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baer19d

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Just how important is having the correct PH level in regards to brewing? At which point does the PH need to be checked and What can be used to alter the PH if needed? Last question, What should the PH be for the various styles of beer, i.e. lagers and ales. Thanks, Mike
 

BigEd

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Just how important is having the correct PH level in regards to brewing? At which point does the PH need to be checked and What can be used to alter the PH if needed? Last question, What should the PH be for the various styles of beer, i.e. lagers and ales. Thanks, Mike
You never have to worry about your PH. But if you brew all grain you should be aware of the pH of the mash. There are a zillion threads here and on the other homebrew forums which you can scan for an overview. A good basic homebrew book like Palmer's "How to Brew" will also have good information on the topic. Noonan's "Brewing Lager Beer" has more in depth information and despite the title much of the book's info is applicable to ales as well. :mug:
 

menschmaschine

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As BigEd stated, it is important for the mash in all-grain brewing. I believe it's also important to know your water pH as the mash pH can be predicted from this (and other water chemistry parameters). It's also good to know it for the sparge (particularly in fly-sparging).
 

Piotr

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Just how important is having the correct PH level in regards to brewing? At which point does the PH need to be checked and What can be used to alter the PH if needed? Last question, What should the PH be for the various styles of beer, i.e. lagers and ales. Thanks, Mike
I check and adjust pH 5 minutes after I dough-in the grains. For most dark beers no adjustments are necessary, for lighter I add 20-100g of acidulated malt or couple of ml of phosphoric acid.
 

Bills Brew

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I've seen posts where extract brewers didn't need to be concerned about pH. However, my well water pH is around 7.6, and is high in bicarbonate. I started to notice, I'll call it a "sour" taste, which I later identified as being astringent (like sucking a tea bag). I discovered that the high pH was extracting tannins during the grain steeping and sparging processes. It wasn't high temperature, which I know also causes this. Anyway, I started to adjust my pH by adding 1 ml of lactic acid to 2 liters of steeping and sparging water to get the pH down to around 6.

I've been doing this for about 9 months and my beers have tasted better. The "sour" astringent taste is gone. It was really strong on lighter beers like Kolsch and Pilsners.

Anyway, just relating my experiences as an extract brewer.
 
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baer19d

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So I'm guessing I should contact my local water authority and find out the chemistry of my water and than go from there right?
 

Brew-boy

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PH is very important if you are an all grain brewer. reading Plamers book Chapter 15 will help you understand. I would also recommend getting his free spread sheet if you do all grain. Learning how to get your residual alkalinity into the proper range is very important.
 

Hoosier

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Now your getting it. If you are an all grain brewer, mash PH is very important. Water reports can be spotty. Your area may draw from lakes at one point in the year and streams in another. Your report will be the average beteween the two. In my opinion to make consistent, great beer building your water froom RO is the way to go. This has made my beer go from good to excellent. It takes a little time to grasp it but once you do it is easy. There are free podcasts available (basic brewing) that have interviews w/palmer on topics like ph, alkalinity(sp?) and other water specific topics. How to brew helps as well. These helped me understand it. Hope this helps.
 
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