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Stabilzer and Mineral Additions

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Mile Hi Brewing Supplies:
Hey guys-

We're having a little discussion in my club regarding the use of 5.2 Stabilizer, in particular when using RO water.  One position is that adding minerals AND 5.2 is at best unnecessary, but may even hinder the effectiveness of the buffers in 5.2.  Also, this individual maintains that there are enough nutrients in malted barley (coupled with 5.2) to "fuel" the mash enzymatic processes, the various boil processes, and the yeast nutrients needed in the ferment...such that no additional minerals need to be added during any of the 3 phases.

Others think that there may be a need for additional minerals particularly when brewing hoppy beers. 

I've never seen this issue addressed specifically, so I'd like to know what you guys think.  Appreciate the help.


Personally, I feel like 5.2 is a crutch. It MAY help you get your pH in range if your pH was close to begin with, but you have to test to be sure, and once you're at that point I don't feel like the mineral additions to really tweak your water are much more effort.

IMHO none of the ions homebrewers target are "necessary", although calcium is important for a number of reactions, which is why it's generally suggested it be above 25 or 50 ppm. There are almost certainly enough "nutrients" in an all-malt mash to take care of everything the yeast need.

Edit: you may not have seen this topic:

Mile Hi Brewing Supplies:
Interesting...and thanks for the link to the prior thread.  I raised this issue recently because I just got a pH meter and noticed that my mash was at 5.5, in spite of having used 5.2 and adding minerals.  I couldn't understand these results and became suspicious of the 5.2.  Based on what I've just read, I think the right thing to do is to toss the 5.2.

Can anyone comment on the mineral/nutrient content of malted barley and malted wheat?  Do they contain sufficient minerals and other nutrients (when used with RO water) to carry out an effective mash, boil, and fermentation?

By the way, with regard to the content of 5.2, I read in another forum the following:

"A blend of two salts. They are neutralized versions of phosphoric acid. They are monosodium phosphate (Na H2 PO4) and disodium phosphate (Na2HPO4) in the right ratio they will form a buffer that locks the pH at 5.2".

Don't know if this sheds any light on the chemical makeup, or even if it's accurate.  Just passing it on...

Ocdbrewer - if you pH was at 5.5 at room temp. it will be 5.2 at mash temp.  Maybe you already know that.

Mile Hi Brewing Supplies:
My pH meter is ATC so, hopefully, it accounted for the pH shift resulting from the higher temperature.  Hopefully...

Based on the other thread, I now assume this higher pH was caused by mixing the 5.2 with certain minerals (such as chalk and baking soda).  If my thinking is off base (likely...), I'm sure someone will point that out!



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