Author Topic: Checking ph of finished beers  (Read 660 times)

Offline EnkAMania

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 422
Checking ph of finished beers
« on: June 04, 2021, 08:36:26 PM »
Greetings,

I was wondering if people check the ph of their finished beer.  Everything I see is brewday measurements. 
Some day we'll look back on this and it will all seem funny

Offline narcout

  • Brewmaster General
  • *******
  • Posts: 2089
  • Los Angeles, CA
Re: Checking ph of finished beers
« Reply #1 on: June 04, 2021, 08:55:27 PM »
I do it sometimes.  Here are a few examples:

Saison - 4.14
Dunkel - 4.35
Triple - 4.23
Single - 4.12
Dunkel - 4.13
Australian Sparkling Ale - 4.2
Triple - 4.2
Dunkel - 4.33
Sometimes you just can't get enough - JAMC

Offline RC

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 437
Re: Checking ph of finished beers
« Reply #2 on: June 05, 2021, 01:34:17 AM »
Never. I would only do this if my beers consistently tasted flabby, which they don't. I'll do pretty much anything to avoid having to dust off and calibrate that ol' pH meter. It's like cleaning the gutters: only do it if you have to.

The exception would be my sour beers, but only if they tasted unusually tart. But this admittedly isn't very useful because pH is not a great predictor of sourness on the palate.

Offline majorvices

  • Global Moderator
  • I must live here
  • *****
  • Posts: 10694
  • Polka. If its too loud you're too young.
    • Yellowhammer Brewing Company
Re: Checking ph of finished beers
« Reply #3 on: June 05, 2021, 01:38:58 AM »
Commercial, yes. Homebrew - almost never

Offline tommymorris

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 3024
Re: Checking ph of finished beers
« Reply #4 on: June 05, 2021, 02:46:06 AM »
I'll do pretty much anything to avoid having to dust off and calibrate that ol' pH meter. It's like cleaning the gutters: only do it if you have to.
Absolutely!

Offline BrewBama

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 4613
Re: Checking ph of finished beers
« Reply #5 on: June 05, 2021, 03:30:40 AM »
I did it to a few beers only because someone here asked me to. Other than that all I check is mash pH at 20 min in.



Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
wisdom is proved right by her deeds

Brewed in the Tennessee Valley. Rocket City — Huntsville AL

Offline Silver_Is_Money

  • Assistant Brewer
  • ***
  • Posts: 247
  • Developer of 'Mash Made Easy'
    • Mash Made Easy, MashRite, LLC
Re: Checking ph of finished beers
« Reply #6 on: June 05, 2021, 05:55:22 AM »
Be sure to fully and aggressively shake de-carbonate your beer before taking its final pH. 

Offline majorvices

  • Global Moderator
  • I must live here
  • *****
  • Posts: 10694
  • Polka. If its too loud you're too young.
    • Yellowhammer Brewing Company
Re: Checking ph of finished beers
« Reply #7 on: June 05, 2021, 02:55:27 PM »
I'll do pretty much anything to avoid having to dust off and calibrate that ol' pH meter. It's like cleaning the gutters: only do it if you have to.
Absolutely!

Takes all of 90 seconds

Offline HighVoltageMan!

  • Cellarman
  • **
  • Posts: 64
Re: Checking ph of finished beers
« Reply #8 on: June 08, 2021, 12:25:01 AM »
If the mash/fermentation is done well, the main driver for final pH is the yeast strain.  Dry hopping raises pH and higher pH’s sharpen bitterness (+4.5). Each strain has a “sweet spot” for finish pH.

I don’t always measure it, but I do time to time.  Higher wort pitch pH can effect pH, but it has to be way out of line, 5.4-5.5 at pitch or higher.

Offline Silver_Is_Money

  • Assistant Brewer
  • ***
  • Posts: 247
  • Developer of 'Mash Made Easy'
    • Mash Made Easy, MashRite, LLC
Re: Checking ph of finished beers
« Reply #9 on: June 08, 2021, 08:42:08 AM »
If the mash/fermentation is done well, the main driver for final pH is the yeast strain.  Dry hopping raises pH and higher pH’s sharpen bitterness (+4.5). Each strain has a “sweet spot” for finish pH.

I don’t always measure it, but I do time to time.  Higher wort pitch pH can effect pH, but it has to be way out of line, 5.4-5.5 at pitch or higher.

A careful study of historical peer reviewed brewing industry dissertations (via sources such as the 'Wiley Online Library') reveals that for many decades now (nigh-on approaching the century mark) it has been settled that a room temperature measured pH of 5.2 achieved during the boil is the ideal pH at which to pitch yeast.  And the same undertaking reveals that a mash temperature measured 5.4 pH (roughly 5.55 to 5.6 pH if measured at room temperature) is the ideal mash pH that was settled upon decades ago.  This requires two pH adjustments.  One best made pre-mash, and one made either pre boil or (perhaps best) during the active boil.  The best hot and cold break, and the least 'quantitative' requirement for fining addition occurs at 5.2 pH as measured at room temperature.

IMHO, the 1980's evolution of home brewing, and of the multitude of nigh-on worshiped non peer reviewed authors who support it, plus much of the micro-brewing industry that evolved directly from this homebrewing base, got the previous industrial level established and documented ideal 5.4 mash pH target wrong at the very onset simply by incorrectly presuming 5.4 to be a room temperature measured pH target.  And the same generally tend to ignore the secondary 5.2 pH target criteria.
« Last Edit: June 08, 2021, 08:53:54 AM by Silver_Is_Money »

Offline HighVoltageMan!

  • Cellarman
  • **
  • Posts: 64
Re: Checking ph of finished beers
« Reply #10 on: June 08, 2021, 12:55:32 PM »
I have found that mash pH of 5.6 (room temp) generally produces a higher extraction rate, above or below that mark lowers mash efficiency. Homebrewers often ignore boil and pitch pH. That should land between 5.1-5.2 pH so the yeast hits the correct or natural finish pH in the beer.

Offline EnkAMania

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 422
Re: Checking ph of finished beers
« Reply #11 on: June 08, 2021, 03:11:30 PM »
I have found that mash pH of 5.6 (room temp) generally produces a higher extraction rate, above or below that mark lowers mash efficiency. Homebrewers often ignore boil and pitch pH. That should land between 5.1-5.2 pH so the yeast hits the correct or natural finish pH in the beer.

This is what I shoot for as well.  I just forget to test the finished ph a lot of the time.
Some day we'll look back on this and it will all seem funny

Offline Richard

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 554
Re: Checking ph of finished beers
« Reply #12 on: June 08, 2021, 04:00:24 PM »
I have found that mash pH of 5.6 (room temp) generally produces a higher extraction rate, above or below that mark lowers mash efficiency. Homebrewers often ignore boil and pitch pH. That should land between 5.1-5.2 pH so the yeast hits the correct or natural finish pH in the beer.

I just plotted Mash Efficiency vs Mash pH for 75 of my batches and saw only a very weak correlation (0.18). For every 0.1 increase in pH (in the range 5.0 - 5.6) I saw a 1% increase in efficiency. This was hard to see because there is a lot of scatter and the standard deviation is 7%.
Original Gravity - that would be Newton's

Offline erockrph

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 7088
  • Chepachet, RI
    • The Hop WHisperer
Re: Checking ph of finished beers
« Reply #13 on: June 08, 2021, 04:03:49 PM »
If the mash/fermentation is done well, the main driver for final pH is the yeast strain.  Dry hopping raises pH and higher pH’s sharpen bitterness (+4.5). Each strain has a “sweet spot” for finish pH.

I don’t always measure it, but I do time to time.  Higher wort pitch pH can effect pH, but it has to be way out of line, 5.4-5.5 at pitch or higher.

A careful study of historical peer reviewed brewing industry dissertations (via sources such as the 'Wiley Online Library') reveals that for many decades now (nigh-on approaching the century mark) it has been settled that a room temperature measured pH of 5.2 achieved during the boil is the ideal pH at which to pitch yeast.  And the same undertaking reveals that a mash temperature measured 5.4 pH (roughly 5.55 to 5.6 pH if measured at room temperature) is the ideal mash pH that was settled upon decades ago.  This requires two pH adjustments.  One best made pre-mash, and one made either pre boil or (perhaps best) during the active boil.  The best hot and cold break, and the least 'quantitative' requirement for fining addition occurs at 5.2 pH as measured at room temperature.

IMHO, the 1980's evolution of home brewing, and of the multitude of nigh-on worshiped non peer reviewed authors who support it, plus much of the micro-brewing industry that evolved directly from this homebrewing base, got the previous industrial level established and documented ideal 5.4 mash pH target wrong at the very onset simply by incorrectly presuming 5.4 to be a room temperature measured pH target.  And the same generally tend to ignore the secondary 5.2 pH target criteria.
First of all, this is great info and it certainly inspires me to start thinking about managing my pH adjustments differently. That said, we need to be careful in qualifying what is meant by "ideal" pH, and also need to avoid over-generalizing from brewing industry research. The ideal values for a commercial lager brewery may not always lead to my ideal homebrewed NEIPA, West Coast IPA, Stout, Saison, etc. It certainly may, and it's a good starting point, but I'm not quite convinced that there are universal ideal values.

Ideal mash pH would be to optimize extraction, boil pH would be for break formation and fining, and pitch pH would be for yeast performance and to target an appropriate finishing pH, correct?

Sent from my SM-G975U using Tapatalk

Eric B.

Finally got around to starting a homebrewing blog: The Hop Whisperer

Offline erockrph

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 7088
  • Chepachet, RI
    • The Hop WHisperer
Re: Checking ph of finished beers
« Reply #14 on: June 08, 2021, 04:05:53 PM »


If the mash/fermentation is done well, the main driver for final pH is the yeast strain.  Dry hopping raises pH and higher pH’s sharpen bitterness (+4.5). Each strain has a “sweet spot” for finish pH.

I don’t always measure it, but I do time to time.  Higher wort pitch pH can effect pH, but it has to be way out of line, 5.4-5.5 at pitch or higher.

Interesting point that I had never considered about dry hopping. I wonder if it's worth targeting a lower pitching pH in heavily dry hopped beers to mitigate some of this potentially sharper bitterness.



Sent from my SM-G975U using Tapatalk

Eric B.

Finally got around to starting a homebrewing blog: The Hop Whisperer