Estimating mash pH: beer color vs malt bill

Discussion in 'Recipe Editor' started by Belouch, Sep 11, 2018.

  1. Belouch

    Belouch New Member

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    #1 Belouch, Sep 11, 2018
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2018
    Hey guys,

    I'm having serious issues trying to estimate my mash pH using the advanced water chemistry tool.
    As you know there are two ways to estimate it: (1) using the beer color and grist weight and (2) using the malt bill.

    I have tried it with several recipes, and (1) always gives me 0.2-0.3 lower pH.

    We know how much a pH of 5.3 vs 5.6 can make a difference, so does anyone know why both tools give such different results?

    Example:

    (1)
    6 kg grist
    5 SRM
    --> Grist pH = 5.51

    (2)
    4kg base malt (color 3)
    2kg base malt (wheat, color 2)
    --> Grist pH = 5.72

    Second question, why is the malt bill color unit in Lovibonds when everything else is in SRM? Doesn't make much sense?

    Thanks for any help,
    Cheers,
    Belouch
     
  2. oliver

    oliver Well-Known Member

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    probably because entering the malt bill is much more accurate.

    Just a guess here, but you can reach your 5 SRM, for example, with like 99% pale malt and 1% black malt, or achieve that with 80% pale malt and 20% crystal malt. Different kilning of different malts result in different acidities of malts. The calculator can't guess just by a weight and color what kind of malts are going in there.
     
  3. Belouch

    Belouch New Member

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    Yea but that's the weird thing, no matter what grain bill I put that matches the color, it will never even get me close to the estimation made by (1), which leads me to think that one of the two calculators (most likely (1)) is just broken and it would maybe be best to just remove it to avoid confusing people :)
     
  4. oliver

    oliver Well-Known Member

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    why wouldn't you enter your grist that you're using in the advanced water calculator for more accuracy?
     
  5. White Haus Brews

    White Haus Brews Active Member

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    Just because they give you different numbers doesn't mean it's broken, it just means one may not be as accurate as the other. If someone just wants a general idea of where they'll end up the color &weight might be all they need. Personally I don't believe a difference of 0.3 makes any percievable difference anyway but to each their own. Cheers
     
  6. Myers

    Myers New Member

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    I use Malt Bill rather than Color for the following reasons: I've found that Malt Bill gives me an accurate mash pH reading (based on my pH meter and considering that I get seemingly good brew results). Second, if Color is checked it uses for the pH calculation the SRM color that's listed on my Recipe page for the entire grain bill, whereas if Malt Bill is checked the pH calculation is based on the grain bill (including the SRM of the malts) AND it shows a listing of the individual malts (including weight & color), which are not listed if Color is checked. Why I like this is that if I find that the mash pH calculated is outside the desired 5.1 - 5.5 range -- and I typically find that it is too low using RO water and a high percentage of darker colored malts -- then I can zero out some of the darkest colored malts (that's on the Chemistry page, not on the Recipe page) and hit Save (at the top of the Chemistry page), which re-calculates the pH with those dark malts left out of the mash. After my zeroing out some of the dark malts if I see that the pH is now within the desired range, I know that I should not add those dark malts to the mash, but should either steep them separately or add them at the end of the mash. Using the Chemistry calculator this way, I've found it to be very helpful in getting my mash pH right -- along with the appropriate addition of salts.
     

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