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Old 05-14-2012, 10:26 AM   #1
Nov 2009
Posts: 41

I have been reading Gordon Strongs book and just realized I may have been making a mistake and was hoping for some clarification. He states your sparge water needs to be pH 5.5 very clearly. He also recommends using phosphoric to get there from RO. Will 5.2 do the same thing or does that stuff only work when mixed with grains. I also start with RO and add sparge salt additions (gysum, cacl, epsom, etc) to the kettle rather than sparge water. Would adding them to the sparge water fix my pH issue or just cause another issue?

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Old 05-14-2012, 11:17 AM   #2
mabrungard's Avatar
Feb 2011
Carmel, IN
Posts: 4,312
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The alkalinity of sparge water is the most important factor to keep in mind. We use low pH as an analogy to low alkalinity since pH is easier to measure than alkalinity. RO water has very low alkalinity and does not require any acidification for use as sparge water.

But it would not hurt to acidify RO water to 5.5. Since its alkalinity is so low already, it only takes drops of acid per gallon to drop its pH. Your practices are OK. Learn more from the Water Knowledge page on the Bru'n Water website.
Martin B
Carmel, IN
BJCP National
Foam Blowers of Indiana (FBI)

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Old 05-14-2012, 11:19 AM   #3
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PhelanKA7's Avatar
Feb 2010
Posts: 996
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5.2 is what I use and it works fine. I add gypsum to my kettle.

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Old 05-14-2012, 06:38 PM   #4
Aug 2009
Posts: 842
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go to the brew science section and use the spreadsheet there. 5.2 is a buffered product that may get some waters with some malts to the right ph, but not always. I find with my soft water that I get to the right ph for the brews I most frequently do with minimum additions of calcium chloride, epsom salts, and or gypsum. I've never needed to add acid or acidulated malt. With hard water, it "may" be necessary.

The color of the malt used has a huge effect on mash ph, so one size does not fit all.

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