Mash pH problem on the calculator

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by RiverStreet, Feb 17, 2017.

  1. RiverStreet

    RiverStreet New Member

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    I've asked this before without any helpful replies. It would be great if someone could go in and try what I'm talking about and see what happens. Here goes: I put in a recipe in the recipe builder. I then go to build water in the advanced water calculator, importing the recipe I just created. In the water calculator it will have the ingredients of the recipe listed. Say the color comes out at 15 SRM and for what ever I've added to the water say it gives me a mash pH of 5.5. HERE'S the problem: go to the grist info and switch it to beer color and put the info in there. 15 for color, etc. Then my mash pH will drop to 5.2. WHY??? It does this consistently and it drives me nuts. Which one can I trust?
     
  2. HighVoltageMan!

    HighVoltageMan! Well-Known Member

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    I have talked to brewers who rely on the water calculators as their only means of measuring pH. I think those calculators will get you in the ball park, but the real question is: What's the actual pH?

    Grains from different malsters with the same SRM in the same water will give different a different pH. It may only be .2-.3 of a point, but when you're brewing a darker beer you may want it to be 5.4 instead of 5.1.

    I use a pH meter to find out exactly where the pH is during each stage of the brew. I measure it several times during the mash and boil. I have seen pH change quite a bit during the boil, so the calculators give an idea, but that's about it IMHO.
     
    Head First likes this.
  3. Starter Hops

    Starter Hops Member

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    Right, like a little roasted barley will get you to 15SRM, or like 4-5oz 130L cararoma- different grain totals there alone. Same scenario, is the roasted barley in the mash or steeped separate? HVM is right, this is ballpark calculation when switching to SRM for the water calc and not grain-specific in mash.
     
  4. Starter Hops

    Starter Hops Member

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    Hey Riverstreet- you're practically a local to me. Hit me up lets brew. [email protected]
     
  5. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    I use the advanced calculator to pull in the recipe and tell me how much acid or brewing salts to add but I always double check with my meter in both the mash and sparge water since I fly sparge its very important to have at least in the 5.5 to 6 range
     
  6. emsroth

    emsroth Member

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    I am assuming that the calculator that uses the beer color (SRM) as a basis to determine pH has A LOT of assumptions built into it. Using the grist as the input seems more accurate to me. There are many different ways to achieve the same SRM, some dark malts are more/less acidic than others, and what defines a "roasted malt."
     
    Gerry P likes this.

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