Author Topic: Mash ph  (Read 1117 times)

Offline bassriverbrewer

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Mash ph
« on: June 04, 2010, 03:48:22 PM »
I have soft water calcium 20ppm carbonate 26ppm sodium 40.8ppm chloride 74ppm sulfate 26pm when I mash with fully modified english malt (maris otter) I get a ph of 4.8 and have to add 6+gm of calcium carbonate just to get the ph to 5.0 (I also have crystal malt in there as well) I did a belgian pilsner grain mash and got a ph of 5.0.  I want to do some darker beers ( munich dunkle, Barley wine etc.)  Am I going to have to add a lot more calcium carbonate to overcome the acidity of the darker malts and is it detrimental to  the mash and sparge if I do?

Offline tygo

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Re: Mash ph
« Reply #1 on: June 04, 2010, 04:37:05 PM »
Any magnesium in your water?  Either way I'd say that your water should be fine for beers in the 6-11 SRM range.

Check out this spreadsheet for determining your water adjustments.  It's easy to use (hence the name) and I've found it to be pretty accurate:  www.ezwatercalculator.com/EZ_water_adjustment.xls
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Offline narvin

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Re: Mash ph
« Reply #2 on: June 04, 2010, 10:38:19 PM »
What are you measuring pH with?
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Re: Mash ph
« Reply #3 on: June 05, 2010, 06:10:35 AM »
What are you measuring pH with?

Yes, 4.8 seems a bit low. How much crystal of what color are you using?

Kai

Offline bassriverbrewer

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Re: Mash ph
« Reply #4 on: June 05, 2010, 10:39:55 AM »
I am using ph test strips to measure my ph I have 4.4ppm magnesium in the water.  I have about a pound of 60L crystal malt.  My IPA I had 1.5lb victory malt and a pound of english crystal malt about 145L

Offline tygo

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Re: Mash ph
« Reply #5 on: June 05, 2010, 10:59:17 AM »
With that much dark crystal and the victory in there Beersmith is estimating an SRM of around 19 assuming that this is a five gallon batch.  So it makes sense that you'd have to raise the RA quite a bit to get the pH to where you need it.  6g of chalk is probably about right.  For even darker beers you'll need to do more but there's a practical limit to how much chalk will dissolve I believe.  Kai can weigh in on that.  You could also use some baking soda to raise the RA.

For a 19 SRM beer and with your water I'd probably go with something like this for a 5 gallon batch:

4g chalk
3g gypsum (to bump up the sulfates a little for the IPA)
1g epsom (I'd want to bump up the Mg a little)
4g baking soda

I would think that would put you right in the 5.2-5.4 pH range.

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Offline bassriverbrewer

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Re: Mash ph
« Reply #6 on: June 05, 2010, 11:49:53 AM »
I have been leery of using baking soda for the I also use beersmith to calculate my recipes and mineral additions.  I try to target regional brewing water for the style of beer I am brewing.  My IPA i used 21gm gypsum 8gm chalk 7gm epsom I dry hopped it.  It came out great it didn't clear completely not bad just can't see all the way through it.  I was nervous about adding carbonates because everything I have read says to have less than 100ppm carbonate.  I guess I should trust the mineral additions and use both chalk and baking soda as needed.  It could be worse I could have very hard water.

Offline narvin

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Re: Mash ph
« Reply #7 on: June 05, 2010, 12:48:53 PM »
I am using ph test strips to measure my ph I have 4.4ppm magnesium in the water.  I have about a pound of 60L crystal malt.  My IPA I had 1.5lb victory malt and a pound of english crystal malt about 145L

If you're using the cheap strips that cost $3 at the LHBS, I wouldn't trust the result at all.  4.8 is way low and very unlikely unless you have some really hard water.  The ColorPhast strips cost more and aren't perfect, but they'll get you in the ballpark at least.
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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Mash ph
« Reply #8 on: June 05, 2010, 05:20:32 PM »
I have been leery of using baking soda for the I also use beersmith to calculate my recipes and mineral additions. <snip>  It could be worse I could have very hard water.

I do have water that has hardness (Ca and Mg) and a lot of alkalinity (HCO3).  The Residual Alkalintiy is what you want to target for the beer you are making.

Baking soda will raise the pH, and is sometimes better than Chalk. Chalk is CaCO3, so the Ca takes the pH down a step, while the CO3 takes it up a couple of steps.  Baking soda is NaHCO3, so it just raises the pH, and if your water is low in Na, no problem.  No reason to fear Baking Soda.

A good ph meter is a great tool to have.  You should also know that the pH at room temp is not as low as at mash temp, by about 0.3.
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Offline drf255

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Re: Mash ph
« Reply #9 on: June 06, 2010, 03:38:05 AM »
I would bet your measurements are off.  I have similar water to yours.  A pale malt mash with a pound of crystal and no added carbonates yields a pH of 5.2.  I have measured this with a meter and colopHast strips.  The cheap strips are useless.