Author Topic: Hitting you mash pH  (Read 2772 times)

Offline Gloridaze Brewing Company

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Hitting you mash pH
« on: December 15, 2015, 09:27:18 PM »
This may be a subjective question, but...

Is it best to try to hit your target mash with salts alone and then make your adjustments with acid malt or lactic acid?

Or is OK to include an acid addition as part of your initial water treatment?

I've been doing the latter, trying to keep salt additions as small as possible.  Is one way better than the other and why?

Thanks!

Offline blatz

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Re: Hitting you mash pH
« Reply #1 on: December 15, 2015, 09:38:26 PM »
i use bru'n water, start with RO, and try to achieve the target water profile selected, and then only use lactic or add acid malt if necessary.
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Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Hitting you mash pH
« Reply #2 on: December 15, 2015, 10:14:42 PM »
i use bru'n water, start with RO, and try to achieve the target water profile selected, and then only use lactic or add acid malt if necessary.


Same here. Brunwater + RO helps me make great beer.
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Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Hitting you mash pH
« Reply #3 on: December 15, 2015, 10:20:01 PM »
This may be a subjective question, but...

Is it best to try to hit your target mash with salts alone and then make your adjustments with acid malt or lactic acid?

Or is OK to include an acid addition as part of your initial water treatment?

I've been doing the latter, trying to keep salt additions as small as possible.  Is one way better than the other and why?

Thanks!
I'm with you but depending on style I suppose. The beers I'm brewing today are a slightly hoppier than normal Helles, and a hoppy amber lager. The Helles requires more adjustments because it's so light in color, but if I tried to do that with salts like gypsum or calcium chloride it would be disgusting. The red beer requires less adjustments but I want more gypsum than in the Helles to bring out the hops.

I use calcium chloride or gypsum for two reasons. Add calcium to my low calcium water. Add the desired flavor ions but not too much. Most of my ph is adjusted by lactic acid.

Here's another thing to think about. To lower the ph of a mash that has ten pounds of grain by one ph point, you need about 1.75ml of lactic 88%. To do that with gypsum you would need about 6 grams. If you needed to lower it from 6.5 to 5.5 you would need 60 grams. In my hoppiest beers I use about 6 just for calcium and flavor.  60 would be gross I would think. Its what we refer to as a buttload

Offline brewinhard

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Re: Hitting you mash pH
« Reply #4 on: December 15, 2015, 10:46:04 PM »
This may be a subjective question, but...

Is it best to try to hit your target mash with salts alone and then make your adjustments with acid malt or lactic acid?

Or is OK to include an acid addition as part of your initial water treatment?

I've been doing the latter, trying to keep salt additions as small as possible.  Is one way better than the other and why?

Thanks!
[/quote

In my hoppiest beers I use about 6 just for calcium and flavor.  60 would be gross I would think. Its what we refer to as a buttload

Using RO water, I too only add lactic acid after adjusting with my salts for flavor additions.  If it is a very light beer, I will add lactic acid as part of the initial water treatment necessary to reach my desired mash pH. 

And yes,  buttload of mineral additions does not always make for better beer!


Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Hitting you mash pH
« Reply #5 on: December 15, 2015, 11:29:52 PM »
This may be a subjective question, but...

Is it best to try to hit your target mash with salts alone and then make your adjustments with acid malt or lactic acid?

Or is OK to include an acid addition as part of your initial water treatment?

I've been doing the latter, trying to keep salt additions as small as possible.  Is one way better than the other and why?

Thanks!
[/quote

In my hoppiest beers I use about 6 just for calcium and flavor.  60 would be gross I would think. Its what we refer to as a buttload

Using RO water, I too only add lactic acid after adjusting with my salts for flavor additions.  If it is a very light beer, I will add lactic acid as part of the initial water treatment necessary to reach my desired mash pH. 

And yes,  buttload of mineral additions does not always make for better beer!
Example, I think gypsum is better than calcium chloride for pronouncing hop perception. But... an ounce of hops and an ounce of gypsum is not going to be better than two ounces of hops. I look at it this way.  I need X amount of calcium. I get it by adding gypsum or CaCl. If I need hoppiness I get that by adding hops. If I need acidity (lower ph) I get it by adding acid.

Offline erockrph

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Re: Hitting you mash pH
« Reply #6 on: December 16, 2015, 06:45:54 AM »
I use a water calculator like Brun'water or Brewer's Friend's advanced calculator to determine the mineral additions I need to hit the ion profile that I'm targeting for a particular brew. At that point, I use the same calculator to determine how much acid or baking soda I need to hit my mash pH. The calculators get me close enough to where I want to be pretty reliably. Everything goes in my strike water, and I don't generally muck around with anything after that.
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Offline mabrungard

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Re: Hitting you mash pH
« Reply #7 on: December 16, 2015, 02:02:31 PM »
I've noted a curious pH result in some mashes. The pH can vary by over 0.1 units during the course of a mash. Needless to say that this could be alarming when you are expecting a certain result. However, continued monitoring of the pH during my last several mashes have shown that the pH tends to come back to the targeted value by the end of the mash.

In addition, it seems that mash pH tends to self correct to a value closer to 5.4 when the pH is either higher or lower than that value. So my darker mashes in which I'm targeting a pH of 5.5 or more tend to drop their pH throughout the mashing period and paler mashes in which I'm targeting a pH of 5.3 or less tend to rise. The final result typically gets closer to around 5.4.

Interesting results that suggest that we should NOT be overly alarmed when a pH reading isn't exactly where you intended it to be. Don't go reaching for more acid or alkali when an early reading isn't where you want it, give it some more time.
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Offline factory

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Re: Hitting you mash pH
« Reply #8 on: December 16, 2015, 02:22:43 PM »
I've noted a curious pH result in some mashes. The pH can vary by over 0.1 units during the course of a mash. Needless to say that this could be alarming when you are expecting a certain result. However, continued monitoring of the pH during my last several mashes have shown that the pH tends to come back to the targeted value by the end of the mash.


Martin, I noticed this occurring when I recently made an American Stout.  After 10 minutes the pH was 5.6 (my target) and at about 30 minutes it had dropped to 5.5ish.  I didn't make any adjustments and by the end of the mash (75 minutes as I was doing BIAB) the pH had again increased to 5.6.  This was the first time I had taken measurements throughout the mashing process and I thought it was a bit strange and chalked it up to measurement error on my part.  Interesting to see that it has been noticed by others.

Offline dilluh98

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Re: Hitting you mash pH
« Reply #9 on: December 16, 2015, 04:36:11 PM »
I've noted a curious pH result in some mashes. The pH can vary by over 0.1 units during the course of a mash. Needless to say that this could be alarming when you are expecting a certain result. However, continued monitoring of the pH during my last several mashes have shown that the pH tends to come back to the targeted value by the end of the mash.

In addition, it seems that mash pH tends to self correct to a value closer to 5.4 when the pH is either higher or lower than that value. So my darker mashes in which I'm targeting a pH of 5.5 or more tend to drop their pH throughout the mashing period and paler mashes in which I'm targeting a pH of 5.3 or less tend to rise. The final result typically gets closer to around 5.4.

Interesting results that suggest that we should NOT be overly alarmed when a pH reading isn't exactly where you intended it to be. Don't go reaching for more acid or alkali when an early reading isn't where you want it, give it some more time.

This is pretty interesting Martin. I've seen similar things monitoring mash pH over the course of 60 minutes. I wonder if there are buffering components that are coming in/out of play during the course of conversion that might explain this.

Offline blatz

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Re: Hitting you mash pH
« Reply #10 on: December 16, 2015, 04:38:42 PM »
yes I noticed this on my fest brew weekend before last.  more pH stuff for me to not understand...
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Offline denny

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Re: Hitting you mash pH
« Reply #11 on: December 16, 2015, 05:07:10 PM »
This may be a subjective question, but...

Is it best to try to hit your target mash with salts alone and then make your adjustments with acid malt or lactic acid?

Or is OK to include an acid addition as part of your initial water treatment?

I've been doing the latter, trying to keep salt additions as small as possible.  Is one way better than the other and why?

Thanks!

I start by getting the salts I want for flavor set, then look at how they affect the pH.  Then I use lactic (or make pickling lime) to get the pH where I want it.
« Last Edit: December 16, 2015, 08:15:52 PM by denny »
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Offline PORTERHAUS

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Re: Hitting you mash pH
« Reply #12 on: December 16, 2015, 06:30:27 PM »
I don't use any salts much for most of my brewing. I like the flavor profile I get with most of my beers so I rely on acid to lower my ph and at times baking soda to raise the ph for dark beers with a lot of roast malt. With the Baking soda I'm also adding some sodium which might help bring out some malt character.

It's hard to modify mash ph alone with salts so I agree "season" the mash/boil for the effect you are seaking for the beer and then adjust with acid.

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Hitting you mash pH
« Reply #13 on: December 16, 2015, 06:33:40 PM »
I start by getting the salts I want for flavor set, then look at how they affect the pH.  Then I use lactic (or make pickling lime) to get the pH where I want it.


Same thing I do, except for using baking soda to raise.
Jon H.

Offline Gloridaze Brewing Company

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Re: Hitting you mash pH
« Reply #14 on: December 16, 2015, 07:37:24 PM »
Thanks.  Seems like I'm on the right track then.  Are there any styles were I might want to go with something a bit more minerally rather than the minimalistic approach?