Author Topic: 5.2 pH Stabilizer  (Read 7538 times)

Offline mrdrysdale64

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5.2 pH Stabilizer
« on: January 06, 2010, 03:06:24 PM »
I would like some feedback on the use 5.2 pH Stabilizer. Any opinions one way or another would be appreciated.
Mike "Mr. Drysdale" White
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Offline a10t2

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Re: 5.2 pH Stabilizer
« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2010, 03:24:35 PM »
If your mash pH is already close, it will probably nudge it those last couple points. But if your mash pH is already close, it's likely because you're treating your water in one way or another anyway. That makes the 5.2 product pretty superfluous IMHO.
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Offline dean

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Re: 5.2 pH Stabilizer
« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2010, 03:36:36 PM »
I'm going to try some soon, I bought a 4 oz. tub recently.  I've got well water and the pH has been high when I checked the mash on light colored beer.  Denny said it doesn't always work so thats why I only bought a small tub of it to try first.

Offline tom

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Re: 5.2 pH Stabilizer
« Reply #3 on: January 06, 2010, 03:39:03 PM »
Ditto. Get your local water report. Ask for the levels of calcium, magnesium, sodium, alkalinity/carbonates, sulfate, chloride, and chlorine/chloramine. Get John Palmer's book How To Brew. He explains mash pH very well. You can check it out online at www.howtobrew.com .

I have very soft and low alkalinity water, so when I make dark beers the mash pH is too acidic. A friend gave me some pH 5.2 to try and it didn't do anything even at 3 times the recommended amount.
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Offline dean

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Re: 5.2 pH Stabilizer
« Reply #4 on: January 06, 2010, 03:53:33 PM »
I was going to send a bottle out to Ward Labs last month... but I procrastinated.  I'm pretty good at procrastinating on things like that.   :D  I need to send a bottle out... or maybe I should... maybe I just need to make what works with the water I have though... hmmmm.   :D

Offline denny

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Re: 5.2 pH Stabilizer
« Reply #5 on: January 06, 2010, 03:57:59 PM »
If you use 5.2, don't automatically assume it's working for you....check your pH after you use it.  90% of the time it does nothing for me.
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Offline mrdrysdale64

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Re: 5.2 pH Stabilizer
« Reply #6 on: January 06, 2010, 04:07:29 PM »
If you use 5.2, don't automatically assume it's working for you....check your pH after you use it.  90% of the time it does nothing for me.

Did you decide on a different method to adjust your mash ph for your particular water?
Mike "Mr. Drysdale" White
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Offline denny

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Re: 5.2 pH Stabilizer
« Reply #7 on: January 06, 2010, 04:16:56 PM »
If you use 5.2, don't automatically assume it's working for you....check your pH after you use it.  90% of the time it does nothing for me.

Did you decide on a different method to adjust your mash ph for your particular water?

In general, it's unnecessary for me to adjust pH.  For very light beers, I either cut my water with distilled or add a bit of lactic acid.  For very dark beers, a little CaCO32 works just fine for me.  Anything in between takes care of itself.  I experimented with 5.2 out of curiosity more than a need to adjust water.  My general philosophy is to brew beers that work with my water rather than build water for the beer.
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Offline a10t2

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Re: 5.2 pH Stabilizer
« Reply #8 on: January 06, 2010, 05:21:24 PM »
My general philosophy is to brew beers that work with my water rather than build water for the beer.

I've said it before and I'll say it again, you're a lucky man. If I only brewed beers that worked with my water my brewery would be 100% stouts.  ;)
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Offline Pawtucket Patriot

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Re: 5.2 pH Stabilizer
« Reply #9 on: January 07, 2010, 06:07:07 AM »
I used 5.2 for just over a year before I actually measured my pH (bonehead move!).  When I finally did measure my pH, I had an experience similar to Denny's.  5.2 didn't seem to do much for my mash pH, so I switched to using CaCO3 to increase pH and lactic acid to lower.  I've had nothing but success (as far as hitting my pH) doing things this way.
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Offline Kaiser

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Re: 5.2 pH Stabilizer
« Reply #10 on: January 07, 2010, 07:57:04 AM »
I thought I already said something here but it seems I didn’t:

You are better off buying a $5 GH&KH test kit (aquarium or pool supply) to test your water. That test is good enough for you to determine if any water adjustments are necessary based on the color of the beer you plan to brew. If you want more info, in particular Cl/SO4, send a sample to Ward Labs. You can still use that GH&KH test to test if your water has seasonal changes. If adjustments are necessary do them with baking soda, chalk or lactic acid (88% or acid malt). As far as I know 5.2 doesn’t buffer the mash pH at 5.2. It’s more like keeping it from going above 5.8 and doesn’t do anything if the pH is too low. If you use it and the mash tests at 5.2, try brewing w/o it. Chances are that the mash will still be at 5.2. It is also made of sodium phosphate salts. So when you use it you bump up the sodium content of your beer. …. by a lot.

Kai

Offline a10t2

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Re: 5.2 pH Stabilizer
« Reply #11 on: January 07, 2010, 10:40:02 AM »
It is also made of sodium phosphate salts. So when you use it you bump up the sodium content of your beer. …. by a lot.

Kai, do you have some information that it's actually sodium phosphate? IIRC the manufacturer just says that it's a phosphate buffer without specifying the cation(s).
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Offline Kaiser

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Re: 5.2 pH Stabilizer
« Reply #12 on: January 07, 2010, 11:00:36 AM »
It is also made of sodium phosphate salts. So when you use it you bump up the sodium content of your beer. …. by a lot.

Kai, do you have some information that it's actually sodium phosphate? IIRC the manufacturer just says that it's a phosphate buffer without specifying the cation(s).

There has been a lot of speculation what is actually in 5.2. On the forefront of all this is A.J. deLange. He has been speculating about this for a while. I'm planning to send a sample of dilluted 5.2 to Ward Labs to get confirmation. Others have likely done that already. So if anyone knows of published data I'm happy with citing that rather than spending the $16. But so far I have found no such source.

Kai


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Re: 5.2 pH Stabilizer
« Reply #13 on: January 07, 2010, 02:55:55 PM »
2-thumbs up!  :D
CHEERS! Jeff
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Offline dean

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Re: 5.2 pH Stabilizer
« Reply #14 on: January 08, 2010, 08:22:48 AM »
Is the calcium chloride sold by Morton Salts the same as what eveyone uses for making mineral adjustments?  I just saw a 12 pound jug in the store for $8.25 and it said it was the purest form of calcium chloride.