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Old 07-31-2012, 01:29 PM   #1
Jul 2012
Rapid City, South Dakota
Posts: 6

I'm starting to get pretty standardized on brewing but I'm coming up with a lot of new questions all the time. However, I've always looked away trying to get a grasp of the big picture before focussing on the brush strokes.

I believe it's time to focus on details from the front process to the back end. I've been hearing a lot about 'Mash pH.' Working as an engineering intern at POET biorefining, I'm very familiar with tight pH targetting and various other conditions that leads to efficient processes. However, I am very unfamiliar with how this applies to fermentation in home brewing.

Picking up ingredients for a Blue Moon Clone recipe yesterday, I did some browsing and found 1) electronic pH meter for ~$50, and 2) pH paper strips for ~$3. Right now, I would definitely lean toward the paper strips, but they are only labeled on the scale of "high, good, perfect, good, low 'pH' ".

I understand the concept, but is it accurate?
Is it possible these trips are made for wine instead?
Is there a difference between wine and beer pH in preparation for fermentation?

In addition:
When I find a way to test for pH and know where I need to be, how do I correct up or down?
A full detailed response would be great, but a link to someone else's work would be phenomenal as well.

~ T.Nack

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Old 07-31-2012, 01:42 PM   #2
Jul 2011
Polokwane, Limpopo
Posts: 420
Liked 9 Times on 8 Posts

Target range is 5.1 - 5.5, dont know if Hi - Lo is going to help you much, except if the the base range is known? You will have to get the one that tells you the pH. To adjust pH, you use knowlege of malts, add salts and also know your water. But check this out for starters

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Old 07-31-2012, 01:43 PM   #3
twistr25's Avatar
May 2012
Raleigh, NC
Posts: 1,440
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There is a whole wiki for this exact topic. I haven't read through all of it but it should answer most of your questions. Also you can use the search feature on here to answer any residual questions.
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Old 07-31-2012, 03:09 PM   #4
TopherM's Avatar
Mar 2011
St. Petersburg, FL
Posts: 3,974
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Base grains will generally get your mash PH very very close to ideal levels without having to do anything. If you live somewhere that has unusual water PH, or you just want to tightly control PH, you can do it with acidic malt or various other water conditioners, but it certainly isn't a requirement to brewing a good beer in most places with decent water.
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Old 07-31-2012, 03:11 PM   #5
XXguy's Avatar
Dec 2008
Southeastern PA
Posts: 1,118
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The wiki link above is some good reading.

It also helped me to watch some of Kaiser's videos on Youtube and read up on his wiki site -

This particular article gave me some good focus on mash pH:

Good luck with it. Seems you're diving in deep!

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Old 07-31-2012, 03:50 PM   #6
helibrewer's Avatar
Nov 2011
Santa Rosa, CA
Posts: 3,808
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As for the wine vs. beer pH; wine pH targets are in the 3.4-3.6 range, beer (mash) is 2 points higher; 5.4-5.6
Something is always fermenting....
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