Mash pH - Home Brew Forums
Register Now For Free!

Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > Mash pH

Thread Tools
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

Reply With Quote
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

Reply With Quote
Old 07-31-2012, 01:43 PM   #3
twistr25's Avatar
May 2012
Raleigh, NC
Posts: 1,440
Liked 117 Times on 110 Posts

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.
Primary: N/A
Bottled: N/A
Kegs: Tri-Peppered Saison and Sunset Orange Kolsch
Future:Something new, SMaSH perhaps?
2013 Previous: Sunrise Honey Rye Pale Ale, Dark Skies Black IPA, Sunset Orange Kolsch, All Hallow's Eve Pumpkin Ale, Raining Hops and Dogs IPA

Dark Skies Black IPA - 2nd Place at a local comp. Score of 39 from a BJCP judge

Twistr25 Recipes

GT Keezer Build

XXguy Likes This 
Reply With Quote
Old 07-31-2012, 03:09 PM   #4
TopherM's Avatar
Mar 2011
St. Petersburg, FL
Posts: 3,974
Liked 450 Times on 355 Posts

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.
Primary #1 - Midnight Ryeder (Midnight Wheat and Rye)
Primary #2 - Florida Weiss
Primary #3 - Kane-DOH APA (Honey Citra APA)
Secondary #1 - Downtown Flanders Brown (brewed August 2012)
Keg #1 - Raspberry Florida Weiss
Keg #2 - Cinnamon Raisin Cider
Keg #3 - NONE!
Bottled - NONE!

Reply With Quote
Old 07-31-2012, 03:11 PM   #5
XXguy's Avatar
Dec 2008
Southeastern PA
Posts: 1,118
Liked 16 Times on 15 Posts

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!

Reply With Quote
Old 07-31-2012, 03:50 PM   #6
helibrewer's Avatar
Nov 2011
Santa Rosa, CA
Posts: 3,813
Liked 326 Times on 275 Posts

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....
"It's Bahl Hornin'"

Kegged: Bourbon Barrel Imperial Stout
On Deck: German Lager

Reply With Quote
Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Mini-Mash, Partial Mash and Steeping Specialty Grains Daparish Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 32 04-11-2013 10:03 PM
First Partial Mash Today.. Instructions say 2.25 qt/lb mash water? DonutMuncher Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 5 04-13-2012 06:39 PM
Reduce mash water to accommodate mash tun size iverasp Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 5 03-09-2012 02:43 PM
Noob Mash/sparge questions (partial mash) billpa Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 7 08-03-2011 06:41 PM
Partial mash: mash temp too high - what to do? kcpup Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 6 10-18-2009 11:54 PM

Forum Jump