Author Topic: PH Adjustment  (Read 219 times)

Offline muckypup

  • BeerSmith Apprentice Brewer
  • **
  • Posts: 15
  • Karma: 0
  • BeerSmith 2 Rocks!
PH Adjustment
« on: October 11, 2017, 03:58:42 AM »
For my next brew I want to correct the PH of my mash to try and get better efficiency, but most of the info I find when googling either seems to simple or needs a PHD in chemistry to understand.

From what I gather, different grains, especially the darker ones can have a bigger effect on your mash PH, so I shouldn't PH adjust my strike water, but I should adjust the mash. How long do I need to wait after adding my grains? Do I test immediately, or do I need to wait a period for the grains to have an effect on the water?

Can't afford a quality digital PH meter at the moment, so was planning on some narrow range PH strips and lactic acid for adjustment.

Offline BOB357

  • BeerSmith Master Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 76
  • Karma: 5
  • Beer is my bucket list!
Re: PH Adjustment
« Reply #1 on: October 11, 2017, 04:21:59 AM »
The mash pH should settle in after about 15 minutes. Quite often a good part of conversion has taken place by that time, so it may be too late for pH adjustments to do much good as far as conversion is concerned. I make adjustments according to a water calculator when I mash in and will often check pH after 15 minutes. If any adjustment is needed, I make a note to do it for the next batch of the same beer.

Usually the calculators come in close enough to give you good efficiency. Likely closer than even the narrow range test strips.
Bob

Offline GigaFemto

  • BeerSmith Master Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 53
  • Karma: 2
  • Muonic Matter Rocks!
Re: PH Adjustment
« Reply #2 on: October 11, 2017, 02:46:15 PM »
I do full-volume BIAB, and I put all my adjustments into the strike water as  it is heating. I don't see that waiting until the grains are mashed in to adjust the pH would have any benefit. In fact, if the grains sit in high pH mash you can extract tannins, so I think it is best to lower the pH as soon as possible. If you have a very dark beer where your pH adjustments are to increase the pH then I don't  think it matters. My water pH starts at 9.3 - 9.6, so I have never had the problem of mash pH being too low.

--GF

Offline KellerBrauer

  • BeerSmith Grandmaster Brewer
  • *****
  • Posts: 432
  • Karma: 12
  • Bottoms Up!!
Re: PH Adjustment
« Reply #3 on: October 12, 2017, 01:05:53 PM »
For my next brew I want to correct the PH of my mash to try and get better efficiency, but most of the info I find when googling either seems to simple or needs a PHD in chemistry to understand.

From what I gather, different grains, especially the darker ones can have a bigger effect on your mash PH, so I shouldn't PH adjust my strike water, but I should adjust the mash. How long do I need to wait after adding my grains? Do I test immediately, or do I need to wait a period for the grains to have an effect on the water?

Can't afford a quality digital PH meter at the moment, so was planning on some narrow range PH strips and lactic acid for adjustment.

Greetings muckupup - I never acidify or treat my strike water before introducing it to the grain because my HLT and some of the water left in it will also be used for sparging and the sparge water pH is typically different than the mash water pH.  So I always check my pH about 10-15 minutes after I mash in.  The reason its important to wait is because the actual pH of your grains will change from season to season and from malster to maltster.  So waiting 10-15 minutes will give you a more exact reading as it takes the guess work out of the equation.

I have never used the test strips so I cant comment on the effectiveness.  I can say that, as the other brewers mentioned, the mash pH is very critical for proper enzyme conversion.  Therefore, I highly recommend the use a digital pH meter.  I have used a Hanna 98127 for nearly 4 years now with absolutely no issues and I've only had to replace the test bulb once.  It's a great device and they're not that expensive anymore.

Hope this information helps!

Good luck!!
I'm done brewing for a while. :(  The "sight glass" on my Polar Ware 15 gal. brew kettle took a dump for the 4th time and Polar Ware can't come up with a fix and their response to this issue ignored the fact that their plastic sight gauge repeatedly fails under normal operating conditions!! >:(

Offline Ck27

  • BeerSmith Grandmaster Brewer
  • *****
  • Posts: 175
  • Karma: 1
  • BeerSmith's Unofficial Spam Police.... Do Not Spam
Re: PH Adjustment
« Reply #4 on: October 15, 2017, 12:31:08 PM »
For my next brew I want to correct the PH of my mash to try and get better efficiency, but most of the info I find when googling either seems to simple or needs a PHD in chemistry to understand.

From what I gather, different grains, especially the darker ones can have a bigger effect on your mash PH, so I shouldn't PH adjust my strike water, but I should adjust the mash. How long do I need to wait after adding my grains? Do I test immediately, or do I need to wait a period for the grains to have an effect on the water?

Can't afford a quality digital PH meter at the moment, so was planning on some narrow range PH strips and lactic acid for adjustment.

Greetings muckupup - I never acidify or treat my strike water before introducing it to the grain because my HLT and some of the water left in it will also be used for sparging and the sparge water pH is typically different than the mash water pH.  So I always check my pH about 10-15 minutes after I mash in.  The reason its important to wait is because the actual pH of your grains will change from season to season and from malster to maltster.  So waiting 10-15 minutes will give you a more exact reading as it takes the guess work out of the equation.

I have never used the test strips so I cant comment on the effectiveness.  I can say that, as the other brewers mentioned, the mash pH is very critical for proper enzyme conversion.  Therefore, I highly recommend the use a digital pH meter.  I have used a Hanna 98127 for nearly 4 years now with absolutely no issues and I've only had to replace the test bulb once.  It's a great device and they're not that expensive anymore.

Hope this information helps!

Good luck!!

A cheap $20 pH meter is just as good. No need to pay more for nothing better

Offline muckypup

  • BeerSmith Apprentice Brewer
  • **
  • Posts: 15
  • Karma: 0
  • BeerSmith 2 Rocks!
Re: PH Adjustment
« Reply #5 on: Yesterday at 12:25:17 PM »
Thanks for the advice. Going to try test strips to start with and test about 10-15 minutes into the mash. I will make a decision on if I invest then in a digital meter.

Offline BOB357

  • BeerSmith Master Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 76
  • Karma: 5
  • Beer is my bucket list!
Re: PH Adjustment
« Reply #6 on: Yesterday at 03:11:45 PM »
Be sure to spend the extra couple of bucks and get the narrow range strips made just for brewing.
Bob