Anyone successfully use 5.2 ph stabilizer?

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The tap water at my house is extremely hard and not suited for drinkng or brewing. Thus, I buy reverse osmosis water in 5 gallon jugs from the local grocery store. The water is supplied by Culligan and after asking the local supplier for a water report I was told that the report and the water content can vary from the report due to the large quantity dealt with by the supplier. One of my goals is to learn to improve the condition of the water I use to brew. I saw this ph 5.2 stablizer for sake that states it will set the ph of the water to 5.2 regardless of what it was prior to adding the powder.

My question is has anyone used this product and is happy with the results?

5.2 ph Stabilizer - 1 lb | MoreBeer

5.2 ph Stabilizer - 1 lb
WM58
Never worry about Ph again! One tablespoon of 5.2 per 5 gallon batch and your water is instantly adjusted to the perfect ph of 5.2, no matter what your starting ph was. It will not add any flavors to your mash water whatsoever. 5.2 optimizes the enzymatic activity of your malt, helps to clarify the wort, and may even help to raise your starting gravities. Also, using 5.2 in the boil will give you more consistent hop usage, and will also keep hard water salts in solution, which will result in less scaling in your heat exchangers, fermenters, and kegs. If you are doing all-grain you 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.
 

mcarb

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I use it all the time. It's just a buffer, so it adjusts your pH. It has little effect on the actual water quality. If using RO water, you may want to add some salts, but that is way beyond my level.
 

elvestinkle

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I can't say it's worked with any measurable success--we tried it in June, and have been using it since, but so far the pH measurements don't seem to indicate that it's working. Granted, we have extremely soft and mineral-free water, so there's not much for it to work with, but I'll have better data when we start using calculated brewing salt additions. I have a feeling it's not worth the bucks I kicked over for it though.
 

Bmorebrew

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I submit you're probably better off without 5.2. Not only will it add large amounts of sodium to your beer, its unnecessary if you build your water from the ground up with salt additions coupled with acid malt. Take a look at the water primer here.

And pay special attention to anything ajdelange says. He knows.
 

builderguy

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I made a beer with it that tasted like I used sea water. Also you want to adjust the pH of the mash, not the pH of the water. Use a tool like Bru'n Water and add the appropriate salts for the style and the water profile you're starting with.

https://sites.google.com/site/brunwater/

It works great for me. Oh...and invest in a decent pH meter too.
 

JJL

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I've used it. It seems to do about what it says. It's a buffer. The biggest thing to remember is that it may push your mash pH to 5.2, but it won't give you a good mash. If your water doesn't taste very good, or your mash is missing essential minerals, it's not going to fix that. Also, you have to be careful with the amounts. They recommend using a tbsp per 5 gal (I think). But really if you take the recommended addition for a barrel and work the math backwards, you really only need about 1/3 oz. I've noticed in some beers that the full tbsp adds a slight, but noticeable saltiness to the beer, so I always measure mine by weight.

Typically I only use it as insurance. I use aj's advice from the water chemistry primer and the Kai's EZ Water Calculator to adjust RO water first and then add the 5.2 just for back up. Mainly because up until a few days ago I didn't have a good pH tester (which I highly recommend). The 5.2 doesn't seem to hurt your beer, but I can't swear it really helps anything. Now that I have the pH tester I'm going to quit using the 5.2.

Anyway, that's my experience. Take it for what it's worth.
 
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Sounds like if I were to try using this to use a very small amount the first time. Would this be any different if I were using our regular tap water which if fairly hard?
 

hopalotamus

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i use filtered water and 5.2 no off taste

1tbl spoon per five gallon batch
 

hopalotamus

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i would worry more about off flavors from chlorine in tap water than 5.2
 
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