Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > Mash pH 6.6- Is that gonna screw up efficiency badly?
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Old 08-07-2009, 10:18 PM   #1
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Default Mash pH 6.6- Is that gonna screw up efficiency badly?

Hey all,

My mash ph is 6.6.. I have no gypsum on hand right now.. Just wondering how badly that kind of pH will screw up my efficiency? Any ideas?

Thanks
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Old 08-08-2009, 02:32 AM   #2
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Efficiency is how much of the good sugary maltiness you get out of your grains, which shouldn't be effected by ph at all. It would be effected by your Mash Tun setup and mill of your grain, among other factors. No worries. I've never tested or adjusted my pH. Could be the water/mash is fine on its own, but the beer always turns out just fine.
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Old 08-08-2009, 02:38 AM   #3
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Efficiency is effected by pH because pH affects the enzyme activity.

GroosBrewz, how did you measure this pH? And by now you should have seen for youself how much it affected efficiency



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Old 08-08-2009, 03:04 AM   #4
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I'm wondering how the hell you even get a 6.6 mash...
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Old 08-08-2009, 03:41 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jkarp View Post
I'm wondering how the hell you even get a 6.6 mash...
yeah I am with you and Kaiser, what did you get that reading from?
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Old 08-08-2009, 06:35 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jkarp View Post
I'm wondering how the hell you even get a 6.6 mash...
I live in way the hell out in the middle of nowhere surrounded by wheat fields and I have well water with high nitrates and God only know what else.. So the water is bad for brewing to begin with.. And I rent, so I am not paying to install a RO water system here. Also, the store is 24 miles away so it's not always easy to go get bottled water when I feel like making a beer. And yesterday was one of those days.

I use a pH pen from SPER Scientific which calibrates perfectly at 7.1 so I know the pH meter is good. I have taken many (room temperature) pH measurements over the past year and pH is always between 6.3 and 6.6.. Usually I use a whole package of gypsum and get the pH down.. Yesterday I didnt have any.. And my efficiency was pretty horrid..I ended up with only 57% efficiency.. Not good...

Sometimes I hit in the mid 60% range WITH the gypsum, so this isn't TOTALLY unheard of, but it's way lower than usual and I am going to guess that pH had a lot to do with it. Maybe from now on I will use pH stabilizer...
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Old 08-08-2009, 06:42 PM   #7
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I'd also be worried about tannins with that pH.
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Old 08-08-2009, 07:33 PM   #8
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Ouch! Have you had any issues with astringency with such a high pH? My tap water has a pH of 8.2, but with 5.2 stabilizer and using some darker malts, my mash pH is never higher than about 5.5.
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Old 08-08-2009, 09:12 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YooperBrew View Post
Ouch! Have you had any issues with astringency with such a high pH? My tap water has a pH of 8.2, but with 5.2 stabilizer and using some darker malts, my mash pH is never higher than about 5.5.
Yoop- So the pH stabilizer works pretty good? What do darker malts have to do with it?

As for astringency, I made a Fat Tire clone a few months back and it tasted like I was sucking on a mouthful of husks.. Very "grainy".. and it was one of the few times I did not adjust pH (although i got 73% efficiency on that batch).. so in short, the answer is.. maybe?
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Old 08-09-2009, 01:40 AM   #10
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What was the grain bill?

I expect that you have very alkaline and hard water. So hard in fact that you won't be able to fix it with gypsum or 5.2. You should send a sample to ward labs and get a water report to see what you are dealing with. But in the end you'll have to look into dillution, RO systems or acid treatment.

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