Author Topic: Mash ph  (Read 6035 times)

Offline ianjwebster

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Mash ph
« on: June 15, 2015, 10:58:41 AM »
Hi all, trying to get my head around water chemistry for my first all grain brew (I have around 15 extract brews under my belt). I have a water report for my well and entered it into the water adjustment section under tools in the beersmith program. Seems pretty straight forward except that I does not seem to address mash ph. From what I have read mash ph is vitally important. I also tried using EZ Brew and Bru 'n Water. Both address ph with the addition of acid or chalk / pickling lime etc.

Does the beersmith program address mash ph and if so where / how do I find the info?
If not how do I tackle mash ph?

Thank you

Ian

Offline brewfun

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Re: Mash ph
« Reply #1 on: June 16, 2015, 07:28:50 AM »
Does the beersmith program address mash ph and if so where / how do I find the info?
If not how do I tackle mash ph?

Not at this time. It is supposed to be part of a future update.

There are a lot of variables that determine pH. I suggest using Bru'n Water for the task. It's very comprehensive and allows far more flexibility that BeerSmith.
Beer Appreciation is the space between pints.

Offline jtoots

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Re: Mash ph
« Reply #2 on: June 16, 2015, 07:47:37 AM »
In the mobile version, if you hit the gear next to an equipment profile, there is in fact a blank for Mash pH.  I gather from brewfun's response that this doesn't affect anything, though?

Offline Oginme

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Re: Mash ph
« Reply #3 on: June 16, 2015, 09:26:28 AM »
The sections on the mobile app and on the mash page of the program are there for record keeping.  They have no effect on the actual calculations nor are they calculated by the program.
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Offline ianjwebster

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Re: Mash ph
« Reply #4 on: June 16, 2015, 09:36:34 AM »
Thank you all for the responses. My plan is to use the Beersmith calculations to adjust the water then check the actual ph of the mash with test strips and adjust with lactic acid / chalk as necessary. Will that work?

Offline Oginme

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Re: Mash ph
« Reply #5 on: June 16, 2015, 01:50:26 PM »
Thank you all for the responses. My plan is to use the Beersmith calculations to adjust the water then check the actual ph of the mash with test strips and adjust with lactic acid / chalk as necessary. Will that work?

That will work.  Just make sure you stir the mash well and let it sit for 4 to 5 minutes before taking a reading.  It takes a bit of time for the extraction from the malt to stabilize the pH.
Recycle your grains, feed them to a goat!

Offline ianjwebster

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Re: Mash ph
« Reply #6 on: June 16, 2015, 02:00:12 PM »
Thank you

Offline brewfun

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Re: Mash ph
« Reply #7 on: June 16, 2015, 04:58:41 PM »
Thank you all for the responses. My plan is to use the Beersmith calculations to adjust the water then check the actual ph of the mash with test strips and adjust with lactic acid / chalk as necessary. Will that work?

Well, sort of.... You'll get a change in pH, but stability comes after a while into the mash. by that time, some enzymes are spent. It's better to be accurate at the start and let the mash get to where it needs to go, than to adjust. I'm not saying it wrecks the beer, because it doesn't. I'm saying that accuracy beforehand makes better beer.
Beer Appreciation is the space between pints.

Offline ianjwebster

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Re: Mash ph
« Reply #8 on: June 16, 2015, 05:54:22 PM »
brewfun - sorry but I don't understand. I adjust the water first using the beersmith suggestions? - but when do I test / adjust the ph?

Offline brewfun

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Re: Mash ph
« Reply #9 on: June 16, 2015, 10:20:27 PM »
brewfun - sorry but I don't understand. I adjust the water first using the beersmith suggestions? - but when do I test / adjust the ph?

I gathered from your response that you want to add chalk or acid after letting it rest for a bit. Most of the time, you'll need to do little or nothing to get into the correct pH. Barley is magic like that.

The pH usually stabilizes around 10 minutes into the mash. This is also the time it takes for the grain to hydrate, release enzymes and stabilize the temperature. You don't want to make minor adjustments at that time. After doughing in, you want to add chalk or acid if the mash is well outside the range of 5 to 5.8 pH. Even then, you'll get conversion if you give it time. 

Adding chalk after doughing in has only a minor effect because of the buffering power of malt. Same with acid. It means you'd use a lot more to get the same effect than you would using either before you dough in. This can have unintended flavor consequences in the finished beer.

Again, I'm not saying it's wrong to do it when needed. I'm just suggesting that it's not a great habit to form. Using an available tool like Bru'n Water will save a lot of headaches.
Beer Appreciation is the space between pints.

Offline ianjwebster

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Re: Mash ph
« Reply #10 on: June 17, 2015, 10:01:18 AM »
I am beginning to see the light. Again thank you for your help.

 

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