Author Topic: Mash PH and darker grains  (Read 1079 times)

Offline petermmitchell

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Mash PH and darker grains
« on: March 02, 2015, 04:41:22 PM »
I had a question about adjusting mash PH for beers that use dark grains like chocolate or roast malt.  If I wanted to add the dark grains later and add them later during the sparge to avoid contributing harshness / astringency, what mash PH should I target?  I am getting more into water adjustments now and wanted some advice on this. 

Should I calculate my mash PH without dark grains in the grist?  Would this drop the PH too low once I add them since they do contribute a fair amount of acidity?

Should I just add them to the mash and adjust the mash PH based on the entire grain bill and not worry about this?

Thanks for any help and advice!

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Mash PH and darker grains
« Reply #1 on: March 02, 2015, 04:45:43 PM »
Either:    1/  Add the dark grains at the end of the mash and figure your pH based on only the grains you mashed, or  2/  Mash everything together and target 5.5-5.6 as your pH.  I do the latter.
Jon H.

Offline Wort-H.O.G.

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Re: Mash PH and darker grains
« Reply #2 on: March 02, 2015, 05:29:27 PM »
Either:    1/  Add the dark grains at the end of the mash and figure your pH based on only the grains you mashed, or  2/  Mash everything together and target 5.5-5.6 as your pH.  I do the latter.

+1 I prefer the end result by adding it all to the mash and adjusting to PH 5.5-5.6.
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Offline mabrungard

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Re: Mash PH and darker grains
« Reply #3 on: March 02, 2015, 05:30:00 PM »
When the pH is controlled properly, I don't find that mashing all the grains together contributes to harshness or astringency. However if the mashing water doesn't have enough alkalinity to keep the mash pH from dropping too far, that is when reserving the roast and crystal malts can be helpful. Just remember that this reserve technique only solves part of the problem and there can still be other problems that affect the beer and its flavor. Beer styles where the reserve technique works well include Irish dry stout, Schwartzbier, and Munich Dunkel. The technique does not work well for most porters or stouts where smoothness in the roast flavor is desired.

PS: If you mashing water has way too much alkalinity, then all bets are off and it really doesn't matter what you do. Your beer is not going to be as good as you want it to be.

 
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Offline petermmitchell

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Re: Mash PH and darker grains
« Reply #4 on: March 02, 2015, 06:15:10 PM »
Thanks for the help!

Here is link to my water adjustments for a dry stout I was planning to brew:
http://www.brewersfriend.com/mash-chemistry-and-brewing-water-calculator/?id=XK4XW4Y

I think I am leaning towards mashing everything together based on the comments so far

Offline Wort-H.O.G.

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Re: Mash PH and darker grains
« Reply #5 on: March 02, 2015, 06:20:57 PM »
Thanks for the help!

Here is link to my water adjustments for a dry stout I was planning to brew:
http://www.brewersfriend.com/mash-chemistry-and-brewing-water-calculator/?id=XK4XW4Y

I think I am leaning towards mashing everything together based on the comments so far

just a suggestion, but don't be afraid to add a little baking soda and land your PH in the 5.5-5.6 range. Ive found this to really benefit my darker beer-along with a lower sulfate level.
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: Mash PH and darker grains
« Reply #6 on: March 02, 2015, 06:29:33 PM »
Thanks for the help!

Here is link to my water adjustments for a dry stout I was planning to brew:
http://www.brewersfriend.com/mash-chemistry-and-brewing-water-calculator/?id=XK4XW4Y

I think I am leaning towards mashing everything together based on the comments so far

just a suggestion, but don't be afraid to add a little baking soda and land your PH in the 5.5-5.6 range. Ive found this to really benefit my darker beer-along with a lower sulfate level.

+1
Jon H.

Offline petermmitchell

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Re: Mash PH and darker grains
« Reply #7 on: March 02, 2015, 10:04:34 PM »
When the pH is controlled properly, I don't find that mashing all the grains together contributes to harshness or astringency. However if the mashing water doesn't have enough alkalinity to keep the mash pH from dropping too far, that is when reserving the roast and crystal malts can be helpful. Just remember that this reserve technique only solves part of the problem and there can still be other problems that affect the beer and its flavor. Beer styles where the reserve technique works well include Irish dry stout, Schwartzbier, and Munich Dunkel. The technique does not work well for most porters or stouts where smoothness in the roast flavor is desired.

PS: If you mashing water has way too much alkalinity, then all bets are off and it really doesn't matter what you do. Your beer is not going to be as good as you want it to be.


I was diluting my source water by 25% distilled to get my 120ppm chloride level down to 90ppm and then adding gypsum back to get my calcium up to around 50 ppm from 36 ppm.  However this puts me at 70 ppm for sulfate.  For malty beers, is this too high for sulfate?  Would I be better off with lower calc and higher chloride and just adjust the mash ph based on the grist for malty beers?

Offline Wort-H.O.G.

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Re: Mash PH and darker grains
« Reply #8 on: March 02, 2015, 10:58:25 PM »
When the pH is controlled properly, I don't find that mashing all the grains together contributes to harshness or astringency. However if the mashing water doesn't have enough alkalinity to keep the mash pH from dropping too far, that is when reserving the roast and crystal malts can be helpful. Just remember that this reserve technique only solves part of the problem and there can still be other problems that affect the beer and its flavor. Beer styles where the reserve technique works well include Irish dry stout, Schwartzbier, and Munich Dunkel. The technique does not work well for most porters or stouts where smoothness in the roast flavor is desired.

PS: If you mashing water has way too much alkalinity, then all bets are off and it really doesn't matter what you do. Your beer is not going to be as good as you want it to be.


I was diluting my source water by 25% distilled to get my 120ppm chloride level down to 90ppm and then adding gypsum back to get my calcium up to around 50 ppm from 36 ppm.  However this puts me at 70 ppm for sulfate.  For malty beers, is this too high for sulfate?  Would I be better off with lower calc and higher chloride and just adjust the mash ph based on the grist for malty beers?

your sulfate is ok. FWIW, you can use less gypsum and mor calcium chloride to get to same place.
more important to me would be a bump in the PH with baking soda to get between 5.5-5.6
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