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Old 12-10-2012, 03:19 PM   #31
BigB's Avatar
Dec 2009
Shelby Twp, MI
Posts: 1,755
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Here's a pretty good explanation from Brad Smith on brewing water: Although he just briefly mentions 5.2 Buffer. After all of the hub bub here, I did some research into 5.2. I'm not a chemist, but what I've learned is that it is primarily sodium phosphate salts. The problem some brewers may experience is the addition of too much sodium - particularly if you are using well water and have a water softener as it is. Also, it is a pretty mild buffer, so it's only for minor adjustments... which is the experience I have had. My water is pretty decent, but I've had 5.2 buffer bring down my mash pH a minor amount - which is all I needed. Nor have I had any off flavors, but my water is pretty devoid of sodium as it is. Kai, ajdelange, or Martin could provide a technical explanation. But what I gather, it may be good for some and bad for others.
I love the sound of an airlock bubbling in the morning. It sounds like.....VICTORY.

Originally Posted by TxBrew
It's now degenerating into nu uh and uh huhs and it no longer serves a point.

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Old 12-13-2012, 10:45 PM   #32
Nov 2012
Posts: 143
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Now here is some real information that is more in line with my thinking.

The first point there is that phosphates are useful in making buffer solutions because they exist in multiple forms, phosphoric acid, monosodium phosphate, disodium phosphates that can be mixed to dial in a particular pH.

Second, not everyone starts with the same water and phosphate buffers won't do the same job on all water at the same dose.

Third and most important, amino acids in the wort often will overwhelm anything you do with buffers or your initial water or sparge water rendering the whole pH balancing rather useless for most water sources that aren't unusually hard. So the pH buffer technically works, but for most folks is practically useless. I tend to agree that it was a waste of money. I'm going to try a batch with and without and see if there is any difference in the wort pH.

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