Author Topic: Any thoughts on 5.2 pH stabilizer?  (Read 2248 times)

Offline rgonzalez_me

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Any thoughts on 5.2 pH stabilizer?
« on: June 24, 2015, 02:20:46 AM »
What are your experiences with this?

Does this really work? Any improvements in mash efficiency?

I am reading about this but I would like to know real unbiased first hand accounts.
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Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Any thoughts on 5.2 pH stabilizer?
« Reply #1 on: June 24, 2015, 02:27:00 AM »
It's a crap product IMO. It not only doesn't work but actually can give beer a minerally, Alka Seltzer character. I highly recommend water software like Bru'nwater. You'll like your beer a WHOLE lot better. My $0.02.
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Offline homebrewdad7

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Re: Any thoughts on 5.2 pH stabilizer?
« Reply #2 on: June 24, 2015, 05:18:35 AM »
I agree.  This is snake oil.

Once you learn a bit about water chemistry, you understand which additions raise your pH, and which lower it.  But my additions would be different than your additions - even if we have the same goals - because my water almost certainly has different concentrations of the various ions important to brewing (i.e. calcium, sodium, magnesium, chloride, etc), different starting pH, etc.

So tell me this - how can one "off the shelf" product magically give ideal finishing water, when it cannot possibly take into account the wide variety of water that brewers use?  The answer, quite simply, is that it cannot.

Offline brewsumore

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Re: Any thoughts on 5.2 pH stabilizer?
« Reply #3 on: June 24, 2015, 05:18:58 AM »
+1 to what Jon said.

Offline JT

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Re: Any thoughts on 5.2 pH stabilizer?
« Reply #4 on: June 24, 2015, 10:16:21 AM »
As others have said this product cannot possibly take into account the variety of tap waters out there.  Also, grain bill plays a huge role in pH and it varies by beer style.  I would not put this in my beer.  IMO it is a product made to take advantage of the fact that most people are intimidated by water chemistry and always want the "single pill to fix it" solution. 
Download Brunwater.  Read the knowledge page several times.  This is a much better solution. 

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Offline toby

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Re: Any thoughts on 5.2 pH stabilizer?
« Reply #5 on: June 24, 2015, 03:33:11 PM »
It's great if you want to add Sodium to your beer.  For guaranteeing a pH of 5.2, not so much.

Offline homoeccentricus

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Re: Any thoughts on 5.2 pH stabilizer?
« Reply #6 on: June 24, 2015, 03:36:21 PM »
Is sodium the main ingredient?
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Offline denny

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Re: Any thoughts on 5.2 pH stabilizer?
« Reply #7 on: June 24, 2015, 03:36:51 PM »
What are your experiences with this?

Does this really work? Any improvements in mash efficiency?

I am reading about this but I would like to know real unbiased first hand accounts.

Don't use it.  It doesn't work nearly all of the time and it gives your beer an off taste.
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Offline a10t2

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Re: Any thoughts on 5.2 pH stabilizer?
« Reply #8 on: June 24, 2015, 03:53:56 PM »
Someone - I think it was AJ DeLange - once commented that Buffer 5.2 has the remarkable property of only working for people who don't own a pH meter.

Is sodium the main ingredient?

Sodium phosphate is the only active ingredient. And it's a fine buffer used in all kinds of fields, but the closest pKa is ~6.8, so it isn't going to get anywhere near the claimed pH unless the mash would have ended up there all along.
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Offline homebrewdad7

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Re: Any thoughts on 5.2 pH stabilizer?
« Reply #9 on: June 24, 2015, 10:41:41 PM »
BTW, Bru'n Water does not have to be intimidating, and it's a superb tool.  A buddy of mine did an excellent tutorial on Bru'n Water.  Were it not for his help, I'd have drug my feet on getting into water chemistry.

Offline beersk

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Re: Any thoughts on 5.2 pH stabilizer?
« Reply #10 on: June 25, 2015, 12:30:23 AM »
Someone - I think it was AJ DeLange - once commented that Buffer 5.2 has the remarkable property of only working for people who don't own a pH meter.



Haha, that's funny.

It's worthless crap. It gives your beer a minerally off flavor. Don't bother, and like others have suggested, get Bru'n water and start with RO if you can. You'll be happy you did. Or check out AJ DeLange's water primer on Homebrewtalk.
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Offline rgonzalez_me

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Re: Any thoughts on 5.2 pH stabilizer?
« Reply #11 on: June 25, 2015, 12:58:37 AM »
Thanks guys!

I can see this is not a very popular product. Apparently they squeeze a lot of snakes to fill those bottles.  ;)
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Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: Any thoughts on 5.2 pH stabilizer?
« Reply #12 on: June 26, 2015, 02:48:12 AM »
I have it and used it, without knowing what it was doing.  I know of no science on the product, but I am skeptical and now use Brunwater instead.  I think it provides me with a better starting point and reliable endpoint, but I use RO water, so I would be willing to listen to the results of accurate testing of the product.  I just think that a water scientist like Martin who puts out a spreadsheet with verifiable results is better for me. YMMV, of course.
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Offline toby

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Re: Any thoughts on 5.2 pH stabilizer?
« Reply #13 on: June 26, 2015, 01:56:58 PM »
The marketing claims are pretty much marketing.  If you use RO water, it might not harm your results, but with water like mine (which is borderline on sodium already), it would be a mess.  If you look in Martin's water knowledge page, the last special note in section 2.1 on pH has a little bit of information about it.

https://sites.google.com/site/brunwater/water-knowledge

Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: Any thoughts on 5.2 pH stabilizer?
« Reply #14 on: June 26, 2015, 07:11:58 PM »
Hey Toby - I forgot to say that I haven't used it in the last five years!  So the beer I sent you this spring was only made with RO and traditional water treatments - all per Martin's spreadsheet with pretty small additions and calculated to be at the preferred range of pH per the style....thanks for the link and the reference, though.
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