Author Topic: Mash ph too low?  (Read 6767 times)

Offline cclark970

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Mash ph too low?
« on: July 18, 2015, 03:45:11 PM »
Hey guys, so I've finally decided to start messing with my water profile specifically ph and I've already ran into a problem.  I was worried my ph was too high for my mash (around 7.4) so I added gypsum and calcium chloride one tsp at a time until the ph was close to 5.2.  After adding nearly 4 tsp of each into my mash water the ph did not drop at all...so out of curiosity I added a tsp of calcium chloride to about an ounce of water and still did not even budge my ph??  Decided to give up and start my mash.  After taking a ph reading direct from my mash the ph was around 3.2!!!  First question is why did my ph not lower from all the additions prior to adding to the mash and question 2 is what will a mash ph of 3.2 do to my beer?

I'm using a very high quality digital ph meter, so I know my readings are accurate.

My water profile prior to adding any salts;

Ca 10.3
Mg 1.9
Na 6.0
Cl 6.0
Not sure about my sulfates.

Any advice on how to efficiently manage my ph and what the results of a 3.2ph mash will do, would be much appreciated.

Cheers.

Online hopfenundmalz

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Re: Mash ph too low?
« Reply #1 on: July 18, 2015, 06:09:41 PM »
3.2 pH is in the realm of sour beers.

If you were adding salts to the water an expecting a change, well not much should happen. Water pH does not count for much.

When you add Ca to the water and mash in, the Ca reacts with Phytin in the malt and drops the pH. There are spreadsheets such as Brunwater or online calculators to predict the mash pH using the water chemistry and grain bill.
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Offline reverseapachemaster

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Re: Mash ph too low?
« Reply #2 on: July 18, 2015, 06:22:39 PM »
If your mash was really at 3.2 it would be intensely sour. 3.2 is low even for sour beer. Did it really taste that sour? If not then your ph meter may not be properly calibrated.

My expectation, if the mash was really at 3.2, is that you got little to no conversion.
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Offline Steve L

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Re: Mash ph too low?
« Reply #3 on: July 18, 2015, 06:31:54 PM »
Yup. Definitely recommend a good water spreadsheet. It took me awhile to wrap my brain around water chemistry, but it was worth the time. My tap water is pretty crappy so I build everything from RO. I like to  check PH about 10 minutes into the mash. :)
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Offline cclark970

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Re: Mash ph too low?
« Reply #4 on: July 18, 2015, 10:36:44 PM »
Thanks for the feedback.  I did not taste the wort, so I can't confirm it is sour, but i just calibrated my meter prior to use.  My brix reading was at 19%, although I ended up with around 3 gallons instead of 5 (I got a new burner and didn't account for the excess evaporation!!)   Another question is why does the online (brewers friend) brix to abv calculator seem whack?  For example if you enter 12% brix then it says 6.4% alcohol, but then it says it would be a 1.0484 original gravity??  That doesn't make sense, because a 1.0484 would be around 5% alcohol??

Thanks!

Offline cclark970

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Re: Mash ph too low?
« Reply #5 on: July 18, 2015, 10:38:21 PM »
3.2 pH is in the realm of sour beers.

If you were adding salts to the water an expecting a change, well not much should happen. Water pH does not count for much.

When you add Ca to the water and mash in, the Ca reacts with Phytin in the malt and drops the pH. There are spreadsheets such as Brunwater or online calculators to predict the mash pH using the water chemistry and grain bill.

That makes sense, thank you!

Offline johnnyb

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Re: Mash ph too low?
« Reply #6 on: July 18, 2015, 11:15:46 PM »
Thanks for the feedback.  I did not taste the wort, so I can't confirm it is sour, but i just calibrated my meter prior to use.  My brix reading was at 19%, although I ended up with around 3 gallons instead of 5 (I got a new burner and didn't account for the excess evaporation!!)   Another question is why does the online (brewers friend) brix to abv calculator seem whack?  For example if you enter 12% brix then it says 6.4% alcohol, but then it says it would be a 1.0484 original gravity??  That doesn't make sense, because a 1.0484 would be around 5% alcohol??

Thanks!


My spreadsheet comes up with 1.049 for 12 brix, so close enough.

I have no idea why it's even giving you a percent alcohol as in order to figure that out from a refractometer you need to provide the starting brix (OG) and then the finishing brix (FG). There is a special calculation to account for the alcohol and the calculation requires both numbers.

If it's just an estimate based on the starting gravity, shouldn't it ask for the anticipated attenuation?

Really not sure what it's doing.



 

Offline SpeedYellow

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Re: Mash ph too low?
« Reply #7 on: July 25, 2015, 05:55:56 PM »
Your pH was not 3.2.  It's simply not possible just from several tsp of minerals; you'd have to add a LOT of actual lactic acid to get to 3.2.  5.2 perhaps, but 3.2 no way, no how. 

By the way, you should never ever ever use minerals to adjust pH.  Minerals are for taste.  Use acid (lactic, phosphoric, or acid malt) to adjust pH.


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Online ynotbrusum

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Re: Mash ph too low?
« Reply #8 on: July 28, 2015, 07:24:08 PM »
Your pH was not 3.2.  It's simply not possible just from several tsp of minerals; you'd have to add a LOT of actual lactic acid to get to 3.2.  5.2 perhaps, but 3.2 no way, no how. 

By the way, you should never ever ever use minerals to adjust pH.  Minerals are for taste.  Use acid (lactic, phosphoric, or acid malt) to adjust pH.


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As to never using minerals to adjust pH, I would caution that making the right water starts with salts and ends with acids, because you want to hit the right composition of the water for the style via salts (typically), but then you need to dial in the pH with some acid, if necessary (often very little is needed and perhaps, though rare for me, instead a slight bit of alkalinity is needed to hit the mark).
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Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Mash ph too low?
« Reply #9 on: July 28, 2015, 07:34:05 PM »
As to never using minerals to adjust pH, I would caution that making the right water starts with salts and ends with acids, because you want to hit the right composition of the water for the style via salts (typically), but then you need to dial in the pH with some acid, if necessary (often very little is needed and perhaps, though rare for me, instead a slight bit of alkalinity is needed to hit the mark).

+1
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Offline SpeedYellow

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Re: Mash ph too low?
« Reply #10 on: August 01, 2015, 06:07:46 PM »



By the way, you should never ever ever use minerals to adjust pH.  Minerals are for taste.  Use acid (lactic, phosphoric, or acid malt) to adjust pH.


As to never using minerals to adjust pH, I would caution that making the right water starts with salts and ends with acids, because you want to hit the right composition of the water for the style via salts (typically), but then you need to dial in the pH with some acid, if necessary (often very little is needed and perhaps, though rare for me, instead a slight bit of alkalinity is needed to hit the mark).
Yup.  You said the same thing as me, just with more words.


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