Author Topic: Water PH  (Read 747 times)

Offline 00ramair

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Water PH
« on: March 02, 2016, 07:01:04 PM »
I am new to home brewing so I have a ton of questions. I have only made 3 batches and so I'm doing ok. I am seeing that water PH can make a big difference. Where I live I have well water and it's not that good so I have spent a lot of money for good drinking water. I have an Iron Curtain and a water softener and that wasn't enough so I also bought a water filter machine that is similar to reverse osmosis but it also adjusts the water PH level to anything I want between 4.0 and 12.0. So my question is what PH level would you choose to start your beer?

Offline neddles

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Re: Water PH
« Reply #1 on: March 02, 2016, 07:26:48 PM »
There is a longer answer but the short answer is that the pH of your water won't be that consequential. What will be consequential is the mineral content and buffering capacity of bicarbonates in the water. Ultimately your goal is to be able to mash at a targeted pH (usually between 5.2-5.6). The way to start is to know the mineral content of that water. Were it mine I would get the brewer's package from ward labs and send them a sample.

Now, as a new brewer I am not sure if you are brewing all grain or with extract. If with extract just focus on good sanitization, yeast health, and fermentation temperature control. When using extract the mash has already been conducted for you so water pH is of a very secondary concern. (unless of course it is extreme in nature)

Offline 00ramair

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Re: Water PH
« Reply #2 on: March 02, 2016, 07:54:48 PM »
I have only brewed extract kits, 1 with specialty grains that were steeped. I don't have the equipment yet try more advanced brewing. I set my water machine at 7.0 PH for the brewing I have done so far.


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RPIScotty

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Re: Water PH
« Reply #3 on: March 02, 2016, 08:00:54 PM »

I have only brewed extract kits, 1 with specialty grains that were steeped. I don't have the equipment yet try more advanced brewing. I set my water machine at 7.0 PH for the brewing I have done so far.


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Given your situation pH doesn't matter.

You could however add salts to your water to affect flavor.


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Offline jmitchell3

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Re: Water PH
« Reply #4 on: March 02, 2016, 08:40:11 PM »
I concur with rpiscotty, generally ph refers to "mash ph" and it is important to ensure optimum starch conversion to fermentable sugars. With extract and steeping grains, this isnt an issue.


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Offline 00ramair

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Re: Water PH
« Reply #5 on: March 03, 2016, 11:27:55 AM »
Thanks, that helps. I am still a little ways away from doing all grain brewing.


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Offline narcout

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Re: Water PH
« Reply #6 on: March 03, 2016, 01:36:25 PM »
I don't know if I'd say pH is inconsequential when steeping grains. 

For a nice primer on water, see the Water Knowledge page from Bru'n Water: https://sites.google.com/site/brunwater/water-knowledge
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Offline mabrungard

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Re: Water PH
« Reply #7 on: March 03, 2016, 03:33:19 PM »
pH can be a serious issue for extract brewers. Generally, if the water used for steeping or reconstituting the extract has much alkalinity, that will echo into the final wort. All the same problems that all-grain brewers experience if their mash and wort pH are too high will be felt by extract brewers.

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RPIScotty

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Re: Water PH
« Reply #8 on: March 03, 2016, 04:16:00 PM »

pH can be a serious issue for extract brewers. Generally, if the water used for steeping or reconstituting the extract has much alkalinity, that will echo into the final wort. All the same problems that all-grain brewers experience if their mash and wort pH are too high will be felt by extract brewers.

Water matters.

Couldn't you just steep in distilled or RO Water? And use flavor enhanced (with salts) distilled or RO water in extract brews?

pH would only be an issue then if the Brewer makes it one, no?


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