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Brewing IPA today with target pH of 5.6

It’s 40F today and things are looking good that I will get finally get a chance to brew. Feeling adventurous (our maybe it’s just plain old cabin fever) I am continuing my research in pushing mash pH higher in hopes to get more dextrins in my beers. On deck I have a 7 SRM IPA that I plan to target a mash/preboil pH of 5.6. Last IPA was 5.5 and I thought it was a step in the right direction. In the past I pushed the envelope in the other direction and went lower and although the beers were good they are not what I was trying to achieve and seem to be less “polished” for lack of a better word. Perfect for delicate styles but not IPA I think. It is my contention pH affects the results of the mash more so than temperature.

1.070 or so, single infusion at 154F
85% 2 row brewers malt
10% 20L crystal
5% wheat

Hop blend of 4oz Centennial, 4oz Cascade, 2oz Chinook
2oz FWH
4oz hop stand 30 minutes, stirred every 5 min
4oz dry hop

1056 at 66F

What say you?

Setting up the garage! :cheers:

I like it! Just upgraded the brewery for 2.05 gal (usually do 10.25 so I can easily multiply) test batches that I can do on stovetop. Brewing an APA tomorrow with just FWH and all late additions below 10 mins.

Depending on how easy this works it may allow me to brew more often with the bigger batches tossed in the mix.

No way I can brew in the house. I admit it, I am just too messy. :lol: Surprisingly, the long winter and subsequent break from brewing allowed me to refine my process a bit and I am happy that I managed to shorten the brew day a bit. Brew day started rough but I ended up hitting my numbers dead on. I am noticing vorlaufing clears a bit faster than typical with the higher pH. In addition, I would say wort was a wee bit darker. Makes sense in my mind I guess. For the record, I have brewed about a dozen IPAs very similar to this and I went as low as 5.3 in the past. Back then, I thought lower was better. All these beers were good, maybe even great, but I was just not happy with the body of these beers. It will also be interesting if the hops will be more course tasting at the higher pH too.

How’d your brew day go? Recipe looks great. I would probably mash a couple degrees lower, but you mentioned being concerned about thin body… so you are probably right where you wanna be! Love the hops.

Cool. You’ll have to post your final results with the higher pH. Got my 2.05 gal test batch on stove and boiling now. Funny weighing hops at .05 or .10 oz. :smiley:

Cool pilot brewery! You could do some cool experiments with that.

Airlock is burping happily away… Chiller got the the wort down to 60F so I was able to pitch immediately. The 1056 was really fresh so it took off a bit earlier. Hope to dry hop Thur. Nothing unusual in the ferment so far with respect to higher pH.

Fermentation is done. Dry hopped last night. Gonna give it 7 days and swirl the carboy every now and then since I read Matt Cole uses CO2 to rouse hops during the dry hop of his Headhunter IPA. The higher pH definitely has NO effect of clarity. Looks like this will clear up nicely when crash cooled.

I guess I should make it clear the goal for more dextrins in this beer is twofold. The first is more body of course, and the second is so the hop mojo will cling onto extra dextrins giving the beer more pronounced hop signature. Makes sense to me I guess. :roll:

[quote=“zwiller”]Fermentation is done. Dry hopped last night. Gonna give it 7 days and swirl the carboy every now and then since I read Matt Cole uses CO2 to rouse hops during the dry hop of his Headhunter IPA. The higher pH definitely has NO effect of clarity. Looks like this will clear up nicely when crash cooled.

I guess I should make it clear the goal for more dextrins in this beer is twofold. The first is more body of course, and the second is so the hop mojo will cling onto extra dextrins giving the beer more pronounced hop signature. Makes sense to me I guess. :roll: [/quote]
Nice. I actually brewed a 2 gallon batch of hefeweizen last night and targeted a mash pH of 5.5. that may be higher than recommended for a hefe but we’ll see. It’s a small batch, so if it’s not awesome, then I’ve only 2 gallons to drink. I might start doing that more often. Means, I have to bottle, but that ain’t no thing. I can use my kegs as bottling buckets.

[quote=“Beersk”][quote=“zwiller”]Fermentation is done. Dry hopped last night. Gonna give it 7 days and swirl the carboy every now and then since I read Matt Cole uses CO2 to rouse hops during the dry hop of his Headhunter IPA. The higher pH definitely has NO effect of clarity. Looks like this will clear up nicely when crash cooled.

I guess I should make it clear the goal for more dextrins in this beer is twofold. The first is more body of course, and the second is so the hop mojo will cling onto extra dextrins giving the beer more pronounced hop signature. Makes sense to me I guess. :roll: [/quote]
Nice. I actually brewed a 2 gallon batch of hefeweizen last night and targeted a mash pH of 5.5. that may be higher than recommended for a hefe but we’ll see. It’s a small batch, so if it’s not awesome, then I’ve only 2 gallons to drink. I might start doing that more often. Means, I have to bottle, but that ain’t no thing. I can use my kegs as bottling buckets.[/quote]

Let me know how it goes! Hefe on deck and thinking of doing the same thing. I actually think I’ve managed to ruin my last hefes by going ape on the pH. I made some dang fine hefes in the day before I was using gram scales, spreadsheets, and distilled water. Last one I made threw so much sulfur wifey freaked out. Ended up kinda bland with some smokey esters (3068 @ 64F).

I bought a couple of these for my test batches:

http://www.homebrewing.org/3-Gallon-Cor ... _4540.html

[quote=“zwiller”][quote=“Beersk”][quote=“zwiller”]Fermentation is done. Dry hopped last night. Gonna give it 7 days and swirl the carboy every now and then since I read Matt Cole uses CO2 to rouse hops during the dry hop of his Headhunter IPA. The higher pH definitely has NO effect of clarity. Looks like this will clear up nicely when crash cooled.

I guess I should make it clear the goal for more dextrins in this beer is twofold. The first is more body of course, and the second is so the hop mojo will cling onto extra dextrins giving the beer more pronounced hop signature. Makes sense to me I guess. :roll: [/quote]
Nice. I actually brewed a 2 gallon batch of hefeweizen last night and targeted a mash pH of 5.5. that may be higher than recommended for a hefe but we’ll see. It’s a small batch, so if it’s not awesome, then I’ve only 2 gallons to drink. I might start doing that more often. Means, I have to bottle, but that ain’t no thing. I can use my kegs as bottling buckets.[/quote]

Let me know how it goes! Hefe on deck and thinking of doing the same thing. I actually think I’ve managed to ruin my last hefes by going ape on the pH. I made some dang fine hefes in the day before I was using gram scales, spreadsheets, and distilled water. Last one I made threw so much sulfur wifey freaked out. Ended up kinda bland with some smokey esters (3068 @ 64F).[/quote]

You know, it’s funny…I remember brewing some pretty dang good beers back in the day before I started messin’ with water chemistry. Just brewed blind with my tap water and most of my beers turned out pretty good, I thought. But I guess maybe my palate is more refined now that I’ve been brewing for a while now. But yesterday, I didn’t do anything with my water except campden and phosphoric to get pH to 5.5. I’m excited to see how it turns out. My water is pretty good. Calcium is 21, sulfate is 39, and chloride is 26. Total hardness is 107. So it’s not bad water. The water pH is 9.4, which apparently doesn’t matter, so say some people on these forums.
I think I’ve gone a bit too low in the past with my hefe pH levels. I added acid malt and all kinds of chloride and gypsum…they all lacked the wonderful soft character of the Bavarian hefes, namely Weihenstephaner. I’m looking forward to brewing more of these little 2 gallon batches to gain more knowledge and experience on this stuff.

[quote=“Loopie Beer”]I bought a couple of these for my test batches:

http://www.homebrewing.org/3-Gallon-Cor ... _4540.html[/quote]

Nice find. How is the quality of them? I like 3 gallon batches, I just don’t like having the 2 gallons of head space in a 5 gallon keg. I know it’s fine, but I’m weird. It uses extra co2 too. That’s another plus for me to do more bottling. Getting co2 is kind of a pain. I have to take time off work to go get it and I have to get a ride there as I’m a cyclist living a mostly car-free lifestyle.

[quote=“Beersk”][quote=“Loopie Beer”]I bought a couple of these for my test batches:

http://www.homebrewing.org/3-Gallon-Cor ... _4540.html[/quote]

Nice find. How is the quality of them? I like 3 gallon batches, I just don’t like having the 2 gallons of head space in a 5 gallon keg. I know it’s fine, but I’m weird. It uses extra co2 too. That’s another plus for me to do more bottling. Getting co2 is kind of a pain. I have to take time off work to go get it and I have to get a ride there as I’m a cyclist living a mostly car-free lifestyle.[/quote]
They are top notch quality. They needed cleaned but after that no problems. Perfect for those little batches.

[quote=“Beersk”]
Nice. I actually brewed a 2 gallon batch of hefeweizen last night and targeted a mash pH of 5.5. that may be higher than recommended for a hefe but we’ll see.[/quote]

This is a style that really needs a low pH to help brighten the flavors and add that tartness that makes it refreshing.

Living in the middle of the Alkalinity Belt (aka: Midwest), I’ve judged hundreds of Hefe’s that were brewed with too much alkalinity in the water and no acidification to take care of it. They are all dull and lifeless. Next time, try a pH target of 5.2 and always use lactic acid. It will make a big difference.

[quote=“mabrungard”][quote=“Beersk”]
Nice. I actually brewed a 2 gallon batch of hefeweizen last night and targeted a mash pH of 5.5. that may be higher than recommended for a hefe but we’ll see.[/quote]

This is a style that really needs a low pH to help brighten the flavors and add that tartness that makes it refreshing.

Living in the middle of the Alkalinity Belt (aka: Midwest), I’ve judged hundreds of Hefe’s that were brewed with too much alkalinity in the water and no acidification to take care of it. They are all dull and lifeless. Next time, try a pH target of 5.2 and always use lactic acid. It will make a big difference.[/quote]
Is there a definitive list of styles that benefit from lower mash pH and a higher mash pH? I am learning that pH has much more to do with ‘pleasing beer character’ than I ever knew. But I have heard of some brewers targeting a higher mash pH for various styles. Is it as simple as beer color? Pale beers benefit from lower pH and darker beers can go higher… or not necessarily?

[quote=“mabrungard”][quote=“Beersk”]
Nice. I actually brewed a 2 gallon batch of hefeweizen last night and targeted a mash pH of 5.5. that may be higher than recommended for a hefe but we’ll see.[/quote]

This is a style that really needs a low pH to help brighten the flavors and add that tartness that makes it refreshing.

Living in the middle of the Alkalinity Belt (aka: Midwest), I’ve judged hundreds of Hefe’s that were brewed with too much alkalinity in the water and no acidification to take care of it. They are all dull and lifeless. Next time, try a pH target of 5.2 and always use lactic acid. It will make a big difference.[/quote]
I suppose so. I don’t know if I want the tartness, though. Weihenstephaner Hefe doesn’t have the tartness. I’d describe it as a very soft, clove/banana character. I tried a sample of the hefe today, it’s at 1.020 and I’m rousing it a bit everyday, it tastes very doughy and clovey. I like it. I think it’ll be good once bottled and hopefully it’ll come down to 1.012. But it was Panama Jack’s Bavarian hefe yeast, so it’ll likely finish much higher than it should…ugh. Avoid any yeast from Mangrove Jacks. It’s sh!te.

Not sure why my notifications are so erratic. That, and I wish I could see a post in my emails and not have to log in every time…

Ken, final beer pH is not an exact science and there’s alot of variation and preference. Also, note mash pH can actually have little to do with with final beer pH. There are many ways to accomplish approaching final beer pH with each having different results. IE brew a beer with no regard to pH and dose with acid, mash at 5.2 and sparge with high alkalinity water and end up preboil mid 5, or what I am trying now, mash a bit higher BUT match sparge to same so preboil is mid 5. Heck, I might even try mashing high at 5.7 and sparging with water at 5.2 :shock:

Beersk, it is uncanny how you and I are on the same page. I’ve brewed textbook perfect hefes (5.2 with lactic) and and I did not like them at all (and I don’t think it is our palate evolving). Now, there is a chance that Martin prefers Erdinger and we like Weihenstephaner… And say we decarb and warm samples and measure each. I predict that Erdinger is a bit lower… So there will be variation of final pH within the same style… That said, I totally agree with Martin that rookie beers are usually too high, BUT there sometimes can be too much of a good thing.

Cool to see some interest in this thread.

[quote=“Beersk”]
I suppose so. I don’t know if I want the tartness, though. Weihenstephaner Hefe doesn’t have the tartness. I’d describe it as a very soft, clove/banana character. [/quote]

No worries there. A few tenths low on pH will not leave you with perceptions of sucking on a lemon. The only thing you should note is that the flavors are brighter and crisper. More importantly, your beer will have a chance to end up like a Weihenstephaner. It has very little chance of getting there if the pH is as high as you mention.

zwiller, how high is the alkalinity of your tap water? If its crazy high, you could easily be adding so much lactic acid that its overbearing. If its really low, then you may not be gaining the benefit of the lactate ion flavor…although the lactate ion should only be a nuance and not overt.

90 ppm alkalinity. Last hefe, I cut 50/50 with distilled and went to 5.4. Total acid was 1.6ml of 88% lactic acid and I could still detect it. Personally, I am really sensitive to the lactic acid. I once made a hefe with the around 3ml (5.2 pH) and even the wife called it sour. I really am confused when folks say they cannot detect 4ml in 5G… To me, it seems like the lower pH strips the flavor out of the hefe or something.

Was digging for more hefe info and it is interesting that the ferulic acid rest is best conducted at a pH of 5.7. Also, I am looking at a powerpoint of the Schneider hefe brewing program and it appears that they do not acidify mash or sparge and just dose the boil with lactic. Granted the decoction mashing will lower things a bit…

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