (cations) can form a salt with any of the last 6 (anions) for a total of 24 salts. All of them are going to taste 'salty' but salty in this context is much broader than your perception of table salt. People trying to reduce sodium intake often use 'co salt' which is potassium chloride instead of sodium chloride. It tastes 'salty' but it quite unlike the salty taste of sodium chloride and not a very good substitute for it with food. You might want to buy some of this at the super market and taste it. You can also taste sodium bicarbonate and calcium chlorde/sulfate solutions and, of course, you can taste a solution of 5.2.

There is lots of debate about how much sodium and how much potassium is 'too much'. The answer is the amount that makes the beer taste less good. One finds all sorts of conflicting reports - even in the professional literature. One text book, for example, says that brewers should limit the use of potassium salts to no more than 10 mg/L. Yet malt contributes something like 200 mg/L to beer (IIRC). Plants have lots of potassium in them. I find it hard to believe that increasing the potassium level in beer by 6% as opposed to 5% is going to ruin the beer.
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