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Author Topic: Helles mash ph  (Read 767 times)

Offline trapae

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Helles mash ph
« on: May 12, 2024, 12:23:27 pm »
Hi all,

Started doing water chemistry, using RO water and bru’n water five brews ago.  So far have loved it and been almost dead on each time. Today I’m brewing a helles and was shooting for a pH of of 5.36 but it came out 5.5…. add room temperature of 71°. Not a huge deal I guess. Just wondering what people think the taste difference will be with a 5.5 pH? Less bright? Thanks.
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Offline dmtaylor

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Re: Helles mash ph
« Reply #1 on: May 12, 2024, 01:48:38 pm »
I would let it ride.  Probably no noticeable difference.  The yeast knows how to control pH in the beer, they're like experts compared to us lowly humans.
Dave

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Offline erockrph

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Re: Helles mash ph
« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2024, 11:07:57 am »
We taste the pH of the finished beer, not the mash pH, and almost every step of the brewing process in between has a tendency to drive the pH down. By the time fermentation is finished, there may be little difference between the finished pH of this batch vs your previous ones. I don't expect much difference in the end.
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Offline majorvices

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Re: Helles mash ph
« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2024, 12:27:12 pm »
I would sweat it. 5.2-5.4 is "ideal" for a pale lager ... but 10 bucks says you won't be able to tell the difference.

Offline saaz amore

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Re: Helles mash ph
« Reply #4 on: May 17, 2024, 09:09:18 pm »
I was surprised to see Axel from Weyermann say that 5.5 was the ideal mash pH in one of their little videos on YouTube. I'll see if I can find it.

Edit: Here it is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zg-9JdHUBB0
« Last Edit: May 17, 2024, 09:22:04 pm by saaz amore »

Offline 4dogbrewer

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Re: Helles mash ph
« Reply #5 on: May 18, 2024, 06:09:13 am »
I just watched the You Tube video. Now I am confused. I have always gone with 5.30 ph in my mash. Now he says 5.5? As stated earlier I probably won't taste the difference.

Online BrewBama

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Helles mash ph
« Reply #6 on: May 18, 2024, 06:31:55 am »
Anymore, I use my pH meter ~once a yr just to see if my mash pH is the same as the last bazillion times I used to anal-ize it.  *poof* it’s always 5.4 +/- .2. Close enough.

Mind you, I brew the same way every time using Gordon Strong’s advice: start with RO, add CaCl, gypsum or a combination to ~50+ ppm Ca (using BeerSmith Water Tool), withhold grains that screw with mash pH until after conversion, then add them at vorlauf for a 30 min hot steep. I also add OxBlox at .3 g per gal strike water and .5 tsp Brewtan B. Ever since I started brewing that way pH has been spot on every time.

This year I began entering my beer into competitions. Not once has a judge commented on pH.  There are more important things in my opinion.

Some choose to futz w/ pH every brewday. I choose not to chase it.  One less thing…


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« Last Edit: May 18, 2024, 06:43:00 am by BrewBama »

Offline denny

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Re: Helles mash ph
« Reply #7 on: May 18, 2024, 08:36:49 am »
I recently had a conversation with Martin about when to measure pH. He confirmed what I remember, which is that pH will drop throughout the mash and finally settle about 45 minutes in. That's when you should measure.
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Offline mabrungard

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Re: Helles mash ph
« Reply #8 on: May 18, 2024, 08:49:27 am »
which is that pH will drop throughout the mash and finally settle about 45 minutes in.

It's not necessarily a drop in pH. It can rise too. It depends on the acidity of the grain in the grist. For pale grists with little acidity, the pH and alkalinity of the strike water needs to be low and the extract from the grain ultimately causes the wort pH to rise and stabilize after about 45 minutes of mashing. The opposite is true for dark grists where the alkalinity of the strike water has to be high and the extract from the grain eventually pushes the wort pH down. 
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Offline denny

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Re: Helles mash ph
« Reply #9 on: May 18, 2024, 11:25:38 am »
which is that pH will drop throughout the mash and finally settle about 45 minutes in.

It's not necessarily a drop in pH. It can rise too. It depends on the acidity of the grain in the grist. For pale grists with little acidity, the pH and alkalinity of the strike water needs to be low and the extract from the grain ultimately causes the wort pH to rise and stabilize after about 45 minutes of mashing. The opposite is true for dark grists where the alkalinity of the strike water has to be high and the extract from the grain eventually pushes the wort pH down.

Thanks for the clarification.
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Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: Helles mash ph
« Reply #10 on: May 19, 2024, 02:35:13 pm »
And so, we should mash at least 45 minutes, if one has concern about a pale beer’s mash pH?  (I step mash 75-90 minutes usually and boil 30 minutes, typically, but I haven’t measured pH in a while, since the calculated pH has been spot on every time….)
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Offline denny

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Re: Helles mash ph
« Reply #11 on: May 19, 2024, 03:50:43 pm »
And so, we should mash at least 45 minutes, if one has concern about a pale beer’s mash pH?  (I step mash 75-90 minutes usually and boil 30 minutes, typically, but I haven’t measured pH in a while, since the calculated pH has been spot on every time….)

It's more like you won't see the predicted pH until 45 min in. If you mash shorter and are intent of hitting a pH, you need to adjust your prediction.
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Offline mabrungard

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Re: Helles mash ph
« Reply #12 on: May 20, 2024, 02:32:49 pm »
And so, we should mash at least 45 minutes

Mashing pH becomes relatively constant after that time...unless you add something else to the mash. I'm not aware of a reason why a brewer would add something excepting a late roast addition.
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Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: Helles mash ph
« Reply #13 on: May 20, 2024, 02:57:28 pm »
Got it.  Thanks Denny and Martin.  I may start using a shortened mash going forward... or hold the first step of the step mashing for no more than 45 minutes (as long as it fully converts in the first 45 minutes, as well).
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Offline narcout

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Re: Helles mash ph
« Reply #14 on: June 27, 2024, 05:35:55 pm »
The yeast knows how to control pH in the beer, they're like experts compared to us lowly humans.

It's true that yeast generally pull the pH of the finished beer down into the desirable range.  But consider that the amount of acidification delegated to the yeast may have an impact on flavor.
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