I started working with water chemistry about 5 batches ago after 20 years of home brewing. I am using EZWater. (I looked at Brunwater too but the learning curve looked pretty steep)
I have a consistent problem with my pH being low. Here is my last batch water sheet for a simple pale ale:
Starting Water (ppm):
Mash / Sparge Vol (gal): 3.5 / 5.5
RO or distilled %: 50% / 50%
Total Grain (lb): 9.5
Adjustments (grams) Mash / Boil Kettle:
CaSO4: 2 / 3.142857143
CaCl2: 3.5 / 5.5
MgSO4: 2 / 3.142857143
NaHCO3: 0 / 0
CaCO3: 0 / 0
Lactic Acid (ml): 2
Sauermalz (oz): 0
Mash Water / Total water (ppm):
Ca: 111 / 111
Mg: 15 / 15
Na: 73 / 73
Cl: 151 / 151
SO4: 152 / 152
Cl to SO4 Ratio: 1.00 / 1.00
Alkalinity (CaCO3): -41
Estimated pH: 5.48
My mash, after 15 minutes, good stir, and cooling to room temp, measuresslightly higher than the lowest reading on Precision Labs strips (pH 4662), so about 4.8-4.9. For sure less than 5.4.
The directions say to immerse for 1-2 seconds, then read within 10-15 seconds. These are the plastic strips with the little pad at the end.
Even adding the .3 correction factor I have seen on these forums I am still low at about 5.3.
My SOP is to heat water to strike temp, transfer to the mash tun, add the minerals, mix, add the acid, mix, add the grist, mix, let stand at mash temp for at least 15 minutes, mix, take a sample, cool to room temp, check the pH. I even used some 10 year old paper strips (from the same company) to double check and got the same low result.
Any idea why this is happening, and how is this effecting my finished beer.
BTW, I add the sparge minerals to the sparge water before fly sparging.
I have not checked the pH of the finished beer. Should I?
Just for the record, I am not color blind.
I suspect it is the acid. Somewhere I read that the acid should be added to the cold water. I have not found an easy way to do that since the spreadsheet assumes the final water volumes along with the grain bill to find the final pH. The acid amount shown would be off since I heat my water in the kettle, then transfer it to the mash tun and there is not a way to heat, then transfer, the exact volume needed.
I look forward to your comments.