• Welcome to the new forum! We upgraded our forum software with a host of new boards, capabilities and features. It is also more secure.
    Jump in and join the conversation! You can learn more about the upgrade and new features here.

mash PH: How to approach


Jan 25, 2020
Reaction score
I read this BeerSmith Blog post on when and how to measure and adjust mash PH. http://beersmith.com/blog/2017/10/18/when-and-how-to-measure-and-adjust-mash-ph-for-beer-brewing/

Given that I'll be using PH strips to measure PH and am just starting to concern myself with this, I'm looking to understand how I should try to error since I'm expecting error.  I have broad range PH Strips and ones that are more centered on the 5.x range.

Is it better to have the PH be too low or too high.  Also, thru the mash would the PH tend to rise or lower? Any other recommendations on good practice would be appreciated.

Thanks in Advance,


Grandmaster Brewer
Mar 16, 2013
Reaction score
New Hampshire, US
The pH you get will depend upon the mineral content of your water and the types of malts you are using.  In general, most base malts tend to produce a mash pH of around 5.5 to 5.6 on their own in distilled/deionized water.  Darker malts will bring the pH down from that area. 

The goal of the mash pH is to maximize the rate of enzyme activity.  As long as your mash pH is between 5.2 and 5.8, you will be fine for enzyme activity.  Most brewers target around 5.4 for mash pH as a general rule of thumb.  The upper limit of a pH at 6.0 or above is critical as the combination of the high pH and temperatures above 170F/77C can leach harsh tannins from the grain husks which will result in a dry, astringent finish to your beer.