I use PH test strips, when using them do I let the sample cool to room temp or just take the sample at mash temp? I also started using campden for my mash water, do I add the crushed 1/4 tab before I heat the strike water or after reaching temp but before mashing in? Thanks in advance for all your input.

Always do pH measurements at room temperature. Mash pH typically decreases at higher temperatures, and the reference values of 5.2-5.4 are cited at room temp. Pull a sample, chill it in a cup in a bowl of ice water, and then test it.

Be warned - pH strips are not very accurate and usually measure a bit low.

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This is exactly why I stopped using them. One would give me a totally different reading than the next in the same mash.

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Interesting…I stuck my probe into 151 degrees and got 5.1 this weekend. Is there a correction for temp? Next time I’ll pull a sample :slight_smile:

Yup! The correction is to pull a sample and chill it to room temp. :wink:

It’s impossible to apply a correction, as it will depend on your water and the buffering capacity of the malt, how much it shifts with temperature. And an ATC pH meter won’t help - it just compensates for the temperature of the probe itself, as the probe will have a response shift based on temperature.

My pH meter doesn’t like anything over 90, so I pull off a shot glass and let it sit, now that I know more, and do the best to check as cool as I can get it whilst mashing… Sneezles61

Well unfortunately I don’t have the extra money for a meter. I’ve heard they are a PITA with all the solutions, and having to calibrate the meter. I’ve read on other forums to add .3 to what the strip is telling you, but I could be very wrong. Did anyone read my other question about campden tabs? Can I add the crushed half tab before I heat my strike or while it’s heating, never used them before. Just started after advice from@dmtaylo2.

Toss it in before you heat the water, but it really only takes a few seconds.

PH meters are indeed a PITA, and Bru’n water is pretty darn accurate. Unless you have a specific reason to accurately measure pH, I would recommend just using Bru’n water and trusting the result. Sometimes no data is better than bad data, and it’s impossible to know if you’re getting bad data with those.

There are some cheap pH meters on Amazon, but you’ll still need the calibration solutions. You could get a decent meter with accessories for under $50, but if you’re in for that much already, might as well spend the extra cash for a good Milwaukee. Bru’n water makes it pretty unnecessary, though.

Ok thanks for the advice.

I don’t think it matters when the Campden is added, but the water gurus say it’s best to add when the water is still cold, so that’s what I do.

Campden removes the chlorine within a few seconds so add it right before you put the heat to it. I stopped using a meter after observing that my mash pH was within .01 of what Brun Water indicated on 20 batches. Figure why waste my time and pay for the solutions.

Thanks to everyone for their input.