Author Topic: Affect of cold steeping spec. grains on overall PH  (Read 687 times)

Offline swlusk

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Affect of cold steeping spec. grains on overall PH
« on: April 05, 2014, 07:47:34 PM »
I'm intrigued about the idea of cold steeping specialty grains. From what I can gather from my reading,the base grain and any grains requiring the mash for conversion are mashed as usual and the cold steeped liquid is added sometime towards the end of the boil. I understand this. My question is the PH of my mash. I can adjust my mash PH for the lack spec grains in the mash but do I need to worry about the PH of the wort once I've added the steeped liquid?
« Last Edit: April 05, 2014, 07:49:09 PM by swlusk »
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Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Affect of cold steeping spec. grains on overall PH
« Reply #1 on: April 05, 2014, 08:26:59 PM »
Not much. There are some flavor characteristics that depend on wort or beer pH but nothing that will cause you a problem. On the stout I just did I targeted a mash pH of around 5.4-5.5 to accentuate the maltiness and I imagine that got dropped down by all that dark liquor in the kettle but it turned out okay.

Offline swlusk

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Re: Affect of cold steeping spec. grains on overall PH
« Reply #2 on: April 05, 2014, 08:50:49 PM »
Not much. There are some flavor characteristics that depend on wort or beer pH but nothing that will cause you a problem. On the stout I just did I targeted a mash pH of around 5.4-5.5 to accentuate the maltiness and I imagine that got dropped down by all that dark liquor in the kettle but it turned out okay.
Gotcha. So just target the mash PH for the mashed grains.
Am I correct in assuming that this is not a technique that would be useful for ambers or lighter SRM brews and is mostly for darker brews?

Thanks again for the info

Stevo
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Offline BrodyR

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Re: Affect of cold steeping spec. grains on overall PH
« Reply #3 on: April 07, 2014, 09:32:26 AM »
You may have already caught it but Gordon Strong's presentation on brewing better beer goes into this technique (and just adding the dark/crystal grains late) a bit. At the end when he's fielding questions someone asks a similar question, he responded by saying he doesn't care about the pH after conversion is done.

I haven't tried it yet but I've been meaning to. If you give it a shot & take readings please let us know how it turns out!

Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: Affect of cold steeping spec. grains on overall PH
« Reply #4 on: April 07, 2014, 07:21:02 PM »
Just did an American dark lager yesterday morning using late addition Blackprinz - adding it to the mash after 90 minutes and then did a quick batch sparge, so the roast should be minimized - I'll know in a few weeks, but I think it is going to be great.
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Offline BrodyR

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Re: Affect of cold steeping spec. grains on overall PH
« Reply #5 on: April 08, 2014, 11:39:37 AM »
Just did an American dark lager yesterday morning using late addition Blackprinz - adding it to the mash after 90 minutes and then did a quick batch sparge, so the roast should be minimized - I'll know in a few weeks, but I think it is going to be great.

Did you get the colour you were looking for even with the shorter steep?

Offline mabrungard

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Re: Affect of cold steeping spec. grains on overall PH
« Reply #6 on: April 08, 2014, 11:50:23 AM »
Depending on the quantity and type of steeped grains, the pH reduction may be notable or not. In an Irish dry stout, the pH reduction is an important flavor component. In other beers, it may not be appealing to drop the kettle pH by a few tenths. Whether the grain is added in the main mash, at the end of mash, or the kettle, the pH will be reduced. You will have to decide if that drop makes the beer more appealing or not.
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Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: Affect of cold steeping spec. grains on overall PH
« Reply #7 on: April 09, 2014, 04:16:25 PM »
Just did an American dark lager yesterday morning using late addition Blackprinz - adding it to the mash after 90 minutes and then did a quick batch sparge, so the roast should be minimized - I'll know in a few weeks, but I think it is going to be great.

Did you get the colour you were looking for even with the shorter steep?

Yes and the wort did not have detectable roast - but we will see what happens after fermentation breaks down the sugars.

Depending on the quantity and type of steeped grains, the pH reduction may be notable or not. In an Irish dry stout, the pH reduction is an important flavor component. In other beers, it may not be appealing to drop the kettle pH by a few tenths. Whether the grain is added in the main mash, at the end of mash, or the kettle, the pH will be reduced. You will have to decide if that drop makes the beer more appealing or not.

But adding dark grains after full mash conversion makes the pH of the mash basically irrelevant at that point, right?
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Offline mabrungard

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Re: Affect of cold steeping spec. grains on overall PH
« Reply #8 on: April 09, 2014, 05:46:32 PM »
Yes, the late addition does avoid the effect on the mash. But the effect on the wort pH in the kettle remains. This same thing is a concern when the brewer delays adding hardness minerals like gypsum or calcium chloride from the mash and adds them all into the kettle. The wort pH in the kettle WILL be reduced. In some cases, too low a kettle wort pH will effect hop utilization and can depress the beer pH a bit more than the brewer may want.

Getting the mash pH correct, helps produce proper pH conditions in the later brewing and fermentation stages.
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Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: Affect of cold steeping spec. grains on overall PH
« Reply #9 on: April 09, 2014, 07:46:41 PM »
That's an interesting point and I did not bother to check wort pH in the kettle, but with conversion of the mash complete before adding the dark grains, would one expect a much lesser effect from the dark grains, comparatively speaking?  Other than hop utilization you mention, what other effects would this likely bring in terms of flavor?
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