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pH

I’m working on a hoppy wheat beer and the water. My water is very high in HCO (192) so I’m figuring an 80% dilution with distilled water. I can get the numbers in to what appears to be a happy zone, but it leaves my mash pH at 5.65 as all it has is 2-row and wheat, and this is at a 1.5 qts/lb ratio. I see that as long as you are below 5.8 you are OK, but that ideally you should be within 5.2 and 5.5. At 1.78 qt./lb it only reduces the pH to 5.63 so this doesn’t seem to help enough. Am I just making a bigger deal out of this than it is?

Are you using any acid in your mash water? I started using phosphoric and lactic acid to get to anywhere from 5.2 to 5.4, and it’s made a dramatic improvement in the finished product.

No. I’m only using gypsum, cal chl, epsom, and salt to modify my water.

Try adding any sauermalz or other acid?

Sorry I’m not an expert, just curious as well and regurgitating info I’ve read elsewhere. I honestly couldn’t tell you if the pH you’re getting vs. the pH you want will make that much of a difference.

I wasn’t familiar with acids, and only recently have been looking at estimated pH using Brewer’s Friend. I had been using their basic water calculator…

I added a phosphoric acid bottle to my cart! I’ll go that route I think.

That should work.

I read a little about adding a small percentage of sauermalz (acidulated malt) into your grain bill. It’s basically lactic acid malt and will lower the pH of your mash slightly.

This is the thread that started me looking into sauermalz:

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f128/brewin ... er-198460/

Thanks for linking that! I’ll want to read into that too. Options!!!

Are you measuring pH with a calibrated meter, or relying on the water calculators? They can disagree, sometimes a lot because it’s almost impossible to factor in all of the variables, and if you’re not measuring accurately all you’re doing is guessing.

I’m using the calculator, and that’s assuming there’s nothing in my distilled water and that it has a pH of 8.

The calculators are a guide; however, due to malt lot to lot variation they are no substitute for direct measurement.

Here is some more, highly technical information:

http://www.wetnewf.org/pdfs/estimating-mash-ph.html

Calculators can get you into the ballpark. They cannot precisely predict your exact conditions.

Yeah, if you get within a tenth of a unit on pH with any calculator, you are doing great. Bru’n Water can typically get about that close.

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