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General Category => All Grain Brewing => Topic started by: trapae on October 22, 2017, 05:54:01 PM

Title: 1st attempt at water chemistry mash pH VERY off. Help?
Post by: trapae on October 22, 2017, 05:54:01 PM
My first brew adjusting water chemistry utterly failed.
Short version: inputted everything into Bru’n Water supporters program using distilled water and building up to a yellow dry profile with an estimated mash pH of 5.41. PH turned out to be 5.73 at 10 minutes and 24 minutes.
Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Here’s the detailed version:

Sparge acidification: I set to distilled water with percent dilution 100%. Set diluted water pH and starting pH of 6.5 as instructed.

Grain bill input:  13 pounds 5.4 ounces row pale (rahr so added 3L as instructions say)=4.8L. Carmel 40L at 9.2 ounces, Cara-pills 9.2 ounces 1.5L.  This gave me water ratio of 1.66 with SRM 9 .1 and estimated room temperature mash pH of 5.41 (after water adjustment next).

Water adjustment:  Set to distilled water at dilution 100%. I used yellow dry profile and got close with overall finished profile of: calcium=52, magnesium=9, sodium=5, Sulfate=102, chloride=50, bicarbonate=NA.
To get this I added the following to my 6 gallons of mash/strike water:  gypsum 2.7g, calcium chloride 1.5g, Epsom salts 2.1g, canning salt 0.3g.
I have a accurate gram measuring scale.

BrewDay:
Calibrated my new Milwaukee ph56 meter 6 hr prior.
Started mash, hit mash temperature of 154°.
Sample from top of mash-10 minutes. Cool to room temperature=5.73!
At this time paper pH strip said around 5 to 5.2.
Second sample after stirring from middle of mash – 24m, RTemp=5.73!
Tested probe on 4.01ph calibrating solution and it is accurate.
PH tested my pre-adjusted distilled water=6.34.
PH tested the Springwater I’ve been using for 10 years=8.11.

Since ph is still technically in range for a drinkable beer, hope it won’t affect it too much.
Funny, I’ve made this beer numerous times and I think it is quite good without any tannins or off-flavors. Looking at the pH of the spring water I used to use, (and the pH strips on previous brews said 5.6 as opposed of 5-5.2 on the current brew) I’m thinking the prior mash PHs were very high.

I have no idea what went wrong. Hoping I’m just missing some small input in Bru’n Water.

A lot of information I know, thanks in advance for any input.
Title: Re: 1st attempt at water chemistry mash pH VERY off. Help?
Post by: lupulus on October 22, 2017, 06:06:49 PM
If your software gave you a pH of 5.4 with that grain bill, distilled water and no acid additions, software is wrong or you are using it incorrectly.  A pH of 5.7 is very reasonable. Did you add acid?

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Title: Re: 1st attempt at water chemistry mash pH VERY off. Help?
Post by: dmtaylor on October 22, 2017, 06:21:44 PM
Potential problems:

Calibrated my new Milwaukee ph56 meter 6 hr prior.

Tested probe on 4.01ph calibrating solution and it is accurate.

You should not calibrate 6 hr prior, but how about 6 seconds prior.

Also in order to calibrate properly, you really should use an additional solution of 6.86 pH (or whatever it is), so that the 5.somethings are in between the two.  What is accurate down at 4.01 might not be accurate anymore at 5.7.  Using not just one but two calibration solutions, you can kind of figure out how to interpret or interpolate the readings in the 5's in between.
Title: Re: 1st attempt at water chemistry mash pH VERY off. Help?
Post by: trapae on October 22, 2017, 06:32:52 PM
 Thank you first of all everyone.
 First response, no I did not address it because software said it wasn’t needed.

 For probe calibration, I missspoke. I let the probe soak out of the box in the storage solution for four hours as instructed, then I calibrated to 7.01 followed by 4.01 ( Solutions provided by Milwaukee ) while heating my strike water. 
Title: Re: 1st attempt at water chemistry mash pH VERY off. Help?
Post by: dmtaylor on October 22, 2017, 06:36:03 PM
Weird... Did the cal solutions come in liquid form, or did you have to mix a powder with water?
Title: Re: 1st attempt at water chemistry mash pH VERY off. Help?
Post by: trapae on October 22, 2017, 06:39:06 PM
 Liquid . 
 I can only think there some part of the Water program I am not seeing or inputting.   I went back in between the two mash samples and tested it again and it was right on in those solutions.
Title: Re: 1st attempt at water chemistry mash pH VERY off. Help?
Post by: homoeccentricus on October 22, 2017, 08:11:29 PM
Did you take the sample from the very top of the mash? I've had readings off by doing that.
Title: Re: 1st attempt at water chemistry mash pH VERY off. Help?
Post by: trapae on October 22, 2017, 08:57:32 PM
 The first one at 10 minutes was from the top. I thought about that and then the second one I took at 24 minutes I stirred and took from the middle. Same value.?
Title: Re: 1st attempt at water chemistry mash pH VERY off. Help?
Post by: homoeccentricus on October 22, 2017, 09:48:50 PM
The other time I had problematic measurements was when my pH meter was broken. Calibration went ok, measurements were off...
Title: Re: 1st attempt at water chemistry mash pH VERY off. Help?
Post by: dmtaylor on October 22, 2017, 09:51:44 PM
The other time I had problematic measurements was when my pH meter was broken. Calibration went ok, measurements were off...

Good point... probes do degrade, break, or could even come defective from the factory.  Who knows.  The fact that the paper test gave the expected result while the meter did not has to make you wonder.
Title: Re: 1st attempt at water chemistry mash pH VERY off. Help?
Post by: a10t2 on October 22, 2017, 09:53:43 PM
SRM 9 .1 and estimated room temperature mash pH of 5.41 (after water adjustment next).

Water adjustment:  Set to distilled water at dilution 100%. I used yellow dry profile and got close with overall finished profile of: calcium=52, magnesium=9, sodium=5, Sulfate=102, chloride=50, bicarbonate=NA.

It does sound like you're missing something in the sheet. That would have an RA of ~-50, which would be fine for a yellow beer as indicated, but you're verging on amber and would almost always need an RA >0. Are you sure you weren't supposed to add some carbonate salts?

I'm inclined to think your pH strips are closer to reality than the 5.7 reading from the meter.
Title: Re: 1st attempt at water chemistry mash pH VERY off. Help?
Post by: trapae on October 22, 2017, 10:35:15 PM
 Not sure. I obviously have to do some more research. I just got the additions right until my Water profile was close to the desired profile and it estimated my mash pH at 5.41. On my adjustment sheet it says hardness of 166. Alkalinity 0, RA of -42. RA red tab just says for informational use only and not a targeted value so I didn’t do anything with it.
Title: Re: 1st attempt at water chemistry mash pH VERY off. Help?
Post by: trapae on October 22, 2017, 10:39:29 PM
 And I think the SRM looks a little falsely elevated because I used Rahr grain in the instructions say to add 3L to that because they acidify their malt?
Title: Re: 1st attempt at water chemistry mash pH VERY off. Help?
Post by: a10t2 on October 23, 2017, 02:49:33 AM
And I think the SRM looks a little falsely elevated because I used Rahr grain in the instructions say to add 3L to that because they acidify their malt?

I don't think that would change anything though. Even if the beer is actually more like 6 SRM, it's exhibiting the pH effect of a 9 SRM beer.
Title: Re: 1st attempt at water chemistry mash pH VERY off. Help?
Post by: Bob357 on October 23, 2017, 06:05:27 AM


Grain bill input:  13 pounds 5.4 ounces row pale (rahr so added 3L as instructions say)=4.8L. Carmel 40L at 9.2 ounces, Cara-pills 9.2 ounces 1.5L.  This gave me water ratio of 1.66 with SRM 9 .1 and estimated room temperature mash pH of 5.41 (after water adjustment next).

Was the base malt Rahr 2 row or Rahr Pale Ale ? The regular 2-row is 1.8 L and I believe that the 3L only applies to their pale ale malt.
Title: Re: 1st attempt at water chemistry mash pH VERY off. Help?
Post by: trapae on October 23, 2017, 02:35:17 PM
 It was two row. I went back and subtracted the three L I added and the program raise the estimate of pH to 5.5, which may have had a little to do with it.
Title: Re: 1st attempt at water chemistry mash pH VERY off. Help?
Post by: Stevie on October 23, 2017, 02:49:48 PM
This is your first attempt. Don’t worry too much and try again next time.
Title: Re: 1st attempt at water chemistry mash pH VERY off. Help?
Post by: trapae on October 24, 2017, 01:19:36 AM
Yup, I guess I will add lactic acid to decrease it about 0.3 in the program and try again.
Would anyone have tried to adjust the mash at that time and how?  Same way with lactic acid?
Title: Re: 1st attempt at water chemistry mash pH VERY off. Help?
Post by: a10t2 on October 24, 2017, 02:48:13 AM
I wouldn't do any adjustments until your papers and meter are in agreement. A single data point gives you no indication which is off.
Title: Re: 1st attempt at water chemistry mash pH VERY off. Help?
Post by: lupulus on October 24, 2017, 03:17:46 AM
Yup, I guess I will add lactic acid to decrease it about 0.3 in the program and try again.
Would anyone have tried to adjust the mash at that time and how?  Same way with lactic acid?
Yep. This is what you need to do. 

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