Author Topic: Checking ph of finished beers  (Read 659 times)

Offline hmbrw4life

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Re: Checking ph of finished beers
« Reply #15 on: June 08, 2021, 04:43:21 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.



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That is, assuming pitching pH translates directly to finished beer pH(or ANY other process pH target for that matter). Which I (and most professional literature agrees) do not necessarily think it does.

The reasons pH targets are there is for the optimization of process at hand.

-Generalizations-

Mash pH targets
Higher (5.4+)Extract Considerations -Beta, alpha, others, LOX considerations

Start of Boil
Higher (5.4+) = More hop utilization, better break formation (larger flakes)
If applicable faster DMS removal

End of boil
Lower (5.1-) = promotes faster break removal, actually allows your kettle finings to work optimally, Allows yeast to work faster.

Fermentation-
Lower (4.5-) Yeast will move/buffer pH low, independent of what it saw at end of boil. Yeast will not start fermenting until buffering is at its desired level. If its lower, it has less to buffer, hence less lag time, and better fermentation (less reserves used).

End of fermentation- EOF pH levels are driven by yeast strain, and fermentation performance (faster the fermentation the lower the finishing pH normally). This is not driven off of any other pH levels. So targeting any levels above matter not. The curve ball is that there are factors that influence raising of EOF pH, hopping and autolysis are the primary ones. If fermentation/dry hopping pH will raise and it causes the beer to not be as "clean and sharp" as desired, and it will stale faster as well. It is desired that if you dry hop, especially large amounts as in NEIPA, you add some form of acid to bring the pH back down. This will help with making bright flavors, and stability. Autolysis is easily avoided.
« Last Edit: June 08, 2021, 05:00:58 PM by hmbrw4life »
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Offline BrewBama

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Re: Checking ph of finished beers
« Reply #16 on: June 08, 2021, 05:00:28 PM »
Good stuff. Can I get the references you are citing? 
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Offline erockrph

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Re: Checking ph of finished beers
« Reply #17 on: June 08, 2021, 05:04:19 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.



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That is, assuming pitching pH translates directly to finished beer pH(or ANY other process pH target for that matter). Which I (and most professional literature agrees) do not necessarily think it does.

The reasons pH targets are there is for the optimization of process at hand.

-Generalizations-

Mash pH targets
Higher (5.4+)Extract Considerations -Beta, alpha, others, LOX considerations

Start of Boil
Higher (5.4+) = More hop utilization, better break formation (larger flakes)
If applicable faster DMS removal

End of boil
Lower (5.1-) = promotes faster break removal, actually allows your kettle finings to work optimally, Allows yeast to work faster.

Fermentation-
Lower (4.5-) Yeast will move/buffer pH low, independent of what it saw at end of boil. Yeast will not start fermenting until buffering is at its desired level. If its lower, it has less to buffer, hence less lag time, and better fermentation (less reserves used).

End of fermentation- EOF pH levels are driven by yeast strain, and fermentation performance (faster the fermentation the lower the finishing pH normally). This is not driven off of any other pH levels. So targeting any levels above matter not. The curve ball is that there are factors that influence raising of EOF pH, hopping and autolysis are the primary ones. If fermentation/dry hopping pH will raise and it causes the beer to not be as "clean and sharp" as desired, and it will stale faster as well. It is desired that if you dry hop, especially large amounts as in NEIPA, you add some form of acid to bring the pH back down. This will help with making bright flavors, and stability. Autolysis is easily avoided.
This is supremely helpful! Lots to digest here, but this certainly helps to target specific issues. Thanks!

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Offline hmbrw4life

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Re: Checking ph of finished beers
« Reply #18 on: June 08, 2021, 05:16:13 PM »
Good stuff. Can I get the references you are citing?

That was the summation and generalization of a plethora of brewing books, peer reviewed sources, and manufacturer data. This was a jump off point...
https://www.themodernbrewhouse.com/list-of-brewing-references/

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Offline HighVoltageMan!

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Re: Checking ph of finished beers
« Reply #19 on: June 08, 2021, 07:04:29 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%u2019s sharpen bitterness (+4.5). Each strain has a %u201Csweet spot%u201D for finish pH.

I don%u2019t 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.



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Lower pitch pH does not translate to lower finish pH, as others have stated. Certain yeast are high acid producers, like WLP029 and K97. Other yeasts like Chico strains, 1056, US05 and WLP001 are lower acid producers. 029 lands around 3.9-4.1 finish. 1056 lands @ 4.5 or higher. Add .1-.2 after dry hopping, it is not unusual to see finish pH on an IPA fermented with 1056 end up with a 4.7 pH. K97 makes a decent IPA and PA, but it is not at nice as WLP007. 007 finishes 4.3 or so and seems to be a nice compromise between a high acid and low acid yeasts.  But if the bitterness is too sharp, a small acid addition helps a lot. I add up to 3/4 tsp of 85% phosphoric acid for a 7 gallon batch.

Using phosphoric acid to adjust beer pH after dry hopping can make a fairly big difference. The bitterness is smoother and the beer is just more enjoyable. I compete quite often and have adjusted pale ales with acid to tone down the bitterness. Many of those beers went on to win gold. The best way to try this experiment is to start with a commercially or homebrewed IPA. Taste it, add 85% phosphoric or lactic acid with a toothpick or dropper and taste again. The beer changes its bitterness and its brightness. You can add until you taste the acid, typically you would never add that much in whole batch, but it can give an idea of how much you can add and its effects.
« Last Edit: June 08, 2021, 07:20:58 PM by HighVoltageMan! »

Offline narcout

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Re: Checking ph of finished beers
« Reply #20 on: June 09, 2021, 01:39:06 PM »
The reasons pH targets are there is for the optimization of process at hand.

-Generalizations-

Mash pH targets
Higher (5.4+)Extract Considerations -Beta, alpha, others, LOX considerations

Doesn't a lower mash pH inhibit LOX activity?  I've seen 5.2 mentioned in that regard in both Freshness and TB&M.
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Offline hmbrw4life

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Re: Checking ph of finished beers
« Reply #21 on: June 09, 2021, 01:55:14 PM »
The reasons pH targets are there is for the optimization of process at hand.

-Generalizations-

Mash pH targets
Higher (5.4+)Extract Considerations -Beta, alpha, others, LOX considerations

Doesn't a lower mash pH inhibit LOX activity?  I've seen 5.2 mentioned in that regard in both Freshness and TB&M.

Yes, sorry I wasn't clear in my designation,
LOX consideration =  Is potential issue if you are using Pilsner malts, and have mash oxidation. Otherwise LOX is denatured in the malt house.
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Offline BrewBama

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Checking ph of finished beers
« Reply #22 on: June 13, 2021, 12:27:31 PM »
All this talk of specific pH points to hit in certain processes sent me off on a journey of investigation.  This about sums it up:

“One might have anticipated that, by now, the appreciation of the precise effects that pH can have on the brewing process and beer quality and also the exact materials that determine the pH of wort and beer would be set in tablets of stone. This is not so, at least in part because of the complexity of the matrices involved.” Bamforth, pH in Brewing: An Overview, MBAA TQ, Vol 38, No. 1, 2001.

Anyone that says “this pH for this effect” based on any individual/group of reference(s) is in contradiction with another equally rigorous individual/group of reference(s). Basically, I found little to no consensus among the scientists.

Pick a reference to suit your bias seems to be the rule. (Me included)

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« Last Edit: June 13, 2021, 12:33:02 PM by BrewBama »
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Offline erockrph

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Re: Checking ph of finished beers
« Reply #23 on: June 13, 2021, 02:00:18 PM »
All this talk of specific pH points to hit in certain processes sent me off on a journey of investigation.  This about sums it up:

“One might have anticipated that, by now, the appreciation of the precise effects that pH can have on the brewing process and beer quality and also the exact materials that determine the pH of wort and beer would be set in tablets of stone. This is not so, at least in part because of the complexity of the matrices involved.” Bamforth, pH in Brewing: An Overview, MBAA TQ, Vol 38, No. 1, 2001.

Anyone that says “this pH for this effect” based on any individual/group of reference(s) is in contradiction with another equally rigorous individual/group of reference(s). Basically, I found little to no consensus among the scientists.

Pick a reference to suit your bias seems to be the rule. (Me included)

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To me pragmatism > dogmatism. Having competing references for a particular data point just tells me that if I'm interested I should try it for myself, see if I like the results,  and then decide whether that particular intervention is worth including in some or all of my beers.

Although to be frank, I tend to follow the same procedure even if the data isn't conflicting...

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Offline BrewBama

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Re: Checking ph of finished beers
« Reply #24 on: June 13, 2021, 02:24:40 PM »
That’s probably the best way to go.



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Offline denny

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Re: Checking ph of finished beers
« Reply #25 on: June 13, 2021, 02:34:22 PM »
All this talk of specific pH points to hit in certain processes sent me off on a journey of investigation.  This about sums it up:

“One might have anticipated that, by now, the appreciation of the precise effects that pH can have on the brewing process and beer quality and also the exact materials that determine the pH of wort and beer would be set in tablets of stone. This is not so, at least in part because of the complexity of the matrices involved.” Bamforth, pH in Brewing: An Overview, MBAA TQ, Vol 38, No. 1, 2001.

Anyone that says “this pH for this effect” based on any individual/group of reference(s) is in contradiction with another equally rigorous individual/group of reference(s). Basically, I found little to no consensus among the scientists.

Pick a reference to suit your bias seems to be the rule. (Me included)

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
To me pragmatism > dogmatism. Having competing references for a particular data point just tells me that if I'm interested I should try it for myself, see if I like the results,  and then decide whether that particular intervention is worth including in some or all of my beers.

Although to be frank, I tend to follow the same procedure even if the data isn't conflicting...

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Well put.  Been my SOP for many years.
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