Quantcast

Mash Water pH

HomeBrewTalk.com - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Community.

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

HopSong

Senior Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Sep 26, 2011
Messages
1,956
Reaction score
106
Location
Meridian
I don't yet know how this applies to me. I will be moving into BIAB and doing full boils for lower and medium gravity beers. Obviously(?), with BIAB, the volume of mashing water is very different than with conventional AG brewing.

I guess my question applies to both conventional and BIAB brewing.. and it is:

Is there a calculator of some sort that will help me determine just how much lactic acid or phosphoric acid I need to add to the batch once I know what the mash pH is?

I don't know volumes yet.. but, say for grins, I have put 8 G of water into my BK and bring it up to 160* and put my 12 lbs of grains in, stir, cover.. and check the pH in 15 minutes.. I find the pH is 5.8. Then arises the question.. is there a way to ball park the amount of LA or PH to add knowing the percentage of each to get the pH down to 5.2 for example.

Seems like I've seen people plug the numbers in and come up with "X" ml's

For my tired old brain, I can't seem to learn Martin's spreadsheet without some young person's help.. but there may be others that are "simpler"??

Thanks
 

Kaiser

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 1, 2005
Messages
3,895
Reaction score
167
Location
Pepperell, MA
Is there a calculator of some sort that will help me determine just how much lactic acid or phosphoric acid I need to add to the batch once I know what the mash pH is?
You can try this one: http://www.brewersfriend.com/mash-chemistry-and-brewing-water-calculator/

I don't know volumes yet.. but, say for grins, I have put 8 G of water into my BK and bring it up to 160* and put my 12 lbs of grains in, stir, cover.. and check the pH in 15 minutes.. I find the pH is 5.8. Then arises the question.. is there a way to ball park the amount of LA or PH to add knowing the percentage of each to get the pH down to 5.2 for example.

Seems like I've seen people plug the numbers in and come up with "X" ml's
All the calculators that do mash pH prediction work on a trial and error basis. That is you adjust the acid additions until the mash pH prediction matches what you want. I know it’s more work but after a while you get a feel for how much to start with.

[quote
For my tired old brain, I can't seem to learn Martin's spreadsheet without some young person's help.. but there may be others that are "simpler"??
try the Brewer’s Friend calculator. It can do a lot more than just the basics but by default all those advanced sections are hidden. You only have to open the Grist section to enter details about your grist. And if you plan to add acids you need to open the Acids section. Since you are BIAB you don’t have to worry about sparge water. Just set total water to the same volume as the mash water and set sparge water to 0.

Kai
 

ajdelange

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Aug 5, 2010
Messages
11,959
Reaction score
2,722
Location
McLean/Ogden
Yes, there is a simpler way and that's not to do any calculations at all. The basics are set forth in the Primer in the Stickies. The general idea is that you get the alkalinity out of the water by diluting it with RO to the point that the alkalinity is no longer significant or that you use 100% RO water. You then, based on the type of beer, use a specified amount of sauermalz (acidulated malt) usually 1 - 3% on the assumption that base malt will, with low ion water, come to a pH of about 5.7 and that you want to be about 0.3 lower than that. If you use darker malts you use less sauermalz up to light gravity stouts where you use no sauermalz. Heavier stouts: you are on your own. These may require that you add alkalinity.

This approach will usually get you a good beer. It's more or less the way people brewed in the days before they had computers and it's the way I brew now but I have done thousands of spreadsheet calculations and have the benefits of that experience.

A better approach is to take the grist you propose to use, put a pound of it in a pot with 3 pints of water, heat to strike temp and measure the pH with a good meter. Now add acid or base until the desired pH is reached. It takes a fine hand and you may overshoot. If you do start over until you get the hang of it. Keep track of the total acid required and scale that from 1 pound of grist to your full batch size. You are measuring the 'alkalinity of the mash.
 

mmonacel

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 21, 2010
Messages
540
Reaction score
16
Location
Medford, NJ
Quick question - my 10g MLT has a false bottom which has 1 gallon below the FB. When putting in total mash water for these calculators should I put in the full amount of water that's in the MLT or subtract 1g since it's not really in contact with the grains during the primary mash?

Edit: Actually after reading WoodlandBrew's link I see that the amount of water is pretty irrelvant. Using EZ Water Calc I can see that a gallon change in mash water for a given recipe only changes the pH by about .02.
 

mmonacel

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 21, 2010
Messages
540
Reaction score
16
Location
Medford, NJ
What works for me is to mash in. Measure pH and add 88% lactic acid to achieve the pH I want.
For a process such as this I always wondered how effective it is since by the time you mix grain and water and let things settle for a few min to even out, you've already started the conversion process. By the time you've taken your wort sample, cooled it, and then tested it presumably about 15 min has already gone by (at least for me). At that point a great deal of conversion has already happened right? Is it already largely too late at that point to significantly effect the mash dynamics since from what I read (and my experience) almost all conversion is typically done in the first 20 min or so.
 

WoodlandBrew

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 1, 2012
Messages
2,209
Reaction score
265
Location
Malden
Quick question - my 10g MLT has a false bottom which has 1 gallon below the FB. When putting in total mash water for these calculators should I put in the full amount of water that's in the MLT or subtract 1g since it's not really in contact with the grains during the primary mash?
It's the pH of the solution that is being calculated, which includes the water below the false bottom. So in theory, yes it should be included. However, in practice I don't think you'll see much difference.
 

WoodlandBrew

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 1, 2012
Messages
2,209
Reaction score
265
Location
Malden
For a process such as this I always wondered how effective it is since by the time you mix grain and water and let things settle for a few min to even out, you've already started the conversion process. By the time you've taken your wort sample, cooled it, and then tested it presumably about 15 min has already gone by (at least for me). At that point a great deal of conversion has already happened right? Is it already largely too late at that point to significantly effect the mash dynamics since from what I read (and my experience) almost all conversion is typically done in the first 20 min or so.
That has not been my experience. If I am doing a protein rest then the adjustment occurs before the saccharification rest. There is more conversion earlier in the mash, but the five or ten minuets it takes to measure, adjust, and check is just a fraction of the 60 minute mash. Also, the pH adjustment is to aid in the conversion. Worst case is the first 10 minutes convert a little slow.

I would not consider it too late in the least.
 

Inhiding

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 2, 2009
Messages
46
Reaction score
4
Location
Cambria
I may be wrong but what I thought the intent of the OP was how much acid to add to X amount of wort/water/whatever at 5.8 pH to get down to 5.3 or wherever.

I have the same question. Is there a calculator or equation to tell one how much acid to add to lower pH a certain amount of points?
 

ajdelange

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Aug 5, 2010
Messages
11,959
Reaction score
2,722
Location
McLean/Ogden
The reason for the test mash is so that you will be so close in the real mash that an adjustment won't be needed or will be a small one. Experience will also enable one to hit the target in the mash tun.
 

Kaiser

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 1, 2005
Messages
3,895
Reaction score
167
Location
Pepperell, MA
Inhiding said:
I may be wrong but what I thought the intent of the OP was how much acid to add to X amount of wort/water/whatever at 5.8 pH to get down to 5.3 or wherever.

I have the same question. Is there a calculator or equation to tell one how much acid to add to lower pH a certain amount of points?
The original question was about mash pH. The water pH reduction is generally only of interest for sparge water. most calculators can do that.

Kai
 
OP
HopSong

HopSong

Senior Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Sep 26, 2011
Messages
1,956
Reaction score
106
Location
Meridian
Braukaiser has a nice chart that is pretty simple..

WoodlandBrew.. questions on yours. I'd guess it makes no diff if it's 88% Lactic or 88% Phosphoric..?? Also, you have up to 10# grist.. so, I guess that if you have 14# it 's the number for 10# + the number for 4# added together.. ?

A couple of good solutions to get me closer to the final mark..

Thanks again.
 

WoodlandBrew

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 1, 2012
Messages
2,209
Reaction score
265
Location
Malden
Braukaiser has a nice chart that is pretty simple..

WoodlandBrew.. questions on yours. I'd guess it makes no diff if it's 88% Lactic or 88% Phosphoric..?? Also, you have up to 10# grist.. so, I guess that if you have 14# it 's the number for 10# + the number for 4# added together.. ?

A couple of good solutions to get me closer to the final mark..

Thanks again.
Phosphoric acid is actually much stronger than lactic. This is just for Lactic acid. About adding the two columns: yes, that will work fine. You probably want to start with half the recommended and see where that gets you.
 

ajdelange

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Aug 5, 2010
Messages
11,959
Reaction score
2,722
Location
McLean/Ogden
Phosphoric acid is stronger than lactic (pK1 = 2.12 vs pK = 3.86) but both are 'strong' acids in this application because both those pKs are appreciably less than the target pH. To neutralize 100 ppm alkalinity would require 196 mg/L (2 mmol/L) phosphoric acid and 219 mg/L (2.4 mmol/L) lactic. Thus you need 20% more lactic, on a molar basis and that is because of the strength difference so perhaps it would be better to say phosphoric is strong and lactic almost strong. But you would need 2.46 mL of 88% phosphoric and 3.96 mL of lactic acid to neutralize the 100 ppm alkalinity in 5 gal. That's 61% more. This is because 88% lactic acid solution is appreciably less dense than 88% phosphoric.

And perhaps that is what was meant when 'strength' was mentioned but to a chemist (even amateur ones like me) 'strength' refers to pK.
 

Demus

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 31, 2011
Messages
1,242
Reaction score
161
Location
Orlando
Not a direct quote but Palmer says PH is more about being in the right ballpark, NOT on a specific base. In other words, 5.2 to 5.8 is the acceptable range, and if you're in it you should be fine. For BIAB and even batch sparging, acid additions can easily be avoided by predicting the mash PH based on water profile and grain bill like the above spreadsheets do. The main water parameters that effect PH are bicarbonate(total alkalinity), calcium and magnesium. Knowing these and your grain bill you should be able to save the time money and energy of measuring and adjusting PH. Unless of course you just enjoy being precise for precision's sake. If you fly sparge down to maximum efficiency, you may need acid additions as your spent grains lose buffering power toward the end of your sparge. This is one of the many reasons I batch sparge
 

ajdelange

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Aug 5, 2010
Messages
11,959
Reaction score
2,722
Location
McLean/Ogden
It's true that there is no optimum pH but 5.2 - 5.8 is pretty wide. I think many of us have discovered the dramatic benefits of being in the 5.2 - 5.5 band. It usually takes some acid to get into this band. even with 0 alkalinity, and that is why German breweries use sauergut or sauermalz and British ones CRS.
 

mabrungard

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Feb 22, 2011
Messages
5,947
Reaction score
1,876
Location
Carmel
Well, no single optimum. However, there are tighter ranges within the acceptable mash pH range that can help create certain flavor or perceptions in the finished beer. Biasing the pH to one end or the other will make substantially different beers.

You probably won't hear Palmer recommending such a wide range of acceptable mash pH in the future. There are advantages to tightening that up to the range that AJ mentioned.
 

tonyolympia

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 27, 2011
Messages
461
Reaction score
21
Location
Olympia
This is turning into a wide-ranging discussion, so I hope this question is appropriate...

My water is low in most ions but a bit high in bicarbonates (72 ppm). I'm using Bru'n Water to plan water treatments for a 100% pale malt beer I'm brewing soon (the Fuller's 1897 IPA, as featured in Mitch Steele's book of the same name). I was prepared to dilute with RO or use acid in the mash, but I saw that without doing either, I could bring my predicted mash pH down to 5.4 just by adding the gypsum and CaCl that I planned to add anyway.

Is this a commonly understood thing in water treatment, that you can use the flavor ions to drive mash pH? Because the pH prediction surprised me--I wasn't even shooting for obscene levels in my water. About 140 ppm calcium and 250 ppm sulfate.

If I understand this right, it seems like a tremendously convenient way to brew hoppy pale beers with my existing carbonate water, and not worry about acid or dilution with RO.
 

Demus

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 31, 2011
Messages
1,242
Reaction score
161
Location
Orlando
tonyolympia said:
This is turning into a wide-ranging discussion, so I hope this question is appropriate...

My water is low in most ions but a bit high in bicarbonates (72 ppm). I'm using Bru'n Water to plan water treatments for a 100% pale malt beer I'm brewing soon (the Fuller's 1897 IPA, as featured in Mitch Steele's book of the same name). I was prepared to dilute with RO or use acid in the mash, but I saw that without doing either, I could bring my predicted mash pH down to 5.4 just by adding the gypsum and CaCl that I planned to add anyway.

Is this a commonly understood thing in water treatment, that you can use the flavor ions to drive mash pH? Because the pH prediction surprised me--I wasn't even shooting for obscene levels in my water. About 140 ppm calcium and 250 ppm sulfate.

If I understand this right, it seems like a tremendously convenient way to brew hoppy pale beers with my existing carbonate water, and not worry about acid or dilution with RO.
That is convenient, and probably all you need to worry about. These different water parameters drove different beer styles in different parts of the world. Here in the modern world, we need only modify our brewing water appropriately for the grain bill. If you want to brew a pale ale with soft, alkaline water, you may have issues without acid additions, but the salts you add for the proper flavor conveniently put you in the right target mash PH...
 

ajdelange

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Aug 5, 2010
Messages
11,959
Reaction score
2,722
Location
McLean/Ogden
The principle that calcium (and to a lesser extent) magnesium react with malt phosphate to release mash pH lowering acid is indeed well known but it often (or even perhaps usually) cannot be relied upon to produce enough acid to lower pH into the desired range. In these cases acid must be obtained from elsewhere as from dark malt, sour malt, sauergut or acid from a bottle. If you are fortunate enough to be able to hit pH with the minerals you want to match your flavor profile you are a fortunate man indeed.
 

helibrewer

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Nov 11, 2011
Messages
4,163
Reaction score
486
Location
Wilmington
I use AJ's method: RO water, acidulated malt, then salts for the hardness and SO4:CL I'm looking for.

I have found it very easy to get a nice mash pH this way since you don't have to overcome any existing alkalinity. The acidulated malt has plenty of power in RO water.
 

Spartan1979

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Feb 13, 2011
Messages
2,042
Reaction score
460
Location
O'Fallon, MO
It's true that there is no optimum pH but 5.2 - 5.8 is pretty wide. I think many of us have discovered the dramatic benefits of being in the 5.2 - 5.5 band. It usually takes some acid to get into this band. even with 0 alkalinity, and that is why German breweries use sauergut or sauermalz and British ones CRS.
The 5.2- 5.5 is at room temperature, correct? What are the benefits to being in this band compared to 5.6-5.8?
 

Kaiser

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 1, 2005
Messages
3,895
Reaction score
167
Location
Pepperell, MA

Demus

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 31, 2011
Messages
1,242
Reaction score
161
Location
Orlando
ajdelange said:
Yes, room temperature.

As to the benefits: "All the flavors seem brighter." I put that in quotes because those aren't my words but I can't think of way to say it better.
I don't think this is correct. When would your mash be at room temperature? I'm no expert, but have read at least 6 home brewing books and plenty of articles as well brewed about 20 AG batches now. Everything I've read about mash PH is at mash temperature. The temperature itself influences the PH as well as the grain bill so measuring PH at any other time wouldn't be accurate...
 

ajdelange

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Aug 5, 2010
Messages
11,959
Reaction score
2,722
Location
McLean/Ogden
When brewers started measuring pH they didn't slip a pen-sized device out of their shirt pockets and plunge it into wort or mash. They took a sample to the brewery's lab. By the time the sample got there it had cooled. Not to mention the fact that in those early days the reference electrode involved calomel which melts at mash and wort temperatures. As with other aspects of beer measurement standard practices evolved and were written down. The standards in the US are promulgated by the ASBC. Their "Methods of Analysis" call for wort to be measured at laboratory temperature. While calomel (mercuric chloride) is no longer used in electrodes they are still subjected to stresses from heating and cooling. It is better for them, in the sense that they will last longer, if they are not subjected to those stresses and so benefit from this practice but that's not the reason for it. The reason is that it provides a common reference. If one says 'at mash temperature' then one has to say what mash temperature that is. Beta glucan rest at 105 °F, protein rest at 125 °F, saccharification rest at 145 °F? Thus published pH results are for room temperature unless otherwise specified. It is true that this isn't the pH of the mash in the mashtun nor the wort in the kettle but you don't really care what those are. You are interested in finding out what number range that you can measure via the standard practice gives you good beer.

Now none of this means that standard practices can't be violated. Most texts don't specifically say what temperature they are referring to but given the practical considerations discussed above they are most probably talking lab temperature. Jean DeClerck specifically mentioned in his two volume text that all pH measurements are lab. Gordon Strong, in his book, says that he uses mash temperature pH.
 

Demus

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 31, 2011
Messages
1,242
Reaction score
161
Location
Orlando
ajdelange said:
It is true that this isn't the pH of the mash in the mashtun nor the wort in the kettle but you don't really care what those are. You are interested in finding out what number range that you can measure via the standard practice gives you good beer.

Now none of this means that standard practices can't be violated. Most texts don't specifically say what temperature they are referring to but given the practical considerations discussed above they are most probably talking lab temperature. Jean DeClerck specifically mentioned in his two volume text that all pH measurements are lab. Gordon Strong, in his book, says that he uses mash temperature pH.
I guess we'll have agree to disagree; the PH in the mash tun is the ONLY time it matters. Historical lab practices and probe materials don't change the fact that it's the mash PH, at whatever the mash temperature happens to be, that effects the outcome of the mash.
I also disagree with your assumption that texts are referring to lab temperature. We're talking about MASH PH, not LAB PH. everything I've read was pretty clear on this point...
 

afr0byte

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 12, 2010
Messages
1,454
Reaction score
76
Location
Vermont
I guess we'll have agree to disagree; the PH in the mash tun is the ONLY time it matters. Historical lab practices and probe materials don't change the fact that it's the mash PH, at whatever the mash temperature happens to be, that effects the outcome of the mash.
I also disagree with your assumption that texts are referring to lab temperature. We're talking about MASH PH, not LAB PH. everything I've read was pretty clear on this point...
So, kettle pH doesn't matter in terms of the hop profile? The finished pH of the beer doesn't matter in terms of shelf life? You also didn't seem to address his comments about what temperature is the mash pH supposed to be taken at?
 

Demus

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 31, 2011
Messages
1,242
Reaction score
161
Location
Orlando
afr0byte said:
So, kettle pH doesn't matter in terms of the hop profile? The finished pH of the beer doesn't matter in terms of shelf life? You also didn't seem to address his comments about what temperature is the mash pH supposed to be taken at?
The title of the thread and my comments are related to mash PH. This crazy thread is the first and only place I've seen brewers concern over PH reach beyond mash efficiency. That is it's primary effect concerning all grain brewing. Admittedly the lines get blurred when you bring brewing salts into the discussion which effect flavor AND mash PH (some do anyway). If your mash PH is in the proper range your other concerns over the kettle and hops are unfounded. Mash temperature effects PH, but the difference in the range of normal sachrification rest temperatures is minimal, but it's in this temperature range and stage of the mash where PH is important. Does that answer your question(s)?
 

afr0byte

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 12, 2010
Messages
1,454
Reaction score
76
Location
Vermont
The title of the thread and my comments are related to mash PH. This crazy thread is the first and only place I've seen brewers concern over PH reach beyond mash efficiency. That is it's primary effect concerning all grain brewing. Admittedly the lines get blurred when you bring brewing salts into the discussion which effect flavor AND mash PH (some do anyway). If your mash PH is in the proper range your other concerns over the kettle and hops are unfounded. Mash temperature effects PH, but the difference in the range of normal sachrification rest temperatures is minimal, but it's in this temperature range and stage of the mash where PH is important. Does that answer your question(s)?
Actually, if I remember correctly, extract is maximized closer to 6pH. The reason we want lower is so that we don't extract tanins / other flavor concerns. You're correct that ideally all of the other pHs should fall in line if the mash pH is correct, but that's not necessarily true, and could depend on things like the yeast strain.

Regarding mash temperature. Sure the sac rest pH isn't going to very a lot, but some people do ferulic acid or protein rests, what about at those temperatures? It only makes sense to do the checks at lab temperature so that we have a standard. One reason for that is that the pH calibration buffers are standardized at 25C, so readings are most accurate at 25C
 

ajdelange

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Aug 5, 2010
Messages
11,959
Reaction score
2,722
Location
McLean/Ogden
I also disagree with your assumption that texts are referring to lab temperature. We're talking about MASH PH, not LAB PH. everything I've read was pretty clear on this point...
Yes, but you've read 6 home brewing books. I've probably read 20 professional texts and the MOAs. Of those only DeClerck and the MOAs come to mind as being clear on this point (and agree that it is to be done at lab temp). Interestingly enough the MEBAK (EBC) procedure doesn't specify temperature but it is clear from the example numbers they list that they are not, in the case of mash, mash temperature. I guess they are assuming that a pro would know this. But you can use any temperature you like. Just be aware that your numbers will be biased relative to everyone else's (except others who labor under the same misconception). I'm here to lead the horse's to the water, not to force them to drink it.
 

ajdelange

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Aug 5, 2010
Messages
11,959
Reaction score
2,722
Location
McLean/Ogden
This crazy thread is the first and only place I've seen brewers concern over PH reach beyond mash efficiency. That is it's primary effect concerning all grain brewing.
Not at all. Most home, and even craft brewers, don't care that much about efficiency. What they care about is the quality of the beer. It's been thoroughly demonstrated that there are mash pH ranges that give the best beer. For the lagers I brew, for example, it's 5.4 - 5.6 (at room temperature). As I noted in an earlier post that's where all the flavors become brighter. There are, in addition, concerns over hops utilization, colloidal stability and long term stability in the package. I attended a 3 day conference on this subject a few years back and some of the worlds biggest breweries were there. Other things besides efficiency were definitely considered. Yes, if you buy malt by the railroad car a one or 2 percent change in efficiency is important to your bean counters but its false economy to shift pH to a maximum efficiency number if it produces a beer that isn't as saleable because it doesn't taste as good.

If your mash PH is in the proper range your other concerns over the kettle and hops are unfounded.
Not so. A good brewer controls pH throughout the brewing process. Addition of acids or salts to the kettle and even to the finished beer are not all that unusual. It is true that if you get mash pH correct pH tends to fall into place throughout the rest of the process but tweaks for greater or less hops utilization, brighter runoff etc are commonly made. It's a pretty complicated subject. The conference I mentioned earlier was titled "The pH Paradox" for that reason.


Mash temperature effects PH, but the difference in the range of normal sachrification rest temperatures is minimal, but it's in this temperature range and stage of the mash where PH is important.
In my experience (with lagers) mash pH shifts about 0.0055 pH per °C. The difference between a high fermentability wort and a dextrinous one, or a decoction mash where both were used amounts to 0.05 pH, a quarter of the bandwidth. But the difference between a beta glucan rest and a mid range saccharification rest is 0.14 pH and that's appreciable. This is why brewers (or the wise ones at least) refer to room temp.
 

Demus

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 31, 2011
Messages
1,242
Reaction score
161
Location
Orlando
I admit the science of how PH is measured isn't my area of expertise. That said, I do know that when it comes to brewing, it's the PH of my mash AS IT'S TAKING PLACE that is important. Personally, I don't even measure it. I take experts advice and use my water parameters and grain bill to estimate it. Since adopting this practice my efficiency, and most importantly my beer, has been excellent.
I enjoy learning about beer, but I have to draw the line when someone is trying to dissect something down to a level that can't possibly help me make better beer. I guess my final thought is, WHO CARES!!!
 

afr0byte

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 12, 2010
Messages
1,454
Reaction score
76
Location
Vermont
I admit the science of how PH is measured isn't my area of expertise. That said, I do know that when it comes to brewing, it's the PH of my mash AS IT'S TAKING PLACE that is important. Personally, I don't even measure it. I take experts advice and use my water parameters and grain bill to estimate it. Since adopting this practice my efficiency, and most importantly my beer, has been excellent.
I enjoy learning about beer, but I have to draw the line when someone is trying to dissect something down to a level that can't possibly help me make better beer. I guess my final thought is, WHO CARES!!!
You do realize you're in the Brewing Science forum, right? Besides, those spreadsheets you're referencing are spitting out room temperature pH.
 

Demus

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 31, 2011
Messages
1,242
Reaction score
161
Location
Orlando
ajdelange said:
Anyone who wants to make really good beer. With experience and a more open mind that could be you!
If I needed laboratory grade equipment to test each phase of my brewing process to make good beer, I'd quit brewing yesterday. Fortunately I happen to know that measuring details down to the micrometer level doesn't make beer taste good. I'm sure MIT grad students could analyze my Grandma's apple pie, but I doubt they could make it taste better.
Also, what's the use of all this hair splitting when most home brewers are cutting with an axe anyway? Are you guys professionals or something? What happened to RDWHAHB??
 

afr0byte

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 12, 2010
Messages
1,454
Reaction score
76
Location
Vermont
If I needed laboratory grade equipment to test each phase of my brewing process to make good beer, I'd quit brewing yesterday. Fortunately I happen to know that measuring details down to the micrometer level doesn't make beer taste good. I'm sure MIT grad students could analyze my Grandma's apple pie, but I doubt they could make it taste better.
Also, what's the use of all this hair splitting when most home brewers are cutting with an axe anyway? Are you guys professionals or something? What happened to RDWHAHB??
A pH meter isn't that expensive these days. Certainly one doesn't have to use a bench meter for brewing. Also, who said anyone in this thread wanted to be "most home brewers"? The average homebrewer brews OK beer, at best.

EDIT: And, yes, someday I'd like to be a pro.
 

PistolsAtDawn

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 11, 2011
Messages
477
Reaction score
79
Location
Charleston
This question is mostly directed towards Kai or AJ, but I will appreciate input from anyone on this:

The point was made earlier by mmonacel that saccharification usually finishes pretty quickly, maybe 20 minutes or so after temperature is reached. I've read this before, and I'm guessing that is true. It seems to have been in my brewing anyway.

If we have to cool the mash liquor sample down to room temperature to get an accurate pH reading in order to adjust mash pH, how would one go about measuring and adjusting it in such a short window of time? I can hardly cool down my sample in that time.

Is there a good method to dealing with this? Strong's book says to measure at mash temperature, but every other hard science source says room temp and I'm definitely inclined to believe the latter is better.
 
Top