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Mash Ph

Ok so Im struggling to understand Ph. Im no science wiz. Typical lame artist type.

My question is this…

Do I understand correctly that with a Ph above 6, bad tannins and off flavors will be extracted from my grain bill? Ive read John Palmer’s information, and dont quite grasp it. How do I need to alter this water for light beer or dark beer or in between beer?

My tap water ph is 7.8

My profile is as follows

Sodium, Na 6 ppm
Potassium, K < 1ppm
Calcium, Ca 4 ppm
Magnesium, Mg 1ppm
Total Hardness, CaCO3 14 ppm
Nitrate, NO3-N 0.3 ppm
Sulfate, SO4-S < 1ppm
Chloride, Cl 2 ppm
Carbonate, CO3 < 1 ppm
Bicarbonate, HCO3 25 ppm
Total Alkalinity, CaCO3 20 ppm

I understand Im asking a lot, and these are complicated topics that depend on what I want to brew but I need aa basis to go from. Much thanks to anyone generous enough to help.

I’d put it that tannins “may” be extracted, not “will” be. And keep in mind that it’s mash pH, not water pH, that really matters. The grain you use will itself help drop the pH to an extant. For what to do about it, go get Martin Brungard’s fantastic free water spreadsheet at https://sites.google.com/site/brunwater/ .

Oh awesome tool. Thanks Denny. And thanks to whoever was awesome enough to make Bru’nWater!

You have pretty much typical west coast Volcanic/Basalt water…very soft and silky.

I brewed with hard, crisp, mineral heavy Midwestern water for years and found it hard to get satisfactory results with water like yours after moving out west. Denny’s advice is right on the mark…use bru’n water and pay attention to the residual alkalinity for the yellow beers. I always add a little acidulated malt to the mash (or lactic acid) and treat my sparge water with about 1ml of lactic for lighter (yellow)color styles. I actually treat my sparge water to pH 5.5 - 6.0 for all beers that i make…It helps with chill haze as it reduces the poly-phenols extracted during lautering.

Good bru’n…

I know all about mashing with pH too high and the off flavors associated with it. What may I expect to get for off flavors If mash pH is too low? Say 5.0-5.1

Just to be clear, I assume you mean that there may/will be excessive tannin extraction, not that tannins may/will be extracted. Tannins are always extracted in the mash and present in beer, it’s just a question of how much.

Just to be clear, I assume you mean that there may/will be excessive tannin extraction, not that tannins may/will be extracted. Tannins are always extracted in the mash and present in beer, it’s just a question of how much.[/quote]

You’re absolutely correct.

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