Author Topic: Adjusting Mash PH and Mash Temperature Loss  (Read 1974 times)

Offline flbrewer

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Adjusting Mash PH and Mash Temperature Loss
« on: March 09, 2016, 09:26:38 PM »
For those who typically have to add lactic acid or something else to lower PH during the mash, how are you doing this while still maintaining mash temp.?

This is really for the people who aren't using direct fire to control the mash and are using cooler type mash tuns. I can only assume that the longer you are measuring and adjusting, you are extending out the mash (effectively lowering the temp) and even opening and closing the lid can add to this.

Offline neddles

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Re: Adjusting Mash PH and Mash Temperature Loss
« Reply #1 on: March 09, 2016, 09:35:31 PM »
I add mine to the cold strike water. I would lift the lid on my tun to add more if I needed to but that is a very rare circumstance. I am direct fired so no biggy for me to lose a little heat.

Offline narcout

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Re: Adjusting Mash PH and Mash Temperature Loss
« Reply #2 on: March 09, 2016, 09:40:05 PM »
In my opinion, it is best to make the necessary adjustments to your strike water prior to mash in. 

If you have to make further adjustments during the mash, I doubt the amount of heat you are going to lose from opening the cooler is going to have any effect. 

I don't see why making adjustments during the mash would cause you to extend the mash.

Personally, if the measured pH is off from my target (which is pretty rare), I just let it ride, take good notes, and adjust my water additions on the next batch. 
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Offline dilluh98

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Re: Adjusting Mash PH and Mash Temperature Loss
« Reply #3 on: March 09, 2016, 09:40:41 PM »
Add lactic acid to strike water, measure pH at RT 10 min into mash, make note and adjust for the next brewday if needed.

I don't see much value in fiddling around with the pH if you're less than 0.1 off (which is always the case for me now as a RO/Bru'nWater user).

Offline flbrewer

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Re: Adjusting Mash PH and Mash Temperature Loss
« Reply #4 on: March 09, 2016, 09:43:35 PM »
Geez, didn't think about doing the adjustment in the strike water! That makes sense...

Offline denny

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Re: Adjusting Mash PH and Mash Temperature Loss
« Reply #5 on: March 09, 2016, 09:47:05 PM »
Geez, didn't think about doing the adjustment in the strike water! That makes sense...

That's the way Martin recommends, so that's what I do!
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Offline mabrungard

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Re: Adjusting Mash PH and Mash Temperature Loss
« Reply #6 on: March 09, 2016, 10:02:41 PM »
I've observed that there is an important phenomena in mashing pH that needs to be spread to you brewers. Through the thousands of mashing pH measurements that I've made over the years, there is an interesting tendency in early and late pH measurements.

When an early mash pH measurement is lower than 5.4, the pH tends to rise toward 5.4 during the mash duration. Similarly, when an early mash pH measurement is higher than 5.4, the pH tends to drop toward 5.4 during the mash. For that reason, when you have done a reasonable job of treating your brewing water to produce a desirable pH via either experience or a program like Bru'n Water, its probably best not to screw with chasing pH when you find that an early measurement is off.

To produce the most homogeneous distribution of minerals and acid in your mash, its also very important to add those components to the water before mashing in so that you can thoroughly mix them into the water. Anyone that adds minerals or acids to the mash after the grain is in there, is not doing themselves much good. It takes an incredible amount of mash mixing to get those components evenly distributed at that point. The only brewers that can get away with adding acid or minerals to the mash after the mash-in are those with wort recirculation. Recirculation does a better job of mixing than physical mixing can do.   
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Offline dilluh98

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Re: Adjusting Mash PH and Mash Temperature Loss
« Reply #7 on: March 09, 2016, 10:26:36 PM »
I've observed that there is an important phenomena in mashing pH that needs to be spread to you brewers. Through the thousands of mashing pH measurements that I've made over the years, there is an interesting tendency in early and late pH measurements.

When an early mash pH measurement is lower than 5.4, the pH tends to rise toward 5.4 during the mash duration. Similarly, when an early mash pH measurement is higher than 5.4, the pH tends to drop toward 5.4 during the mash. For that reason, when you have done a reasonable job of treating your brewing water to produce a desirable pH via either experience or a program like Bru'n Water, its probably best not to screw with chasing pH when you find that an early measurement is off.   

This has come up in other threads and I've observed the same when I used to track pH through the mash. Any hypothesis on what's happening here? Almost seems like there's a buffering system that is being developed in the mash over time. My biochemistry is far too rusty to postulate a possible acid/conjugate-base combination that would act as a buffer in the mash for pH = ~5.4.

Offline dilluh98

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Re: Adjusting Mash PH and Mash Temperature Loss
« Reply #8 on: March 09, 2016, 10:33:42 PM »
A quick search brought up a phosphate/citrate and a citric acid/citrate buffer system that could get you to 5.4. Not sure where citrate would be coming from in a normal mash... Could be way off track here.

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Adjusting Mash PH and Mash Temperature Loss
« Reply #9 on: March 09, 2016, 10:37:56 PM »
Geez, didn't think about doing the adjustment in the strike water! That makes sense...

That's the way Martin recommends, so that's what I do!


Same here.
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Offline 69franx

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Re: Adjusting Mash PH and Mash Temperature Loss
« Reply #10 on: March 10, 2016, 03:59:53 AM »
Geez, didn't think about doing the adjustment in the strike water! That makes sense...

That's the way Martin recommends, so that's what I do!


Same here.
+2, I've seen Martin before and again in this thread say to not mess with it during mash, just note it and adjust on future attempts. Now that is KISS if I ever saw it!
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Offline JT

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Re: Adjusting Mash PH and Mash Temperature Loss
« Reply #11 on: March 10, 2016, 05:17:07 AM »
On my latest batch with pH errors, I let it ride for the mash and sparge, then adjusted in the boil kettle.  And I even have recirculation.  My thinking was that as long as the pH is in an acceptable range for the enzymes to do their thing, then any impact a low pH would have should be flavor only, so why not adjust pH in the boil kettle?  It's pretty easy to hold a wort temp around 175 or so while you make additions to get your pH in the optimal starting range for your beer style, and you no longer have grains getting in the way.
Any thoughts on this?

Offline denny

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Re: Adjusting Mash PH and Mash Temperature Loss
« Reply #12 on: March 10, 2016, 04:33:45 PM »
On my latest batch with pH errors, I let it ride for the mash and sparge, then adjusted in the boil kettle.  And I even have recirculation.  My thinking was that as long as the pH is in an acceptable range for the enzymes to do their thing, then any impact a low pH would have should be flavor only, so why not adjust pH in the boil kettle?  It's pretty easy to hold a wort temp around 175 or so while you make additions to get your pH in the optimal starting range for your beer style, and you no longer have grains getting in the way.
Any thoughts on this?

IMO, good move
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Offline flbrewer

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Re: Adjusting Mash PH and Mash Temperature Loss
« Reply #13 on: March 12, 2016, 12:34:46 PM »
Just bumping this for another clarification. I am going to add 2-3 ml of lactic acid to my sparge water because of what I read above. BUT I've also read in an earlier post that you can't actually acidify RO water. Will the acid still drop the PH in my mash once I strike w it?

Offline JT

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Re: Adjusting Mash PH and Mash Temperature Loss
« Reply #14 on: March 12, 2016, 12:36:07 PM »
If you're sparging with RO you don't need acid.
Edit: If you're sparging with RO you don't need acid in the sparge water.