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PH Adjustments

So I’m shooting for a room temp. mash PH of somewhere between 5.2-5.7 depending on what type of beer I brew.

Question: What if I miss high or low? What’s the best way to adjust my mash PH since adding certain brewing salts not only adjusts PH but also could effect my pre-mash water adjustments? I guess I should trust the “mash adjustment” worksheet on the Bru’ N Water program but what if I’m off and the PH runs out of range?

Hope this makes sense. I’m attempting my first water adjustments and measuring PH on my next batch and want to make sure I know what to do if I miss on my PH for some reason.


Maybe I misunderstood, but you should be adjusting the mash, not the water. If you measure and find you’re off, you could either add some lactic or phosphoric acid to reduce the pH or some chalk to raise it. You’d probably have to make a SWAG on how much to add and then measure again to see where you are. Or you could just leave it…

Let me try and clarify: If I adjust my mash water to resemble Pilsen (when brewing a Pilsner) and, after doing so, I find that my mash PH falls outside the acceptable range, then what? If I add more chalk and/or lactic acid additions to raise/lower my mash PH won’t this be detrimental to what i’m trying to achieve by altering my mash water in the first place?

I’ve played around with the Bru 'N Water program a bit and noticed that very small water additions seemed to significantly impact water make-up. I’m just trying to make sure that I’m not going to end up doing more harm than good.

Is messing around with the composition of my water supply worth the risk and effort?

Or I could just RDWHAHB I suppose…

IMO as long as your water is in the ballpark for a particular style you should not be concerned about additions to the mash in order to dial in your pH. I brew lighter color beers all the time and adjust my water prior to doughing in. Then I find that it only takes a small addition of salts or acid to tweak it to the desired pH. For acid I add .5 mls at a time and for salts .25 grams to .5 grams at a time.

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