Author Topic: RO water pH of 5 good for brewing?  (Read 2847 times)

Offline wmsouthworth

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RO water pH of 5 good for brewing?
« on: October 27, 2015, 04:40:29 PM »
Hello,  I have moved to a new house that came with a under the sink RO filter. The water has a pH of 5.  Is this to acidic for brewing? I did a search and found little info about low pH, I did find one article that said low pH can cause problems with hot trub development.  Is there a way to raise the pH of the water without negatively effecting flavor? Any information would be appreciated.

Offline denny

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Re: RO water pH of 5 good for brewing?
« Reply #1 on: October 27, 2015, 04:41:56 PM »
Probably not, but there's a lot more to it than that.  The pH of the water doesn't really matter.  It's the mash pH that matters.
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Offline Wort-H.O.G.

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Re: RO water pH of 5 good for brewing?
« Reply #2 on: October 27, 2015, 04:50:07 PM »
RO PH is normal/typical 5-6ishPH.

as Denny indicated- not relevant for brewing purposes. alkalinity and buffering capacity (or lack thereof) of your water drives where your mash PH will fall in the absence of any treatments with acid and brewing salts.
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Offline narcout

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Re: RO water pH of 5 good for brewing?
« Reply #3 on: October 27, 2015, 04:57:00 PM »
Any information would be appreciated.

If you download Bru'n Water and read the "Water Knowledge" tab, you will be well on your way.  RO water is good for brewing, but you will want to add minerals back for a variety of reasons.

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Offline Village Taphouse

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Re: RO water pH of 5 good for brewing?
« Reply #4 on: October 27, 2015, 05:00:36 PM »
I suppose that if you made a very dark beer (dark grains are more acidic and will lower mash pH) and you also added any amount of CaCl or CaSO4 (both of which also lower mash pH) then your mash pH could be lower than the standard 5.2 to 5.4.

Offline mchrispen

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Re: RO water pH of 5 good for brewing?
« Reply #5 on: October 27, 2015, 05:01:09 PM »
While this makes a few folks cringe, I am one of those that has chosen to brew exclusively with RO water and build my profiles and manage pH with minerals and liquid acid. I highly recommend https://sites.google.com/site/brunwater/water-knowledge for a strong introduction into water chemistry.
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Offline Wort-H.O.G.

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Re: RO water pH of 5 good for brewing?
« Reply #6 on: October 27, 2015, 05:05:00 PM »
While this makes a few folks cringe, I am one of those that has chosen to brew exclusively with RO water and build my profiles and manage pH with minerals and liquid acid. I highly recommend https://sites.google.com/site/brunwater/water-knowledge for a strong introduction into water chemistry.
+1 same here. no good way to brew with my well water.

PH is extremely easy to manage with software when your water is virtually stripped down.
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

Serving:        In Process:
Vienna IPA          O'Fest
Dort
Mead                 
Cider                         
Ger'merican Blonde
Amber Ale
Next:
Ger Pils
O'Fest

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: RO water pH of 5 good for brewing?
« Reply #7 on: October 27, 2015, 05:13:52 PM »
While this makes a few folks cringe, I am one of those that has chosen to brew exclusively with RO water and build my profiles and manage pH with minerals and liquid acid. I highly recommend https://sites.google.com/site/brunwater/water-knowledge for a strong introduction into water chemistry.
+1 same here. no good way to brew with my well water.

PH is extremely easy to manage with software when your water is virtually stripped down.

+2.  Exactly. Starting with the same blank slate each time (and avoiding crappy Indiana water), then using Brunwater makes pH control and fine tuning for style a breeze. I wish I'd done it this way sooner.
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Offline kramerog

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Re: RO water pH of 5 good for brewing?
« Reply #8 on: October 27, 2015, 05:20:23 PM »
Carbonic acid in equilibrium with atmospheric CO2 causes RO to be slightly acidic.  There is not enough carbonic acid in RO to have a significant effect on mash pH, which is what is important.  See other posts about controlling mash pH.

Offline beersk

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Re: RO water pH of 5 good for brewing?
« Reply #9 on: October 27, 2015, 05:21:17 PM »
RO PH is normal/typical 5-6ishPH.

as Denny indicated- not relevant for brewing purposes. alkalinity and buffering capacity (or lack thereof) of your water drives where your mash PH will fall in the absence of any treatments with acid and brewing salts.
I thought distilled water was pH 7? How can RO be lower?
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Offline wmsouthworth

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Re: RO water pH of 5 good for brewing?
« Reply #10 on: October 27, 2015, 05:22:05 PM »
Thank you all for all the quick information. Ive used the Brewers Friend water calculator in the past for adjustments. Guess I'll just brew and see what happens. My city water is used by two local breweries. I called both of them and they just carbon filter the water. So that may be my next equipment purchase. Thanks again to all.

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Re: RO water pH of 5 good for brewing?
« Reply #11 on: October 27, 2015, 05:29:15 PM »
RO PH is normal/typical 5-6ishPH.

as Denny indicated- not relevant for brewing purposes. alkalinity and buffering capacity (or lack thereof) of your water drives where your mash PH will fall in the absence of any treatments with acid and brewing salts.
I thought distilled water was pH 7? How can RO be lower?

in theory distilled is neutral; however i have yet to get a PH reading from distilled that was 7. water absorbs Co2  (and when dissolved in water, forms carbonic acid) from atmosphere and result is more acidic water. my readings for distilled have always been in the 6.xx range.
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

Serving:        In Process:
Vienna IPA          O'Fest
Dort
Mead                 
Cider                         
Ger'merican Blonde
Amber Ale
Next:
Ger Pils
O'Fest

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: RO water pH of 5 good for brewing?
« Reply #12 on: October 27, 2015, 05:42:56 PM »
Seems like RO would be a tad lower than distilled due to the trace amount of minerals present (chloride, sulfate and their ability to drop pH), depending on what the trace amounts consisted of, of course.


EDIT - I could always be wrong, though.   ;)
« Last Edit: October 27, 2015, 05:47:23 PM by HoosierBrew »
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Offline beersk

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Re: RO water pH of 5 good for brewing?
« Reply #13 on: October 27, 2015, 05:58:44 PM »
RO PH is normal/typical 5-6ishPH.

as Denny indicated- not relevant for brewing purposes. alkalinity and buffering capacity (or lack thereof) of your water drives where your mash PH will fall in the absence of any treatments with acid and brewing salts.
I thought distilled water was pH 7? How can RO be lower?

in theory distilled is neutral; however i have yet to get a PH reading from distilled that was 7. water absorbs Co2  (and when dissolved in water, forms carbonic acid) from atmosphere and result is more acidic water. my readings for distilled have always been in the 6.xx range.
Interesting. Thanks for clearing that up for me.
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Offline mabrungard

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Re: RO water pH of 5 good for brewing?
« Reply #14 on: October 27, 2015, 07:17:53 PM »
RO water can actually have fairly low pH that can easily be lower than distilled water. The reason is that some water supplies have dissolved gases, such as CO2, in them. Dissolved gases can easily permeate through the RO membrane into the treated water. That can drive the pH of RO water very low. In most cases, the gas content is minor and there is little problem. Some water supplies have to be run through an air-stripping tower to reduce that gas content to avoid this problem.   
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