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General Category => General Homebrew Discussion => Topic started by: roguejim on July 19, 2012, 10:19:42 PM

Title: 5.2 PH Mash Stabilizer??
Post by: roguejim on July 19, 2012, 10:19:42 PM
My LHBS owner swears by this stuff.  Doesn't seem possible that you could have a universal water treatment for all mashes, guaranteed to bring them to 5.2 PH.  What do you guys know about this product?
Title: Re: 5.2 PH Mash Stabilizer??
Post by: hopfenundmalz on July 19, 2012, 10:31:46 PM
Does your LHBS owner have a pH meter?  ;)

AJ DeLange said at the NHC that it will keep the mash from dropping below 5.2. That might be the only thing it does.
Title: Re: 5.2 PH Mash Stabilizer??
Post by: tom on July 19, 2012, 10:50:45 PM
It doesn't help (raise mash pH) if your water has low residual alkalinity and you want to brew a dark beer.
Title: Re: 5.2 PH Mash Stabilizer??
Post by: jamminbrew on July 19, 2012, 11:25:25 PM
I typically have to raise my pH in my mash, and have found that this product doesn't really do anything for me. YMMV, though.
Title: Re: 5.2 PH Mash Stabilizer??
Post by: nateo on July 20, 2012, 02:22:10 AM
My personal hero Kai Troester said it's mostly sodium, and it might keep your mash pH from rising over 5.8, at best, but probably doesn't do anything. It definitely adds about 100ppm of sodium to your beer. So, if you like salty beer, 5.2 stabilizer is really cool. In fact, it's the best!

It's just not physically possible to make a phosphate buffer that buffers to 5.2, end of story.
Title: Re: 5.2 PH Mash Stabilizer??
Post by: mabrungard on July 20, 2012, 11:13:15 AM
As AJ says: 5.2 works great for brewers that don't check pH and doesn't work at all for those that do check. 

A smart brewer learns to properly manage their mash pH.
Title: Re: 5.2 PH Mash Stabilizer??
Post by: gordonstrong on July 20, 2012, 01:33:01 PM
Salts do more than affect the pH.  They also add flavor.

Do you like the taste of sodium phosphate?

Consider other ways of managing pH that are less detrimental to the flavor profile of your finished beer.
Title: Re: 5.2 PH Mash Stabilizer??
Post by: denny on July 20, 2012, 03:57:23 PM
Not only did it not control pH for me, it gave my beer a weird(er) taste.  Is that Bob you're talking about, Jim?  You should know better than to listen to him.
Title: Re: 5.2 PH Mash Stabilizer??
Post by: roguejim on July 20, 2012, 06:49:51 PM
Not only did it not control pH for me, it gave my beer a weird(er) taste.  Is that Bob you're talking about, Jim?  You should know better than to listen to him.

Of course, it was Bob!  Ha!  I know he's a salesman first.  I'd just never heard of a "one size fits all" mash treatment.  Give me some credit, man. ;)
Title: Re: 5.2 PH Mash Stabilizer??
Post by: denny on July 20, 2012, 06:53:01 PM
Not only did it not control pH for me, it gave my beer a weird(er) taste.  Is that Bob you're talking about, Jim?  You should know better than to listen to him.

Of course, it was Bob!  Ha!  I know he's a salesman first.  I'd just never heard of a "one size fits all" mash treatment.  Give me some credit, man. ;)

I do....I really doubted that you took him seriously.  If you wanna try the stuff, I have most of a container that I'll never use that you can have....
Title: Re: 5.2 PH Mash Stabilizer??
Post by: ccfoo242 on July 20, 2012, 08:22:03 PM
Bold City brewing here in Jax uses it. I don't think I know enough about tasting beer to say it has any kind of effect, though.
Title: Re: 5.2 PH Mash Stabilizer??
Post by: 1vertical on July 22, 2012, 10:20:13 PM
used to don't no mo...got some comments about mineral finish on a couple beers
was not a bad thing to me but now i opt for a couple handfuls of acid malt in the mash
fwiw
Title: Re: 5.2 PH Mash Stabilizer??
Post by: nateo on July 23, 2012, 03:50:43 PM
Bold City brewing here in Jax uses it.

I haven't had their beer, but I think using 5.2 is one of the few things in brewing that is objectively, unequivocally, just plain wrong. You might be able to use it and make good beer , but it's certainly not good because of the 5.2, it's good despite the 5.2. It goes to show you that just because someone is a "pro" doesn't necessarily mean they know the best way to do something.
Title: Re: 5.2 PH Mash Stabilizer??
Post by: mmitchem on July 23, 2012, 04:04:21 PM
Doesn't work for me. I tried it thinking it was going to be the "miracle elixer" for my mash pH. Nope, didn't do a dang thing for me. However - using phosphoric acid, lactic acid and chalk all are ways to bring your mash pH into an acceptable range that actually works.

If it seems too good to be true, it probably is...
Title: Re: 5.2 PH Mash Stabilizer??
Post by: jmcamerlengo on July 23, 2012, 06:39:36 PM
Ill second what most have said. I personally dont care for the taste of sodium phosphate in my beer...bleh. Thats about all the stuff is good for is adding sodium.
Title: Re: 5.2 PH Mash Stabilizer??
Post by: davidgzach on July 23, 2012, 08:26:31 PM
Never used it, never will.  But 4oz of acidulated malt brought my light lagers from 5.8 to 5.3!

Dave
Title: Re: 5.2 PH Mash Stabilizer??
Post by: beerstache on July 23, 2012, 09:50:58 PM
I guess I'm the contrarian here, as I have used 5.2 with great results, even won medals with it!  I dont get any off flavors either.  I dont check my mash ph, but do adjust my water accordingly for the beer style.
My 2 cents worth.
Title: Re: 5.2 PH Mash Stabilizer??
Post by: Jimmy K on July 25, 2012, 01:05:42 AM
I have a jar and used to use it. Then I started forgetting with increasing frequency. Now I never use it and don't notice a difference. I suspect that for those with bad water pH it might help some. The concept of a pH buffer is chemically valid, but that doesn't mean it makes good beer.
Title: Re: 5.2 PH Mash Stabilizer??
Post by: nateo on July 25, 2012, 02:37:06 AM
The concept of a pH buffer is chemically valid, but that doesn't mean it makes good beer.

No one is arguing buffers don't exist, only that no one with a pH meter has ever seen "5.2 mash stabilizer" buffer a mash to a pH of 5.2.
Title: Re: 5.2 PH Mash Stabilizer??
Post by: Jimmy K on July 25, 2012, 03:18:00 AM
No one is arguing buffers don't exist, only that no one with a pH meter has ever seen "5.2 mash stabilizer" buffer a mash to a pH of 5.2.

Maybe I interpreted the original post wrong.
Title: Re: 5.2 PH Mash Stabilizer??
Post by: Kaiser on August 05, 2012, 04:48:46 PM
I still have to ask one of the Five Star guys in person about this product.  I'd like to get past the marketing explanation and would like to get a straight answer how this product works.  Maybe at the NHC 2013 we can get some of knowledgeable folks and not just the sales team.

Unfortunately 5.2 is a trade secret and not a patented product.

Kai
Title: Re: 5.2 PH Mash Stabilizer??
Post by: dsjohns on July 11, 2013, 11:54:54 PM
I know I'm resurrecting a dead thread, but just wanted to give my inputs.  Relatively new homebrewer, about 6 months of all grain.  Used 5.2 for the first time on a batch of Janet's brown.  Just had the first taste and it was phenomenal, but had a salty finish.  Pretty bummed to be honest, because I've been on a brewing spree and have 3 more beers coming through fermentation that I've done in the past 3 weeks that might have the same issue because I used it on all 3.  For reference, I'm using Boston water, which is very highly alkaline and has a very high pH and quite low "hardness".  This month we had a pH of 9.6 and alkalinity of 39.8.

I'm not going to say avoid at all costs, but this one just doesn't work for my beer styles or source water.
Title: Re: 5.2 PH Mash Stabilizer??
Post by: AmandaK on July 12, 2013, 12:36:20 AM
I still have to ask one of the Five Star guys in person about this product.  I'd like to get past the marketing explanation and would like to get a straight answer how this product works.  Maybe at the NHC 2013 we can get some of knowledgeable folks and not just the sales team.

Unfortunately 5.2 is a trade secret and not a patented product.

Kai

Kai,

Did you get to do this at NHC 2013? I am also curious about the "how". I mean, I know it doesn't work, but I'd sure like to see their side of the explanation.
Title: Re: 5.2 PH Mash Stabilizer??
Post by: Kaiser on July 12, 2013, 02:44:40 AM
Did you get to do this at NHC 2013? I am also curious about the "how". I mean, I know it doesn't work, but I'd sure like to see their side of the explanation.

I thought about it but did not bother. Oftentimes they don't send their R&D people to these conferences.

Kai
Title: Re: 5.2 PH Mash Stabilizer??
Post by: Kaiser on July 12, 2013, 02:51:06 AM
I know I'm resurrecting a dead thread, but just wanted to give my inputs.  Relatively new homebrewer, about 6 months of all grain.  Used 5.2 for the first time on a batch of Janet's brown.  Just had the first taste and it was phenomenal, but had a salty finish.  Pretty bummed to be honest, because I've been on a brewing spree and have 3 more beers coming through fermentation that I've done in the past 3 weeks that might have the same issue because I used it on all 3.  For reference, I'm using Boston water, which is very highly alkaline and has a very high pH and quite low "hardness".  This month we had a pH of 9.6 and alkalinity of 39.8.

An alkalinity of ~40 is not considered high. It's actually fairly low and instead of adding 5.2 I's just add 3% of acidulated malt for any light beer. For your Brown you should have been fine w/o any adjustment.

Water chemistry can be daunting. You can use this nice on-line calculator that I developed for Brewer's Friend: http://www.brewersfriend.com/mash-chemistry-and-brewing-water-calculator/

I think Boston water is coming from the Quabin reservoir. This means it is surface water and these water's tend to be low in Alkalinity and hardness. Adding some calcium salts (Gypsum or Calcium Chloride) may help your beers.

Kai
Title: Re: 5.2 PH Mash Stabilizer??
Post by: BHaase on July 13, 2013, 07:37:48 PM
I threw out what I had remaining of 5.2, bought a pH meter, and haven`t looked back. I now use acidulated malt for my mash and Latic or phosphoric acid for my sparge water to lower my pH. In my case it was one the best moves I made to make better beers, along with cutting my existing water with DI water.  ;D
Title: Re: 5.2 PH Mash Stabilizer??
Post by: morticaixavier on July 13, 2013, 07:40:52 PM
I threw out what I had remaining of 5.2, bought a pH meter, and haven`t looked back. I now use acidulated malt for my mash and Latic or phosphoric acid for my sparge water to lower my pH. In my case it was one the best moves I made to make better beers, along with cutting my existing water with DI water.  ;D

So I understand why Kai likes acidulated malt, being german  ;D but I don't really get the point.

I mean it's just pilsner malt sprayed with lactic acid right? My little bottle of 88% lactic acid has already lasted 10-20 brew days and I'm not even half way through it and I don't have to remember to buy yet another specialty grain that does nothing for the flavour of the beer other than adjust the pH.

Any insight?
Title: Re: 5.2 PH Mash Stabilizer??
Post by: BHaase on July 13, 2013, 09:27:35 PM
I think that you took my post the wrong way. My point was that using a pH meter was the best move I made, along with using DI water to cut my existing water profile. I do not need 5.2 because I now use acidulated malt in my mash to reduce the pH. I did not mean using acidulated malt made my beers better. You can use any acid (hydrochloric, latic, phosphoric, sulfuric, acidulated malt, etc.) to reduce pH, but without a way to measure the impacts your flying in the dark. I do brew mostly German beers and I try to keep to the Reinheitsgebot, so utilizing acidulated malt and carbonating with speise is my way to adhere to the law.
Title: Re: 5.2 PH Mash Stabilizer??
Post by: morticaixavier on July 14, 2013, 03:48:51 AM
I think that you took my post the wrong way. My point was that using a pH meter was the best move I made, along with using DI water to cut my existing water profile. I do not need 5.2 because I now use acidulated malt in my mash to reduce the pH. I did not mean using acidulated malt made my beers better. You can use any acid (hydrochloric, latic, phosphoric, sulfuric, acidulated malt, etc.) to reduce pH, but without a way to measure the impacts your flying in the dark. I do brew mostly German beers and I try to keep to the Reinheitsgebot, so utilizing acidulated malt and carbonating with speise is my way to adhere to the law.

I understood your point.I was mostly just asking why people use acidulated malt in place of plain lactic acid to control pH?
Title: Re: 5.2 PH Mash Stabilizer??
Post by: BHaase on July 14, 2013, 01:36:55 PM
I use it to maintain traditional German brewing practices, because of my German heritage. There is a fantastic thread on Homebrew Talk pinned as "A Brewing Water Chemistry Primer". It touches upon the use of 5.2, acidulated malt, latic, and a lot of other topics. It's a long read but very insightful http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f128/brewing-water-chemistry-primer-198460/ (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f128/brewing-water-chemistry-primer-198460/)

Zum Wohl!