pH buffer

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batfishdog37

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ok, so I have this 5.2 pH buffer. I have heard different things about using it. Can it be used on low pH or high pH water? I use it in the strike water and (more importantly) in the HLT water, correct.
 

Got Trub?

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You may not need to use it at all. It is the mash pH that is important - NOT your waters pH. You can check to see if your mash pH is OK by either 1) checking the mash with pH paper or a pH meter or 2) mash a recipe and see if you get reasonable conversion efficiency. With my moderately hard water I only need to use the 5.2 with very pale lagers and even then I use about 1/2 the recommended amount.

GT
 

pjj2ba

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To answer the other question, yes it will both bring up low pH or bring down pH as long as you add enough to overcome the buffering capacity of your water - that's the nature of buffers.

Also +1 on the it's the mash pH that matters, not the strike water.

I use it in the HLT. This can be more important if you have high temporary hardness in your water and you fly sparge.
 

david_42

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I use it for both, even though I have very soft, neutral water.
 

schristian619

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I don't use it at all...anymore. I used to use spring water with the 5.2 buffer and my efficiency was spuratic, but never above 70%. I have since switched to using tap water run through a charcoal filter (per LHBS recomendation), and no buffer. I now consistently get 80-82% efficiency. I fly sparge and have pretty hard tap water.
 

cactusgarrett

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If your water is off the charts for hardness or pH in the first place, the 5.2 stabilizer won't work properly. As i batch sparge, i only use 5.2 in the mash. FWIW.
 

cactusgarrett

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That's good, then. I just wanted to bring up the point that buffers (5.2 included) don't work 100% of the time - if water is too basic, and the buffer isn't strong enough, the buffer alone often cannot bring the pH to target. Basically i wanted to convey to the OP that 5.2 isn't a catch all, and that additional thought is needed beyond just throwing it into the mash.
 
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