Quantcast

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

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

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

OP
Silver_Is_Money

Silver_Is_Money

Larry Sayre, Developer of 'Mash Made Easy'
Joined
Dec 31, 2016
Messages
5,435
Reaction score
1,608
Location
N/E Ohio
Seems like he must have caved to pressure. There is sufficient peer reviewed evidence presented within this thread to indicate that he initially had it right.

The real question is, given how distinctly he wrote it in his book, what sort of pH measurement does (or did) he actually do? And why does he say that "pro brewers" led him astray? And was that before or after he was winning an unprecedented number of top level national awards?
 

Big Monk

Trappist Please! 🍷
Joined
Dec 24, 2015
Messages
2,193
Reaction score
1,125
On page 34 of Gordon Strong's book titled: ''Brewing Better Beer: Master Lessons for Advanced Homebrewers" is found this statement:

This guy is a (the only?) three-time winner of the coveted National Homebrew Competition Ninkasi Award.
All due respect but I don’t believe he ever won that award for a beer. He snuck in with Cider or Mead if I’m not mistaken.

That’s beside the point anyway. He could be wrong about anything just like anyone else.
 

Big Monk

Trappist Please! 🍷
Joined
Dec 24, 2015
Messages
2,193
Reaction score
1,125
Seems like he must have caved to pressure. There is sufficient peer reviewed evidence presented within this thread to indicate that he initially had it right.

The real question is, given how distinctly he wrote it in his book, what sort of pH measurement does (or did) he actually do? And why does he say that "pro brewers" led him astray? And was that before or after he was winning an unprecedented number of top level national awards?
You could go back to the first English edition of De Clerck's “A Textbook of Brewing”, from 1957 (IIRC), and read that pH optima are quoted for cooled wort.

Using room temperature pH optima has not steered me wrong as of yet.
 
OP
Silver_Is_Money

Silver_Is_Money

Larry Sayre, Developer of 'Mash Made Easy'
Joined
Dec 31, 2016
Messages
5,435
Reaction score
1,608
Location
N/E Ohio
You could go back to the first English edition of De Clerck's “A Textbook of Brewing”, from 1957 (IIRC), and read that pH optima are quoted for cooled wort.

Using room temperature pH optima has not steered me wrong as of yet.
What pH optima did he specify for "Wort" prior to adjusting it (either just pre, or during , or post boil) so as to achieve 5.0-5.2 post boil and cooling. I've expressedly stated that pH should be measured upon cooled Wort, but my distinction (and I believe also Weyermann's) is that at that juncture it is a Wort pH that one is measuring, and no longer is it technically a mash pH, whereby via the application of the Weyerman 0.22 point offset one sees a means to "presume" mash pH from "de-facto" wort pH.

The EBC standard for measuring Wort pH is to do so at 20 degrees C., but this does not make what is being measured a mash pH. Wort pH is at room temperature and mash pH is at mash temperature.
 
Last edited:
OP
Silver_Is_Money

Silver_Is_Money

Larry Sayre, Developer of 'Mash Made Easy'
Joined
Dec 31, 2016
Messages
5,435
Reaction score
1,608
Location
N/E Ohio
RPIScotty, what is your understanding of the Weyermann Mash pH and Wort pH dichotomy witnessed within their presentation?
 

Big Monk

Trappist Please! 🍷
Joined
Dec 24, 2015
Messages
2,193
Reaction score
1,125
RPIScotty, what is your understanding of the Weyermann Mash pH and Wort pH dichotomy witnessed within their presentation?
First things first: I love Weyermann but you can’t hang your hat on them from the standpoint of language.

For instance, they call DI pH of their grains Wort pH.

For their premade Sauergut, they refer to Mash pH dosage specifications and and Wort (Kettle) pH specifications:

B571F5C4-091D-4E18-9F6B-1F46D19B6D47.jpeg


In “pH in the brewery” it seems they are referring to Mash Temp pH (Mash pH) and Room Temp pH (Wort pH).

That’s 3 different interpretations of “Wort pH” by the premier maltster in the world. Like everything in these “Room Temp Vs. Mash Temp” discussions it often comes down to semantics and not everyone, including leadings companies and super smart researchers, are ever real clear about what they mean.

So long story short: measure and target Room Temp pH. It’s the only way to effectively standardize across equipment, ingredients, and personal philosophy. It’s a standard by which to re-evaluate accepted pH optima and the fact that we keep coming back to this discussion in light of that seems odd to me.
 
OP
Silver_Is_Money

Silver_Is_Money

Larry Sayre, Developer of 'Mash Made Easy'
Joined
Dec 31, 2016
Messages
5,435
Reaction score
1,608
Location
N/E Ohio
So long story short: measure and target Room Temp pH. It’s the only way to effectively standardize across equipment, ingredients, and personal philosophy. It’s a standard by which to re-evaluate accepted pH optima and the fact that we keep coming back to this discussion in light of that seems odd to me.
We both fully agree about the equipment saving benefit of targeting and measuring room temperature pH. We merely (perhaps) disagree as to what the "idealized" room temperature target (as to range and midpoint within said range) should be.
 

Big Monk

Trappist Please! 🍷
Joined
Dec 24, 2015
Messages
2,193
Reaction score
1,125
We both fully agree about the equipment saving benefit of targeting and measuring room temperature pH. We merely (perhaps) disagree as to what the "idealized" room temperature target (as to range and midpoint within said range) should be.
Right. As long as that’s clear, then that’s a healthy discussion. For my purposes, somewhere between 5.4-5.5 seems to be the jam. YMMV.
 

exit8

Active Member
Joined
Feb 28, 2019
Messages
27
Reaction score
12
All due respect but I don’t believe he ever won that award for a beer. He snuck in with Cider or Mead if I’m not mistaken.

That’s beside the point anyway. He could be wrong about anything just like anyone else.
Look like he placed with 5 beers on 2009 and a couple of meads. The other 2 years he indeed had more awards in the mead categories.
 

Big Monk

Trappist Please! 🍷
Joined
Dec 24, 2015
Messages
2,193
Reaction score
1,125
Look like he placed with 5 beers on 2009 and a couple of meads. The other 2 years he indeed had more awards in the mead categories.
Definitely wasn’t meant as a dig. Just as context. He’s obviously an experienced homebrewer but so are many others that frequent this and other forums.

It’s unreasonable to hold people to specific comments as proof that something is either this or that.

With regards to this topic, the best pH optima for the specific Brewer is the room temperature reading at the value that gives them the desired extract, wort quality, etc.

I think part of the expansion of the vocabulary and methodology of homebrewing in recent years is the expulsion of these types of cut and dry ranges. It used to be that when people were not as well versed in specific topics that it was easier to say “This value works best for X, Y, and Z.”

Now there are just too many advanced homebrewers to try and fit things into neat and tidy ranges. Their tastes are too varied and their preferences too wide for general guidelines.

Do what works for you as long as you are taking readings at room temp. That way you are reporting results that can be replicated and standardized.
 

Robert65

Major Obvious (recently promoted)
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jul 15, 2019
Messages
1,891
Reaction score
2,372
Location
Akron, Ohio
I'd happily give Bryan 3 likes to even it up, but I can't, and I'd also like to like yours, Derek, so it would just start spiraling further out of control... o_O
 

Big Monk

Trappist Please! 🍷
Joined
Dec 24, 2015
Messages
2,193
Reaction score
1,125
I'd happily give Bryan 3 likes to even it up, but I can't, and I'd also like to like yours, Derek, so it would just start spiraling further out of control... o_O
In these trying times, I can’t make heads or tails of what’s goin’ on anymore.
 

Robert65

Major Obvious (recently promoted)
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jul 15, 2019
Messages
1,891
Reaction score
2,372
Location
Akron, Ohio
And yet, light at the end of the tunnel, when nobody knows what to make of anything out in the world, determining standard conditions for pH measurement doesn't seem so dizzyingly nebulous anymore... perspective, brother!
 

ep_brew

New Member
Joined
Jul 5, 2020
Messages
3
Reaction score
4
I was a part of the Gourmet Brewing Crowdcast with Sierra Nevada Brewmaster Scott Jennings tonight. Award Winning Lagers - Scott Jennings, Sierra Nevada - Crowdcast The discussion was about lagers and he said he targets a mash pH between 5.2-5.5, while trying to stay close to 5.2.

I had to ask at what temperature he measures and he said at temp when the mash is homogeneous as well as his first runnings and most importantly his last runnings.

I followed up to make sure there was no ambiguity and he verified he measures at mash temp at the time of the first rest.

Looks like Gordon Strong was reporting correctly all along. "mash pH between 5.1 and 5.3 which Sierra Nevada targets. The brewers measure pH at usage temperature" - Brewing Better Beer pg 149.
 
Last edited:

dmtaylor

Lord Idiot the Lazy
HBT Supporter
Joined
Nov 8, 2009
Messages
4,410
Reaction score
2,573
Location
Two Rivers, WI
I was a part of the Gourmet Brewing Crowdcast with Sierra Nevada Brewmaster Scott Jennings tonight. Award Winning Lagers - Scott Jennings, Sierra Nevada - Crowdcast The discussion was about lagers and he said he targets a mash pH between 5.2-5.5, while trying to stay close to 5.2.

I had to ask at what temperature he measures and he said at temp when the mash is homogeneous as well as his first runnings and most importantly his last runnings.

I followed up to make sure there was no ambiguity and he verified he measures at mash temp at the time of the first rest.

Looks like Gordon Strong was reporting correctly all along. "mash pH between 5.1 and 5.3 which Sierra Nevada targets. The brewers measure pH at usage temperature" - Brewing Better Beer pg 149.
Quiet now! You'll offend millions of homebrewers who are certain they are much smarter than us!

;) I am kidding, of course. Well, half-kidding anyway.

Welcome to the forum!
 

stamandster

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 20, 2011
Messages
834
Reaction score
68
Location
springfield
(not sure if this was mentioned before, see I'm late to the party with no date) This makes sense because a 5.34 pH @ 77f (standard for pH measurement) would correlate to about 5.1 pH @ 156f. Basically, we've been doing the same thing but cooling our mash/boil/etc wort before testing because most of our consumer instruments cannot handle wort temp without damaging or reading properly (even though they do provide ATC logic).

Here are some pH/temp translations, first the lower spectrum for most mashes

5.1 pH @ 148 = 5.32 pH @ 77f
5.2 pH @ 148 = 5.41 pH @ 77f
5.3 pH @ 148 = 5.49 pH @ 77f

Higher spectrum for most mashes

5.1 pH @ 158 = 5.34 pH @ 77f
5.2 pH @ 158 = 5.43 pH @ 77f
5.3 pH @ 158 = 5.52 pH @ 77f

Seems to me that Sierra Brewing isn't doing temperature correction and that Gordon Strong is just documenting on what was told to him. Perhaps we assumed that all breweries use ATC as mash temp? How do we know this to be true? A 5.1ph temperature corrected for 148f would be about 4.5pH @ 77f. The enzymatic activity of the mash would-be severely inhibited.

Am I missing something big?
 
Last edited:

RPh_Guy

Bringing Sour Back
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jan 26, 2017
Messages
9,213
Reaction score
7,558
Location
Cleveland
You should read the thread. ATC doesn't correct for the actual pH change resulting for a change in temperature.

20°C measurements are the standard because that's really the only way to compare results. However, like anything any other standard, it's not always followed.

There's no set conversion formula to "correct" a pH reported at the wrong temperature.
 
OP
Silver_Is_Money

Silver_Is_Money

Larry Sayre, Developer of 'Mash Made Easy'
Joined
Dec 31, 2016
Messages
5,435
Reaction score
1,608
Location
N/E Ohio
You should read the thread. ATC doesn't correct for the actual pH change resulting for a change in temperature.
ATC does not correct pH for temperature. It assures that the pH issued by the device is correct for any given temperature. Thus if it reads 5.1 pH at 154 degrees F., and for the same sample it reads 5.35 pH at 68 degrees, it assures you that at 154 degrees F. the pH reading of 5.1 is accurate, and also that the pH reading of 5.35 at 68 degrees is accurate. Things are inherently more acidic when they are hot. If ATC did not match the slope of the device to the slope required for different temperatures you would have to refer to a chart and make the correction yourself to reveal a more accurate pH for any given temperature.

Looking at this another way, most people want their ATC to cause the device to lie and tell them the same 5.35 pH as its output at 154 degrees F. and also at 68 degrees F. for the same sample. But pH meters equipped with ATC do not lie to you. They report the truth.
 

day_trippr

"Now brewing exclusively with Hydrohydroxic Acid"
Joined
May 31, 2011
Messages
35,057
Reaction score
16,888
Location
Stow, MA
Minor nit: I'd be surprised if there are any ATC implementations that actually cover "any given temperature", and suspect 154°F would be well over the typical effective range.
For a couple of examples, both my Apera pH60 and Hach Pocket Pro Plus meters claim ATC effectivity is limited to the range of 0 – 50˚C (32 – 122˚F), and my retired Hanna 98128 says -5 to 50°C (23 to 122°F)...

Cheers!
 

ep_brew

New Member
Joined
Jul 5, 2020
Messages
3
Reaction score
4
The Extech PH100 / PH110 manual says: Temp. Compensation Automatic from 32 to 194F (0 to 90C)
Just putting that out there, I don't own one.
 

day_trippr

"Now brewing exclusively with Hydrohydroxic Acid"
Joined
May 31, 2011
Messages
35,057
Reaction score
16,888
Location
Stow, MA
Well then...as the sensors and guts of many meters are clearly shared between mfgrs there could be others with that same upper spec out there.
Perhaps I just managed to miss them all with my purchases over the years :)

Cheers!
 

ScrewyBrewer

ezRecipe - Beer Recipe Design Made Easy!
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Jun 5, 2010
Messages
1,792
Reaction score
414
Location
New Jersey
Last year Red Tank Brewing in New Jersey brewed a 10 barrel batch of my TIPA recipe using my pH calculations. The brewery's expensive pH meter was used to sample the wort at mash temperature it measured 5.0 pH. After cooling the sample down to room temperature using my personal pH meter the sample measured 5.19 pH.
 
OP
Silver_Is_Money

Silver_Is_Money

Larry Sayre, Developer of 'Mash Made Easy'
Joined
Dec 31, 2016
Messages
5,435
Reaction score
1,608
Location
N/E Ohio
I was looking into the new Viking zero-Lox Pilsner malt online a bit today and came across Vikings recommendations for mash and boil pH. The attached shows the ideal mash pH is recommended as 5.6, and the ideal boil pH is recommended at 5.0. Just another piece for the mashing is not optimally done at a room temperature 5.4 puzzle. Here is the document from Viking Malts:

 

doug293cz

BIABer, Beer Math Nerd, ePanel Designer, Pilot
Staff member
Mod
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
May 14, 2014
Messages
10,984
Reaction score
7,113
Location
Renton
I was looking into the new Viking zero-Lox Pilsner malt online a bit today and came across Vikings recommendations for mash and boil pH. The attached shows the ideal mash pH is recommended as 5.6, and the ideal boil pH is recommended at 5.0. Just another piece for the mashing is not optimally done at a room temperature 5.4 puzzle. Here is the document from Viking Malts:

I don't see anything in that pdf about pH measurement temp.

Brew on :mug:
 

dmtaylor

Lord Idiot the Lazy
HBT Supporter
Joined
Nov 8, 2009
Messages
4,410
Reaction score
2,573
Location
Two Rivers, WI
I was looking into the new Viking zero-Lox Pilsner malt online a bit today and came across Vikings recommendations for mash and boil pH. The attached shows the ideal mash pH is recommended as 5.6, and the ideal boil pH is recommended at 5.0. Just another piece for the mashing is not optimally done at a room temperature 5.4 puzzle. Here is the document from Viking Malts:

Blasphemy! Say it ain't so! ;)


I don't see anything in that pdf about pH measurement temp.

Brew on :mug:
Well, true, they kind of don't... :)
 

cire

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 25, 2017
Messages
315
Reaction score
140
Location
UK
pH measurements are taken at standard temperature unless otherwise quoted.
 

Brewbuzzard

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Dec 22, 2014
Messages
1,160
Reaction score
1,550
Location
Dallas
Ok, I have a question. If you have a pH reading at a standard mash temperature isn't that the actual pH that is affecting the mash efficiency and not what it would be at room temperature. We don't mash at room temperature.
 

doug293cz

BIABer, Beer Math Nerd, ePanel Designer, Pilot
Staff member
Mod
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
May 14, 2014
Messages
10,984
Reaction score
7,113
Location
Renton
Ok, I have a question. If you have a pH reading at a standard mash temperature isn't that the actual pH that is affecting the mash efficiency and not what it would be at room temperature. We don't mash at room temperature.
If you measure at mash temp, with a pH meter that is calibrated correctly, then yes, that is the mash temp pH. The problem with a lot of literature is that the authors don't specify the temp at which they took their measurements. That's pretty much the whole reason for this thread.

Brew on :mug:
 
OP
Silver_Is_Money

Silver_Is_Money

Larry Sayre, Developer of 'Mash Made Easy'
Joined
Dec 31, 2016
Messages
5,435
Reaction score
1,608
Location
N/E Ohio
If you measure at mash temp, with a pH meter that is calibrated correctly, then yes, that is the mash temp pH. The problem with a lot of literature is that the authors don't specify the temp at which they took their measurements. That's pretty much the whole reason for this thread.

Brew on :mug:
Indeed, pH when read at mash temperature is the actual mash pH. Let's say we measure 5.40 pH at 152 degrees F., and at 45 minutes into a 60 minute mash. When this very same Wort sample is subsequently cooled to 68 degrees F. it is going to read ~5.62 pH (or there about). And for a well calibrated pH meter with ATC both readings are indicating the correct pH. And both are considered valid means of taking what is called a mash pH. @doug293cz has hit the nail on the head. It is rare when the temperature for a given pH reading is specified, even for peer reviewed brewing industry literature which spans from the discovery of the pH meter until today. And this critical oversight is both a shame and a blight on the science. The amateur presumption has been that when 5.4 pH is targeted as the ideal mash pH this means at room temperature, but a careful reading of much peer reviewed industry level documentation has led me to conclude that this amateur (including here amateur level 'experts') presumption is incorrect and when such industry level literature of yore mentions 5.4 pH it actually means 5.4 pH at mash temperature.

The consequence of this is that for mash pH readings taken at room temperature with a well calibrated ATC meter the ideal target is going to be around 5.55 to 5.65 pH, with the rather good presumption that if such a room temperature sample reading had instead been taken at around 150-155 degrees F. it would have been in close proximity to 5.40 pH.

Clearly a mash pH taken at mash temperature is superior in precision, and for that case 5.40 pH is the ideal target, but many to perhaps most budget pH meters are not built to take readings at such high temperatures.
 
Last edited:

Qhrumphf

Stay Rude, Stay Rebel, Stay SHARP
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Apr 2, 2011
Messages
16,298
Reaction score
5,812
Location
Arlington (DC)
And we end up back at the same point its always been at. It doesn't really matter unless you care what a text says for a text's sake. If your meter can handle the high temp measurements then strike what value at what temp gives you the results you want. 5.4 mash temp, 5.4 room temp, 5.6 room temp, whatever works. As long as you do it consistently and repeatably. Everything else looking for some hidden ideal in texts is mental masturbation that screams appeal to authority fallacy. I have consistently found for my system and process a room temp of 5.45 (normally, I go slightly higher for dark beers and significantly higher for Hefes) gets me what I want out of it. Practical will always, always trump theoretical.
 
Top