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Ph, Am I doing it right?

So, I’ve been building distilled water up to get my Ph and calcium into range, and control my sulfate ratio for two batches now.
I got my mash Ph right around 5.4 on both of them,
had good conversion and clear run offs, but I always did before anyways.
They both had FWH, so I had hops on top and couldnt see if the hot break was forming any better,
But the hot break fell alot faster, and there was no dark protein foam at all to scrape off.
I used to take a ladle and 5 minutes of skimming to get that foamy material off the top, I always skimmed it out before I add fermcap, so it did’nt get trapped in the beer forever, now there is none of that stuff at all.

Then, after chilling to pitching temp, I just dump from my BK through a funnel into the carboy.
I can’t get 5 gallons into a six gallon carboy without stopping a few times now.
The foam that beer made was insane, and not in 9 years of pouring have I had one foam going into primary.
Looked like the pics of guys running an O2 stone setup.

It’s too early to tell, and NBD to me that much really, but I think my beer is going to drop alot clearer.

Is this pretty common for good brewing Ph, or just random coincidences?

How are these batches coming out? I have been building distilled water too in an attempt to get things just right but have been failing miserably. I have used ez water and bru n water calculators. pH has been way off as far as I can tell. I have city water an have never had it tested but know its not very good for beer. Ive had small success with dark beer with it only. I now have a source of well water in VT that appears to be much better. I can brew a beer around 15 SRM with no adjustment so Im going with that. I wasted so much $ and time building distilled. I know this isnt answering your questions but if youre making good beer with distilled, I wouldn’t mind getting a recipe and water additions from you to try it.

Shoot, they are just sorta chilling out right now.
These 2 batches were also my first attempts at making any sort of Lagers.
The Czech Pils is 2 weeks into secondary, at unseasonably warmer porch temps it took the better part of the first week just to get it down to 35*, now that it’s there, everyday it looks more like it’s going to drop pretty clear.
Unless it should look clear already? At any rate it looks much clearer than any all pils beer I have made yet.
The other one is all munich Festbier, was pitched onto the Czech cake, and is pretty much ready to go to secondary.
I just made the pils water as soft as I could and still get the sulfate up some to crisp up the hops.
Added 4 oz of acid malt to the grain bill per EZ water and it got me right to 5.4.
The Festbier, I used EZ to figure out how much bicarbonate I’d need to get my Ph, and tweaked it until I had a bit of chloride to make it malt forward. Somehow, that worked too.
I’m still trying to learn a bit about this water stuff every day. I should check Bru’n water out again, it was initially overwhelming to me, and probably still will be. Some of this stuff is clicking though.
Just hit a Ph of about 5 on an IPA yesterday, added a ton of salts to get my sulfate up to 300 PPM. Surprised it even came that close. I kept notes of everything so I’ll hopefully be able to fix that the next time.

And, I have really no idea of what my tap water was before,
A random mix of rainwater and water that I haul and put into my cistern.
Had to be hard as all heck though, made some seriously cloudy star-san,
though I’ve never had an infection that wasnt on purpose.

Just made an insanely good Porter with that water though. Might have been close ion wise for the SRM of that one.
Still makes me wonder how it might have turned out if I built the water for that one.

Here’s the final gravity going into the bottling bucket:
[attachment=1]IMG_20120304_091940-1.jpg[/attachment]
It actually looks like it dropped clear,
The fuzzy in the pic was bubbles from trying to get all the Co2 out.
The final Ph was 4.3 this morning, does that sound reasonable?
I suppose it has to get carbed and chilled to know whether I’ll get chill haze.

I built “yellow balanced” brun water for this cream ale that was 80% 6 row and 20% flaked corn, 15 IBU. Got a 5.3 mash Ph, and some really pretty krausen fermenting it @ 61* with rehydrated 05.:
[attachment=0]IMG_20120302_121932-1.jpg[/attachment]

Scott,

Looks like a winner to me.

I’ve noticed similar things with my batches when i get the pH nailed, such as a thick krausen like your picture shows, and I’ve noticed that my batches within the proper pH range drop clear more quickly than those outside of the range. The krausen your picture shows is very similar to what i’ve gotten with US-05, if that helps at all.

I use mainly filtered tap water with mineral additions to dial in my pH, but i’d say your process is working just fine, based on what I’ve seen in this post.

Bklmt2000

I would recommend to invest in a good PH meter. The Milwaukee PH-55 or 56
meters are in the 60 - $70 range. I just got feed up with the papers the colors were not constant and would not match the chart and walk out into the sunlight and the colors shift. With a meter it will say 5.6 or whatever it is and you know man thats 5.6 no doubt.
.
My well water here has 256 ppm of Bicarbonate so I have been using RO water with salt additions and have had great results.

Sounds like you’re in the zone. I think when pH is dialed in everything just comes together. This is the final 10% difference that makes a good beer a great beer.

To quote AJ DeLange "Knockout pH should be close to 5 and pH should drop in the fermenter to 4.4 - 4.6 for lagers and 4.2 - 4.5 for ales.

RE: IPA If you research salt additions much, you will find pro brewers typically add salts only to boil unless their water contains less than 50-100ppm calcium.

Thanks for the reassurance, brewers.
I figured there was an optimal final Ph/range, did not know what it was.
Put that on the “to learn” list.

I’m interested to find out the final Ph of the Ipa that was a 5.0 mash.
Thinking about it, when I made the minerally water with EZ water, I had to add a small dose of acid malt to get my predicted Ph close. Thats what made it too acidic in the mash, but I didnt add any acid to the sparge water so that brought the Ph up, but its anybodies guess as to how much. Shoulda skipped the acid malt.

This prompted me to get a bottle of Lactic acid,
Which I trusted my gut and added 1/2 of the predicted amount directly into the Cream Ale mash, which got me right on the money. I added a small shot into the sparge water too.
Gotta admit, when I sorta got the hang of it, it’s kinda fun.

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