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Old 07-10-2013, 09:58 PM   #1
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Default Bring down 8 pH

So my tap water is ~8 pH. I'd like to get it down to 5.1-5.4. I've tried to read the water chemistry threads and I've even tried the Bru N Water software.

Is there any simple answer; "just add 2 tbsp of gypsum, calcium, dynamite, etc."?

I brew mostly pale ales, IPAs, DIPAs:

~12 pounds base
~1 pound Vienna/Munich
~1 pound Cara_____.

What could I add to my tap water to get down to a more acceptable pH? Should I invest in an RO system?
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Old 07-10-2013, 10:07 PM   #2
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Grain is a pretty powerful buffer (it's acidic) and it depends on what types you are using. The only way to really know what your pH is would be to purchase a pH meter and test your mash. You can get a good quality meter for about 100 bucks. Your base water profile would be quite helpful too so folks can see what you are working with. The calculators and spreadsheets are ok for pH but I havent found them to ever hit the correct theoretical pH before. Sometimes they are close but other times they are not.
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Old 07-11-2013, 12:04 AM   #3
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Water pH is nearly meaningless. It is water alkalinity that largely determines what the mash pH will be for a given grist. As Hopper said, having your tap water profile is an important component in being able to estimate what the mash pH might be. A meter is the most accurate way of assessing mash pH, but that may be an expense some brewers don't want to accommodate. I find that for many brewers, once they correlate how their water quality interacts with mash grists, the need for a pH meter diminishes. They are a good tool to assist brewers in finding that correlation, but not absolutely necessary. In the absence of a meter, a reputable mash pH program could be a viable option...still have to have that water report though!
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Old 07-11-2013, 12:11 AM   #4
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Well, here is the report. I can't make heads or tails of it:
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Old 07-11-2013, 12:18 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mabrungard View Post
Water pH is nearly meaningless. It is water alkalinity that largely determines what the mash pH will be for a given grist. As Hopper said, having your tap water profile is an important component in being able to estimate what the mash pH might be. A meter is the most accurate way of assessing mash pH, but that may be an expense some brewers don't want to accommodate. I find that for many brewers, once they correlate how their water quality interacts with mash grists, the need for a pH meter diminishes. They are a good tool to assist brewers in finding that correlation, but not absolutely necessary. In the absence of a meter, a reputable mash pH program could be a viable option...still have to have that water report though!
What this guy here is getting at is that you should find out what that PH is after mash in, not necessarily out of the tap, but it is a good place to start, if you want an easy remedy, just use 5.2 stabilizer in the mash. And don't listen to the BS about it changing the taste in your beer like some of these crazy folks here on HBT (like the people who fear the foam of star san LOL). 5.2 stabilizer will not add to flavor.... Just lock in that beautiful PH....
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Old 07-11-2013, 12:24 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jakenbacon View Post
What this guy here is getting at is that you should find out what that PH is after mash in, not necessarily out of the tap, but it is a good place to start, if you want an easy remedy, just use 5.2 stabilizer in the mash. And don't listen to the BS about it changing the taste in your beer like some of these crazy folks here on HBT (like the people who fear the foam of star san LOL). 5.2 stabilizer will not add to flavor.... Just lock in that beautiful PH....
I use 5.2 Stabilizer, but I heard it was snake oil BS.
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Old 07-11-2013, 12:33 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jakenbacon View Post
What this guy here is getting at is that you should find out what that PH is after mash in, not necessarily out of the tap, but it is a good place to start, if you want an easy remedy, just use 5.2 stabilizer in the mash. And don't listen to the BS about it changing the taste in your beer like some of these crazy folks here on HBT (like the people who fear the foam of star san LOL). 5.2 stabilizer will not add to flavor.... Just lock in that beautiful PH....
If I had to name the top two non-craziest people on HBT, it would probably be Martin and AJ. They bring a ton of science with their explanations....

As someone who once defended "5.2," I can now say in my discussions with AJ, Martin, and other chemists/scientists, that "5.2" is junk.
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Old 07-11-2013, 12:36 AM   #8
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AJ is the yoda of water chemistry.
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Old 07-11-2013, 12:45 AM   #9
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Which brings me back to...what do I need to add to my mash? Calcium, gypsum, magnesium, daffodils or jasmine?

To bring my 8.0 tap water down to "good", not great, brewing levels?
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Old 07-11-2013, 12:47 AM   #10
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My water ph is 7.9 .When I mash, it comes down to 5.3-5.4. Buy yourself those ph strips and test it. Cost you couple bucks
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