Spike Brewing 12.5 Conical Fermenter Giveaway - Enter Now!

Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > When is the best time to test pH of mash?

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 07-12-2012, 01:54 PM   #1
dgez
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 168
Liked 13 Times on 11 Posts

Default When is the best time to test pH of mash?

I got some 4.6 - 6.2 test strips. When is the best time to test the mash? Immediately after mixing?

What am I shooting for?
What if its high? What if its low?

__________________
dgez is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 07-12-2012, 03:48 PM   #2
Double_D
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Double_D's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
Posts: 1,352
Liked 37 Times on 35 Posts
Likes Given: 76

Default

5.2 is considered optimal. That's what you're "shooting" for. The PH drops naturally. I'm sure it's 6 of one and half a dozen of another here, but I'd just throw those things away. The mash will take care of itself.

__________________
Double_D is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 07-12-2012, 04:00 PM   #3
mabrungard
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Carmel, IN
Posts: 2,696
Liked 181 Times on 158 Posts
Likes Given: 24

Default

Hopefully you bought the plastic ColorpHast strips and not the paper ones. The plastic strips are far better. Cut them in half to extend their utilization.

Strips indicate a pH that is about 0.2 to 0.3 units lower than actual, so you need to be looking for a pH that is a couple of tenths higher than the typical range of 5.3 to 5.5. So, if you read 5.5 to 5.7 with the plastic strips, you are probably in a good range.

I recommend checking mash pH as early as possible since most of the enzymatic activity and conversion occurs in the first 15 min. Dough in, mix well, and check pH ASAP is what I recommend. If your quick, you can have a reading in the first 5 min, but certainly within 10 min. Taking another reading at about 15 min is a good idea.

Mash pH typically rises by about 0.1 unit over the course of a half hour or so. This may not be always true if you use Acid Malt. I don't use Acid Malt so I don't have this experience, but others say that it can take a little while to get the acidity out of the acid malt and the pH might actually drop a bit first.

__________________

Martin B
Carmel, IN
BJCP National
Foam Blowers of Indiana (FBI)

Brewing Water Information at:
https://sites.google.com/site/brunwater/

Like Bru'n Water on Facebook for occasional discussions on brewing water and Bru'n Water

mabrungard is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 07-12-2012, 04:13 PM   #4
mabrungard
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Carmel, IN
Posts: 2,696
Liked 181 Times on 158 Posts
Likes Given: 24

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Double_D View Post
The mash will take care of itself.
That might be true if the water and mash are suited to each other. But it doesn't take much of a mismatch to create a mash condition that doesn't produce the best beer or the beer you're looking for.

There is no single water that can produce stellar beers of all styles. A water is more typically suited for a certain range of styles and the brewer will have the opportunity to make stellar beers with that water. But outside that style range, its going to take some corrections to make it possible to make great beer.

Strips or a meter can be very good tools for figuring out why a beer does or doesn't come out right. I do agree that once a brewer understands what they have to do to their water for certain beer styles, that they can toss the strips or meter and brew with confidence.

Bru'n Water was created to help brewers without strips or a meter to get in the ballpark with their mash chemistry. But, I'm still going to recommend those tools to double check the program result for the user. Don't toss the strips yet!
__________________

Martin B
Carmel, IN
BJCP National
Foam Blowers of Indiana (FBI)

Brewing Water Information at:
https://sites.google.com/site/brunwater/

Like Bru'n Water on Facebook for occasional discussions on brewing water and Bru'n Water

mabrungard is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 07-12-2012, 05:29 PM   #5
Wynne-R
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Texas
Posts: 892
Liked 96 Times on 62 Posts
Likes Given: 75

Default

Quote:
Strips indicate a pH that is about 0.2 to 0.3 units lower than actual, so you need to be looking for a pH that is a couple of tenths higher than the typical range of 5.3 to 5.5. So, if you read 5.5 to 5.7 with the plastic strips, you are probably in a good range.
Uhh . . . Martin, which is it? Based on this; http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f11/big-colorphast-experiment-126033
I’d guess lower is right and you’re actually looking for an indication of 5.0-5.2 to correspond to 5.3-5.5 actual.

Also, is this hot or cold? It seems Kai did a “never mind” and concluded at room temperature it’s a wash.

Quote:
It matters bc a meter shows a different pH at mash temp (about 0.2 lower) while the strips have the same color reaction at mash and room temp.
-Kai
__________________
Wynne-R is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 07-12-2012, 05:30 PM   #6
Double_D
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Double_D's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
Posts: 1,352
Liked 37 Times on 35 Posts
Likes Given: 76

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by mabrungard View Post
That might be true if the water and mash are suited to each other. But it doesn't take much of a mismatch to create a mash condition that doesn't produce the best beer or the beer you're looking for.

There is no single water that can produce stellar beers of all styles. A water is more typically suited for a certain range of styles and the brewer will have the opportunity to make stellar beers with that water. But outside that style range, its going to take some corrections to make it possible to make great beer.

Strips or a meter can be very good tools for figuring out why a beer does or doesn't come out right. I do agree that once a brewer understands what they have to do to their water for certain beer styles, that they can toss the strips or meter and brew with confidence.

Bru'n Water was created to help brewers without strips or a meter to get in the ballpark with their mash chemistry. But, I'm still going to recommend those tools to double check the program result for the user. Don't toss the strips yet!
I agree with this 100%. But I don't like to make people crazy with complicated processes when they're new to the hobby.

And Wynne-R proves my point.
__________________
Double_D is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 07-12-2012, 07:27 PM   #7
Wynne-R
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Texas
Posts: 892
Liked 96 Times on 62 Posts
Likes Given: 75

Default

Double_D, I’m don’t know what your point is, but I’m pretty sure I didn’t prove it. Let me try again.

I think Martin has us subtracting the .3 fudge factor instead of adding it. That makes a whopping .6 error; 400% if my math is right. AntiLog .6=3.98

I’m not a chemist, but I did pass a couple of classes. Here’s my take on it:

Ph readings, if they don’t specify temperature are assumed to be taken at room temperature. A Ph meter will (correctly) read about two or three tenths lower at mash temp, depending on what you call mash temp. A test strip using a tiny sample will pretty much read room temperature.

But that’s the trouble, nonstandard pH readings are misleading. Conventional wisdom has 5.2 as ideal, but at 20ºC(68F) it’s more like 5.5.

Back to the OP, most people say 10 minutes after the mash. After 10 minutes is still OK but give it some time to equalize.

edit: sort of messed up higher with lower, it's easy to do.

__________________
Wynne-R is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 07-12-2012, 08:03 PM   #8
cockybitz
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Iowa
Posts: 294
Liked 8 Times on 8 Posts
Likes Given: 14

Default

I suggest to use them for the sparge. The mash will most likely be in range to get your beer tasting great. It is the lack of acidity that leads to tannin extraction. This occurs when you wash the grain of the ions create the acidity by over sparging-- contrary to the popular myth that tannin extraction comes from high temperatures of the grain. The problem is that the test strips do not read a correct pH at 150*, so you are supposed to let it cool down first. Use them when you sparge to teach you to RDWHAHB and then throw them away. Anyone who is really that concerned over pH should invest in a better means to measure pH.

__________________
cockybitz is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 07-13-2012, 12:30 PM   #9
mabrungard
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Carmel, IN
Posts: 2,696
Liked 181 Times on 158 Posts
Likes Given: 24

Default

I'm confused with the confusion. Kai's testing shows conclusively that strips read around 0.3 lower than a pH meter. That means that you should accept a strip reading that is about 0.3 higher than your targeted room-temperature pH. Sorry I wasn't clear about that the first post.

__________________

Martin B
Carmel, IN
BJCP National
Foam Blowers of Indiana (FBI)

Brewing Water Information at:
https://sites.google.com/site/brunwater/

Like Bru'n Water on Facebook for occasional discussions on brewing water and Bru'n Water

mabrungard is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 07-13-2012, 02:25 PM   #10
Wynne-R
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Texas
Posts: 892
Liked 96 Times on 62 Posts
Likes Given: 75

Default

I’m confused with the explanation. If the strips reads .3 low then you’re looking for a reading that’s lower than your target. Say my target is 5.5, I want an indication of 5.2. If I shoot for an indication of 5.8, actual would be 6.1.
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f11/big-colorphast-experiment-126033/index2.html#post1448022

__________________
Wynne-R is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply


Quick Reply
Message:
Options
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Mash Conversion Iodine Test Brian-d All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 5 12-16-2011 11:31 PM
Mash Time/Boil Time Question lucasweb All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 7 11-12-2011 04:11 AM
Is the iodine test the only way to test starch conversion? worldzfree All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 6 02-12-2011 08:18 PM
Mash time Pwntang All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 2 11-16-2010 08:19 PM
First partial mash side by side taste test. brian_g All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 1 06-23-2009 12:48 PM