Author Topic: Water Has My Head Spinning...  (Read 16954 times)

Offline narcout

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Re: Water Has My Head Spinning...
« Reply #45 on: May 31, 2012, 09:00:23 AM »
I do know that Martin, JP, Gordon Strong, the late Greg Noonan and countless other all believed in water adjustment such as pH and sulfate to chloride ratio. They are far better brewers than me with a ton more experience - so my money is with the adjustments!

Yeah, I definitely make adjustments.  Lately I've been playing around with the method Gordon Strong outlines in Brewing Better Beer - basically brewing with all RO water, adding small quantities of gypsum and/or calcium chloride to the mash, and adjusting the sparge water with phosphoric acid.

Offline Alewyfe

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Re: Water Has My Head Spinning...
« Reply #46 on: May 31, 2012, 09:36:32 AM »
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Re: Water Has My Head Spinning...
« Reply #47 on: May 31, 2012, 09:53:53 AM »
Thanks, Diane!
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Offline mmitchem

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Re: Water Has My Head Spinning...
« Reply #48 on: June 11, 2012, 08:32:13 PM »
So I made a dry stout with 100% distilled water. I adjusted my water to give me a mash pH of 5.4 and made a little gypsum and calcium chloride addition with the assistance of Bru'n Water. This is BY FAR the tastiest stout that I have ever made. Thanks for helping my wrap my head around water. It was a struggle for a while, but now I think I have it and know how to deal with water the right ways. Muchos Gracias friends!
Michael P Mitchem
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Offline gordonstrong

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Re: Water Has My Head Spinning...
« Reply #49 on: July 08, 2012, 03:17:52 PM »
Sorry to post to an older thread, but I wanted to comment on something I read here.

I think there is some confusion about how I was expressing pH values in my book.  It definitely looks like some people are misinterpreting or at least misapplying what I thought I said.

I meant to say that I was expressing pH values at the temperature where they were active.

This was interpreted to mean that I was saying you should take pH readings of your mash at mash temperature.

You should only take pH readings at temperatures supported by your pH meter.  Read the instructions that come with it.  Many pH meters are designed to only operate on room temperature samples; using them at higher temperatures can damage the probes or shorten their useful lifespan.

What I wanted to say was that there is a relationship between temperature and pH, and that you had to account for the temperature.  Some meters do this automatically, others don't.

I guess this came out of a conversation I had at Sierra Nevada (Jeff Rankert was there, maybe he remembers it).  I was asking them about how they adjusted their brewing liquor and they said it was adjusted to pH 5.5.  I asked if the quoted value of 5.5 was at room temperature or at mash temperature (where it would be used) since there would be a difference.  They said it was at mash temperature.  I think I followed-up because we were also looking at a pH meter that was measuring their mash pH; they said the same thing.

So that's what I meant, and where I got the information.  I know pH is often expressed at room temperature (there's probably an ASBC standard for this that explains the details); I was trying to understand if the values were corrected for temperature or not.

The bottom line is that if I said the pH was a certain value at mash temperature, I was only saying to be sure it was a temperature-corrected value.  Measure it at whatever temperature your meter supports, then adjust it if necessary. 

I regret confusing an area that I was attempting to simplify.
Gordon Strong • Beavercreek, Ohio • AHA Member since 1997 • Twitter: GordonStrong

Online hopfenundmalz

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Re: Water Has My Head Spinning...
« Reply #50 on: July 08, 2012, 06:00:25 PM »
Gordon, I remember the 5.5 pH adjustment to the water. I do not remember the temp discussion. It was like drinking from a fire hose for 2 days, if you all can understand what I mean.

Glad to see you back on the AHA forum Gordon.

Jeff Rankert
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Offline nateo

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Re: Water Has My Head Spinning...
« Reply #51 on: July 08, 2012, 06:05:48 PM »
Gordon, I remember the 5.5 pH adjustment to the water. I do not remember the temp discussion. It was like drinking from a fire hose for 2 days, if you all can understand what I mean.

Glad to see you back on the AHA forum Gordon.

Isn't pH lower at mash temp vs room temp? 5.5 at mash temp seems high, but maybe I have that backwards.
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Re: Water Has My Head Spinning...
« Reply #52 on: July 08, 2012, 06:48:02 PM »
Gordon, I remember the 5.5 pH adjustment to the water. I do not remember the temp discussion. It was like drinking from a fire hose for 2 days, if you all can understand what I mean.

Glad to see you back on the AHA forum Gordon.

Isn't pH lower at mash temp vs room temp? 5.5 at mash temp seems high, but maybe I have that backwards.
That is right, it is .25 to .3 lower at mash temp. They were adjusting the water pH, not mash pH.
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Offline mabrungard

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Re: Water Has My Head Spinning...
« Reply #53 on: July 09, 2012, 07:27:18 AM »
Adjusting brewing water to a pre-use pH of 5.5 means that SN is knocking out a lot of the tap water's alkalinity.  The amount of reduction is dependent upon the water's starting alkalinity, but its likely that most alkalinity (HCO3 content) has been neutralized.   This should be great for many of their pale beers.   

Thanks to Gordon for re-emphasizing the preference in measuring mash pH on a room-temperature sample.  Its much kinder to the pH probe and still provides a repeatable corollary to the pH at mash temperature.  In general, the room-temperature mash pH should fall in the range of 5.3 to 5.5 for best results.  But, the best pH for a particular brew will fall to the brewer's preferences in beer taste and texture.  You can read more about how mash and kettle pH affect beer taste and texture on Bru'n Water's Water Knowledge page.
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Offline mmitchem

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Re: Water Has My Head Spinning...
« Reply #54 on: July 12, 2012, 09:23:31 AM »
I must say that I am a big fan of adjusting the water pH ahead of time and then only mashing your base malts. It is alot easier for me to hit my target mash pH when I don't have to worry about the acidity crystal and roasted grains contribute. I like using Bru N Water as a sanity check. I still input my base malts and water additions (phosphoric acid and CaCl2 usually). The beer tastes good, well better lol, and that is the main goal!

There are so many different ways to approach this particular issue but I think that the big thing to stress is to get your mash pH in the 5.2-5.5 range. Room temp of course :) Get 50-100ppm of calcium in there and adjust the sulfate to chloride ratio to bring out the malty or hoppy character in the beer...

That sound about right?
Michael P Mitchem
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Offline jmcamerlengo

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Re: Water Has My Head Spinning...
« Reply #55 on: July 12, 2012, 09:30:06 AM »
I must say that I am a big fan of adjusting the water pH ahead of time and then only mashing your base malts. It is alot easier for me to hit my target mash pH when I don't have to worry about the acidity crystal and roasted grains contribute. I like using Bru N Water as a sanity check. I still input my base malts and water additions (phosphoric acid and CaCl2 usually). The beer tastes good, well better lol, and that is the main goal!

There are so many different ways to approach this particular issue but I think that the big thing to stress is to get your mash pH in the 5.2-5.5 range. Room temp of course :) Get 50-100ppm of calcium in there and adjust the sulfate to chloride ratio to bring out the malty or hoppy character in the beer...

That sound about right?

Now you're getting it!
Jason
-Head Brewer, Brewtus Brewers in the Shenango Valley. Hopefully opening a brewpub/nano brewery in the next couple years.

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Re: Water Has My Head Spinning...
« Reply #56 on: July 12, 2012, 09:31:46 AM »
I must say that I am a big fan of adjusting the water pH ahead of time and then only mashing your base malts. It is alot easier for me to hit my target mash pH when I don't have to worry about the acidity crystal and roasted grains contribute. I like using Bru N Water as a sanity check. I still input my base malts and water additions (phosphoric acid and CaCl2 usually). The beer tastes good, well better lol, and that is the main goal!

There are so many different ways to approach this particular issue but I think that the big thing to stress is to get your mash pH in the 5.2-5.5 range. Room temp of course :) Get 50-100ppm of calcium in there and adjust the sulfate to chloride ratio to bring out the malty or hoppy character in the beer...

That sound about right?

Now you're getting it!

Yes he is! The head is no longer spinning, I would say.
Jeff Rankert
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Home-brewing, not just a hobby, it is a lifestyle!

Offline mmitchem

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Re: Water Has My Head Spinning...
« Reply #57 on: July 12, 2012, 09:46:41 AM »
Haha! No it definitely isn't. I think it is a really cool thing when you can admit to being ignorant about something, get some good advice that not only points you in the right direction, but also helps you know why you are pointed in that direction in the first place.

Gordon, Martin, Jeff & Jason - Thanks so much for putting good info out there and breaking it down in such a way that is understandable. Hope to see you all in Philly this year, as this will be my first conference! Woo! Be gentle...hahaha!
Michael P Mitchem
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Offline narvin

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Re: Water Has My Head Spinning...
« Reply #58 on: July 12, 2012, 11:35:09 AM »
Look what I found....

http://www.hamzasreef.com/Contents/Calculators/PhTempCorrection.php

I don't think this is what you want.  There are two things that happen when you use a pH meter at a temperature other than your reference temperature:

1) The probe responds differently.
2) The pH of the sample actually changes due to changes in dissociation of H and OH ions.

An ATC meter corrects for #1.  Non-ATC meters need a manual error correction applied, which seems to be what this chart is for.  Interestingly enough, the pH shift seems to be in the opposite direction caused by #2 in wort.
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Offline denny

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Re: Water Has My Head Spinning...
« Reply #59 on: July 12, 2012, 12:02:48 PM »
What I was getting at in the question Diane answered is this....I cool the sample to room temp and then measure the pH.  So, what is the pH in the mashtun at a higher temp?  And is the pH I'm concerned about the one in the mashtun or the one I measure at room temp?
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