Author Topic: Way too high final beer ph  (Read 2403 times)

Offline MoreHops

  • 1st Kit
  • *
  • Posts: 21
    • View Profile
Way too high final beer ph
« on: December 21, 2015, 04:01:07 PM »
So I recently started looking into measuring and adjusting my final beer ph for my beers.  I took a couple readings for a couple pale ales that were from a split batch and they were both very high around 5.5.  I found that very odd but it was only one batch so I lowered them down to around 4.5 with lactic acid (which improved the flavor a good bit) and decided to get more data on my next brew. So a few weeks ago I brewed a black IPA and made sure to mmeasure my post boil ph which came out at 4.86.  Well it's now kegged and I took a non carbonated room temp sample and it was up around 5.5 again.  What I want to know is what is causing this?  The only thing I can think of is a wild yeast infection, but it still doesn't make sense to me that fermentation is raising my ph rather than lowering it.

Offline klickitat jim

  • I must live here
  • **********
  • Posts: 8604
    • View Profile
Re: Way too high final beer ph
« Reply #1 on: December 21, 2015, 06:30:13 PM »
That is a stumper. Any acid producing bug would lower the final pH even more. I suspect the probably is instrumentation.

Describe how you are doing the test.
« Last Edit: December 21, 2015, 06:34:49 PM by klickitat jim »

Offline braufessor

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 341
    • View Profile
Re: Way too high final beer ph
« Reply #2 on: December 21, 2015, 07:12:42 PM »
That seems odd to me too.  My first thought would be the quality/condition/calibration of your pH meter.

My post boil pH is usually in the 5.1 range..... and it always drops to 4.5ish or lower during fermentation.

I have never had a beer go up in pH .... not sure if that is possible without adding something?  Topping off with hard water....... I don't know.  Just can't think of how the pH wouldn't go down during fermentation.

What are you using for a pH meter and how certain are you that it is correctly calibrated?

Offline Whiskers

  • Cellarman
  • **
  • Posts: 69
    • View Profile
Re: Way too high final beer ph
« Reply #3 on: December 21, 2015, 07:16:16 PM »
I you could describe your calibration procedure in detail something might emerge.  Like the others, I suspect that the beer pH is not as high as you measure.  Perhaps you could test a snpa or something? 

Offline klickitat jim

  • I must live here
  • **********
  • Posts: 8604
    • View Profile
Re: Way too high final beer ph
« Reply #4 on: December 21, 2015, 07:25:31 PM »
I you could describe your calibration procedure in detail something might emerge.  Like the others, I suspect that the beer pH is not as high as you measure.  Perhaps you could test a snpa or something?
Great idea. SNPA should be in the neighborhood of 4.3 degassed and room temp

Offline MoreHops

  • 1st Kit
  • *
  • Posts: 21
    • View Profile
Re: Way too high final beer ph
« Reply #5 on: December 21, 2015, 07:26:39 PM »
I have a Milwaukee 102 meter.  I too thought it might be off when I got the first high reading with my pale ales so I recalibrate it. It changed a little but not much and was still way up there.  I use ph 4 and 7 solutions I bought on amazon and follow the instructions for the meter.  I know it's accurate because I just hit my mash ph for a german lager I brewed last week.  Also I'm all grain so no topping off. The only thread I was able to find online with a similar problem the guy determined it was a wild yeast/infection problem.  My numbers are still higher than his though. I was thinking since I use star San and not something like iodophor I could have the same thing. Never had a visibly infected batch though or one that fermented out way too much.

Offline klickitat jim

  • I must live here
  • **********
  • Posts: 8604
    • View Profile
Re: Way too high final beer ph
« Reply #6 on: December 21, 2015, 07:30:33 PM »
Try testing about any commercial beer using the same method you use for test your beer. Pretty much any commercial beer should be at or below 4.5ph. If it comes in at 5.5 you have an issue.

Offline PORTERHAUS

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 387
  • NW Indiana
    • View Profile
Re: Way too high final beer ph
« Reply #7 on: December 21, 2015, 07:35:21 PM »
What do you do for yeast? How long does the beer sit on the yeast before these measurements? Yeast autolysis will raise the beer ph. Not sure how much but it does...if you are having yeast problems that could be something. Just throwing out the only thing I can think of.

Offline MoreHops

  • 1st Kit
  • *
  • Posts: 21
    • View Profile
Re: Way too high final beer ph
« Reply #8 on: December 21, 2015, 07:50:09 PM »
I usually primary for around 2-4 weeks so I don't think auto lysisIis the issue.

I'll test a beer when I get a chance to be sure my ph meter isn't the problem but either way it went up according to the same meter

Offline Whiskers

  • Cellarman
  • **
  • Posts: 69
    • View Profile
Re: Way too high final beer ph
« Reply #9 on: December 22, 2015, 12:30:21 AM »
Thoroughly rinsing the probe with DI or the like between buffers and between them and the test solution?  How large of a volume are you testing?  No chance of any detergent or soap residue on the measurement vessels?  How old are the buffers and how long have they been open?

Offline mainebrewer

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 434
  • Palermo, Maine
    • View Profile
Re: Way too high final beer ph
« Reply #10 on: December 22, 2015, 12:37:03 AM »
You don't mention it, but I'm assuming that you "degass" the beer samples prior to measuring the pH.
BJCP Certified

Offline Hooper

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 260
    • View Profile
Re: Way too high final beer ph
« Reply #11 on: December 22, 2015, 02:58:55 AM »
How's the beer taste?
“Stay with the beer. Beer is continuous blood. A continuous lover.”
—   Charles Bukowski

Offline MoreHops

  • 1st Kit
  • *
  • Posts: 21
    • View Profile
Re: Way too high final beer ph
« Reply #12 on: December 22, 2015, 02:02:48 PM »
Thoroughly rinsing the probe with DI or the like between buffers and between them and the test solution?  How large of a volume are you testing?  No chance of any detergent or soap residue on the measurement vessels?  How old are the buffers and how long have they been open?

I usually get 2 cups of the buffer solutions and rinse it in the buffer before using the 2nd cup for calibration. Shouldn't be any soap residue.  They've probably been open anywhere from a month to six months and are less than a year old.

Offline MoreHops

  • 1st Kit
  • *
  • Posts: 21
    • View Profile
Re: Way too high final beer ph
« Reply #13 on: December 22, 2015, 02:09:09 PM »
How's the beer taste?

This is why I started testing in the first place, I haven't been very happy with my hoppy beers at all. They always taste muddled or just bitter without that juicy hop character I'm aiming for.  My pale ales tasted much more crisp and refined with actual layered hop flavor when I lowered the pH down to 4.5 or so.  I would just rather find what's going on so I don't have to dump a bunch of acid in my beer every time.  I measured the pH of a vanilla coffee porter I had as well which was around 4.8.  I tried lowering it with acid in a glass just to see the results and I did not like it at all.  This makes sense to me as I've been much more pleased with my dark beers.  So another question is what's the difference between my pale hoppy beers and my darker beers that for my porter ph was below 5? I suppose one answer could be I added coffee to the secondary.

Offline heavydeadlifts

  • Assistant Brewer
  • ***
  • Posts: 194
    • View Profile
Re: Way too high final beer ph
« Reply #14 on: December 22, 2015, 07:13:29 PM »
How are you treating your water? I had a very similar problem to yours until I had my brewing water analyzed and realized it sucked. My hoppy beers never popped or came through at all until I made sure my mash water had a sulfate to chloride ratio of 2:1
Batch Sparging Bottle Dreggggg Harvesting Son-ova Biznatch Raging Against the Machine

https://itun.es/us/PN5dq?i=269457903