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Old 06-21-2014, 01:02 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by dudius View Post
With good brewing water, malt will lower the pH to somewhere between 5.2 and 5.5.
Assuming you are basing your observations on measurements made with strips add about 0.3 to get a range of 5.5 to 5.8 which is approximately representative for primarily base malt grists.

Originally Posted by dudius View Post
Using the 5.2 stabilizer is helpful for removing carbonates and bicarbonates in hard water.
You have more confidence in the product than its creator who personally told me he would advise most brewers against using it.

If the water is very, very hard (see the charts in the back of the Palmer water book) the phosphate in 5.2 will react to form apatite releasing protons. But this is not how 5.2 is intended to work (it was developed for a particular brewery who had a very peculiar water chemistry) and the same reaction occurs with malt phosphates anyway. Under more normal circumstances the monobasic phosphate in 5.2 is acidic with respect to mash pH and as such does convert some bicarbonate to carbonic but at the recommended dose very little (see Fig. 23 in the Palmer book. If you want to use the phosphoric acid system to remove bicarbonate why settle for the small fraction of a mEq/mmol from the monobasic salt (5.2) when you can use the acid and get 1 mEq/mmol without having to accept the sodium (see Fig 23 again).

Originally Posted by dudius View Post
As for pH strips, I guess it's brewer's choice. I've used strips and pH meters and I think for homebrewing pH strips are pretty handy. Definitely wouldn't call it a waste of money.
But most would. Yes, it is up to the individual to decide but the reason those of us who post here do is to try to guide the naive/newbies away from foolish decisions.
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