Author Topic: Yet another pH thread...  (Read 3354 times)

Offline BrewBama

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Re: Yet another pH thread...
« Reply #30 on: June 23, 2021, 01:49:15 pm »
Sounds like your probe may be starting to go.



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Offline Village Taphouse

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Re: Yet another pH thread...
« Reply #31 on: June 23, 2021, 02:38:24 pm »
Sounds like your probe may be starting to go.
That would stink because it hasn't been long since I replaced it.  Insider of a year.  Are they only supposed to last a year?  It doesn't go long without being used and I always store it in the storage solution and in an upright position.  But... I agree, the Omega doesn't seem to be reading properly at this point. 
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Offline Village Taphouse

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Re: Yet another pH thread...
« Reply #32 on: June 23, 2021, 02:54:44 pm »
WHOA!  You would NOT believe what just arrived in my mailbox.  My village 2020 water quality consumer confidence report!  Did they HEAR me wondering about my water?!  There are no numbers for things we look at like calcium, chloride, sulfate, etc. but I already know those numbers.  But the pH is right here and it says the range is 7.6 to 7.8.  Huh.  And this Apera meter showed it as 7.59 in my test today.  Now that's information I can use.  Turns out the Ward number was correct-ish.  So this weekend when I brew I am going to filter my water and get it to a pH of 5.5 prior to using it based on Strong's suggestion.  BNW calculated that I needed 4ml to get to a mash pH of 5.4 so I will start with less than that so I know how much I need to get from 7.6ish to 5.5ish.  Oh and my hardness (as CaCO3) shows an average of 130 which is close to my Ward numbers (140 this last time and 138 the time prior) so all of that checks out.  I consider that a very timely piece of mail.  :D
Ken from Chicago. 
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Offline BrewBama

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Yet another pH thread...
« Reply #33 on: June 23, 2021, 03:00:08 pm »
I think you’re the only one in the country that can use the term ‘timely’ in the same sentence with the US Postal Service.



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« Last Edit: June 25, 2021, 08:38:30 am by BrewBama »

Offline Village Taphouse

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Re: Yet another pH thread...
« Reply #34 on: June 24, 2021, 02:33:15 pm »
Turns out that another brewer I know who has/had the Omega meter also ran into trouble with it and got a new meter and... it turned out to be this same meter... Apera PH60.  It appears that the storage of the meter is slightly different than my Milwaukee meter I had (long ago) and also the Omega where you fill the cap with storage solution and store the meter upright.  I sent an email to Apera after looking at the documentation and for this meter they suggest just using a couple drops of 3M KCL solution.  Those drops just keep the environment inside the meter's cap "humid" which keeps the probe in good shape.  You can also store the meter in any position... vertical or horizontal.  If you go 30+ days without using the meter, you can "soak" the probe in the same solution to "refresh" the probe and get it into good shape.  That's very different from other meters that just use a "storage solution" and I wonder if that approach means a longer life and a more accurate probe.  The 3M KCL solution has a distinct smell to it that normal storage solution does not have.  My order for the Apera PH60 has been placed. 
« Last Edit: June 24, 2021, 02:35:07 pm by Village Taphouse »
Ken from Chicago. 
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Offline BrewingRover

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Re: Yet another pH thread...
« Reply #35 on: June 27, 2021, 11:18:40 am »
WHOA!  You would NOT believe what just arrived in my mailbox.  My village 2020 water quality consumer confidence report!  Did they HEAR me wondering about my water?!  There are no numbers for things we look at like calcium, chloride, sulfate, etc. but I already know those numbers.  But the pH is right here and it says the range is 7.6 to 7.8.  Huh.  And this Apera meter showed it as 7.59 in my test today.  Now that's information I can use.  Turns out the Ward number was correct-ish.  So this weekend when I brew I am going to filter my water and get it to a pH of 5.5 prior to using it based on Strong's suggestion.  BNW calculated that I needed 4ml to get to a mash pH of 5.4 so I will start with less than that so I know how much I need to get from 7.6ish to 5.5ish.  Oh and my hardness (as CaCO3) shows an average of 130 which is close to my Ward numbers (140 this last time and 138 the time prior) so all of that checks out.  I consider that a very timely piece of mail.  :D

Hadn't seen this thread until today, I was going to post a link to those on the City web site, Ken.
https://www.chicago.gov/city/en/depts/water/supp_info/water_quality_resultsandreports/comprehensive_chemicalanalysis.html

Those are pretty consistently in the 7.6-8.0 range.
« Last Edit: June 27, 2021, 11:20:59 am by BrewingRover »
It's such a fine line between stupid and clever.

Offline Village Taphouse

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Re: Yet another pH thread...
« Reply #36 on: June 28, 2021, 02:08:44 pm »
WHOA!  You would NOT believe what just arrived in my mailbox.  My village 2020 water quality consumer confidence report!  Did they HEAR me wondering about my water?!  There are no numbers for things we look at like calcium, chloride, sulfate, etc. but I already know those numbers.  But the pH is right here and it says the range is 7.6 to 7.8.  Huh.  And this Apera meter showed it as 7.59 in my test today.  Now that's information I can use.  Turns out the Ward number was correct-ish.  So this weekend when I brew I am going to filter my water and get it to a pH of 5.5 prior to using it based on Strong's suggestion.  BNW calculated that I needed 4ml to get to a mash pH of 5.4 so I will start with less than that so I know how much I need to get from 7.6ish to 5.5ish.  Oh and my hardness (as CaCO3) shows an average of 130 which is close to my Ward numbers (140 this last time and 138 the time prior) so all of that checks out.  I consider that a very timely piece of mail.  :D

Hadn't seen this thread until today, I was going to post a link to those on the City web site, Ken.
https://www.chicago.gov/city/en/depts/water/supp_info/water_quality_resultsandreports/comprehensive_chemicalanalysis.html

Those are pretty consistently in the 7.6-8.0 range.
Thank you for that.  You know, sometimes you just need a stable starting point.  I had too much conflicting data but this local report I just got was enough to pinpoint something so I knew which meter to trust.  Thanks again & cheers.
Ken from Chicago. 
A day without beer is like... just kidding, I have no idea.

Offline denny

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Re: Yet another pH thread...
« Reply #37 on: June 28, 2021, 02:42:26 pm »
Reminds me of the old saying "a man with 2 watches never knows what time it is"
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Offline Village Taphouse

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Re: Yet another pH thread...
« Reply #38 on: June 28, 2021, 03:51:18 pm »
Reminds me of the old saying "a man with 2 watches never knows what time it is"
Right.  I have two Thermapens, multiple dial thermos and a number of glass thermos so if I needed multiple opinions I have access to that.  But with one pH meter, I either have to trust it or else use pH strips just to try to verify it or have another pH meter.  TBH, I do not want two pH meters but this Omega meter I have has clearly $h!t the bed.  Taking proper care of a pen-style pH meter is not for the squeamish. 
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Offline chumley

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Re: Yet another pH thread...
« Reply #39 on: June 29, 2021, 12:05:59 pm »
I have been brewing for 31 years, all-grain the last 25.  About 10 years ago, I bought a pH meter and used it for a few batches. It confirmed that my practices for adjusting mash pH, namely adding set amounts of acid malt or lactic acid of very pale beers like pilsners and helles, and very small additions of calcium carbonate for stouts, were working. I haven't pulled it out of the box for years.

Offline Village Taphouse

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Re: Yet another pH thread...
« Reply #40 on: June 29, 2021, 01:37:58 pm »
I have been brewing for 31 years, all-grain the last 25.  About 10 years ago, I bought a pH meter and used it for a few batches. It confirmed that my practices for adjusting mash pH, namely adding set amounts of acid malt or lactic acid of very pale beers like pilsners and helles, and very small additions of calcium carbonate for stouts, were working. I haven't pulled it out of the box for years.
I hear that.  We all have different processes and different water and we all have to deal with whatever variables we have.  I do know that the pH of my water increased from earlier Ward Labs reports so that's one reason to check the water occasionally (unless you're always using RO or distilled in which case it would not be necessary).  With the goal just getting my strike water to a pH of 5.5 prior to brewing I should be able to bypass the meter as well but occasionally it's nice to make sure nothing has changed without you knowing. 
Ken from Chicago. 
A day without beer is like... just kidding, I have no idea.

Offline chumley

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Re: Yet another pH thread...
« Reply #41 on: June 29, 2021, 05:04:03 pm »
Well, if you live in Chicago, you probably never know where your city water is coming from, day to day, I suspect.

I live in Helena, Montana, and know my city water is coming from the Tenmile reservoir system 98% of the time, so I don't have to worry about it.

Now, on occasion, when the Tenmile water treatment plant is out of commission, my tap water comes from the Missouri River. I instantly know it from the mossy smell (I don't need a pH meter to tell me i have different water). I refuse to brew with that water, I can drive up to the Continental Divide where the highway department has developed a spring where I can fill plastic carboys. And that water has virtually the same cation/anion balance as my Tenmile city water.

I admire you guys who brew in less pristine parts of the country. I would brew with RO water if i lived in the Deep South - their tap water tastes terrible.

Offline BrewBama

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Re: Yet another pH thread...
« Reply #42 on: June 29, 2021, 05:29:57 pm »
…I can drive up to the Continental Divide where the highway department has developed a spring where I can fill plastic carboys. And that water has virtually the same cation/anion balance as my Tenmile city water.

…. I would brew with RO water if i lived in the Deep South - their tap water tastes terrible.

I envy guys like you. When i was stationed in Italy we were at the foothills of the Dolomites. The owner of the house we rented had a pipe tapped into a spring that ran with beautiful water.

I can definitely tell my filtered fridge water from unfiltered tap water that’s for sure. I have been noodling an RO system but I dunno. I use distilled to brew.

Offline RC

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Re: Yet another pH thread...
« Reply #43 on: June 29, 2021, 06:18:48 pm »
…I can drive up to the Continental Divide where the highway department has developed a spring where I can fill plastic carboys. And that water has virtually the same cation/anion balance as my Tenmile city water.

…. I would brew with RO water if i lived in the Deep South - their tap water tastes terrible.

I envy guys like you. When i was stationed in Italy we were at the foothills of the Dolomites. The owner of the house we rented had a pipe tapped into a spring that ran with beautiful water.

I can definitely tell my filtered fridge water from unfiltered tap water that’s for sure. I have been noodling an RO system but I dunno. I use distilled to brew.

Speaking of clean water, my water comes from Folsom Lake, which is fed by snowmelt from the Sierra Nevada. It's about as close to distilled water as a natural water source can be. It's so pure that it has caused corrosion and pinhole leaks in copper piping in hundreds (maybe thousands) of homes in the city of Folsom.

I am very lucky that I have not had to contend with hard and/or high-alkalinity water in my brewing career (although I did contend with pinhole leaks, and that wasn't fun). However, this will may change soon given how dry we are out here...

Offline Richard

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Re: Yet another pH thread...
« Reply #44 on: June 29, 2021, 09:18:04 pm »
…I can drive up to the Continental Divide where the highway department has developed a spring where I can fill plastic carboys. And that water has virtually the same cation/anion balance as my Tenmile city water.

…. I would brew with RO water if i lived in the Deep South - their tap water tastes terrible.

I envy guys like you. When i was stationed in Italy we were at the foothills of the Dolomites. The owner of the house we rented had a pipe tapped into a spring that ran with beautiful water.

I can definitely tell my filtered fridge water from unfiltered tap water that’s for sure. I have been noodling an RO system but I dunno. I use distilled to brew.

Speaking of clean water, my water comes from Folsom Lake, which is fed by snowmelt from the Sierra Nevada. It's about as close to distilled water as a natural water source can be. It's so pure that it has caused corrosion and pinhole leaks in copper piping in hundreds (maybe thousands) of homes in the city of Folsom.

I am very lucky that I have not had to contend with hard and/or high-alkalinity water in my brewing career (although I did contend with pinhole leaks, and that wasn't fun). However, this will may change soon given how dry we are out here...

The last picture I saw of Folsom Lake there was a long walk from the boat dock to the water. Once a reservoir starts getting shallow and the water warms there are all kinds of bad things that can happen. I hope you don't have to deal with that. I get Hetch Hetchy water, which is Sierra snowmelt like yours and is going to be OK for this year, but next year could be scarce if we don't have a wet winter.
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