I'm starting to get pretty standardized on brewing but I'm coming up with a lot of new questions all the time. However, I've always looked away trying to get a grasp of the big picture before focussing on the brush strokes.
I believe it's time to focus on details from the front process to the back end. I've been hearing a lot about 'Mash pH.' Working as an engineering intern at POET biorefining, I'm very familiar with tight pH targetting and various other conditions that leads to efficient processes. However, I am very unfamiliar with how this applies to fermentation in home brewing.
Picking up ingredients for a Blue Moon Clone recipe yesterday, I did some browsing and found 1) electronic pH meter for ~$50, and 2) pH paper strips for ~$3. Right now, I would definitely lean toward the paper strips, but they are only labeled on the scale of "high, good, perfect, good, low 'pH' ".
I understand the concept, but is it accurate?
Is it possible these trips are made for wine instead?
Is there a difference between wine and beer pH in preparation for fermentation?
When I find a way to test for pH and know where I need to be, how do I correct up or down?
A full detailed response would be great, but a link to someone else's work would be phenomenal as well.