Originally Posted by ajdelange
I can't imagine reduced hop expression as ever being anything but a negative consequence but I do think that tartness and increased fermentability could be positives in some cases i.e. where one wants a dry beer, quenching beer. So does this not really say that for some beers a lower than what we think of as normal limit to the mash pH range applies? I've always paused when I type 5.4 - 5.6. Isn't it really like any other parameter? IOW isn't there an 'ideal' pH for each style?
It should be obvious from this statement that I have never experienced the effects of low mash pH that I am aware of. IOW I haven't undershot intended pH....yet.
Yes, tartness and increased fermentability can be positives, excepting when you don't want that in a particular beer. Before I had a tool to effectively evaluate and plan my alkalinity adjustments, I did undershoot pH in a few beers. They were refreshing and drinkable, but they didn't have the character that I wanted in the beer. Another characteristic of low mash pH is reduction in body.
I do think there is sort of an ideal range of pH for each style. I try to mostly center on 5.4 for my beers. But I think there are styles that definitely benefit from a deviation of a tenth or two high or low from that center. Weizen and Wit come to mind for beers that benefit on the low side. Maybe stout and porter on the high side. This is quite subjective, so I don't know that I would try to assign an ideal range for styles.