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Yet more evidence that commercial brewers do not mash at 5.2 to 5.6 pH ...

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What I need to inject here is that it is meaningless to discuss pH without association to temperature, so for example, if Kunze repeatedly says to mash at 5.4 pH without making explicit association to the requisite sampling temperature this information is as good as useless.
 

Die_Beerery

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What I need to inject here is that it is meaningless to discuss pH without association to temperature, so for example, if Kunze repeatedly says to mash at 5.4 pH without making explicit association to the requisite sampling temperature this information is as good as useless.
Thats a poor example.
 
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I came across something from Narziss today, whereby he is discussing the proper water conditions required for the mashing of a Pils, and in which he defines the water condition required to be water in which residual alkalinity is -2 German degrees, which means -35.7 in terms of ppm (mg/L). Now it just so happens that the residual alkalinity of distilled water with 50 ppm (mg/L) of added Ca++ ions has a residual alkalinity of -35.7 ppm (mg/L).
4.3. Pils beers and very light Export Beers

They are expected to be of very light colour and less body; it is the hopping rate that determines the character. Measures to reduce the 'malt body' and to provide very light colours are shown in Table VI. Very light malts of an EBC colour of 2-5-2-8 from a kilning temperature of 80°C, made from a low protein content of barley (ca.10-5%) are used. Water quality including a residual alkalinity -2°G, short mashing procedures with a mashing-in-temperature of 62°C, and high liquor/grist ratio (1:4.5-5), are used.
https://www.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.1002/j.2050-0416.1984.tb04288.x

Now if we were to actually mash a straight grist of ~5.83 pH Pilsner malt as our Pils grist, and do so in the requisite -35.7 ppm residual alkalinity water with a high water to grist ratio, and Narziss says that this is the requirement, the question then becomes one of ascertaining what the room temperature mash pH for this mash might actually be. Lower down in the document (in the referenced "Table VI") he specifically mentions this ideal mash condition to come in at 5.5 pH. I would think it to come in at more like 5.7 or perhaps even potentially a wee tad higher if measured at room temperature.
 

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Edit. This will not stop until you receive the answer you are damned to get.
So therefore my answer is now to that of whichever you prefer.

I think everyone should be mashing at high pH’s like the professionals as your thought experiment suggests.
 
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Wow, this has become a really dumb thread.
How about this:
If you think mashing at 5.8, 5.9, 6.0, hell, 11.9, is fine or even desirable, Why don’t you actually try it and see how it turns out?

Then You can report back your findings.
THEN your original theory might have an empirical-ish data point.

If you did try it, I’m sorry I missed it - there’s too much silliness in this thread to read it all the way though.
 
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And who cares if 11,000 people like Rochefort and think it’s perfect - I can probably find 10x that number who think the same of Bud Light.
Off topic, but, if as mentioned, AB InBev owns Ratebeer, then the question (being asked here purely rhetorically, and thus expecting no answer, please) becomes why do its beers generally rank so abysmally poorly on that site?
 
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Revisiting this Weyermann data (chart below) I now conclude that their data clearly represents pH's taken at mash temperature and then again for the very same sample at 20 degrees C. If mash pH was being read by Weyermann at 20 degrees C. one would presume such pH to be identical to 20 degree C. Wort pH, and as such only a single Mash/Wort pH column would have been necessary to be shown in the chart. The data stops at mash pH 5.27 with a resulting Wort pH of 5.50, meaning presumably that they stopped adding acid to the mash at a room temperature measured pH of 5.50, calling the experiment completed with respect to acid addition at that juncture. A quick glance at the data clearly indicates that the average difference which their particular pH meter read at room temperature was on the order of ~0.22 points higher than at mash temperature (and this differential becomes more stable at wort pH's between 5.7 and 5.5). That the experiment was terminated at a Wort pH of 5.50 is not perhaps an indication that this is what they recommend as a target, but that they terminated at pH 5.50 does appear to mean that they saw no need to acidify the mash to the point where a sample cooled to 20 degrees C. fell below 5.50. This may very well indicate that terminating somewhat above this juncture is more typical as their practice, but this is admittedly conjecture. What is fully clear however is that they are not acidifying the mash whereby to drive it to any level below a room temperature pH of 5.50. What is also clear is that a mash temperature pH of 5.4 is a Wort pH of ~5.62 (when applying the ~0.22 differential). This may (again conjecturally) indicate an idealized room temperature mash pH target more on the order of ~5.62 if 5.40 is their typical (or ideal) mash pH target when measured at mash temperature.

Acidulated_Malt.png
 
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This has nothing to do with ideal pH. Its graphs are showing how much acid malt to add for whatever pH you want. It's literally just that. It also tracks some of the shifting offsets, which again, could change your dosing rate depending on what pH you are shooting for.

Here was my offset from yesterday at my first beta rest.
 
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I asked myself why the differential (or offset) between Mash pH and Wort pH across the 12 Weyermann data points on the two charts posted above starts out narrower and then ends up wider, only stabilizing at an average of ~0.2217 pH points over the span of the final 6 data points. Then it finally hit me. This is a step mash. And for the first 6 sample/data points for which the differentials are noticeably lower than the average of 0.2217 pH for the final 6 data points, this is due to the mash we are observing being a stepping and rising tier of lower temperatures to higher across the first 6 sample/data points. And then finally for a stable mash temperature across the final 6 data points.

Then I asked myself again, why is Wort pH greater than Mash pH for the Weyermann data, and the only logical conclusion which I can fathom in answer to this question is that Weyermann measures mash pH exclusively at mash temperature.

And for this I asked why would Wyermann confound and confuse us by measuring mash pH at mash temperature, when all amateur home brewers (and the brewing book writers and brewing magazines which cater to them) conclusions point to this act of high temperature mash pH measurement being totally ludicrous and ill advised, and I realized that Weyermann are not amateurs, and they are not pandering to amateur misconceptions. And therefore they don't make the presumptive and multiple decades long collective delusional mistake of a collective group of amateurs and those purported experts who cater to them in the churning out of "worshiped" amateur level books and magazines, which all collectively lead amateurs to conclude that Mash pH and Wort pH must be identical, and in fact be one and the same, and that mash pH must be measured at room temperature.

Then I looked at what Weyermann concludes for their acid malt, with this being that on average every added 1% by grist weight of acid malt drops pH by nominally 0.1 points, and I asked, for which column between Mash pH and Wort pH does this data hold more consistently true on average, and that is clearly for the Mash pH column. And this lends weight to the conclusion that Weyermann measures Mash pH at mash temperature, and not at room temperature. And when they do measure at room temperature they are very careful to differentiate for this via calling it at that juncture Wort pH, and that is why they require 2 columns of pH results as opposed to the amateur home brewer expectation of only 1 column.

And lastly, Weyermann's 0.1 pH point drop per 1% of grist weight rule of thumb is only valid for pH's measured at mash temperature. It is still usable, though less precise and valid for room temperature pH measurement.

In all of this I'm not advising that you measure mash pH at mash temperature unless your equipment is certified to be up to the task. What I do advise is that when following peer reviewed expert from yore advice to best target mash pH at 5.4, you should seriously give consideration to adding 0.22 pH points to this pro brewer from yore target when measuring a room temperature Wort pH and merely presuming it to be the reading of a Mash pH.
 
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Zee Germans are oft quoted saying "you can't make beer with a single infusion." They used a single infusion type mash to test grain lots (congress mash kinda sorta), and the whacky Brits just ran with it.
 

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Brits historically didn't use a single temperature infusion either. Steps achieved through multiple underlets and sparging. Single temperature infusion is really purely the province of American homebrewers.
 
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The Weyermann "rule of thumb" that 1% acid malt drops pH by 0.1 points on average proves (for their own example data) to be off by ballpark 19% for the case of attempting to apply this rule to the cooled Wort pH column as opposed to applying it to the hot mash pH column. It is off by only about 3.6% for the case of the Mash pH column data. Allowing for this it is still off by a bit more than 15% when used on room temperature samples. Something to consider when using acid malt.
 

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The Weyermann "rule of thumb" that 1% acid malt drops pH by 0.1 points on average proves (for their own example data) to be off by ballpark 19% for the case of attempting to apply this rule to the cooled Wort pH column as opposed to applying it to the hot mash pH column. It is off by only about 3.6% for the case of the Mash pH column data. Allowing for this it is still off by a bit more than 15% when used on room temperature samples. Something to consider when using acid malt.

Which is why in our software we did not model acid malt the same way they did.
 

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Zee Germans are oft quoted saying "you can't make beer with a single infusion." They used a single infusion type mash to test grain lots (congress mash kinda sorta), and the whacky Brits just ran with it.
Was that back at a time when grain wasn't well-modified? I did a lot of BIAB which is single-infusion and it seemed to turn out fine. :) What's the genesis of that view?

I'm now doing step mashes with a RIMS and that's very fun--the control is interesting, and the ability to dry beer out by mashing low is quite interesting.
 

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Was that back at a time when grain wasn't well-modified? I did a lot of BIAB which is single-infusion and it seemed to turn out fine. :) What's the genesis of that view?

I'm now doing step mashes with a RIMS and that's very fun--the control is interesting, and the ability to dry beer out by mashing low is quite interesting.
No that is current day. Single infusion does not produce a beer worthy of their standards for them.
 
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No that is current day. Single infusion does not produce a beer worthy of their standards for them.
I'm mashing in a cooler, so I can squeeze one step into a step-mash, but no more. Given that hefty restraint, what temp and time should I apply to the first tier before I add boiling water and bring it to 148-153 degrees?
 

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I'm mashing in a cooler, so I can squeeze one step into a step-mash, but no more. Given that hefty restraint, what temp and time should I apply to the first tier before I add boiling water and bring it to 148-153 degrees?
Pssh my favorite saison is mashed in a cooler and we have 5 steps! (Okay, that's including mashout/batch sparge...) We start very thick...

At least we're getting somewhere with going about testing this.
 

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Yea I think Belgian beer is vile
This is exactly why I think homebrewers should make more of an effort to try different processes and ingredients to see how they work for them, rather than listening to what others tell them is 'good beer' and how they should be brewing. I love Belgian beers. And British ales, and hefeweizens, and funky/sour beers. Flanders red would probably rate as my favourite style. I dislike anything excessively hoppy (IPA) and am not a big fan of German lagers or very dark beers (I know nobody cares what I like/don't like, but my point is that my tastes are different to others tastes). If I listened to brewers who like different beers to me, about how to brew perfect beer, I'm likely to end up with something I like less than if I try different things and make up my own mind about what makes good beer and what doesn't. Have a look at brulosophy exbeeriments......I know they're not perfect (not close, actually) but one thing that can be taken away from them is that in every one where there is a difference between the beers, they end up with some drinkers preferring one beer whilst others prefer the different beer - it's never unanimous (well, not any that I've seen).
 

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You're focused on creating world-class German lagers with German malts and German processes, and I know you have that down to a science. However, there are whole other countries and continents with their own malts and flavors they're trying to achieve.

German, Belgian, Nordic, British, American, etc malts aren't interchangable, right? Therefore it's helpful to include caveats like: step mashes are regarded as necessary when brewing German styles (which should only be brewed with German malts).
I think that helps avoid contention.
 

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You're focused on creating world-class German lagers with German malts and German processes, and I know you have that down to a science. However, there are whole other countries and continents with their own malts and flavors they're trying to achieve.

German, Belgian, Nordic, British, American, etc malts aren't interchangable, right? Therefore it's helpful to include caveats like: step mashes are regarded as necessary when brewing German styles (which should only be brewed with German malts).
I think that helps avoid contention.
I have never once mentioned myself in this. This is the German mentality. This was prefaced by saying Germans in literally everything I talked about. Thought this was clear.
 

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I have never once mentioned myself in this. This is the German mentality. This was prefaced by saying Germans in literally everything I talked about. Thought this was clear.
It was clear to me because I've asked you about this already. I'm trying to help make sure everyone else understands too. :)

Maybe they did understand, and in that case I'm sorry that this was just all unnecessary (though I doubt it).

I'm wondering if ideal mash pH varies by the malt/maltster, or more generally the country of origin, not to mention personal taste, because it's obvious that varies widely. I agree with you and @Gnomebrewer it's good to try things for yourself rather than just following others based on their own set of parameters and/or preferences. It is still difficult though because pH is a continuous variable among dozens of other variables, some of which may be somehow linked to mash pH. If you build a matrix of all the different variables you'd have to brew thousands of highly-controlled batches to really dial in your optimized practices to achieve desired outcomes for a range of styles and recipes.

It's frustrating but part of the fun of brewing.
Rambling a little, been drinking my wine...
 

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Worlds finest is kind of an overstatement I would say, plus Rochefort has such a distinct astringency/bitterness that could be attributed to this high PH, not sure as I gave up on drinking Belgium beer regularly years ago as I've come to appreciate light delicate beers. While I enjoy a Rochefort every now and then, that astringency that they have make it stand out amongst all the Trappist beers, hell Belgium beers while I think about it. Although, over time that astringency goes away, say 8+ years, I just had a 10 last week that was 12 years old and what do you know, the astringency was gone.
It’s odd, because astringency is not something I get out of any of the Trappist beers. Are you sure you aren’t responding in some way to the ester and higher alcohol content?

In particular, if you are used to drinking lagers (which I enjoy almost as much as my Trappist and Belgian beer), the flavor profiles of the Trappists can be very jarring.
 

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And who cares if 11,000 people like Rochefort and think it’s perfect - I can probably find 10x that number who think the same of Bud Light.
Other than some of the iconic pale ales and macro lagers, “Belgian”* beers stray the farthest from that essential “beery-ness” found in other beers around the world. They tend to be an acquired taste and given the variety, i.e. Trappist, Abbey, Sours, regional specialties, etc., it’s hard to pin down what people are referring to specifically within that framework.

I’m no stranger to their beers. Yet there are some I’m not fond of. I love the Trappists but tend to find Abbey beers hit or miss. I generally like red and brown sours from Belgium but really prefer Rodenbach. Saisons really aren’t my thing but I like DuPont.

I think some people factor in the aggregate weight of opinion when using beeradvocate or ratebeer so those values should be taken with a grain of salt. What counts is that in my opinion Rochefort makes some of my favorite beers.

*(I use quotations because unlike other countries like Britain, Germany, and the US, whose beers can be said to share flavor profiles across the whole geographic spread for the most part, Belgium has one of the most idiosyncratic and varied beer cultures in the world)
 
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On page 34 of Gordon Strong's book titled: ''Brewing Better Beer: Master Lessons for Advanced Homebrewers" is found this statement:
"The mash pH should be in the 5.2 to 5.5 range with a target of about 5.3. Note that mash pH is measured at mash temperatures, not cooled."
This guy is a (the only?) three-time winner of the coveted National Homebrew Competition Ninkasi Award.
 
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Adding Weyermann's 0.22 pH points to convert the above stated mash pH's at mash temperature to room temperature measured "Wort pH" results in a target range of 5.42 to 5.72, with a midrange of 5.57 pH, and with Gordon's personally preferred target weighing in at 5.52 pH.
 

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