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Old 01-21-2007, 03:59 PM   #11
Art by David Shrigley
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Jul 2005
Nishinomiya, Japan
Posts: 840
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Originally Posted by david_42
pH strips don't tell you anything able water composition, other than pH. Hard water can make it difficult to change the pH.

When I brewed in Oakland, my brewbuddy's GF read the pH for us. I can't read the strips myself and so now I use pH 5.2 for mashing and sparge water.
Color blind?

How do you like the 5.2?
鯰 a.k.a. なまず a.k.a. Catfish

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Old 01-21-2007, 05:41 PM   #12
david_42's Avatar
Oct 2005
Oak Grove, Oregon, USA
Posts: 25,599
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No, but the narrow range strips turn shades of brown.

pH 5.2 is the final solution. It increased my efficiency a couple points and zero tannins.
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Old 01-21-2007, 05:49 PM   #13
Oct 2006
Okie City
Posts: 34

Your water PH will be different than your mash PH and is less important. The PH of the mash is what you need to worry about and you cannot test that until you mash.
How To Brew gives some information on estimating what your mash will be given the type of grain used etc but it just an estimation.
Your water composition is important and you would do well to find out exactly what it is. Trying to make adjustments to the water chemistry without knowing what needs to be adjusted and by how much may not do much good and may make it worse.
PH5.2 will help with the PH of the mash but it will not correct mineral excesses or deficiencies in the water. You need to adjust those beforehand.
Promash does have a calculator you can use to determine what amount of what chemical you need to add to get your water to match that of the style of beer you want to make. Again this will require you know exactly what you water chemistry is.
Bottom line, you need to contact your water supplier and get a report on the mineral content or have a sample analyzed. This is true for bottled water as well. If you are using distilled or RO you will need to add chemicals as well. Promash will take care of that too.
Ward Labs will do the testing and they are very helpfull if you have questions.

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Old 01-21-2007, 06:23 PM   #14
boo boo
Jun 2005
Hearts's Delight, Newfoundland
Posts: 4,165
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Originally Posted by casebrew
4.6 is about right, isn't it? Water is usually 7-7.2, but grain is acidic, mash ought to be lower than 4.8?

I ddi have trouble witha primer though. I had made some Invert/Candy sugar with citric acid. It didn't kick off the yeast. So I bought some test strips. I had to dilute the starter 4:1 to get a reading of 4, so it must have been like PH 2? I guess I acid washed that vial of Cal V? Anybody have a program for the PH math?
A "proper" mash should have a mash PH of between 5 and 5.5 at mash temps. Your boiled wort will get a lower PH.
The PH test strips weren't very accurate (at least the two types I did try) so I bought a PH meter.
5.2 PH stabalizer will work for certain mashes and not as well for others due to the actual minerals in the mash that may buffer the PH.
The colour of your wort don't affect the colour change in your test strips.
Before correcting the mash with salts, it would be wise to find out what your water contains as so not to add too much of a salt which could adversely affect the taste of your beer.
How do you BBQ an elephant....first you get your elephant....

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Old 01-21-2007, 07:21 PM   #15
Nov 2006
San Antonio, TX
Posts: 228

Originally Posted by boo boo
it would be wise to find out what your water contains as so not to add too much of a salt which could adversely affect the taste of your beer.
Like adding salt if the sodium level in your water is already high, and wondering why your beer taste like you made it with sea water

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