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Old 06-11-2013, 06:50 PM   #51
mcl
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Quote:
One of the LHBS I go to has a hand out for those that are new to the AG brewing and it says to add 5.2, maybe it's something with our water?
Or the fact that they sell 5.2

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Old 07-06-2013, 04:49 PM   #52
Denny
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcl View Post
Or the fact that they sell 5.2
Or ignorance.
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Old 07-09-2013, 03:36 AM   #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Denny View Post
Or ignorance.
Seriously, this is the most constructive people can be on this board?

Here is my advice. If you are having problems with efficiency or astringent off flavors, and do not want to make a large up front investment, try 5.2. If it makes your beer better then start looking in to getting a water test. There lots of posts on getting water tested. The water chemistry primer is also something you want to read.

If you are not having an issue with you water then I would not use this. If you have all kinds of water problems like me, then you might want to either cut your water with Reverse Osmosis (RO) water. There is a fun spreadsheet called Bru'n Water that will help you a lot once you get a water report.

Look in to a supplemental acid to adjust PH and not the 5.2. You wont get some of the buffering chemicals that may not be desirable and you have probably read the words "salty" in previous entries in this post. You are not going to taste that with 5.2 but you will not be able to get that nice "grainy" flavor you sometimes want. That is the thing I noticed from using it.

I have used 5.2 for a while and only recently have I learned the virtues of water to beer making. When I started all grain I had all kinds of problems and no help like this board. Learn everything you can and use your own judgment.

Now as far as the reason the homebrew shop is doing that. Only speculation but you start telling people they have to have a $30 water report and a $100 ph meter and this and that, people will start saying this is too much of a pain. You then discourage your potential customers that are just starting out. Someone that could later spend hundreds will walk away from a really great hobby. I built my equipment up slowly and still trying to find a decent PH meter.

Come on veteran homebrewers... Be constructive and helpful. No matter how much knowledge you have, that is very easily dismissed as worthless advice when there is sarcasm involved.
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Old 07-09-2013, 03:02 PM   #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LuckyBeagleBrewing View Post
Seriously, this is the most constructive people can be on this board?
Come on veteran homebrewers... Be constructive and helpful.
You should read the whole thread. There is a lot of constructive, helpful and background information.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LuckyBeagleBrewing View Post
No matter how much knowledge you have, that is very easily dismissed as worthless advice when there is sarcasm involved.
There is even discussion of the value of sarcasm as a pedagocial device (why do images of my sophomore Latin teacher keep popping into my head?).


As for LHBS's selling the product: it's because the distributor comes to them with a great sounding product that, if it did what it is supposed to do, would really be a boon to home (and commercial) brewers. The LHBS operator isn't, most probably, a chemist, stocks the stuff and sells it and no one, except guys like me come back and tell him it's snake oil. In fact, some, like people who have posted here, think it improves their beer. I can only comment on a scientific basis but as I indicated in an earlier post if you use it and your beer tastes better to you then it is of benefit to you.

The guy that runs my LHBS asked me what the stuff was and whether it worked. After researching it for him and reporting back to him he dropped the product.

 
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Old 07-09-2013, 03:59 PM   #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LuckyBeagleBrewing View Post
Seriously, this is the most constructive people can be on this board?
When I stated that ignorance was a possible reason a LHBS would recommend 5.2, it was intended as a serious remark, not meant to be snarky, insulting, or demeaning. Saying someone is ignorant is not an insult, it's an assessment of their level of information. The LHBS could very well be ignorant of the negative effects of using 5.2. They could just buy in to the hype and believe what they've heard without actually doing the testing that some of us have. I choose to not use 5.2 because I've tried it. It reduced my efficiency, did not make my pH 5.2, and left the beer with undesirable flavors. I did this not once, but 5 times to be sure. If the LHBS has not actually done this comparison themselves, they are ignorant of the the facts that were demonstrated to me. That's not an insult, that's an evaluation of their knowledge level.
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Old 07-09-2013, 05:30 PM   #56
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Just wanted to throw in that I rent a house i still am able to use a RODI system. Only cost 250 with a 50 gallon brute bucket with a float valve for storage. I did not modify plumbing, connects right to faucet with a valve. That is less than a decent kettle setup so I think its definitely worth it in the long run. So i guess my point its its not crazy to pony up for a RODI system in this hobby when you compare the prices to other hardware.

 
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Old 07-09-2013, 08:54 PM   #57
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When I visited the 5 Star booth at the National Homebrewers Convention in Philly, I glowingly mentioned that I love almost all of their products. But I also mentioned that they are sullying their reputation by selling the 5.2 Stabilizer. When I mentioned this to the owner of my LHBS, she said she had never heard of any problem with the product. She asked me to send her some information on findings showing it didn't work. I'll be sending her results that AJ and Denny report.

Unless there is a loud enough backlash about this product, LHBS owners won't know anything about this problem. I'm doubting that many of them troll the homebrewing interwebs like we do. They are taking the word of an otherwise upstanding company and selling their product. This lack of credible contrary information is something that we need to correct. At present, ignorance is bliss.
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Old 07-10-2013, 12:55 PM   #58
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I am pretty sure we go to the same LHBS and I inquired how they treat their water and at the time they were using 5.2. This was probably a couple of years ago, so I can't speak to what they are doing now. I bought some when I first switched to All Grain and used it a couple times, but probably wasn't educated enough to know if it made a difference or not.

I forgot it in a couple batches and then pitched it, because I figured it was too old at that time.

 
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Old 07-12-2013, 02:27 AM   #59
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Just an anecdote to provide some noise to the factual discussion.

Brewed Janet's Brown 3 weeks ago and used 5.2 stabilizer from the recommendation of a friend. We are in Boston and are cursed with high pH (9.6), high alkalinity (39.8), and low "hardness" (no specific ions are given). The words on the jar seemed convincing, and I figured it couldn't hurt. Just tapped the keg and the beer tastes awesome, however it ends with a definite salt taste. After a few minutes it almost feels as if I have eaten a saltine. Never had this sort of effect with beers of similar style, and I'm very disappointed. Even more so because I have gone on a brewing frenzy the past 3 weeks and have 3 more beers fermenting that might have similar fates.

I'm not smart enough to say it doesn't do anything for the pH, but I can say that for my water and my preferred styles, it looks to be something to avoid.
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Old 07-19-2013, 08:29 PM   #60
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OP here....

I definitely noticed and improvement on my mash efficiency, but I also have now noticed a "salty" taste, more if an after flavor where my mouth feels weird after drinking one or two brews.

I am
Ditching the 5.2, and going to a RO system. Quite frankly mash efficiency is not as important to me as taste.

The comparative brews I did. (Identical recipes, on with 5.2 and one without) indefinitely noticed a difference. I'm done with the stuff.

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