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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > pH test strips from the brew store
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Old 12-24-2011, 05:24 PM   #1
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Default pH test strips from the brew store

Are these just to test our tap water, or to use at some point in the brewing process?


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Old 12-24-2011, 05:36 PM   #2
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Don't buy them - - or I can sent you mine!!! waste of time. Buy 5.2 buffer and don't worry about it.

Oh - brewing process or mashing but by then it's too late.


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Old 12-24-2011, 05:48 PM   #3
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What is 5.2 buffer?

And what do you mean by its too late?
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Old 12-24-2011, 06:00 PM   #4
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Don't use 5.2 buffer. You probably don't need it (and who knows what's in it?). Gypsum and Calcium chloride are better choices depending on the style of beer your brewing. Gypsum for hoppy beer and CaCl2 for malty beers. I'll also acidify sparge water for light colored beers. You might need some chalk too for really dark beers. I don't.

Kaiser tested the ColorpHast strips and said they are a few tenths off. I use these.



They seem to be close enough.
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Old 12-24-2011, 06:06 PM   #5
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Well - it depends on why you are using the strips - I have some but never use them. They are for the mash to see what the PH is. What I meant was if you test the mash and the PH is too high . . well . . . it's too late to fix it.

5.2 buffer is a powder you add to your steeping process or mash - it will bring the PH to 5.2 no matter what the original PH is. this is very important if you are making brews with little DARK grains. Dark grains naturally will bring the PH closer to 5.2 but with lighter brews the PH will be too high and your beers will be . . . rough around the edges. Not clean. Hard to describe.

The biggest mistake people make when doing an IPA is adjusting the water. Big hop beers NEED to have the best water available or you won't get all you can get out of the hops.

I use 5.2 automatically in all beers and don't worry about the PH after that. (I also filter the water with a Brix filter - costs like $30???
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Old 12-24-2011, 06:11 PM   #6
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Palmer discourages the use of gypsum. We will agree to disagree!! LOL

Jamilz does mention that when he brews with 5.2 things seem salty but I've never noticed in on my last 50 brews with it but I
m certainly not going to argue with Jamilz.

I've never used gypsum - whats the correct amount to use and when do you use it???
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Old 12-24-2011, 06:16 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grinder12000 View Post
Palmer discourages the use of gypsum. We will agree to disagree!! LOL
Well, I discourage the 5.2 stabilizer (and so do most brewers who know even a little about water chemistry) but if it works for you, that's great.

It simply doesn't work as advertised. It does NOT buffer the mash to 5.2 (check the pH and see!) and often leaves a funny flavor behind.

I don't suggest anybody add anything to their water (except maybe a little calcium chloride) without knowing their water profile. But the 5.2 stabilizer is the worst.
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Old 12-24-2011, 06:19 PM   #8
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Water adjustment is not all the difficult to do. 5.2 buffer is a head in the sand approach. I'm a hands on brewer.

Quote:
I've never used gypsum - whats the correct amount to use and when do you use it???
That depends...use the test strips and find out. Some just add it to the boil.


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