Author Topic: Higher PH with No Change in Process  (Read 866 times)

Offline UnequivocalBrewing

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Higher PH with No Change in Process
« on: June 21, 2017, 09:32:54 PM »
Hi,

I had a chance to quickly connect with Martin Brungard on this question but I didn't quite understand his response and we got shuffled out of the room so I dind't have time to understand it.  So I'm going to pose the question here.

I have a kinetico RO machine so I build up from RO water:

https://www.kinetico.com/drinking-water-systems/kinetico-k5-drinking-water-station/

I used to nail the PH that I got in Bru'n water consistently within .02 every time.  I got to the point where I didn't really need to measure PH but I kept doing it.  However, in the last 6-8 brews I have been about 0.15 to 0.2 higher in all my reading.  I haven't changed my processes and I do not think there is any change in my water...just had it tested and there is hardly anything in this water after treatment.  Very soft.  And I've tried this with 88% Lactic, Tartaric, and Acidulated malt. 

Martin's response was I need a TDS meter.  I don't really know what that's going to tell me if my water was just tested and matches my profile in Bru'n water? 

What do you smarties think?  Anything else to look at?

Offline denny

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Re: Higher PH with No Change in Process
« Reply #1 on: June 21, 2017, 09:34:31 PM »
Using the same malt from the same bag?
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Offline Stevie

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Re: Higher PH with No Change in Process
« Reply #2 on: June 21, 2017, 09:56:16 PM »
Using the same malt from the same bag?
This

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Higher PH with No Change in Process
« Reply #3 on: June 21, 2017, 10:47:33 PM »
Martin's response was I need a TDS meter.  I don't really know what that's going to tell me if my water was just tested and matches my profile in Bru'n water? 


Out of curiosity, tested how recently and by whom? In general, a cheap TDS meter would tell you whether your RO system is doing its job, namely reducing mineral levels to levels consistent with RO water. I'm a big proponent of using TDS meters to check my RO water. I don't have a system at home and buy my RO from grocery store machines - a few stores around here don't service the membrane in their machines very often and, consequently, the TDS reading is upwards of 50ppm (occasionally over). I target machines with 15ppm water or less when possible. Water with too high a mineral level ( Total Dissolved Solid/TDS level) could cause your measured pH to differ noticeably from your software predicted pH.

Having said all this, I agree that a change in maltsters, or even a new bag of the same malt, could cause a deviation in pH.
Jon H.

Offline Stevie

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Re: Higher PH with No Change in Process
« Reply #4 on: June 21, 2017, 11:16:48 PM »
Calibrated gram scale?

Offline Nathan

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Re: Higher PH with No Change in Process
« Reply #5 on: June 22, 2017, 12:33:17 AM »
At the end of the day how does your beer taste?


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Offline UnequivocalBrewing

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Re: Higher PH with No Change in Process
« Reply #6 on: June 22, 2017, 12:45:04 AM »
My beer tastes like s***, haha.  I get it...who cares about where the number lands.  Trust me I'm not losing sleep over it but it's peculiar and thought someone may know.

The water gets tested from a professional lab.  This RO system automatically shuts off after the membrane has been used for 500 gallons.  I just don't think this is the cause.  But now I understand why Martin would suggest a TDS meter if you have a lot of fluctuations in the RO consistency.

Maybe the maltster...something to keep my eye on.  Thanks for the responses.

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Re: Higher PH with No Change in Process
« Reply #7 on: June 22, 2017, 02:42:52 AM »
My beer tastes like s***, haha.  I get it...who cares about where the number lands.  Trust me I'm not losing sleep over it but it's peculiar and thought someone may know.

The water gets tested from a professional lab.  This RO system automatically shuts off after the membrane has been used for 500 gallons.  I just don't think this is the cause.  But now I understand why Martin would suggest a TDS meter if you have a lot of fluctuations in the RO consistency.

Maybe the maltster...something to keep my eye on.  Thanks for the responses.

What malt are you using? The difference between, say BestMalz and Weyermann can account for a pH shift.

Not saying you switched or you use either but a change in malt or even lot to lot difference can account for pH shifts.

Weyermann Pilsner for example averages between 5.85-6, with recent crops around 5.90, which is about 0.15 pH units above what most software assumes for the default DI pH.


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Offline zwiller

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Re: Higher PH with No Change in Process
« Reply #8 on: June 23, 2017, 05:06:40 PM »
Good ideas so far but how old is electrode?  Is calibration taking longer?   
Sam
Sandusky, OH

Offline UnequivocalBrewing

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Re: Higher PH with No Change in Process
« Reply #9 on: June 23, 2017, 05:44:22 PM »
The probe is fairly new.  Maybe 5-6 brews old.  Milwaukee Mw-102.

Offline chumley

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Re: Higher PH with No Change in Process
« Reply #10 on: June 23, 2017, 10:43:09 PM »
Good ideas so far but how old is electrode?  Is calibration taking longer?   

+1.  31 years of field work and managing field work as an environmental consultant has left me with a deep abiding dislike of field pH meters. 

I just had a guy go sample a spring for me, he calibrated the meter according to the manufacturer's instructions, it calibrated fine, and when he went to collect his field measurement of the spring water, it read....3.9.  He couldn't believe it.  So he recalibrated the meter again, it calibrated fine, and it read....3.9 again.

This is a pristine spring used by hikers along the Appalachian trail, near the top of the mount, far away from any mining activity that might change the pH.  Fortunately, he had pH strips in his field kit.  They read 6.8 to 7.0.  Finally, a real number.

I have many similar stories from my younger days in the late 1980s and 1990s when I used field pH meters.  My sampler was apologetic, I told him, "I got it."

I think you are better off using Martin's adjustments for your water and the type of malt, rather than worrying about 0.1 pH units off one way or the other.  I call them, "bogus meters".