Author Topic: Stout pH  (Read 2934 times)

Offline BrodyR

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Stout pH
« on: October 15, 2015, 05:37:49 PM »
Jim's post about the final pH of beer has had me thinking about it lately so this thread is piggy-backing off of that and my previous post about ironing out a dry stout recipe.

After fermentation my dry stout has a pH of 3.85 so (as I understand it) definitely on the lower end of non-sour ales. Most stouts finish closer to 4.0-4.3 right? I still need to implement Jim's idea and stick a meter in a Guinness but it's possible it has a lower pH for that distinctive taste.

If I was to mess around by raising the final pH with Calcium Carbonate or Baking Soda to increase it to 4.2 what sort of flavor difference do you think I would achieve? I'm thinking of testing it out in an individual glass once it's done.


Offline Wort-H.O.G.

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Re: Stout pH
« Reply #1 on: October 15, 2015, 05:47:10 PM »
what was your mash PH for this?
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Offline BrodyR

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Re: Stout pH
« Reply #2 on: October 15, 2015, 05:52:20 PM »
what was your mash PH for this?

The final wort pH was 5.2 -

I had some swings during the mash, initially I just mashed the pale stuff (Marris Otter + Flaked Barley) and my first reading was like 5.8 so I added some lactic acid. At the end of the mash I added the Roasted Barley and got down to 5.2 when all was said and done. I had a really fast fermentation which I've read can lead to a stronger drop in pH (wether that's true I don't know).

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Re: Stout pH
« Reply #3 on: October 15, 2015, 05:58:08 PM »
FWIW i shoot for mash PH of 5.5-5.6 for dark beers. finished beer proves to be smooth without sharpness from the roast malts.

Ken- Chagrin Falls, OH
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Re: Stout pH
« Reply #4 on: October 15, 2015, 05:58:39 PM »
what was your mash PH for this?

The final wort pH was 5.2 -

I had some swings during the mash, initially I just mashed the pale stuff (Marris Otter + Flaked Barley) and my first reading was like 5.8 so I added some lactic acid. At the end of the mash I added the Roasted Barley and got down to 5.2 when all was said and done. I had a really fast fermentation which I've read can lead to a stronger drop in pH (wether that's true I don't know).

IMO, that's awfully low for a dark beer.  I like to keep dark beers more in the 5.4-5.5 range.
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Offline BrodyR

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Re: Stout pH
« Reply #5 on: October 15, 2015, 06:06:32 PM »
Yea, I know the higher pH is targeted a lot with stouts. Based off my recipe thread I decided to mash high but add the roasted barley late to bring the overall pH down to get closer to that Guinness style taste (there seems to be some debate about the whole Guinness tang, definitely interested in what the final pH of the beer is)

My thought was once the beer is done it may be interesting to try to adjust the final pH, at least in a glass at first, upward and see which I prefer and which is closer to Guinness. Sounds like the increase may remove that bit of tang but add some smoothness?

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Stout pH
« Reply #6 on: October 15, 2015, 06:12:14 PM »
FWIW i shoot for mash PH of 5.5-5.6 for dark beers. finished beer proves to be smooth without sharpness from the roast malts.



Same here. I like using baking soda as well with RO - cheap, safe, and easy.
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Offline Wort-H.O.G.

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Re: Stout pH
« Reply #7 on: October 15, 2015, 06:13:21 PM »
+1 baking soda works great for me. pour a pint and add some baking soda if it tastes to sharp.
Ken- Chagrin Falls, OH
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Offline BrodyR

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Re: Stout pH
« Reply #8 on: October 15, 2015, 06:16:46 PM »
+1 baking soda works great for me. pour a pint and add some baking soda if it tastes to sharp.

Yup, that sounds like the move. We just had a thread on adjusting down with acid but has anyone ever messed around with raising the final pH of beer?

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Stout pH
« Reply #9 on: October 15, 2015, 06:18:47 PM »
+1 baking soda works great for me. pour a pint and add some baking soda if it tastes to sharp.

Yup, that sounds like the move. We just had a thread on adjusting down with acid but has anyone ever messed around with raising the final pH of beer?

Yep, in a glass of stout. Gave me an idea of what the higher pH brings to the party for stout. Now I shoot for 5.6, except for dry Irish.
Jon H.

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Re: Stout pH
« Reply #10 on: October 15, 2015, 06:44:43 PM »
just ran PH test on Guinness (it was killing me hearing it talked about).

3.88 is what I got...degassed reading at room temp.
Ken- Chagrin Falls, OH
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Offline BrodyR

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Re: Stout pH
« Reply #11 on: October 15, 2015, 07:11:10 PM »
just ran PH test on Guinness (it was killing me hearing it talked about).

3.88 is what I got...degassed reading at room temp.

3.88..Wow - much appreciated! That makes Martin dead on accurate (as usual) suggesting that adding the roast late to lower the pH is recommended for this style. Still, it should be a cool test trying out the whole baking soda in the pint thing, I'll definitely do that once I'm carbed up.


Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Stout pH
« Reply #12 on: October 15, 2015, 07:14:48 PM »
Not surprised

Offline Wort-H.O.G.

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Re: Stout pH
« Reply #13 on: October 15, 2015, 07:17:25 PM »
just ran PH test on Guinness (it was killing me hearing it talked about).

3.88 is what I got...degassed reading at room temp.

3.88..Wow - much appreciated! That makes Martin dead on accurate (as usual) suggesting that adding the roast late to lower the pH is recommended for this style. Still, it should be a cool test trying out the whole baking soda in the pint thing, I'll definitely do that once I'm carbed up.

here's my thoughts: Guinness doesn't mash everything together; they mash the light base malts, and do a separate mash or steep (cold perhaps) for the roast. if you were to mash all the light malt and roast together at low PH like 5.2 and 148F, id expect acrid sharp tones that diminish the final product. reserving the roast certainly reduces this risk, but then you need to balance how long so you get that roast contribution and not just color.

again- taste your beer and see what you perceive...sharp and harsh roast, or smooth.  IMO, the Guinness magic is somewhere in the separate mash and blending-with some specific unknown details in the middle of their process.
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

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Vienna IPA          O'Fest
Dort
Mead                 
Cider                         
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Amber Ale
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