Author Topic: having perplexing PH issue  (Read 894 times)

Offline Wort-H.O.G.

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having perplexing PH issue
« on: December 26, 2014, 04:56:12 PM »
Need some input with a consistent lower than projected PH. my RO water has PH of 5.5, not abnormal and even though its acidic, it should not have any buffering capacity (TDS 12 today).

Brunwater has predicted my mash to be 5.41, and it came out 5.2. two PH meters both calibrated and both reading the same. PH strip used to verify and it also read around 5.2. been having this issue for 4 months or so...always coming in .2 or so lower than projected with brunwater regardless of the brew recipe. any ideas welcome...getting frustrated.

here's todays recipe:
   grain               cat         lbs.  ounce  Lovi

munich light   base       3.0   0.0   5
pilsner      base       4.0   0.0   2
caramunich   crystal    0.0   8.0   47
biscuit      crystal    0.0   3.0   23
melanoiden   roast      0.0   3.0   30
munich      base       4.0   0.0   10

water to grain ratio: 1.77
est color: 10.6
mash water 5.25 gal: .8 gypsum, 2.6 epsom, 2.6 cal chloride
sparge water 4.25 gal: .6 gypsum, 2.1 epsom, 2.1 cal chloride

amber balanced profile : 46 calcium, 13 mag, 8 sodium, 74.7 sulfate, 67.8 chloride
projected PH 5.41
actual PH 5.2
« Last Edit: December 26, 2014, 05:05:29 PM by wort-h.o.g. »
Ken- Chagrin Falls, OH
CPT, U.S.Army
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Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: having perplexing PH issue
« Reply #1 on: December 26, 2014, 05:12:57 PM »
I remember you posting on this and I asked about your water volumes, so it sounds like there are no issues there. Do you weigh out your own grains or does your LHBS ?  There could be inaccuracies there which could throw things off a bit.  And maybe inaccuracies in the scale you use to weigh out salts ?  Past these things, I'm running out of ideas !
Jon H.

Offline Wort-H.O.G.

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Re: having perplexing PH issue
« Reply #2 on: December 26, 2014, 05:15:55 PM »
I remember you posting on this and I asked about your water volumes, so it sounds like there are no issues there. Do you weigh out your own grains or does your LHBS ?  There could be inaccuracies there which could throw things off a bit.  And maybe inaccuracies in the scale you use to weigh out salts ?  Past these things, I'm running out of ideas !

good questions. i weigh all my grains just to check, and calibrate the scale. for my salt additions, i also weigh using digital scale and calibrated yesterday before using.
Ken- Chagrin Falls, OH
CPT, U.S.Army
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Harveys-Brewhaus/405092862905115

http://braukaiser.com/wiki/index.php?title=The_Science_of_Mashing

Serving:        In Process:
Vienna IPA          O'Fest
Dort
Mead                 
Cider                         
Ger'merican Blonde
Amber Ale
Next:
Ger Pils
O'Fest

Offline JT

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Re: having perplexing PH issue
« Reply #3 on: December 26, 2014, 05:19:22 PM »
Is the mash sample cooled to 70?  Mine routinely comes in .05 to .1 lower than Brunwater and I use 100% distilled, so I keep that in mind when creating my spreadsheet. 

Offline Wort-H.O.G.

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Re: having perplexing PH issue
« Reply #4 on: December 26, 2014, 05:21:10 PM »
Is the mash sample cooled to 70?  Mine routinely comes in .05 to .1 lower than Brunwater and I use 100% distilled, so I keep that in mind when creating my spreadsheet.

yes i sample off from mash making sure no grain in the sample, and cool it in ice bath to 68-70F before reading.
Ken- Chagrin Falls, OH
CPT, U.S.Army
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Harveys-Brewhaus/405092862905115

http://braukaiser.com/wiki/index.php?title=The_Science_of_Mashing

Serving:        In Process:
Vienna IPA          O'Fest
Dort
Mead                 
Cider                         
Ger'merican Blonde
Amber Ale
Next:
Ger Pils
O'Fest

Offline ScottBeh

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Re: having perplexing PH issue
« Reply #5 on: December 26, 2014, 05:43:44 PM »
How are you pulling your sample?  Today I pulled a sample from the mash draining ball valve, got 4.98,  pulled a sample from the top of the mash with the strainer/eyedropper method got 5.51,  gave it a good stir got 5.35.

Sounds like you are bypassing the calcifier on your RO system?

Offline Wort-H.O.G.

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having perplexing PH issue
« Reply #6 on: December 26, 2014, 05:48:36 PM »
How are you pulling your sample?  Today I pulled a sample from the mash draining ball valve, got 4.98,  pulled a sample from the top of the mash with the strainer/eyedropper method got 5.51,  gave it a good stir got 5.35.

Sounds like you are bypassing the calcifier on your RO system?

yes mixing mash thouroughly and at about 5 minutes taking sample, draining it from grain into sample cup and cooling.

not sure what you mean by bypassing calcifier. i have 3 filter RO system- sediment filter, carbon, RO filter.

Ken- Chagrin Falls, OH
CPT, U.S.Army
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Harveys-Brewhaus/405092862905115

http://braukaiser.com/wiki/index.php?title=The_Science_of_Mashing

Serving:        In Process:
Vienna IPA          O'Fest
Dort
Mead                 
Cider                         
Ger'merican Blonde
Amber Ale
Next:
Ger Pils
O'Fest

Offline ScottBeh

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Re: having perplexing PH issue
« Reply #7 on: December 26, 2014, 05:52:34 PM »
They sometimes have a calcifier inline to raise your pH for protecting plumbing and fixtures from the acidic  pH 5.5 of pure RO.

I been having the same problem using RO using both Martin's & Kai's spreadsheets...sometimes dead on, next time off .1-.2
« Last Edit: December 26, 2014, 05:57:24 PM by kernelcrush »

Offline Wort-H.O.G.

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Re: having perplexing PH issue
« Reply #8 on: December 26, 2014, 06:04:05 PM »
They sometimes have a calcifier inline to raise your pH for protecting plumbing and fixtures from the acidic  pH 5.5 of pure RO.

I been having the same problem using RO using both Martin's & Kai's spreadsheets...sometimes dead on, next time off .1-.2

well you having the same issue makes me feel better! feel like im going crazy. i'd like to figure out why its happening, even though its correctable during the mash.
Ken- Chagrin Falls, OH
CPT, U.S.Army
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Harveys-Brewhaus/405092862905115

http://braukaiser.com/wiki/index.php?title=The_Science_of_Mashing

Serving:        In Process:
Vienna IPA          O'Fest
Dort
Mead                 
Cider                         
Ger'merican Blonde
Amber Ale
Next:
Ger Pils
O'Fest

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: having perplexing PH issue
« Reply #9 on: December 26, 2014, 06:13:15 PM »
Another thing - lovibond ratings do fluctuate even within the same maltster. For example, Northern Brewer's Weyermann Melanoidin malt is listed at 23-31L. Many malts are listed this way. That difference of 8L for the same malt could definitely affect your pH. The higher the L number, the more acidic to pH.
« Last Edit: December 26, 2014, 06:20:55 PM by HoosierBrew »
Jon H.

Offline Wort-H.O.G.

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Re: having perplexing PH issue
« Reply #10 on: December 26, 2014, 06:39:51 PM »
Another thing - lovibond ratings do fluctuate even within the same maltster. For example, Northern Brewer's Weyermann Melanoidin malt is listed at 23-31L. Many malts are listed this way. That difference of 8L for the same malt could definitely affect your pH. The higher the L number, the more acidic to pH.

i hear ya. i have it at 30L. even if you switch mela to 60L from 30L only moves PH .01. for this significant of PH variance, it would have to be the base malt(s) being significantly different LB than the range. I do tend to error on the high side for this very reason of LB variability.
Ken- Chagrin Falls, OH
CPT, U.S.Army
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Harveys-Brewhaus/405092862905115

http://braukaiser.com/wiki/index.php?title=The_Science_of_Mashing

Serving:        In Process:
Vienna IPA          O'Fest
Dort
Mead                 
Cider                         
Ger'merican Blonde
Amber Ale
Next:
Ger Pils
O'Fest

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: having perplexing PH issue
« Reply #11 on: December 26, 2014, 06:51:19 PM »
Another thing - lovibond ratings do fluctuate even within the same maltster. For example, Northern Brewer's Weyermann Melanoidin malt is listed at 23-31L. Many malts are listed this way. That difference of 8L for the same malt could definitely affect your pH. The higher the L number, the more acidic to pH.

i hear ya. i have it at 30L. even if you switch mela to 60L from 30L only moves PH .01. for this significant of PH variance, it would have to be the base malt(s) being significantly different LB than the range. I do tend to error on the high side for this very reason of LB variability.

Yeah, I get that on the small amount of melanoidin. Just meant in general that for the whole grist it's possible to be off a little on real vs stated L numbers. I honestly think that it's a combination of a few things being off only a slight amount - weights, L numbers, volumes, etc., to move pH a bit. Obviously your process looks pretty sound to me.
Jon H.

Offline Wort-H.O.G.

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Re: having perplexing PH issue
« Reply #12 on: December 26, 2014, 07:07:20 PM »
Another thing - lovibond ratings do fluctuate even within the same maltster. For example, Northern Brewer's Weyermann Melanoidin malt is listed at 23-31L. Many malts are listed this way. That difference of 8L for the same malt could definitely affect your pH. The higher the L number, the more acidic to pH.

i hear ya. i have it at 30L. even if you switch mela to 60L from 30L only moves PH .01. for this significant of PH variance, it would have to be the base malt(s) being significantly different LB than the range. I do tend to error on the high side for this very reason of LB variability.

Yeah, I get that on the small amount of melanoidin. Just meant in general that for the whole grist it's possible to be off a little on real vs stated L numbers. I honestly think that it's a combination of a few things being off only a slight amount - weights, L numbers, volumes, etc., to move pH a bit. Obviously your process looks pretty sound to me.

yeah agree. its just frustrating when you cant dial in the reason for the variance. going to try distilled water with same recipe and see if i can correlate the variance to the RO water.
Ken- Chagrin Falls, OH
CPT, U.S.Army
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Harveys-Brewhaus/405092862905115

http://braukaiser.com/wiki/index.php?title=The_Science_of_Mashing

Serving:        In Process:
Vienna IPA          O'Fest
Dort
Mead                 
Cider                         
Ger'merican Blonde
Amber Ale
Next:
Ger Pils
O'Fest

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: having perplexing PH issue
« Reply #13 on: December 26, 2014, 07:54:56 PM »
I hear you, I feel the same when there's an issue. And honestly, very few people here have true lab grade equipment to measure large and small ingredient amounts, pH and water quantity with real precision. Then add that malts can vary in their stated color ratings and it can be really tricky sometimes. But we make beer that looks and tastes great so I guess we must not be too far off !
Jon H.

Offline brewday

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Re: having perplexing PH issue
« Reply #14 on: December 26, 2014, 09:51:51 PM »
How are you adding your salts - Do you add them all to the mash, add them all to your total water volume of 9.5 gallons or split them up?
Jon Weaver