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Old 08-30-2007, 12:28 PM   #1
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Default PH stabilizer

I bought some of that 5.2 PH stabilizer on a whim. Now what? Do I add a tsp to my mash water and/or sparge water?

I don't have any water tests- our city water department was very helpful on the phone telling me that I don't need the results of any tests and they don't do many tests any way! He helpfully added that he knows our water is "very hard". Up to this point, I've made some great beer but I've had efficiencies from 60% (bad crush) to 80%, usually around 70-75%. I was hoping the ph stabilizer would be an easy way to see if the efficiency went up if the mash ph was correct.

Am I sort of on the right track?


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Old 08-30-2007, 12:41 PM   #2
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I believe it is 1 tablespoon/5 gallons leaving the kettle in the mash. So I add 1 tablespoon in the mash. I know others say they add some to their sparge water too, but I don't and I justify that by thinking that it is the mash the pH is most important and since I batch sparge with 170F water there is little risk of extracting tannins. I have never taken the pH of my mash and have always used 5.2 and get 70% efficiency with (from what I have seen here) a very coarse crush.


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Old 08-30-2007, 12:50 PM   #3
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I have only been using 1/2 the recommended amount and have been very happy. I have heard a few guys on the brewingnetwork.com saying the full amount gives them some off flavors. So far I have not tasted any at half the amount. I can tell you one thing my efficiency has gone up alot.
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Old 08-30-2007, 12:51 PM   #4
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I usuaully use ~1/2 tbsp, but of course, my efficiency sucks...

Yoops, there's some company that will test your water for you are pretty minimal cost (IIRC, ~$25 or so) if you're interested. Can't remember the name, it's in a couple of threads from earlier in the summer - maybe someone else will recall.
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Old 08-30-2007, 01:06 PM   #5
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When I began using it earlier this year, me efficiency boosted from around 75% to 80%, all other things being equal. I use 1 tablespoon in the mash.
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Old 08-30-2007, 01:16 PM   #6
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Yeah...same here, just 1 tbsp in the mash, none in the sparge...and it helped my efficiency by 5 points or more.
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Old 08-30-2007, 02:25 PM   #7
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I use it in the mash and the sparge water. One homebrewer told me he was getting off-flavors from pH 5.2, but this is the same guy who thought my blackberry cider was a merlot.
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Old 08-30-2007, 02:53 PM   #8
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I think the directions say 1 Tbsp. per 5 gallons in the kettle. So if you are doing a 5 gallon batch, 1 Tbsp. would do it. I do 11.5 to 12 gallon batches and will use 2 Tbsp + 2 tsp. If I have a 90 minute boil, I'll use 3 Tbsp. as I'll have almost 15 gallons in the kettle before the boil. I got 92% on my last batch and usually average 87%. No need to add it to your sparge.

You may want to check the pH of your sparge water though. The higher the pH the harder it will be for the buffer to work near the end of the sparge. I usually add 1 tsp per 5 gallons of gypsum to my water as it is very soft and helps my hops utilization. Added benefit is that it drops my sparge waters pH down from 7.8 to 6.8.
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Old 08-30-2007, 03:38 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the_bird
I usuaully use ~1/2 tbsp, but of course, my efficiency sucks...

Yoops, there's some company that will test your water for you are pretty minimal cost (IIRC, ~$25 or so) if you're interested. Can't remember the name, it's in a couple of threads from earlier in the summer - maybe someone else will recall.

http://www.wardlab.com/

W-6 is $15 and sufficient.
W-5 is $24 and only adds fluoride. Overkill.
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Old 08-30-2007, 03:54 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdoiv
I think the directions say 1 Tbsp. per 5 gallons in the kettle. So if you are doing a 5 gallon batch, 1 Tbsp. would do it. I do 11.5 to 12 gallon batches and will use 2 Tbsp + 2 tsp. If I have a 90 minute boil, I'll use 3 Tbsp. as I'll have almost 15 gallons in the kettle before the boil. I got 92% on my last batch and usually average 87%. No need to add it to your sparge.

You may want to check the pH of your sparge water though. The higher the pH the harder it will be for the buffer to work near the end of the sparge. I usually add 1 tsp per 5 gallons of gypsum to my water as it is very soft and helps my hops utilization. Added benefit is that it drops my sparge waters pH down from 7.8 to 6.8.
Do you use a Metro water source?


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