Quick PH help!

never really fussed with Ph. Just brewed. Grabbed some strips yesterday and mashed in with 5lbs 2 row and 5lbs wheat. About halfway through my mash an dipped the strip. The lowest the color chart on the label is 4.5 and the strip was lighter than that. Should I add some baking soda to raise the PH? Is that safe to drink? Am I suppose so test it at a cooler temp?

Well I added a half tsp to the last 5min of the mash and a half tsp to the sparse water. Raises it enough to be safe I think. Those strips suck. And to add to it, I was using a different thermometer thy I thought went up in increments of 2 degrees and it wound up going up in 5’s. So I’m pretty sure I mashed in at about 162 degrees. Whatever. Can’t win EM all.

I got a pH meter for about 70 bucks and works great. Much better than the strips I used to use. Kinda fun to fiddle around with during the mash too.

Sorry to see this happen. This is just another example of how poorly pH strips perform in brewing.

Given that grist and the very best water condition (no alkalinity), the lowest that mash pH could have been was about 5.7 without an external acid addition. That is too high for most brewing. That baking soda addition was exactly what you shouldn’t have added. I’m afraid that this brew isn’t going to meet your expectations.

I was afraid I that. A good learning experience as I’m just delving into water profiles. Will it be safe to drink? I understand there can be unsafe conditions if certain elements are too high or low. It was a cheap beginner beer to bring on a trip for the bud drinkers so I’m no brokennhearted over it. As long as it is safe to drink I’ll live to brew it again.

Sure, it will be safe to drink. It just may have some harshness and dull flavors.

Live and learn.

One of the challenges with pH measurements is that the pH of the mash changes with temperature, and most people who use strips don’t realize this. Meaning they simply dip the strip in the mash and read it. Assuming the pH strips are accurate (which is a pretty iffy assumption), that will give you a reading that is around 0.3 below the room temperature pH of the mash. And when you read that “ideal” pH is in the range of 5.2 - 5.5, they are talking about at room temperature.

pH is one of those measurements I have real problems with. The amount of work you need to do and money you need to spend to be confident that you are reasonably close to accurate is way beyond what should fit into a fun hobby activity.

I agree. And I have been brewing for ten years and never once checked my ph. Then I check it once, it’s off and I panic and add something to my mash I have never added or needed before. Silly. Thanks everyone.