Just curious on people’s opinions. I have read lots of negative reviews on pH meters falling out of calibration pretty regularly. Is it better to just use colorphast strips? My reservation with those is it may be tough to decipher between 5.4 and 5.1 (smaller ranges). And those tenths of points can matter. A lot.
PH meter, all the way. And expect going in that it’ll need to be constantly calibrated.
Not sure what the shelf stability of pH strips are… And like you said, it’s hard to determine small differences.
I never had any luck using the colorphast strips. pH meter works great for me and though I check it almost every brew day it seldom is out of calibration.
any recommendations on manufacturer/model?
I went with the Milwaukee MW102. No complaints so far.
I have a Milwaukee Instruments ph55. It has auto temperature compensation to 140F and like I said above it stays in calibration very well if you keep the probes clean. I know it’s time to calibrate it when it becomes slow.
I have a hm ph 200 it is ok not great but it does the trick. I calibrate it every brew day, it’s off most times but not by much. I use it right after calibration and alway’s put storage solution in the cap before is get put away.
Just out of curiosity, how often do you all find that your mash pH is off when you measure it, and if it is off, how far off have you seen it? Also, what do you do about it? Add acid or bicarb to adjust or just make notes to adjust salt additions for next time?
Went with the Milwaukee Instruments. Now just to decide whether to drop boil pH from mash pH.
I don’t bother checking mash pH, Bru’n Water gets me close enough. I use if for checking and adjusting kettle pH and for monitoring development of sours.
My experience thus far has been that my Mash ph tends toward the low side with our treated tap water and the beers I brew… I had a Vienna lager that had a crazy low ph of 5.0 range and I did add some bicarb and it was effective…the lager turned out to have a great mouthfeel! An aside, how does Hill Farmstead get that mouthfeel with all their great beers??
I bought an inexpensive one and I check it against my tap well water which I’m assuming is constant and havnt had to adjust mine. Maybe the more sensitive ones need more adjusting.
My WAG’s as follows in no particular order:
1.) pH (mash, boil, combination)
2.) yeast selection
3.) mash temp (maybe hockhurz/step?)
4.) base malt (for instance, TF Pearl has a high protein content)
5.) oats and/or flaked barley (we have used oats in NE IPAs/APA’s with great results)
On our next hoppy beer, we are likely going to do a hockhurz mash and adjust boil pH to 5.1-5.2. We have gotten pretty darn close though using oats and a higher mash temp.
I’ve also noticed that with the use of Bru’N Water, I don’t feel the need to measure mash pH anymore. I’ve never measured kettle pH though. Why is this done? Does a certain pH enhance certain flavors? Thanks.
Three reasons… The first, based on recommendations of some of the local pros, is to reduce harshness in bitterness in IPA by adjusting kettle pH to 5.2. Don’t know why it works, but on a couple recent batches it seems to be a positive improvement.
Second, adjusting kettle pH to 4.7 or below reduces foam degradation in mixed-culture beers with lactic acid bacteria. The LAB break down proteins that aid head retention, and dropping below 4.7 greatly inhibits this.
Third, for a spontaneous inoculation dropping below pH 4.5 in the kettle virtually eliminates the risk of spoilage bacteria creating toxins in the wort before sacch takes over.
These are the reasons I adjust kettle pH. #2 and 3 are probably not relevant to most, but the first one I think is worth trying if you brew hoppy pale beers.
I haven’t tried oats yet for that indication but that makes sense. Re HF. That guy is a savant. He trained in Belgium but even most of their beers don’t have that HF mouthfeel. Along with Matt(another current thread) my IPAs haven’t been that great but I’m about ready to try again after a 7 month hiatus from IPAs and APAS…
Just starting to use my Milwaukee ph meter55 after using strips until recently. I was shamed into it after reading _water_by John Palmer after a statement he made basically stating that “if you are serious about your beer you need to get a ph meter”.
What do you not like about your IPAs?
Ut oh…should we kick start the old “Quest for the perfect IPA” thread from 2014? assuming it’s still around and accessible…
Ask and you shall receive.
Here’s what Martin Brungard said about kettle pH in an older thread. This was in a discussion regarding kettle pH and IPAs but I guess the last line explains why German brewers would want to bring kettle pH down to 5.2.
"I don’t get the impression that its an issue of ‘muddling’. I feel that its more a result of less hop flavor and bittering due to the lower pH wort being less of a conjugate base and therefore being less effective at extracting those hop components out of the hops. I do find that for hop forward beers, a slightly higher wort pH of around 5.4 is helpful. Reducing the wort pH to as low as 5.2 helps de-emphasize the hopping and therefore accentuate the malt.
Wort pH is a very helpful tool for fine tuning beer flavor."