high water ph

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by smokey123, Nov 22, 2017.

  1. smokey123

    smokey123 New Member

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    lately every batch i make from kolsch to dark ales seems to have the same aftertaste like a bitter citrus type twang thing all my friends say the same and my brewing methods are unchanged now i have tested and found my tap water is a ph of 8 could this be the cause and i was planning the next mash to add gypsum to try lowering it , it has been the same in beers with different yeasts and at correct temps ,, ps i may have been sparging a little hot could this be the cause , any ideas would be appreciated thanks
     
  2. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    Need more info. Are you filtering? Is it muni water or well? I don't know of any off flavors resulting just from PH but I have tasted beers that were consistently off from using unfiltered water from certain locales.
    Hot sparge coupled with high PH can cause astringency, but I'm not sure I'd ever describe that as bitter or citrus. Maybe that's what you're getting, though.
    Acidulated malt does a great job of lowering PH, though I've used gypsum, too. Some hop-forward styles do well with gypsum additions but for malty beers, I prefer acidulated.
     
  3. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    Or simple lactic acid or phosphoric acid I saw 96% for sale locally the other day you'd only néed a ml or two to get ph in check. Good luck. I second JAs point filter your water try to remove chlorine and you should be good.
     
  4. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    sounds like chlorine but it could be other things too
     
  5. smokey123

    smokey123 New Member

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    Hi I am using tap water but I run it through a charcoal filter which is well inside it's usage limits I have a brew on at the moment using bottled water as a test but it's not practical to use this all the time as I would need a truck load lol
     
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  6. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    just add a campden tablet and that issue would be solved I have to do both my self, another flavor can come from lactic acid if too much is used but you should lower the ph with a meter using an acid of some kind, I use phosphoric just because its flavorless, since your brewing kolsch which doesn't hide much you can also have a grain issue, sour or old but just for info gypsum is for hoppy bitterness not malty I would not add much and balance gypsum and Calcium Chloride with even levels not to lower ph but to add calcium and that would even out the bitterness
     
  7. smokey123

    smokey123 New Member

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    Cheers for the advice I will try these suggestions
     
  8. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Water pH is irrelevant. Measure your mash pH. It should be 5.4 +/- 0.2 degrees. And dechlorinate.
     
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  9. smokey123

    smokey123 New Member

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    It's run through a charcoal filter to remove any clorine so there shouldn't be any in it
     
  10. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    I used to do that. Now I use Campden tablets. Serms to work better.
     
  11. The Brew Mentor

    The Brew Mentor Well-Known Member

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    KMS will certainly remove the chlorine and chloramine, but my concern would be with the high ph.
    You can easily adjust that with an acid. Just be aware that everything has some taste and taste thresholds.
    I use Lactic acid with great results, but if you're trying to stay with reinheitsgebot, then acidulated malt may be the answer. You can also dilute your water.
    Good luck,
    Brian
     
  12. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Metabisulfite breaks down into sodium, sulfate and chloride, all beneficial ions. A Campden tab is less than a gram, the amounts of each ion added are trivial, I don't even take them into account in my water calculation. And I agree, the concern is the pH but not the water pH, the mash pH. I use the water calculator. First, find a range for the residual alkalinity for the beer you're brewing. To find it, click on the "more" button in the Recipe Builder. The middle of the range is a good place to start. Then use the Water Calculator to adjust the water with salts and acids. Calcium and magnesium reduce RA (reducing mash pH), acids adjust the pH. To be clear, the water's pH is NOT the issue to address, it's the mash pH. Getting that into the right range will do wonders for all-grain brewing, increasing extract efficiency, making the beer easier to clarify and in general, brightening the taste of the beer.
     
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  13. smokey123

    smokey123 New Member

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    thanks for all the advice everyone cheers
     

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