Adjusting mash Ph

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wcostigan

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I am new to brewing, and have not yet measured the ph of the mash of my first three AG batches. Since I don't know how the malt will affect the ph of my water source, can I adjust the mash ph after the grain has been added to the strike water?
 

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Kershner_Ale

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Yes, you can adjust after mashing in. Best bet is to mash in, mix well, wait five minutes and then take a pH reading. Use lactic acid to lower pH if needed. There are some spreadsheets available online that'll estimate your mash pH based on your water chemistry and grain bill. But measuring with a pH meter is more exact.
 

ColoHox

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You can input your grain bill into the brewers friend chemistry calculator to get an idea of your mash pH. Use those numbers in coordination with your water profile to adjust the pH using lactic acid or acidulated malt. I have never been a fan of the catch-all pH stabilizers.

Check out the brewing chemistry primer sticky in the brew science forum for more info.
 

cluckk

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I use Bru'nwater. Enter the onfo and then calculate how much lactic acid to add (to lower pH). Mash in.
 

theck

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You can input your grain bill into the brewers friend chemistry calculator to get an idea of your mash pH. Use those numbers in coordination with your water profile to adjust the pH using lactic acid or acidulated malt. I have never been a fan of the catch-all pH stabilizers.

Check out the brewing chemistry primer sticky in the brew science forum for more info.

Does beersmith do this as well I have looked for it but don't see how to do it? Maybe I'm just by inputting things right?

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wcostigan

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Kershner_Ale said:
Yes, you can adjust after mashing in. Best bet is to mash in, mix well, wait five minutes and then take a pH reading. Use lactic acid to lower pH if needed. There are some spreadsheets available online that'll estimate your mash pH based on your water chemistry and grain bill. But measuring with a pH meter is more exact.
thanks for the great advice all! Can't wait to brew next weekend:)
 

mblanks2

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I use Bru'nwater. Enter the onfo and then calculate how much lactic acid to add (to lower pH). Mash in.

Same here except I use Phosphoric acid. Usually hit ph perfectly. 5.2 doesn't work. Don't waste your money.
 

BrewDawg79

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+1 for Bru'n water. Predicts mash pH very well in my experience. Get a decent/good pH meter from the start if you don't already have one.
 

theck

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I was looking into cheap meters, like $20 to $30, I'm assuming those suck?

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Kershner_Ale

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I was looking into cheap meters, like $20 to $30, I'm assuming those suck?

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They're ok but the probes don't last long even if stored properly. Regardless of what you get, be sure to calibrate it before every use.
 

theck

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That's the part I get confused on. Does the device require solution, probes, etc all the time? I have strips do those do a better or about the same job as a meter?

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Kershner_Ale

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The pH meter (device with probe/sensor) should come as one unit. Some models have replaceable probes - the cheap ones do not. You'll need to buy calibration solution separately. Store your meter so the probes are immersed in storage solution or calibration solution (I think it's specifically pH 4) all the time. If the probes are stored dry they're useless.

I don't have as much experience with the strips. Like the meters, I suspect the cheap strips are worthless but the good strips are better than a lesser meter. Strips are cheaper than a meter and don't need calibrated but tend not to be as precise and only test a narrow pH range.
 

theck

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The pH meter (device with probe/sensor) should come as one unit. Some models have replaceable probes - the cheap ones do not. You'll need to buy calibration solution separately. Store your meter so the probes are immersed in storage solution or calibration solution (I think it's specifically pH 4) all the time. If the probes are stored dry they're useless.

I don't have as much experience with the strips. Like the meters, I suspect the cheap strips are worthless but the good strips are better than a lesser meter. Strips are cheaper than a meter and don't need calibrated but tend not to be as precise and only test a narrow pH range.

How long does the solution typically last? I might try the strips I have and see how it goes. I get a pretty good efficiency but wondering if I could squeeze out some more if I can get the PH right on, who knows maybe it is already. The water here I guess is really ideal for brewing so maybe there is no wiggle room?
 

Kershner_Ale

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The solution does expire. I think it'll last several months but check the bottle. In reality if you're not measuring pH a lot it's probably not worth the hassle of a quality pH meter and constantly buying solution. The online mash pH calculators are generally the better beg for the homebrewer.
 

jakeasaur

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I too have never taken a ph reading on my all grain batches and I think that is what caused the off flavor in my porter. I under stand how to adjust the mash. But how do you adjust the sparge
 

Kershner_Ale

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I too have never taken a ph reading on my all grain batches and I think that is what caused the off flavor in my porter. I under stand how to adjust the mash. But how do you adjust the sparge


Check out the Bru'n Water calculator, it'll tell you how to adjust based on your water chemistry.
 

Hjandersen

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Or buy a decent pH-meter and simply titrate lactic or phosphoric acid in until hitting 5.2 to 5.4.. Remember to acidify your sparge water as well (normally below 6 is recommended) here it is even more simple just to titrate the acid..
 

theck

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Thanks

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