Author Topic: Mash ph help  (Read 1440 times)

Offline TexasHumuluslupulushead

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Mash ph help
« on: September 30, 2015, 04:52:51 PM »
Hello gents...

Ive been extract and mini mash brewing for almost 12 years.  I switched to AG last year and have started dialing in my system.  I am to the point where I need to dial in my mash pH.  I live in an area with terrible water, so our house has a water softener.  It is a whole house softener, so even our hose water is soft.  However I do have a small RO system under the sink in our kitchen. 

I just sent a sample to ward and received my results. and will post below- typical soft water, everything is low except for sodium and bicarbinate/alkalinity. 

I have put my numbers into Brewers Friend and EZ water calculators for an IPA (92% 2 row, 4% c20, 4% carapils) and have very different results.  I do plan on using 50% soft water and 50% RO water to cut sodium and alkalinity, which I did also account for in both calculators-

adding 8g of gypsum, 4g of Calcium Chloride and 5ml of lactic acid into both calculators I get:

brewersfriend = mash pH 5.43
EZ water = mash pH 5.29

As my goal is a mash pH of 5.3 i figure i will just make my additions and then dough in and take a pH reading at 5min and adjust accordingly for the next brew.  But long story short...

1. Does everyone have such mixed results using the different mach calculators?

2.  Is there one that you find is more accurate than the others?

Ward results:

pH- 7.5
Na- 109
K- 2
Ca- 1
Mg- >1
CaCO3- 3
NO3N- 0.3 (SAFE)
SO4-s- 11
CI- 50
CO3- <1.0
HCO3- 185
CaCO2- 152

Cheers
I feel sorry for people who don't drink. When they wake up in the morning, that's as good as they're going to feel all day.    -- Dean Martin

Offline duboman

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Re: Mash ph help
« Reply #1 on: September 30, 2015, 04:56:25 PM »
My 2 cents is use straight RO and build up from there. Many people use Martin's Bru'n Water software for water chemistry with great, consistent results. If you make a small donation you get the full version and regular updates to the software a d Martin is on this forum if you ever need direct help:)

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Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Mash ph help
« Reply #2 on: September 30, 2015, 05:08:21 PM »
+2 to Brunwater - it is excellent. Keep in mind though that water software is only as accurate as the info you put into it first - it's critical to enter your grist amounts and lovibond ratings, as well as water volumes as accurately as possible to get an accurate pH estimate. And weigh your salt additions accurately as well.
Jon H.

Offline Wort-H.O.G.

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Re: Mash ph help
« Reply #3 on: September 30, 2015, 05:37:36 PM »
+2 to Brunwater - it is excellent. Keep in mind though that water software is only as accurate as the info you put into it first - it's critical to enter your grist amounts and lovibond ratings, as well as water volumes as accurately as possible to get an accurate pH estimate. And weigh your salt additions accurately as well.

+3 enough said!
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Offline 69franx

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Re: Mash ph help
« Reply #4 on: September 30, 2015, 09:32:35 PM »
+a lot to BRU'NWATER. This past weekend, I mashed in for my Bock Me and then pulled a sample close to 10 minutes in. Sample read 5.37, Martin's spreadsheet had predicted/projected 5.36. That's close enough considering measurement error and that's how it usually works for me. The only times I have had problems, it was always attributable to human error. As Jon said, make sure all of your inputs are as accurate as you can be
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Offline reverseapachemaster

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Re: Mash ph help
« Reply #5 on: October 01, 2015, 02:11:45 PM »
+1 to Bru'n Water. I used to use EZ water and the results were not as reliable. I build up from scratch with RO.

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Offline TexasHumuluslupulushead

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Re: Mash ph help
« Reply #6 on: October 01, 2015, 10:50:52 PM »
Thanks for the input!  I will go with straight RO water.  And it looks like I will be adjusting just a bit with:

8g gypsum
4g CC
4ml Lactic acid

Thanks all

Im brewing Tuesday and will let you know how it goes!
I feel sorry for people who don't drink. When they wake up in the morning, that's as good as they're going to feel all day.    -- Dean Martin

evil_morty

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Re: Mash ph help
« Reply #7 on: October 02, 2015, 01:45:36 PM »
I think you could blend your water with some RO and be good.  You'll def need a good amount of acid (I've never used anything other than lactic) to neutralize your very high bicarb.

One thing I'm a little unsure about is the sodium level.  I've never dabbled with levels that high and I'm not sure what the effect would be.  I think if you cut that level in half it wouldn't be an issue though.

RPIScotty

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Re: Mash ph help
« Reply #8 on: October 02, 2015, 02:48:08 PM »
I think you could blend your water with some RO and be good.  You'll def need a good amount of acid (I've never used anything other than lactic) to neutralize your very high bicarb.

One thing I'm a little unsure about is the sodium level.  I've never dabbled with levels that high and I'm not sure what the effect would be.  I think if you cut that level in half it wouldn't be an issue though.

I typically cut my tap water with 50% distilled and build back up whatever I need. I generally use a little acid malt as well since I have some around. A % dilution of your tap water should allow you to get your levels where you want, with some brewing salt additions adding back what you need.

evil_morty

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Re: Mash ph help
« Reply #9 on: October 02, 2015, 02:52:44 PM »
I typically cut my tap water with 50% distilled and build back up whatever I need. I generally use a little acid malt as well since I have some around. A % dilution of your tap water should allow you to get your levels where you want, with some brewing salt additions adding back what you need.

I used acid malt a few times but have since decided to give straight up lactic acid a go.  I'm hoping it will be a little bit more predictable but my first run with it I was still hitting a slightly lower pH than anticipated.  It could be that my water has changed as of late.  I guess I need to make a beer that doesn't need any acid to be sure.

RPIScotty

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Re: Mash ph help
« Reply #10 on: October 02, 2015, 03:38:37 PM »
I typically cut my tap water with 50% distilled and build back up whatever I need. I generally use a little acid malt as well since I have some around. A % dilution of your tap water should allow you to get your levels where you want, with some brewing salt additions adding back what you need.

I used acid malt a few times but have since decided to give straight up lactic acid a go.  I'm hoping it will be a little bit more predictable but my first run with it I was still hitting a slightly lower pH than anticipated.  It could be that my water has changed as of late.  I guess I need to make a beer that doesn't need any acid to be sure.

I'm just lazy! Toss it in the mash and stir. Many people have told me to just use lactic acid but i've gotten good results with acid malt and no negatives as of yet so what the hell!

Bru'n Water predicts my mash pH with very pleasing results.

evil_morty

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Re: Mash ph help
« Reply #11 on: October 02, 2015, 06:47:50 PM »
I'm just lazy! Toss it in the mash and stir. Many people have told me to just use lactic acid but i've gotten good results with acid malt and no negatives as of yet so what the hell!

Bru'n Water predicts my mash pH with very pleasing results.

I don't think it's particularly easier or harder either way.  the lactic is a little easier if you have to make a change after you mash in.  that rarely happens once you have a water report though.

Offline TexasHumuluslupulushead

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Re: Mash ph help
« Reply #12 on: October 02, 2015, 11:39:30 PM »
So i took a pH reading of my RO water vs my soft water... RO 6.2 at room temp, soft water 7.5 at room temp.  Not surprising as all the alkalinity is removed.  I have enter my values into EZ water, and brewers friend again with much more consistent results...

I think im gonna use all RO water and go with
7g gypsum
4g Calcium Chloride
and 3ml Lactic acid

this is putting me into 5.36/5.39 mash pH range between the two. 


Very happy with that!

Cheers and thanks
I feel sorry for people who don't drink. When they wake up in the morning, that's as good as they're going to feel all day.    -- Dean Martin

evil_morty

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Re: Mash ph help
« Reply #13 on: October 03, 2015, 11:38:29 AM »
So i took a pH reading of my RO water vs my soft water... RO 6.2 at room temp, soft water 7.5 at room temp.  Not surprising as all the alkalinity is removed.  I have enter my values into EZ water, and brewers friend again with much more consistent results...

I think im gonna use all RO water and go with
7g gypsum
4g Calcium Chloride
and 3ml Lactic acid

this is putting me into 5.36/5.39 mash pH range between the two. 


Very happy with that!

Cheers and thanks

pH of the water is actually not super important to the pH of the mash.

Offline TexasHumuluslupulushead

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Re: Mash ph help
« Reply #14 on: October 03, 2015, 03:26:07 PM »
So i took a pH reading of my RO water vs my soft water... RO 6.2 at room temp, soft water 7.5 at room temp.  Not surprising as all the alkalinity is removed.  I have enter my values into EZ water, and brewers friend again with much more consistent results...

I think im gonna use all RO water and go with
7g gypsum
4g Calcium Chloride
and 3ml Lactic acid

this is putting me into 5.36/5.39 mash pH range between the two. 


Very happy with that!

Cheers and thanks

pH of the water is actually not super important to the pH of the mash.

yes totally agree- just putting out as much info as i have!
I feel sorry for people who don't drink. When they wake up in the morning, that's as good as they're going to feel all day.    -- Dean Martin