Adding 5 Star 5.2 to mash

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tinydancer

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I'l be brewing on Saturday and will be using 5 Star 5.2 for the first time. I understand that I am to add it after dough-in, but I have questions related to how much to use and how to add it.

1.) One tablespoon per 5 gallons... Is that 5 gallons of mash or 5 gallons of target post boil volume?

2.) Do I dissolve the powder in some water and toss it in the mash and stir in or do I just sprinkle the powder on to the mash and stir in?
 

Evan!

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I'l be brewing on Saturday and will be using 5 Star 5.2 for the first time. I understand that I am to add it after dough-in, but I have questions related to how much to use and how to add it.

1.) One tablespoon per 5 gallons... Is that 5 gallons of mash or 5 gallons of target post boil volume?

2.) Do I dissolve the powder in some water and toss it in the mash and stir in or do I just sprinkle the powder on to the mash and stir in?
To be safe I use 1 tbsp per 5 gallons of water, which usually means 1.5 tbsp overall. I dissolve it directly into my strike and sparge water prior to dough-in and sparging.
 

Brett0424

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1 tb per 5 gallons batch regardless of mash water volume. So, in a 10 gallon batch use 2.

You can dissolve in water first, or just stir in...take your pick.
 

Evan!

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I've interpreted that as "per 5 gallon batch." I've tended to use a bit less than a full tablespoon and still had great results.
I used to do the same until Yuri scared me with his "astringency" critique. But now that I think of it...that astringency in my Dark Paradise probably came from the peated malt. So who knows? I'm probably being over cautious.
 

the_bird

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My paranoia leads me to not want to add any more buffers or anything else to my beer than is absolutely necessary. There are RUMORS of off-flavors when using too much buffer (nothing I've noted personally), but still, as long as my efficiency is coming in strong and I'm not picking up astringency, I'll err on the side of a bit less.

I've checked the pH after adding the buffer, at the lower usage level, and been spot-on. It might make a difference, theoretically, if it's a dark beer or a light beer, or how high the OG is, but I'm not one to overcomplicate things. ;)
 

digunderground

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Great question.. I add it to the MLT but in half the quantity. I have read that even in the full tablespoon can give some off flavors to the beer.. plus my water Ph isnt too bad to begin with..

I would wait to hear form the veterans of this site, Im only about a year in and have a lot to learn.

-DIG
 

cactusgarrett

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Everything i've been reading says to add it to your mash water - 1 tblsp per 5 gallon batch, regardless of mash water volume. You do not need to add any extra to your Hot-Liqour tank or Boil Kettle.
 

wildwest450

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Great question.. I add it to the MLT but in half the quantity. I have read that even in the full tablespoon can give some off flavors to the beer.. plus my water Ph isnt too bad to begin with..

I would wait to hear form the veterans of this site, Im only about a year in and have a lot to learn.

-DIG
Not even remotely true. I've used it in my last 10 ag batches with absolutely no off flavors. I've throw a tablespoon in the strike water before I add the grains, and I've added it after the grains were poured in.
 

Chriso

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The AG brewer who taught me uses exactly 1Tbsp per 5 gal batch, sprinkled on top of the mash immediately after doughing in.

I did that for a while. Then I read the directions. They seem to imply it's per 5g of strike/sparge water, not per batch.

So now... if it's a brown ale or darker, I do it the "old way" of 1 flat Tbsp per 5g batch. If it's a pale or amber ale, where dark grains aren't affecting pH as much, I go overboard and do it per 5g of water used.
 

Beerrific

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I've interpreted that as "per 5 gallon batch." I've tended to use a bit less than a full tablespoon and still had great results.
I believe that Charlie Talley was asked about the dosage on The Brewing Network interview and he said 1 tablespoon per 5 gallons in the fermenter (post boil volume). I think this makes sense because it you use more than this dosage it will all get concentrated in the boil....using the fermenter volume will make sure you are not adding enough to create off flavors.

I usually end up with 6 gallons at the end of the boil and use about 1 tablespoon in my strike water and have had excellent results.
 

Displaced MassHole

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Do any of you notice a difference when you use this product? I've never really taken water Ph into consideration before (for shame...I know), but by the looks of this maybe I should be.
 

cactusgarrett

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I know Charlie Talley (creator of 5.2) discussed this on either Basic Brewing Radio (March 29, 2006) or The Brewing Network (March 19, 2006) podcasts. Can't remember which one. I'll have to give them a listen again.

EDIT: Beerific beat me to it. You can hear this interview on the date i listed above.
 

nealf

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Just to be sure I'm doing this right... 5.2 is only necessary in the strike water; correct?

It seems like a waste to me to add pH buffer to the sparge (especially when batch sparging) water since the grains are already converted and you're just rinsing the grains.
 

HairyDogBrewing

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FWIW:
I've been testing the mash pH without buffer and it's always around 5.2 to 5.4.
(I'm using a narrow range test strip)
So I only use the 5.2 buffer in the sparge water, and not in the strike water.
I add 1 teaspoon to each batch (2 - 2.5 gal) of sparge water.
 

Eastside Brewer

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5.2 is a nice product, but ph can vary from place to place. My water has a high ph (8.5) so 5.2 brings it down some but not enough. I do know that 5.2 is best used righ in the mash after dough in, if you put it in the water it just falls to the bottom. I have found that using gypsum and lactic acid is the only way for me to get my ph down to 5.2 or 5.3.

is ph really that important?

cleaner beer
clearer beer
brighter hop flavor
better yeast attenuation
better overall efficiency

Just to name a few.

Eastside
 

cactusgarrett

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FWIW:
So I only use the 5.2 buffer in the sparge water, and not in the strike water.
I add 1 teaspoon to each batch (2 - 2.5 gal) of sparge water.
If you're going to use it in only one place, it should be in the mash and NOT the sparge water. If your mash is already getting 5.2 w/o the FiveStar 5.2, then there's no reason to use the FiveStar 5.2 at all.

The whole point is to get the pH into a range where conversion is optimal. Sparge time isn't the time to worry about conversion - by then it's too late.
 

Beerrific

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5.2 is a nice product, but ph can vary from place to place. My water has a high ph (8.5) so 5.2 brings it down some but not enough. I do know that 5.2 is best used righ in the mash after dough in, if you put it in the water it just falls to the bottom. I have found that using gypsum and lactic acid is the only way for me to get my ph down to 5.2 or 5.3.
Are you talking about the pH of you water or mash? The pH of the water, before or after the addition of the 5.2 really does not matter.

5.2 should not bring the pH of you water down to 5.2, but it should get your mash close. If your mash pH is still high then I bet cutting your tap water 50/50 and adding 5.2 will get you mash pH about right.

I add the 5.2 to the strike water and give it a good stir so I know it is dissolved. Adding it to the mash isn't going to magically make it dissolve better, it is the same amount of water.
 

Eastside Brewer

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Are you talking about the pH of you water or mash? The pH of the water, before or after the addition of the 5.2 really does not matter.

5.2 should not bring the pH of you water down to 5.2, but it should get your mash close. If your mash pH is still high then I bet cutting your tap water 50/50 and adding 5.2 will get you mash pH about right.

I add the 5.2 to the strike water and give it a good stir so I know it is dissolved. Adding it to the mash isn't going to magically make it dissolve better, it is the same amount of water.

I use gypsum in the mash and I use lactic acid in my water. Your sparge water does not have to be 5.2 but it certainly shouldn't be 8.5! If you were to sparge with water that high you risk leaching tannins from the grain and you would raise the ph.

To think that just adding 5.2 to your mash will "magically" bring your mash to 5.2 would be a mistake because it doesn't. Water treatment can be tricky, but knowing the ph and having a way to moniter it throughout the brew proccess is key.


Peace

Eastside
 
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