Author Topic: Mash pH  (Read 1962 times)

Offline benamcg

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Mash pH
« on: January 17, 2015, 09:34:38 PM »
I just moved to a new area and am trying to adjust to the new water.  I bought a pH meter and found the tap to be at 7.8!  I do not know the exact make up of the water.  The municipality doesnt have a detailed water report

So I am left to tinker with adding different amounts of gypsum to get to a mash pH of 5.2.  Without knowing anything about Ca, Mg, hardness,etc. around what range should my Gypsum additions be?  Are we talking ounces (e.g. 1-5 oz per 12 gals water) or pounds (e.g. 1/2 - 1 lb per 12 gals water)?

Offline Wort-H.O.G.

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Re: Mash pH
« Reply #1 on: January 17, 2015, 09:41:07 PM »
I just moved to a new area and am trying to adjust to the new water.  I bought a pH meter and found the tap to be at 7.8!  I do not know the exact make up of the water.  The municipality doesnt have a detailed water report

So I am left to tinker with adding different amounts of gypsum to get to a mash pH of 5.2.  Without knowing anything about Ca, Mg, hardness,etc. around what range should my Gypsum additions be?  Are we talking ounces (e.g. 1-5 oz per 12 gals water) or pounds (e.g. 1/2 - 1 lb per 12 gals water)?

we will need more detail on your recipe.

but first, PH of water is not your concern. you need to know more about its buffering capacity and the total water profile. this drives what you do with brewing salts and your recipe. if its city water you need to also consider the chlorine-thats no good for beer and you'll have to treat it with campden tablet.
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Offline denny

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Re: Mash pH
« Reply #2 on: January 17, 2015, 10:03:15 PM »
I just moved to a new area and am trying to adjust to the new water.  I bought a pH meter and found the tap to be at 7.8!  I do not know the exact make up of the water.  The municipality doesnt have a detailed water report

So I am left to tinker with adding different amounts of gypsum to get to a mash pH of 5.2.  Without knowing anything about Ca, Mg, hardness,etc. around what range should my Gypsum additions be?  Are we talking ounces (e.g. 1-5 oz per 12 gals water) or pounds (e.g. 1/2 - 1 lb per 12 gals water)?

I dooubt gypsum alone will get you anywhere near where you want to be.  There's a lot more to it than simply pH.  Get a water analysis from someplace like Ward Lab.  Without it, you really have no way of knowing what you need to do.
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Offline 69franx

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Re: Mash pH
« Reply #3 on: January 18, 2015, 03:48:30 AM »
And should therefore build up from RO water, a "known" quantity
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Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Mash pH
« Reply #4 on: January 18, 2015, 03:58:25 AM »
And should therefore build up from RO water, a "known" quantity

Yep, that's what I do.
Jon H.

Offline quattlebaum

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Re: Mash pH
« Reply #5 on: January 18, 2015, 01:53:12 PM »
+1 for what these gentleman said. this is my thought

The Alkalinity is arguably the most important parameter to the brewer because it has the biggest effect on mash performance. So what is “Water Alkalinity”?  I believe It’s a buffer system that helps resist change in PH. I think of it in nature when I think of my other passion “fly fishing”.  Basically in order for the aquatic life to survive in a river system there must be Alkalinity to protect the water from any sudden shifts in PH with an ability to neutralized environmental changes such as acid rain. Most Alkalinity comes from Calcium carbonate CaC03 that is leached from rocks and soil. 


so i agree get your water tested or use RO

Offline dmtaylor

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Re: Mash pH
« Reply #6 on: January 18, 2015, 02:25:18 PM »
I think everyone above might have missed the boat (except for Ken maybe)!!

The pH of your starting water is irrelevant.  The water out of my own tap is probably around 7.8 and so is everyone else's.  It's normal!  But this pH doesn't matter.  The malt in your mash should bring the pH of your mash down to around 5.9 to 6.1, somewhere in there.  So from there, yes, you need to add more salts or dark malts to bring your pH down to 5.5 or less.  This will be measured in grams, not ounces or pounds!  If you're not sure what to use, start with a tablespoon each of calcium chloride and gypsum per 5 gallons of final beer, and see where that gets you.

Also don't forget that if your water tastes chlorinated, you need to get that out of there before adding any grains.  The most sure-fire way to do this is to crush 1/4 Campden tablet per 5 gallons and add this to your mash and sparge water.  The chlorine is instantly eliminated and you're ready to brew.

Longer term, you will want to order a water report from Ward Labs to help you understand your water more.  But for starting out, if your water tastes good, you can use the tablespoon method above to get you into range or very very close.  You can also make acid additions if necessary.  Target is always 5.3, but anywhere from about 5.1 to 5.5 is acceptable.
« Last Edit: January 18, 2015, 02:27:30 PM by dmtaylor »
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Offline mikepires17

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Re: Mash pH
« Reply #7 on: January 24, 2015, 04:23:49 AM »
http://www.morebeer.com/products/52-ph-stabilizer-1-lb.html

If you're worried about your mash ph not getting to 5.2 you can buy this stuff. Works great!

Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Mash pH
« Reply #8 on: January 24, 2015, 04:53:24 AM »
http://www.morebeer.com/products/52-ph-stabilizer-1-lb.html

If you're worried about your mash ph not getting to 5.2 you can buy this stuff. Works great!
It might work for your water. My pH meter said it didn't for my water.

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Offline JT

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Re: Mash pH
« Reply #9 on: January 24, 2015, 05:03:08 AM »
There isn't a magic bullet to make everyone's water a certain pH or mineral content.  Each individual will need to accomplish this in different ways. 

Offline mabrungard

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Re: Mash pH
« Reply #10 on: January 24, 2015, 01:27:30 PM »
http://www.morebeer.com/products/52-ph-stabilizer-1-lb.html

If you're worried about your mash ph not getting to 5.2 you can buy this stuff. Works great!

Wow Mike! This is great news. We have been waiting for a brewer to come forward with proof that this stuff works. Please post your pH meter readings.
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Offline Wort-H.O.G.

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Mash pH
« Reply #11 on: January 24, 2015, 03:10:45 PM »
http://www.morebeer.com/products/52-ph-stabilizer-1-lb.html

If you're worried about your mash ph not getting to 5.2 you can buy this stuff. Works great!

Wow Mike! This is great news. We have been waiting for a brewer to come forward with proof that this stuff works. Please post your pH meter readings.

don't mean to be skeptical but never found it to work. to many variables between starting water and grist composition. not to mention whats your final mineral/wort composition???no idea because don't know specifically whats in it and how much.
« Last Edit: January 24, 2015, 05:51:15 PM by wort-h.o.g. »
Ken- Chagrin Falls, OH
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Ger Pils
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Offline denny

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Re: Mash pH
« Reply #12 on: January 24, 2015, 05:38:43 PM »
http://www.morebeer.com/products/52-ph-stabilizer-1-lb.html

If you're worried about your mash ph not getting to 5.2 you can buy this stuff. Works great!

Does it work for you?  Have you checked your pH after using it?  It not only didn't work for me (and a LOT of others), but it gave my beer weird off flavors.
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Re: Mash pH
« Reply #13 on: January 28, 2015, 02:20:55 PM »
http://www.morebeer.com/products/52-ph-stabilizer-1-lb.html

If you're worried about your mash ph not getting to 5.2 you can buy this stuff. Works great!

Does it work for you?  Have you checked your pH after using it?  It not only didn't work for me (and a LOT of others), but it gave my beer weird off flavors.

+10000000 to that.

Offline mblanks2

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Re: Mash pH
« Reply #14 on: January 28, 2015, 11:44:42 PM »
http://www.morebeer.com/products/52-ph-stabilizer-1-lb.html

If you're worried about your mash ph not getting to 5.2 you can buy this stuff. Works great!

Didn't work for me at all.