I know that brewing water pH is more about minerals than it is merely a pH number. I am waiting on a water analysis from my county water provider, but I am brewing before they will have the results to me.
I bought a pH meter, and I'm going to test my tap water before brewing. Without knowing the minerals, I plan on still trying to lower my water pH to an appropriate level with phosphoric acid, though I'm not sure what level to try for. Again, I know this is a loaded question, but I don't know if I should just aim for an even 7.0 for now? I know I want the mash to be around 5.4-5.6 but I want to do so with minerals not acid. I also have no idea how to calculate the desired pH level for my particular brew.
So if I do indeed just try to get to 7.0, should I be doing that for strike AND sparge? I've never worried about pH in brewing before but I'm trying to learn