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Author Topic: PH reading  (Read 2796 times)

Offline Finn Berger

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Re: PH reading
« Reply #45 on: February 25, 2024, 02:28:13 am »
AJ Delange proposed a simplified approach to water chemistry - it is in a Homebrew Talk thread: https://www.homebrewtalk.com/threads/a-brewing-water-chemistry-primer.198460/ . It only applies if using soft water, and he defines "soft" at the beginning. Does anyone have experience using this method? I haven't used it myself.

That works very well - though as he suggests you might want to vary the addition of salts for flavor a bit more. That really doesn't take much extra effort, and I think it will pay off.

In Norway most people have soft water like that. The geology of he country was pretty much simplified during the last ice age. The scrubbing effect of an ice sheet a couple of kilometers thick moving slowly towards the sea ground most parts down to bedrock. And water running over granite doesn't pick up much minerals:).

I've written an article based on that on our forum, and it says much the same as deLange (only he says it better :)). I've made a simple table for salt additions using measuring spoons based on the table on p. 344-345 in Palmers How to Brew. That won't be very accurate, but it's accurate enough.

Offline goose

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Re: PH reading
« Reply #46 on: February 25, 2024, 08:04:54 am »
I think the key to pH using the Gordon Strong method is starting with RO or Distilled, only mashing grain that requires it, using ~ 50 ppm Ca thru use of CaCl and/or gypsum, and adding grains that screw with pH after the main mash conversion is complete.  I’ve been doing it a few years now because it works every time.

I use RO water that i get from a local water softener outfit (kinda like Culligan) and have found that the pH is somewhere around 8-8.3 out of their taps which tends to throw the pH readings predicted by Bru'n Water off a bit.  I have brought this to their attention as they run city water through their RO system.  For my lighter beers I have to add some 75% phosphoric acid (less than 1 ml) to the mash liquor to bring the pH down below 6 (I shoot for about 5.5) and then the numbers match very closely to what Bru'n Water predicts with my salt additions.  For my darker beers, I can get away with no acid addition and just let the dark grains drop the pH as I mash everything in all at once rather than holding the dark grains back until after conversion as opposed to Gordon Strong's method.
Some water suppliers add some calcium carbonate back to the RO water for flavor but you can still get some pure RO water from them if you ask for it. I learned this from the Culligan guy when I stopped in his store one day.  Keep this in mind if you buy RO water from a store.  I recently acquired a TDS meter and will look at an alkalinity kit to get more data on this water.  TDS with RO should be very low to none but it is a good thing to check from time to time.
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Online denny

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Re: PH reading
« Reply #47 on: February 25, 2024, 08:44:28 am »
Gordon's method is great for pH, but does alter the taste. You have to decide if that's what you want.
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Offline Richard

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Re: PH reading
« Reply #48 on: February 25, 2024, 09:06:28 am »
Delange says that if you have roast malt just skip the sauermalz addition. That is a bit vague and unlikely to work in all cases. For a small to modest amount of dark grains it might be just fine, but for a stout with a lot of roasted malt I know that the acid from the grains is too much and I need to add some baking soda or CaOH to increase the pH.

Delange does say that his method will get you close but that you should use a pH meter if you are serious about getting the best results.
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Offline neuse

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Re: PH reading
« Reply #49 on: February 25, 2024, 10:53:43 am »
AJ Delange proposed a simplified approach to water chemistry - it is in a Homebrew Talk thread: https://www.homebrewtalk.com/threads/a-brewing-water-chemistry-primer.198460/ . It only applies if using soft water, and he defines "soft" at the beginning. Does anyone have experience using this method? I haven't used it myself.

That works very well - though as he suggests you might want to vary the addition of salts for flavor a bit more. That really doesn't take much extra effort, and I think it will pay off.

In Norway most people have soft water like that. The geology of he country was pretty much simplified during the last ice age. The scrubbing effect of an ice sheet a couple of kilometers thick moving slowly towards the sea ground most parts down to bedrock. And water running over granite doesn't pick up much minerals:).

I've written an article based on that on our forum, and it says much the same as deLange (only he says it better :)). I've made a simple table for salt additions using measuring spoons based on the table on p. 344-345 in Palmers How to Brew. That won't be very accurate, but it's accurate enough.
Yes, he started with a baseline of 1 tsp of Calcium Chloride, and adding 1 tsp of gypsum for British beers. He later changed it to 1/2 tsp of both of these because he decided it tasted a little too minerally. Possibly somewhere in between would be ideal? Since water chemistry seems to be somewhat subjective, maybe close is close enough for a starting point.

Online denny

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Re: PH reading
« Reply #50 on: February 25, 2024, 11:19:33 am »
Keep in mind that AJ brews light lager almost exclusively.
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Offline Richard

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Re: PH reading
« Reply #51 on: February 25, 2024, 10:43:02 pm »
Keep in mind that AJ brews light lager almost exclusively.
Well, that certainly makes the water chemistry a lot simpler.
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Offline goose

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Re: PH reading
« Reply #52 on: February 26, 2024, 10:37:50 am »
Gordon's method is great for pH, but does alter the taste. You have to decide if that's what you want.

That is why I don't do it.
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Offline mabrungard

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Re: PH reading
« Reply #53 on: February 26, 2024, 10:43:47 am »
Gordon's method is great for pH, but does alter the taste. You have to decide if that's what you want.

Well, actually, Gordon's method isn't great for pH...but its better than doing nothing about pH.
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Online denny

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Re: PH reading
« Reply #54 on: February 26, 2024, 11:01:28 am »
Gordon's method is great for pH, but does alter the taste. You have to decide if that's what you want.

Well, actually, Gordon's method isn't great for pH...but its better than doing nothing about pH.

Maybe I should have said "if you don't want to deal with pH"?
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

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Offline brewthru

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Re: PH reading
« Reply #55 on: February 29, 2024, 03:37:14 pm »
I think the point that Denny was trying to make is that roasted grains are know to be acidic and drop the mash pH significantly. You can get away with a standard acid addition if all of your beers are lighter than amber, even though the recipes are different, but once you start to go darker than that you will need to lower your acid additions. I brew a couple of stouts that have so many dark grains that I actually have to add baking soda to bring my mash pH up instead of the usual acid to bring it down.

In addition, I target a higher pH for my stouts and porters than I do for most other styles. Too low a pH with a lot of roasted grains makes for an acrid beer.

pH adjustment may be "one size fits most" within a certain range of recipes, but it's definitely worth at the very least using a calculator like Brunwater or Brewer's Friend to get the most out of your pH adjustments.

Haven't brewed a stout or porter in a long, long time.

Offline brewthru

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Re: PH reading
« Reply #56 on: February 29, 2024, 03:44:35 pm »
I read thru all the posts. Thanks to everyone posting. I learned a LOT and appreciate the time others took to contribute to this thread.