When do i adjust the pH in my mash. - Home Brew Forums
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Old 01-18-2013, 10:41 PM   #1
SOMDBrewer
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So I am attempting my second all grain brew tomorrow. I'm sorry to say I did not check the pH of my first all grain last week. But after reading up I realized how much of a crucial step this is. So I'm going to make a Belgian Wit. And I plan on doing a multi step mash with a protein rest at 122 for 20 to 30 min with a quart to grain ratio of 1.0 then a saccharification rest at 154 for 45 to 60 min bringing the ratio up to 1.6 based on my calculations. So at hat point should I test the pH and adjust accordingly? During my first step on the mash or my second?



 
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Old 01-19-2013, 06:34 PM   #2
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Personally, I measure the mash after 15 minutes, but more to add to my knowledge than to adjust the mash. I figure that by the time I get the mash adjusted, it's probably too late. But at least I know what to do with that same recipe next time.

I use EZ Water to calculate my mash pH. I've learned that I need to use the program to try and get on the high end of the range, knowing that I'll probably end up on the low end of the range.

But , OTOH, I brewed good beer for years without ever checking or calculating the mash pH. I don't know that I would call it a "crucial" step. It's just another thing to help you get better control of your beer and make you more consistent.



 
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Old 01-19-2013, 08:48 PM   #3
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Its much more important to know before you begin your brew, what the water adjustments should be. Using a program like Bru'n Water is a step in getting the mash pH right the first time. The very first thing you need to do is know what your water profile is. If you are fortunate and have low alkalinity water, brewing a Wit should be no problem. If you have high alkalinity water, getting that initial acid addition right for the mash is critical. In my experience, you should check mash pH ASAP after the dough in or stirring. The early part of the mash is when all the important enzymatic action takes place. pH is critical in how that activity affects your beer. Read more about it on the Water Knowledge page of the Bru'n Water website.
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Old 01-20-2013, 05:37 PM   #4
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Thanks for the advice. I have asking my town for a water report for a week now. The only one they have online only lists toxin and pollutant levels. Nothing about alkalinity or ion levels that would affect my beer. Personally, I feel my tap water has excessive chlorine so I did not use it, I went and bought bottles spring water from the store. I tested the pH during the first step and it was within range so I didn't have to do anything. I work in a lab and can run some basic water tests at work, if my town doesn't help me out with a more comprehensive report, I'll just run some tests at work. Thanks again

 
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Old 01-20-2013, 08:00 PM   #5
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Chlorine and chloramine are easy to remove with a Campden tablet. 1 tablet per 20 gallons of water will do it. Cheap and easy. Read the Sticky in the Brew Science forum that AJ posted for more info. This is something you should do.

Ward Labs is cheap and quick. If the city doesn't come through for you, its the way to go.
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Old 01-20-2013, 08:06 PM   #6
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I add my salts to the mash and adjust pH at the protein rest at 122. It is possible to rest too long. Over 20 minutes can kill head retention.

This is how I do it:
http://woodlandbrew.blogspot.com/2012/10/mash-ph.html
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Old 01-20-2013, 09:46 PM   #7
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Just checked out AJ's post. Very informative. Thanks for putting me in the right directions.

 
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Old 01-28-2013, 05:28 PM   #8
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Quote:
Thanks for the advice. I have asking my town for a water report for a week now. The only one they have online only lists toxin and pollutant levels. Nothing about alkalinity or ion levels that would affect my beer. Personally, I feel my tap water has excessive chlorine so I did not use it, I went and bought bottles spring water from the store. I tested the pH during the first step and it was within range so I didn't have to do anything. I work in a lab and can run some basic water tests at work, if my town doesn't help me out with a more comprehensive report, I'll just run some tests at work. Thanks again
Check out Ward Laboratories.....you can send off a sample of your water to them and get a complete report for $16 to $26 depending on which analysis you have done. Very simple and they email you the results. Well worth it!
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Old 01-28-2013, 07:04 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SOMDBrewer View Post
Just checked out AJ's post. Very informative. Thanks for putting me in the right directions.
Aj's baseline has been far more helpful to me than any of the spreadsheets. Using the acidulated malt has gotten me were I want to be consistantly.

 
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Old 01-28-2013, 07:11 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mgortel View Post
Check out Ward Laboratories.....you can send off a sample of your water to them and get a complete report for $16 to $26 depending on which analysis you have done. Very simple and they email you the results. Well worth it!
Agreed! Best $16.50 I have spent for home brewing!

My water test from Ward Labs told me that my well water is a nice 6.5 pH out of the tap which is perfect for all grain in that I only need to add a bit of lactic acid on my light beers. I also learned that my water is very low on Calcium which is essential for yeast health so now that I've been adjusting my water my beers are turning out better than ever.


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