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

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VikeMan

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I do know this: I know a guy who is a pretty consistent and experienced brewer, with maybe the most sophisticated brewing system anyone on this forum has in their home (maybe the most sophisticated home brewery in this country, or the world for that matter) and when he measures in-process, he is targeting 5.4.
It's a shame he can't keep the oxygen out. 🤣
 

dmtaylor

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I do know this: I know a guy who is a pretty consistent and experienced brewer, with maybe the most sophisticated brewing system anyone on this forum has in their home (maybe the most sophisticated home brewery in this country, or the world for that matter) and when he measures in-process, he is targeting 5.4.

The beer is beyond excellent in my subjective and objective opinion. I don’t know what that means in the big picture but just my $0.02.
It's extremely difficult to get a straight answer out of that guy, and even more difficult now that he's banned. In the past it looks like he aimed for 5.3 in process and 5.4-5.45 room temp.


I still can't understand his smaller offset, though, since many others have measured a room vs. mash temp offset at an average 0.20-0.25. Might be a decoction thing, maybe that really is the key.

Personally, if mash temperature pH is what really matters, then I'm shooting for 5.3 the same way as he is. At room temp, this measures about 5.5-5.55 for me and my malt and my process. But then who cares, at least the mash temperature pH is correct, according to some.
 
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Qhrumphf

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It's extremely difficult to get a straight answer out of that guy, and even more difficult now that he's banned. In the past it looks like he aimed for 5.3 in process and 5.4-5.45 room temp.


I still can't understand his smaller offset, though, since many others have measured a room vs. mash temp offset at an average 0.20-0.25. Might be a decoction thing, maybe that really is the key.

Personally, if mash temperature pH is what really matters, then I'm shooting for 5.3 the same way as he is. At room temp, this measures about 5.5-5.55 for me and my malt and my process. But then who cares, at least the mash temperature pH is correct, according to some.
Assuming I'm thinking the right person, wonder if the lack of oxygen/nitrogen purged mash vessels (I believe) he has are part of it.
 
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VikeMan

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Might be a decoction thing, maybe that really is the key.
I don't think the brewer in question does much (if any) decoction mashing. But he does do lots of step mashing.
 

Vale71

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What actually matters from a chemistry standpoint is the PH value at the temperature the reaction runs at. The actual H3O+/OH- equilibrium of the enzyme and substrate solution is what will influence the enzyme's performance. This means that we would be doing nothing wrong in measuring and noting actual mash PH. The problem only exists when we're comparing our measurements with other measurements that were taken at a standard temperature because:

- ATC hasn't been around for very long so lots of the foundational literature cites values that were measured in a lab at a standard temperature
- scientists like to have standard references so they tend to use standard conditions rather than actual process conditions to carry out measurements
 
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Vale71

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I don't think the brewer in question does much (if any) decoction mashing. But he does do lots of step mashing.
Of course he doesn't. Decoction is the work of the Devil, at least according to him. ;)
Sarcasm aside I think the only room temp measurements he takes are post-boil after transferring the cooled wort to the fermenter. After all his setup is built on the premise that everything stays sealed hot-side so he probably cannot take actual samples prior to cooling but has to rely on his system's internal sensors which obviously can only give a mash-temp measurement. Since PH drops further during boil this could explain the smaller offset he sees.
 

Big Monk

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Of course he doesn't. Decoction is the work of the Devil, at least according to him. ;)
Well, to be fair, commercial decoction is much different than you or I scooping out decoctions at home. Commercially it's actually done with a ton of regard for oxygen exclusion, i.e. closed transfers (pumped), underletting, etc. Even the breweries without top of the line brewhouses likely do a better job at it than the average homebrewer.
 
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