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Old 09-24-2009, 04:53 PM   #1
BigdogMark
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Default Water and mash ph testing

I am looking into the effects of my local water source on the mash ph, but the first problem I am facing is how and when to measure the mash ph. I have read that some folks mash in, read the ph, the start making adjustments on the fly to get the ph where they want/need it. On the other had, some folks preadjust their water as required to hot their desired ph level. In either case, how and when is it appropriate to measure the ph of the mash? How quickly do the grains affect the ph of the water in order for the reading to be valid over the mashing period?

Also, my water is high in bicarbonate as in over 400 ppm. How much can the bicarbonate be reduced by boiling the water in the HLT to precipitate out the bicarbonate, and how much will this reduction affect the alkalinity of the water?

Lastly, my water reports don't seem to report on the water in the terms used in most water calculators. As an example:

Bicarbonate - 325 ppm
Chloride - 20
Hardness as Ca/Mg - 225
Ph - 7.5
Sulfate - 27
Total Alkalinity as CaCO3 - 252
Total Dissolved Solids - 352

The water calculators seem to be asking me for different information. The Brewer's Friend calculator is asking for Ca, Mg, SO4, Na, Cl, and HCO3

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Old 09-24-2009, 06:59 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by BigdogMark View Post
I am looking into the effects of my local water source on the mash ph, but the first problem I am facing is how and when to measure the mash ph. I have read that some folks mash in, read the ph, the start making adjustments on the fly to get the ph where they want/need it. On the other had, some folks preadjust their water as required to hot their desired ph level. In either case, how and when is it appropriate to measure the ph of the mash? How quickly do the grains affect the ph of the water in order for the reading to be valid over the mashing period?

Also, my water is high in bicarbonate as in over 400 ppm. How much can the bicarbonate be reduced by boiling the water in the HLT to precipitate out the bicarbonate, and how much will this reduction affect the alkalinity of the water?

Lastly, my water reports don't seem to report on the water in the terms used in most water calculators. As an example:

Bicarbonate - 325 ppm
Chloride - 20
Hardness as Ca/Mg - 225
Ph - 7.5
Sulfate - 27
Total Alkalinity as CaCO3 - 252
Total Dissolved Solids - 352

The water calculators seem to be asking me for different information. The Brewer's Friend calculator is asking for Ca, Mg, SO4, Na, Cl, and HCO3
I had the same problem. The city did not contain all the info that one woudl want to know to make beer with. They sent out a sample and when I got it back, it pretty much had the SAME info in it.

Ward Lab will analyze your water and give all of that info for like $20. I'm about ready to hit their website and get set up for a report myself.

I called the state DEQ lab to see if they had any more info that was not on that report they sent and she said I'd have to send in another sample and that all the tests that would give me the info I wanted would run nearly $50. She didn't believe me when I told her about Ward Lab. Seems a good deal!
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