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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > Rookie pH question
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Old 01-27-2013, 06:02 PM   #1
kjm13
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Default Rookie pH question

Hi all,
I'm currently brewing my 4th ever batch and it's a double IPA I made up myself. (5gal). It is a partial mash recipe, but it's 12.5 lbs of grain and 3lbs of extract. I have the grains in the mash tun right now. I'm using spring water to mash in. I have just stared to look at water pH and how it effects the mash. I don't have testing paper handy. My question is: does anyone know 1 - should I add anything to bring down pH at this point? If so, what's a rough amount of gypsum, or epsom I can add without knowing exactly what my pH is? Or should I just chill and not worry about it?
Any and all input appreciated!!


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Old 01-27-2013, 06:10 PM   #2
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dont worry about it now
look into this for the next brew
gypsum and epsome have nothing to do with ph that is determined by starting ph and grist composition

More info at bru'nwater.com


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Old 01-27-2013, 09:59 PM   #3
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I got a 83.16% efficiency using brewhouse efficiency calculator so I guess it was alright...
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Old 01-28-2013, 12:39 AM   #4
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Gypsum does effect pH. Most certainly. If you can not get a pH meter than you are in the dark. No problem if things work out. If they don't, use RO and build the water via brewnwater.
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Old 01-28-2013, 02:34 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kjm13 View Post
I got a 83.16% efficiency using brewhouse efficiency calculator so I guess it was alright...
Mash pH has only minor effect on efficiency, so that is not an indicator. Mash and kettle wort pH can have more effect on the taste and perceptions of the beer.

Learning what is in your water is the first step in figuring if you need to do anything. For now, RDWHAHB.

Enjoy!
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Old 01-28-2013, 03:45 PM   #6
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Any decent base grain lowers the mash PH to somewhere in the 5.6-6.0 range without having to do anything. 5.2-5.4 would be an ideal PH range for most common beer styles, so you get pretty darn close just due to the average PH of the base grains themselves. If you want to get closer to the ideal mash PH the easy way, just start adding Aciduated Malt to your brews to the tune of 2-4% of the total grain bill. Each 1% of aciduated malt in the grain bill lowers the mash PH by 0.1%. Aciduated malt is just two-row that's been sprayed with Lactic Acid, and the lactic acid is what lowers the mash PH.

I would worry more about clorine content and water hardness/softness as a homebrewer, which will affect your final beer characteristics more than PH. If you are moving towards being a pro brewer, then I'd start to worry about mash PH, but pretty much only for repeatability.
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Old 01-29-2013, 01:34 AM   #7
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Thanks for all the feedback! I used Poland spring water for this batch which profiles as follows: Ca 5.30ppm, Mg 0.90ppm, Na 2.10ppm, SO4 3.20pm, Cl 5.30ppm, HCO3 14.00pm.
So, if I was going to add some Aciduated Malt to a 5gal brew with about a 13lbs total grain bill, about how much (what percentage) of aciduated malt would I need to add to get my pH around 5.2? and... how could I figure that out for my self?
Thanks!
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Old 01-29-2013, 12:21 PM   #8
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A key point has been missed, how thick of mash are you running? Are you BIAB? I am and many posts like the one above got me pointed in the wrong direction. Mash pH has ruined prob 10 of my first batches because I am full volume BIAB. My mash is very thin closer to 2.5 or 3 quarts per pound grain. My local water system is rated some of the best in ohio but I am just getting a handle on my pH battle. If you are a cooler/mash tun brewer and it comes out ok then no worries. If you have a strange bitterness then you have a pH issue. Since you have your spring water numbers you are a giant step ahead. Just get bru'nwater and enter those in. I add lactic, gypsum and Epsom to all my brews but you can tune yours with the software. Also a pH meter called a Hanna Checker is like $40 on amazon. I really need to start my own BIAB thread because I have been led in the wrong direction so many times on this site about pH. I think my situation is a little rare but it happens.
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Old 01-29-2013, 12:51 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigdongsr94 View Post
A key point has been missed, how thick of mash are you running? Are you BIAB? I am and many posts like the one above got me pointed in the wrong direction. Mash pH has ruined prob 10 of my first batches because I am full volume BIAB. My mash is very thin closer to 2.5 or 3 quarts per pound grain. My local water system is rated some of the best in ohio but I am just getting a handle on my pH battle. If you are a cooler/mash tun brewer and it comes out ok then no worries. If you have a strange bitterness then you have a pH issue. Since you have your spring water numbers you are a giant step ahead. Just get bru'nwater and enter those in. I add lactic, gypsum and Epsom to all my brews but you can tune yours with the software. Also a pH meter called a Hanna Checker is like $40 on amazon. I really need to start my own BIAB thread because I have been led in the wrong direction so many times on this site about pH. I think my situation is a little rare but it happens.
I am a (newly) mash tun brewer, using 2 converted 5gal coolers (tun and liquor tank) but this was my first batch with that set up. My first 2 beers all turned out well doing a kind of BIAB setup, other then getting a much lower OG then shooting for, but were both tasty. My third batch has only been bottled since friday, and this was my 4th. I will try the bru'nwater site as that has been reccomended by a few others as well. and thanks for the info on the Hanna Checker. I was thinking I would get some paper test strips, but this sounds better.


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