Homebrewers Association | AHA Forum

General Category => All Grain Brewing => Topic started by: wamille on October 28, 2010, 12:46:19 AM

Title: Ph question for IPA recipe
Post by: wamille on October 28, 2010, 12:46:19 AM
What is the proper Ph for an IPA... assuming I like super hoppy IPA's?  I just bought the Five Star 5.2 Stabilizer for a batch I plan on making this weekend.  Before anyone asks, I typically use reverse osmosis water and add burton salts.  But my beers are missing a crispness for some reason.  The water chemistry thing is tough on my brain.  I'd really appreciate some advice.
Title: Re: Ph question for IPA recipe
Post by: tschmidlin on October 28, 2010, 01:47:03 AM
The range of appropriate mash pH is the same no matter what the style of beer is, it's the pH required for good conversion of the starches to sugars.

We'll need a full recipe, as well as the amount of Burton salts you're adding to the water, then we can talk about crispness.  Everything from malt and mash temps to yeast and fermentation temps.
Title: Re: Ph question for IPA recipe
Post by: euge on October 28, 2010, 02:13:05 AM
The range of appropriate mash pH is the same no matter what the style of beer is, it's the pH required for good conversion of the starches to sugars.

We'll need a full recipe, as well as the amount of Burton salts you're adding to the water, then we can talk about crispness.  Everything from malt and mash temps to yeast and fermentation temps.

Very well said! Let's break it down. Crispness might be as simple as carbonation volumes. IMO.  :)
Title: Re: Ph question for IPA recipe
Post by: wamille on October 28, 2010, 06:12:43 AM
Well... my last IPA had:

12 lbs 2-row
1 lb 40L Crystal

I can't recall the hop schedule... but it was about 7 or 8 ounces total for a 5-gallon batch.  I like my hops.

My yeast is WLP-001.  I added two teaspoons of Burton Salts to 5 gallons of reverse osmosis water for the mash... 152 degrees for just over an hour.  I sparged with 3.7 gallons and added a teaspoon of Burton Salts if I'm remembering right.

I did have a problem with a slow starting yeast... not sure if that would effect the "crispness" of the beer or not.

Thanks for all the advice!!!

Title: Re: Ph question for IPA recipe
Post by: narvin on October 28, 2010, 07:02:45 AM
The range of appropriate mash pH is the same no matter what the style of beer is, it's the pH required for good conversion of the starches to sugars.

We'll need a full recipe, as well as the amount of Burton salts you're adding to the water, then we can talk about crispness.  Everything from malt and mash temps to yeast and fermentation temps.

The range for mash conversion is the same, and it's pretty forgiving .  However, the pH of the wort going into your fermentor has a flavor impact as well.  A lower pH seems to impart a smoother bitterness and prevents wort darkening during the boil.  On the other hand, beers like farmhouse saisons tend to have a higher pH pre-fermentation that lends a dry, slightly harsh bite.  I've also had more success with the Saison Dupont yeast when aiming for a higher kettle pH.
Title: Re: Ph question for IPA recipe
Post by: denny on October 28, 2010, 08:25:22 AM
My usual warning for the Buffer 5.2....don't assume it's working for you.  If you use it, you should also check your pH to make sure it's correct.  depending on your water and your recipe, sometimes the stuff works, sometimes it doesn't.
Title: Re: Ph question for IPA recipe
Post by: tschmidlin on October 28, 2010, 08:42:09 AM
Like euge said, there's several things you could do to improve crispness.  The easiest thing I think is to remove 50% of the crystal from your recipe, that should improve the perception of dryness and make the beer taste more crisp.  You could also add table sugar to dry it out more.
Title: Re: Ph question for IPA recipe
Post by: denny on October 28, 2010, 08:48:12 AM
To me, the amount of crystal doesn't seem excessive.  You could try 1-2 tsp. of gypsum in the boil to accentuate the hops.
Title: Re: Ph question for IPA recipe
Post by: tschmidlin on October 28, 2010, 08:52:29 AM
To me, the amount of crystal doesn't seem excessive.  You could try 1-2 tsp. of gypsum in the boil to accentuate the hops.
There's already sulfate in the Burton salts, but I guess he could try adding more.

I'm not saying there's too much crystal for an IPA, but if you want a crisper beer removing crystal is one way to get there.
Title: Re: Ph question for IPA recipe
Post by: tom on October 28, 2010, 09:08:53 AM
My usual warning for the Buffer 5.2....don't assume it's working for you.  If you use it, you should also check your pH to make sure it's correct.  depending on your water and your recipe, sometimes the stuff works, sometimes it doesn't.
Ditto. Most water works for most beer.
I hope that you are checking the pH of your mash. If not how do you know that you need the pH 5.2?
Why are you using RO water rather than your tap water?
Title: Re: Ph question for IPA recipe
Post by: denny on October 28, 2010, 09:28:38 AM
To me, the amount of crystal doesn't seem excessive.  You could try 1-2 tsp. of gypsum in the boil to accentuate the hops.
There's already sulfate in the Burton salts, but I guess he could try adding more.

Thanks for pointing that out, I missed it.  But who knows how much sulfate is in there?

I'm not saying there's too much crystal for an IPA, but if you want a crisper beer removing crystal is one way to get there.

I agree, it would.  I was pointing out another way to achieve that.
Title: Re: Ph question for IPA recipe
Post by: saltydawg on October 28, 2010, 10:31:37 AM
I'd like to look at some basics. Did you pitch enough yeast? What was the FG? Most IPA recipes are gonna need more than one tube of yeast, or a real good starter.
Also you should calibrate your thermometers. I mash IPA's more at 149-150* to be sure they are very fermentable.(you'll still have 'body' with the crystal malt) Target a FG closer to 1.010...maybe the dry finish of a low FG will provide the 'crispness' your looking for.

Just my $0.02
Title: Re: Ph question for IPA recipe
Post by: tschmidlin on October 28, 2010, 12:08:42 PM
To me, the amount of crystal doesn't seem excessive.  You could try 1-2 tsp. of gypsum in the boil to accentuate the hops.
There's already sulfate in the Burton salts, but I guess he could try adding more.
Thanks for pointing that out, I missed it.  But who knows how much sulfate is in there?
morebeer (http://morebeer.com/view_product/19865//Burton_Salts_lb) does  ;D

30g will provide:
266 ppm Ca
63 ppm Mg
159 ppm Carbonate
631 ppm Sulfate

Other sources might vary, or might not.  ;)

I agree, it would.  I was pointing out another way to achieve that.
Got it 8)
Title: Re: Ph question for IPA recipe
Post by: denny on October 28, 2010, 12:50:35 PM
Holy cow!  That's a metric buttload of sulfate!   ;D
Title: Re: Ph question for IPA recipe
Post by: tschmidlin on October 28, 2010, 01:06:30 PM
Yeah, it is :)

He's using a tablespoon which is right around 30g, but some of that will be left in the mash.  Still, there should be plenty of sulfate.
Title: Re: Ph question for IPA recipe
Post by: narvin on October 28, 2010, 02:31:05 PM
Yeah, it is :)

He's using a tablespoon which is right around 30g, but some of that will be left in the mash.  Still, there should be plenty of sulfate.

The salts used for water adjustment range from 1.8 - 4.5 grams per teaspoon, according to Palmer, so I doubt he used 30g.  Maybe 10 - 15 g.

Also, the morebeer description doesn't look quite right.  Why is carbonate in there?  I think they mean Chloride.
Title: Re: Ph question for IPA recipe
Post by: wamille on October 28, 2010, 02:33:28 PM
I appreciate everyone's contribution to my beer education.  This forum alone is worth the price of being an AHA member!   :)

Regarding the mineral content of my tap water... I'm in Seoul, South Korea and I don't read or speak Korean, so I don't know what the composition of the city water is here.  I work on the military base, so I don't interact a lot with Koreans or speakers of the language.  I'm sure I could find out though if I took the time to do so.  What I've done in the meantime is use reverse osmosis water I buy in 2.5 gallon plastic jugs from the commissary, which to my knowledge has no mineral content.  So I've been adding 2 teaspoons of Burton Salts to my mash water assuming that was enough.  If I'm way off, please feel free to correct me as my knowledge of water chemistry as it relates to brewing is quite limited.  Would it be wrong of me to presume I am a bit off on my mineral content for a hoppy, crisp tasting IPA?  Most of my beers seem like they don't have that edge to them that I'm looking for... in fact, the beer I'm trying to clone is the Green Flash Imperial IPA which has a beautiful hoppy crispness to it.

Thanks for all the help again.
Title: Re: Ph question for IPA recipe
Post by: tschmidlin on October 28, 2010, 03:08:13 PM
Yeah, it is :)

He's using a tablespoon which is right around 30g, but some of that will be left in the mash.  Still, there should be plenty of sulfate.
The salts used for water adjustment range from 1.8 - 4.5 grams per teaspoon, according to Palmer, so I doubt he used 30g.  Maybe 10 - 15 g.
Ok, I'm probably off.  I was basing it on the density of the salts, and didn't account for the shape and size of the grains which will leave a lot of air there.  My bad.
Title: Re: Ph question for IPA recipe
Post by: tschmidlin on October 28, 2010, 03:09:03 PM
Regarding the mineral content of my tap water... I'm in Seoul, South Korea and I don't read or speak Korean, so I don't know what the composition of the city water is here.  I work on the military base, so I don't interact a lot with Koreans or speakers of the language.  I'm sure I could find out though if I took the time to do so.  What I've done in the meantime is use reverse osmosis water I buy in 2.5 gallon plastic jugs from the commissary, which to my knowledge has no mineral content.  So I've been adding 2 teaspoons of Burton Salts to my mash water assuming that was enough.  If I'm way off, please feel free to correct me as my knowledge of water chemistry as it relates to brewing is quite limited.  Would it be wrong of me to presume I am a bit off on my mineral content for a hoppy, crisp tasting IPA?  Most of my beers seem like they don't have that edge to them that I'm looking for... in fact, the beer I'm trying to clone is the Green Flash Imperial IPA which has a beautiful hoppy crispness to it.
I would worry less about the salt additions, and work on drying out the beer.  What is your OG/FG?
Title: Re: Ph question for IPA recipe
Post by: wamille on October 28, 2010, 09:51:46 PM
My OG was 1.082... FG was 1.014... off the top of my head.  It turned out to be a 8.6% ABV beer.
Title: Re: Ph question for IPA recipe
Post by: tschmidlin on October 28, 2010, 10:48:29 PM
If the top of your head is accurate, that's really good attenuation.  I was going to suggest a pinch of yeast nutrient for the trace elements, but maybe it's not necessary.

I'm going to have to go back to my idea of cutting the crystal.  Or carbonating the beer more, as someone suggested.   Or maybe both.   :-\

What 2-row are you using?  An American 2-row will give you more crispness than an English one IME.
Title: Re: Ph question for IPA recipe
Post by: wamille on October 28, 2010, 11:13:29 PM
I use Rahr 2-Row from Canada... bought a 55-lb bag of it from Williams.
Title: Re: Ph question for IPA recipe
Post by: tschmidlin on October 29, 2010, 12:29:31 AM
Given that, I'm back to cutting the crystal or adding carb.  Maybe someone else has some other ideas.  It would help to taste it of course, but that's not really an option :)
Title: Re: Ph question for IPA recipe
Post by: wamille on October 29, 2010, 12:43:29 AM
Is the Rahr 2-Row more malty than standard 2-Row?
Title: Re: Ph question for IPA recipe
Post by: tschmidlin on October 29, 2010, 01:32:25 AM
I generally use Briess, and I've heard mixed things about Rahr.  Then again I've also heard mixed things about Briess,so that doesn't mean anything.  I think Rahr and Briess should be very similar, but someone else may have a different opinion.  I don't think it's about your malt at this point.   :-\
Title: Re: Ph question for IPA recipe
Post by: euge on October 29, 2010, 02:38:21 AM
I generally use Briess, and I've heard mixed things about Rahr.  Then again I've also heard mixed things about Briess,so that doesn't mean anything.  I think Rahr and Briess should be very similar, but someone else may have a different opinion.  I don't think it's about your malt at this point.   :-\


Jeez tom.  ;D ;D ;D
Title: Re: Ph question for IPA recipe
Post by: bluesman on October 29, 2010, 05:18:45 AM
Your attenuation is really good so that's not an issue.  As was said, I also would not only try increasing the carbonation but also the hopping rate. A higher perceived bitterness will lend a "feeling" of crispness. I think these two things in combination will give you what you are looking for.
Title: Re: Ph question for IPA recipe
Post by: mabrungard on October 29, 2010, 05:35:05 AM
I use Rahr 2-Row from Canada... bought a 55-lb bag of it from Williams.

This brings up that high degree of fermentability for Rahr 2-row that I brought up recently.  A brewer here in Indy reports that he tends to get the same high degree of fermentability when using this base malt, regardless of the mashing temperature.  He says he controls the fermentability of the wort by adjusting the percentage of crystal and less fermentable grains in the grist.

Hmm...
Title: Re: Ph question for IPA recipe
Post by: narvin on October 29, 2010, 05:54:36 AM
My OG was 1.082... FG was 1.014... off the top of my head.  It turned out to be a 8.6% ABV beer.

Even with good attenuation, you're left with a lot of maltiness in an 8.6% beer.  I would definitely sub in some sugar for a crisper beer when making an imperial ipa.
Title: Re: Ph question for IPA recipe
Post by: bluesman on October 29, 2010, 05:55:45 AM
My OG was 1.082... FG was 1.014... off the top of my head.  It turned out to be a 8.6% ABV beer.

Even with good attenuation, you're left with a lot of maltiness in an 8.6% beer.  I would definitely sub in some sugar for a crisper beer when making an imperial ipa.

A big +1 to that.
Title: Re: Ph question for IPA recipe
Post by: denny on October 29, 2010, 08:46:54 AM
This brings up that high degree of fermentability for Rahr 2-row that I brought up recently.  A brewer here in Indy reports that he tends to get the same high degree of fermentability when using this base malt, regardless of the mashing temperature.  He says he controls the fermentability of the wort by adjusting the percentage of crystal and less fermentable grains in the grist.

Hmm...

As I posted when you first brought that up, I haven't experienced that and I use Rahr almost exclusively.
Title: Re: Ph question for IPA recipe
Post by: Pawtucket Patriot on October 29, 2010, 03:25:43 PM
Quote
As I posted when you first brought that up, I haven't experienced that and I use Rahr almost exclusively.

+1

I use Rahr 2-row almost exclusively too. I haven't noticed it being any more or less responsive to mash temp as far as its fermentability.
Title: Re: Ph question for IPA recipe
Post by: skyler on November 06, 2010, 01:21:14 AM
What kind of hops are you using? One possible issue could be hop choice (beta acids and co-humulone and other things I barely understand). If you are looking for a more aggressive bitterness, try bittering with chinook or ctz. If your beer was a Simcoe/Amarillo/Citra IPA, it would probably be a lot more smooth and less noticeably bitter than the same IBU's with lower co-humulone hops. I also find noble hops produce a fairly sturdy bitterness when used excessively early in the boil.