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Old 10-31-2010, 03:58 PM   #21
Beerrific
 
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I batch sparge and have taken the pH of the mash with the sparge water in there and it is always in the 'safe' range (has always been in the 5s). This is in agreement with most batch sparging "experts."

I treat my mash water with salts separately in the mash vs. sparge. I add the mash salts directly to the mash and the rest to the boil kettle. I would treat it all at once, but I have small second kettle so I have to heat it all separately.

 
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Old 10-31-2010, 04:14 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beerrific View Post
I batch sparge and have taken the pH of the mash with the sparge water in there and it is always in the 'safe' range (has always been in the 5s). This is in agreement with most batch sparging "experts."

I treat my mash water with salts separately in the mash vs. sparge. I add the mash salts directly to the mash and the rest to the boil kettle. I would treat it all at once, but I have small second kettle so I have to heat it all separately.
Thanks for the info!

Maybe sometime soon I'll go back to fly sparging and checking my sparge pH and gravity, the way ajdelange suggests. I'm definitely learning more about water chemistry every day- but I have to do baby steps.

My understanding is that batch sparging does change the importance of water treatments- that's why I've started batch sparging again after all this time!
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Old 10-31-2010, 04:47 PM   #23
ajdelange
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Originally Posted by Yooper_Brew View Post
My untreated water is quite alkaline.
...
To cover my bases...
Pun intended?

 
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Old 10-31-2010, 06:39 PM   #24
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Pun intended?
Ouch...

 
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Old 10-31-2010, 10:43 PM   #25
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Pun intended?
No. I wish I was clever enough to have made the pun on purpose! You're giving me WAY to much credit on my intelligence level.
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Old 11-10-2010, 10:26 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by ajdelange View Post
As you seem concerned about increased sodium in your beer let me suggest that instead of increasing mash pH with sodium bicarbonate you use calcium carbonate or calcium hydroxide (pickling lime)....
How much pickling lime should I expect to need to add? In general. Like 1 gram? More/less?

Also, all these pH measurements people quote, they are at room temp (20C), right? All the ones I mentioned above were at mash temps. So at room temp my mash numbers would have been higher, like 5.6. So I did not really need to add any baking soda at all.

 
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Old 11-11-2010, 01:46 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beerrific View Post
How much pickling lime should I expect to need to add? In general. Like 1 gram? More/less?

Also, all these pH measurements people quote, they are at room temp (20C), right? All the ones I mentioned above were at mash temps. So at room temp my mash numbers would have been higher, like 5.6. So I did not really need to add any baking soda at all.
The second paragraph more or less answers the question posed in the first. One has to be careful when looking at given pH data as it is all too often that the temperature at which the measurement is taken is not given. This is even so in the professional literature. One could, at one time, assume that pH measurements were at lab temperature based on the need to move a sample to a laboratory to make the measurement but with modern, handheld meters this is no longer the case. Everyone knows, or should know, that high temperatures shorten electrode life appreciably and that's a pretty good basis for assuming that measurements are room temperature measurements but it's not certain that this is the case.

The answer to the lime question is "as much as is needed to get mash pH into the right range" and that amount should be 0 in most cases. If mash pH is indeed too low then add in very small increments - say 0.1 gram. Stir in thoroughly, wait and check pH repeating as necessary. Make a note of how much you use. You should then be able to hit it pretty close with a single addition the next time you brew this beer.

 
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