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5.2 ph stabilizer substitute

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manny101

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I have come to the realization that I need the 5.2 stabilizer for my AG brewing on Saturday. My 'local' HBS (1.5 hours away) does not carry it and didn't even know what it was when I asked. I am wondering if there is a substitute for the 5.2 that I could use instead. Thanks for any advice and help.
 

Kaiser

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manny101 said:
I have come to the realization that I need the 5.2 stabilizer for my AG brewing on Saturday. My 'local' HBS (1.5 hours away) does not carry it and didn't even know what it was when I asked. I am wondering if there is a substitute for the 5.2 that I could use instead. Thanks for any advice and help.
There is none.

If you can measure the mash pH you can correct it w/o the 5.2. You may also treat your water based on the grain bill and the water report. 5.2 is so popular b/c it pulls your mash towards 5.2 regardless where the initial mash pH was (within a given range though).

Do you have a water report for the water you are going to use or the ability to measure the mash pH?

Kai
 
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manny101

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My free, easily accessible, city supplied tap water is RO treated. 95% of everything is removed. The result is <1ppm of everything except chloride and sodium which are both at 20ppm. I think the ph is between 8 and 8.5. I plan on adding about 5 grams gypsum, 2 grams baking soda, and 1 gram epsom salt just to get some mineral content in there based on about 6 gallons strike water. I am batch sparging and am brewing an IPA with 12.5 # 2 row, 1#crystal 10, 1#rye, .5# victory and .5#carapils. I don't have anything to test ph at the moment but will at least go buy some ph test papers or colorphast plastic strips if available. Do you think my initial mash ph will be okay and should I be more concerned about the sparge ph? Or concerned about both? I read something from Ken Schwartz where he suggests adding 1 tablespoon of extract per gallon of water to the sparge water and even the strike water to make sure the ph is in an acceptable range of below 6. Have you heard of this or know anything about it?
 

Kaiser

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I don't think that you will get away with only 6 gal brewing water if you plan to hit a pre-boil of ~6.5 gal. I ran your numbers with 8 gal of R/O water + the salts you listed and I get a residual alkalinity of about 20 ppm as CaCO3 which is just about perfect for this grist. This is the RA I have for my plale, which has a similar grist and the mash pH comes out to be 5.3.

With using R/O water and builing it up you should not have any need for the 5.2 anyway. Palmer had a nice water chemistry spread sheet that can help you building your water, but he must have taken it off his site. Maybe its floating around the web somewhere.

Kai
 

njnear76

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What are you brewing and what is your water like?

If you are doing a light beer and your water is moderate hard or hard, then 5.2 is quite useful. If you are doing a brown or dark and your water is moderate hard or hard then you may not need it.

In any case I have some advice. If this is your first AG with LHBS milled grains... Do a 90 minute mash and get a pound or two of extra light DME. Also read the howtobrew.com section on AG. If you like, you can try my calculator/directions in my signature. It could be helpful for the new AG brewer. Good Luck.
 
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manny101

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Kaiser said:
I don't think that you will get away with only 6 gal brewing water if you plan to hit a pre-boil of ~6.5 gal. I ran your numbers with 8 gal of R/O water + the salts you listed and I get a residual alkalinity of about 20 ppm as CaCO3 which is just about perfect for this grist. This is the RA I have for my plale, which has a similar grist and the mash pH comes out to be 5.3.

With using R/O water and builing it up you should not have any need for the 5.2 anyway. Palmer had a nice water chemistry spread sheet that can help you building your water, but he must have taken it off his site. Maybe its floating around the web somewhere.

Kai
I am planning to have a pre-boil volume of ~7 gallons getting 3.5 from the first runnings and 3.5 from sparge. The 6 gallons is my strike water minus about 2.5 from grain absorption, dead space etc which would leave me with 3.5 in kettle after first runnings. I would then sparge with ~4 gallons to get 3.5 in second runnings for a toatl of 7. My concern is the sparge water having too high of a ph and extracting tannins from the grain during the sparge like Schwartz describes. I don't have any lactic or phosphric acid to add. I ran the numbers in Palmers spreadsheet and I look okay for teh mash with the color I am targeting. It calculates though that I would need to add to my sparge water 0.1ml each of phosphoric, lactic, and hydrochloric acid to have a ph of 6 in my sparge. I am not sure how much 0.1ml is or if it is even enough to worry about. So, what do you think? Do you know anything about adding extract at 1 tbsp/gal to the mash and sparge water like schwartz recommends? Would that decrease the effectiveness of rinsing the sugars and hurt my efficiency? Thanks everybody.
 
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