Author Topic: pH Meter  (Read 538 times)

Offline skyler

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pH Meter
« on: April 19, 2017, 02:18:54 PM »
I'm in the market for a new pH meter and would like some recommendations. Price and ease of use are my main concerns.

I used to brew with a friend who owned a pH meter, but it's been a few years since then and while I have been using Bru'n Water to adjust pH, I haven't actually been measuring. Nothing came out bad, but my most recent IPA (90% 2-row, 6% carahell, 4% acid malt - a small amount of 10% phosphoric acid was used in the sparge water, too) seems a bit more acidic than necessary and appears to have extracted less than expected from the hops and CO2 hop extract. My suspicion is that I should have used 8-10 oz of acid malt instead of 12 oz, and that the acid malt in the mash might have made the phosphoric acid unnecessary in the sparge water. Water was soft Portland water treated with a campden tablet to run off chloramine, then I added just enough gypsum and sea salt to increase the calcium to 60 ppm and get a 3/2 sulfate/chloride ratio.

Clearly I need to be testing my pH.


Offline Stevie

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Re: pH Meter
« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2017, 04:02:33 PM »
Happy enough with my Extech 110. Handheld works for my current needs as I don't have much room to set things up. Holding it while the reading stabilizes is the pits. I'll likely switch to a bench top when I have the space to do so.

Extech Instruments PH110 Waterproof ExStik pH Meter https://www.amazon.com/dp/B004WN9QUG/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_dN49ybDWC5CEX

Offline mabrungard

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Re: pH Meter
« Reply #2 on: April 19, 2017, 04:55:43 PM »
I suggest that you review the comments on desirable pH meter features on the Bru'n Water Facebook site. You'll have to scroll through a bunch of useful info to find it, but it should be helpful.

Your experience with acid malt is not surprising. Acid malt is a highly variable ingredient and that variability necessitates the need for accurate pH monitoring. In my opinion, using lactic acid is a better option for reducing mash pH since its strength is defined and consistent. I consider the reports of acid malt producing better flavor in beer compared to lactic acid, to be questionable.

If you don't have a meter, be sure to use lactic acid.
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Big Monk

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Re: pH Meter
« Reply #3 on: April 19, 2017, 10:13:19 PM »
I suggest that you review the comments on desirable pH meter features on the Bru'n Water Facebook site. You'll have to scroll through a bunch of useful info to find it, but it should be helpful.

Your experience with acid malt is not surprising. Acid malt is a highly variable ingredient and that variability necessitates the need for accurate pH monitoring. In my opinion, using lactic acid is a better option for reducing mash pH since its strength is defined and consistent. I consider the reports of acid malt producing better flavor in beer compared to lactic acid, to be questionable.

If you don't have a meter, be sure to use lactic acid.

Weyermann in particular seems to be very consistent. Maybe some of the other maltsters have a high degree of variability in the Sauermalz?

I can get on board with Sauermalz tasting better than using liquid acids. I'm sure people using Sauergut have the same opinion on Sauermalz. It's a progression I guess.

Offline skyler

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Re: pH Meter
« Reply #4 on: April 20, 2017, 04:41:37 AM »
I suppose it's worth mentioning that I have been using Weyermann Sauermalz and this recent IPA that came out less hoppy and more tart did come from a "fresh" batch of acid malt; I buy it in 5lb increments, store it in an airtight container, and it typically lasts me about a year. Of course, I also don't know for sure how much my municipal water chemistry changes season to season.

Big Monk

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Re: pH Meter
« Reply #5 on: April 20, 2017, 01:01:14 PM »
I'm working towards finding an effective way (for my small batches) to maintain a continuous volume of Sauergut. The technical part is there, as many people are doing it on a small scale, but I need to maintain a much smaller volume, and like anything else with my small system, I often have to get creative with equipment.


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Offline narcout

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Re: pH Meter
« Reply #6 on: April 23, 2017, 02:41:14 AM »
Happy enough with my Extech 110.

Me too.  I like it better than my MW101.

Holding it while the reading stabilizes is the pits.

Why do you have to hold it up?  I just let it rest against the side of the test jar.
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Offline Stevie

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Re: pH Meter
« Reply #7 on: April 23, 2017, 02:51:16 AM »
I use disposable shot glasses. Only need a small sample.