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Old 03-19-2013, 12:01 AM   #21
dachbach
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eric19312 and billl, both of you guys mentioned adjusting/testing ph. My water is extremely hard and extremely alkaline. I mix 50/50 with my water and distilled and also add phosphoric acid and gypsum to get to whatever profile my beer calls for. Bru'n water tells me what my adjusted ph should be based on my additions but I have never actually tested the ph myself. I've just assumed bru'n water is right. Sounds like my next step will be to purchase some ph testing strips to confirm or deny.

I will post a picture of my crush next time I brew.

On a side note, my inefficient beers still taste good! I shared a recent Amarillo/Chinook Pale with family and friends this weekend and it was a big hit.

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Old 03-19-2013, 04:03 AM   #22
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I use Bru'nWater and get good result from it, but yes you do need to know the ph of your water. A swimming pool test kit will get you close and make sure you don't have a big issue. If you don't input a valid ph, you could be putting in too much acid.

I have tested the ph in the mash on a few occasions. Everytime, the ph was as predicted by Bru'nWater.

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Old 03-19-2013, 01:40 PM   #23
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Let me clarify. The ph was tested when I got my water report back from the lab. I use that number as the basis for my additions. I have never personally checked it with ph strips after additions to see if it matches bru n water.

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Old 03-19-2013, 02:30 PM   #24
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Without running out for a pH meter, you can get relatively accurate results using the colorpHast 4-7 range pH test strips for about $20 lifetime supply (cut them in half long ways to double the quantity).

You can have starch negative tests in the wort but still have plenty of starch in large particulates of endosperm. This can happen even more easily in protein heavy malts and unmalted adjuncts that have not been protein rested or that have not been at gelatenization temps. Anything particularly interesting about your grain bills?

If not, take a 60 minute starch test and gravity reading, then grab a cupfull of thick mash and "physically mash" it up with something. Starch test again.

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Old 04-22-2013, 03:44 PM   #25
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I just wanted to give an update that I went to a different HBS this time for my grains and got nearly 100% mash conversion with a total brewhouse efficiency right at 70%! I was getting around 50%. So I guess it was just in the milling of the grains. These grains had WAY more powder in them. It looked like a total different product than what I had been used to. I even had a brief stuck sparge.

However, my grain bill was 27% wheat. Wheat doesn't have a husk and is only powder, correct? Would that be the entire explanation for the seemingly finer crush? Does the wheat explain my conversion and efficiency increase or can I attribute that to a better overall crush? I'm really hoping I've figured out my problem...

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