Author Topic: Sparging, water Ph, and adjusting...  (Read 86084 times)

BrewMe

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Sparging, water Ph, and adjusting...
« on: January 28, 2007, 09:56:46 AM »
Ok, I have a question about water Ph.  My household water ranges between 7.5 and 8.5 Ph.  To adjust my sparge water Ph I've been using lactic acid to bring the sparge water down to 5.4.

My Question is: what's the recommened thing people use to adjust DOWN their sparge water?

I use 5.2 in my mash, and I'm sure I could add this to my sparge water too and it would bring it down but "is this the right thing to do"?  OR I could add gypsum but I would think that would take a lot of gypsum in comparison with the teaspoon or so of lactic acid...

Thanks much,

Marc

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Re: Sparging, water Ph, and adjusting...
« Reply #1 on: January 28, 2007, 10:47:29 AM »
Marc,
  I'm not sure that sparging water Ph is as critical unless you have a very unusual water profile.  Ph is critical for the conversion of sugars in the grains during various phases of the mash.  Ph is not as critical for extracting those sugars once they have been fully converted.  What is more important is establishing a good grain bed, sparging slowly and using hot water which helps prevent a stuck mash.

  Ph of the mash is critical, but Ph of the sparge water is not very important.

Cheers!
Brad
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BrewMe

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Re: Sparging, water Ph, and adjusting...
« Reply #2 on: January 28, 2007, 05:34:26 PM »
Hi Brad, I can't say that I've done any kind of study on this but I found early in my AG experience (my first 2 batches) that if I did not adjust my sparge water Ph (and remember my water is 8.5) my efficiency would end up around 68% but once I started using 5.2 in the mash and lactic acid to adjust the sparge water Ph my efficiency jumped to 85% +/- 3. So now after 6 more batches I'm would not want to go back to not adjusting the sparge water Ph as the first 2 batches were drinkable but wimpy - hence the question.  So now the additional questions becomes "am I the only one that adjusts sparge water Ph"?

 ;D

Marc

FrugalBrewer

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Re: Sparging, water Ph, and adjusting...
« Reply #3 on: January 28, 2007, 06:47:49 PM »
I adjust my sparge water also, using 5.2 pH stabilizer. Love the stuff!

My water is at 9.3 with 234ppm Hardness as CACO3.
My beer is the much better for using the stabilizer and not having to worry about different additives as the water changes through the season.

BrewMe

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Re: Sparging, water Ph, and adjusting...
« Reply #4 on: January 28, 2007, 06:59:25 PM »
FrugalBrewer, do you use 5.2 in both your mash and sparge water?

Thanks!

Marc

FrugalBrewer

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Re: Sparging, water Ph, and adjusting...
« Reply #5 on: January 28, 2007, 07:45:31 PM »
Yes, I do.
Probly don't need to but, IMO, my beer taste better.
I have extremely hard water due to a lot of temporary/permanent hardness.
I figure, if the wateris good going in, it can't hurt.

In all my previous extract only batches, no matter what I did to the hop schedule, I had a very harsh bitterness. After using 5.2 for top up water adjustment the beer was better for it. I just carried it's use over to all my water (in addition to activated charcoal filtration).

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Re: Sparging, water Ph, and adjusting...
« Reply #6 on: February 01, 2007, 03:44:51 AM »
I am using a water with ph 7-7.3 and add only one limon to my mash if I brew any brigth beer. For stouts, porters etc I need not, because the they have pH low from the dark malts(caramel, chocolate, etc)

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Re: Sparging, water Ph, and adjusting...
« Reply #7 on: February 04, 2007, 12:47:07 AM »
[...] I found early in my AG experience (my first 2 batches) that if I did not adjust my sparge water Ph (and remember my water is 8.5) my efficiency would end up around 68% but once I started using 5.2 in the mash and lactic acid to adjust the sparge water Ph my efficiency jumped to 85% +/- 3.
Marc, I would suggest that your efficiency jump was from the mash adjustment alone. Adjusting the pH of your sparging liquor is helpful for avoiding tannin extraction as the SG gets down around 1.010 or so, but it isn't going to change how much starch converted, nor how much of that conversion makes it out of your lauter spigot.
Lactic acid is the common additive, so you're on the right track. But unless your efficiency is low enough that you're determined to get every spec of sugar out of the mash, it may be uneccessary to mess with the sparge liquor. Just stop sparging at about 1.010-12 and keep it all under 170° and you're golden.
Then again, if it ain't broke, just keep on keepin' on! ;D

 

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