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Author Topic: RO water pH of 5 good for brewing?  (Read 9506 times)

Offline Wort-H.O.G.

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RO water pH of 5 good for brewing?
« Reply #30 on: October 27, 2015, 07:46:01 pm »

would this ^^^^^ impact how your software accounts for impact RO water, salts, and malts has on expected PH of the mash?

Unfortunately, that high dose of carbonic acid is not accounted for in Bru'n Water. The carbonic acid would likely affect the pH result and leave you with a lower than estimated mash pH.

Interesting. I've had some issues that I've accounted for or adjusted in my calcs through experience. For the longest time I thought it was malts I was using, but I suspect it's more of the carbonic acid issue that's led to lower than bru'nwater projected PH. Good stuff once again on this forum.

Edit: I should add that when I use distilled water, I'm pretty much dead on to bru'nwater projected PH. With my RO- I'm usually about .1-.2 lower than projected, and have to account for that.

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« Last Edit: October 27, 2015, 07:53:38 pm by Wort-H.O.G. »
Ken- Chagrin Falls, OH
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Offline klickitat jim

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Re: RO water pH of 5 good for brewing?
« Reply #31 on: October 27, 2015, 07:47:03 pm »

would this ^^^^^ impact how your software accounts for impact RO water, salts, and malts has on expected PH of the mash?

Unfortunately, that high dose of carbonic acid is not accounted for in Bru'n Water. The carbonic acid would likely affect the pH result and leave you with a lower than estimated mash pH.
Martin, wouldn't it be quickly buffered out once the grain is added? I thought carbonic was a pretty weak acid, and if its reading 5 in RO it seems like theres really not that much there.

Offline BrodyR

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Re: RO water pH of 5 good for brewing?
« Reply #32 on: October 27, 2015, 08:35:10 pm »
Could be why I've been hitting lower than predicted pH's lately - I've been using mostly RO water from Whole Foods to cut my tap water. Previously I cut with distilled and was dead on. Trouble is bottled distilled is more than double the price.

Offline narcout

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Re: RO water pH of 5 good for brewing?
« Reply #33 on: October 29, 2015, 10:12:40 am »
Martin, wouldn't it be quickly buffered out once the grain is added? I thought carbonic was a pretty weak acid, and if its reading 5 in RO it seems like theres really not that much there.

I'm wondering the same thing.
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Offline Wort-H.O.G.

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Re: RO water pH of 5 good for brewing?
« Reply #34 on: November 25, 2015, 11:44:42 am »
confirmed again today that when using distilled, my acutal PH is almost dead on to bru'nwater target PH. today bru'nwater projected 5.43, actual 5.41.

last brew with my RO water was bru'nwater projected 5.6 and actual 5.45 (right where I wanted it). perhaps as Martin said, carboninc acid in play and not accounted for in his software.
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 mabrungard

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Re: RO water pH of 5 good for brewing?
« Reply #35 on: November 25, 2015, 12:41:03 pm »

last brew with my RO water was bru'nwater projected 5.6 and actual 5.45 (right where I wanted it). perhaps as Martin said, carboninc acid in play and not accounted for in his software.

That carbonic acid thing is a very real possibility for RO water. Its already taken down one brewery that I know of. It will drive pH down.

I guess I need to figure out a way to assess and account for high carbonic acid content (from high dissolved CO2 content) in RO water. It will likely be assessed via a pH reading from the RO water and I'll need to figure out how to account for it from there.

Thanks for keeping a tab on that performance.
Martin B
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Offline Wort-H.O.G.

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Re: RO water pH of 5 good for brewing?
« Reply #36 on: November 25, 2015, 12:42:24 pm »

last brew with my RO water was bru'nwater projected 5.6 and actual 5.45 (right where I wanted it). perhaps as Martin said, carboninc acid in play and not accounted for in his software.

That carbonic acid thing is a very real possibility for RO water. Its already taken down one brewery that I know of. It will drive pH down.

I guess I need to figure out a way to assess and account for high carbonic acid content (from high dissolved CO2 content) in RO water. It will likely be assessed via a pH reading from the RO water and I'll need to figure out how to account for it from there.

Thanks for keeping a tab on that performance.

no problem-thanks for giving me a possible answer.
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 #37 on: November 25, 2015, 04:01:01 pm »

last brew with my RO water was bru'nwater projected 5.6 and actual 5.45 (right where I wanted it). perhaps as Martin said, carboninc acid in play and not accounted for in his software.

That carbonic acid thing is a very real possibility for RO water. Its already taken down one brewery that I know of. It will drive pH down.

I guess I need to figure out a way to assess and account for high carbonic acid content (from high dissolved CO2 content) in RO water. It will likely be assessed via a pH reading from the RO water and I'll need to figure out how to account for it from there.

Thanks for keeping a tab on that performance.

no problem-thanks for giving me a possible answer.
confirmed again today that when using distilled, my acutal PH is almost dead on to bru'nwater target PH. today bru'nwater projected 5.43, actual 5.41.

last brew with my RO water was bru'nwater projected 5.6 and actual 5.45 (right where I wanted it). perhaps as Martin said, carboninc acid in play and not accounted for in his software.


Ken, have you noticed your pH coming in consistently .15 under predicted in your RO beers ? Across light/med/dark colored beers? Just curious. I used to spot check with colorpHast strips, not so much now. I always seemed to get readings very close to predicted and stopped checking as often. I check a new recipe most times, but not a recipe that I've brewed before if it's unchanged.
Jon H.

Offline Wort-H.O.G.

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Re: RO water pH of 5 good for brewing?
« Reply #38 on: November 25, 2015, 04:06:28 pm »


last brew with my RO water was bru'nwater projected 5.6 and actual 5.45 (right where I wanted it). perhaps as Martin said, carboninc acid in play and not accounted for in his software.

That carbonic acid thing is a very real possibility for RO water. Its already taken down one brewery that I know of. It will drive pH down.

I guess I need to figure out a way to assess and account for high carbonic acid content (from high dissolved CO2 content) in RO water. It will likely be assessed via a pH reading from the RO water and I'll need to figure out how to account for it from there.

Thanks for keeping a tab on that performance.

no problem-thanks for giving me a possible answer.
confirmed again today that when using distilled, my acutal PH is almost dead on to bru'nwater target PH. today bru'nwater projected 5.43, actual 5.41.

last brew with my RO water was bru'nwater projected 5.6 and actual 5.45 (right where I wanted it). perhaps as Martin said, carboninc acid in play and not accounted for in his software.


Ken, have you noticed your pH coming in consistently .15 under predicted in your RO beers ? Across light/med/dark colored beers? Just curious. I used to spot check with colorpHast strips, not so much now. I always seemed to get readings very close to predicted and stopped checking as often. I check a new recipe most times, but not a recipe that I've brewed before if it's unchanged.
Yes consistently. Not sure f you remember, but for the longest time I thought it was some malt I was using...couldn't figure it out. May have much to do with my source water before it becomes RO water.
I just learned to account for the difference and have managed just fine now.


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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 #39 on: November 25, 2015, 04:12:09 pm »
Yeah, I remember. I'd be curious how much variability there is area to area, with your RO water remaining so consistent.
Jon H.

Offline Wort-H.O.G.

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Re: RO water pH of 5 good for brewing?
« Reply #40 on: November 25, 2015, 04:20:16 pm »
my well water is super hi bicarb. it goes through a huge cylinder filter and is oxygenated also, then hits my RO system. this may very well have something to do with the carbonic acid- but I have no idea.
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 Stevie

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Re: RO water pH of 5 good for brewing?
« Reply #41 on: November 25, 2015, 04:28:19 pm »
Would allowing it to off gas help?

Offline Wort-H.O.G.

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Re: RO water pH of 5 good for brewing?
« Reply #42 on: November 25, 2015, 04:37:03 pm »
Would allowing it to off gas help?

it appears not, as I have many times filled my kettle the night before with no change to PH variation.
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 JT

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Re: RO water pH of 5 good for brewing?
« Reply #43 on: November 25, 2015, 05:46:09 pm »
Would allowing it to off gas help?

it appears not, as I have many times filled my kettle the night before with no change to PH variation.
I had the same experience with RO water but thought it was my malt, this thread is clearing that up!  Last brew I used my tap water for mash and figured I would count on the pH still being .15 lower than predicted by the software, because I was certain this was a malt issue.  Wrong!  I dosed it with lactic quickly enough that I don't think there was any tannin extraction. 

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Offline mabrungard

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Re: RO water pH of 5 good for brewing?
« Reply #44 on: November 26, 2015, 09:44:08 am »
When this dissolved gas issue is a problem on the large scale RO systems that I deal with, the typical course of action is to run the treated water through an air-stripping tower to help remove those gases from the water. An air-stripping tower is a column filled with very porous media in which the water enters the tower at the top and flows downward while air is blown into the column and exits at the top. The high surface area of the porous media provides high contact with the air and the gas is exchanged from the water to the air.

By the way, I just checked my home RO water. Current TDS reading is 20 ppm and the pH is 8.1. I've never checked the RO pH before and am surprised it was so high. Yes, the meter was calibrated prior to use.

I'll have to keep a closer eye on this RO pH thing in the future to see if my supply varies.
Martin B
Carmel, IN

BJCP National
Foam Blowers of Indiana (FBI)

Brewing Water Information at:
https://www.brunwater.com/

Like Bru'n Water on Facebook
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