Measuring and Adjusting Mash Ph

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by artbreu, Jul 13, 2016.

  1. artbreu

    artbreu Member

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    I was wondering how/if you guys are measuring and adjusting your mash Ph. I have used strips, which I find useless (especially the ones available in my LHBSS), and a few hand-held probes (which vary wildly in reliability in my experience), and I still do an iodine test to make sure that conversion has been completed in the expected time.

    What's your method of measuring Ph?

    Also, if you're not hitting your target, what methods are you employing to adjust?

    I have a small bag of aciduated malt on hand for every brew and add it as needed (my Ph is never lower than 5.2, but sometimes comes in a bit high and needs the acid.) What's your method?

    Thanks.
     
  2. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    first the water calculator will tell you how much to add if filled out properly, I add phosphoric acid 88% my self. as for a probe well you get what you pay for a decent probe will cost you $70 and up a cheap one which is what I use https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01AI ... UTF8&psc=1 only last about a year and i buy another
     
  3. artbreu

    artbreu Member

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    I'm currently using the same meter. I've gone through a number of >$100 meters and I can live with plunking down $20 every year or so.
     
  4. sbaclimber

    sbaclimber Well-Known Member

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    Seeing as I pretty much stick to more-or-less the same recipe, I am not particularly helpful in answering this question...
    ...but I'll throw my 2 cents in anyway ;)
    I ran an iodine test the first 2-3 brews, and then haven't bothered since. At ~67°C the conversion of most base malts now-days is complete in <30min.
    As far as pH is concerned, I did adjust that after while...and it did help to boost my brew house efficiency by 2-3%, fwiw.
    I just used strips though as a really rough indicator. Even with those though, I could tell that I was a bit too high, and by adding a bit of acid malt, was back down to 5.2-ish.
     
  5. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    I'm using the EcoTestr from Oakton - big advantage is it's waterproof and it seems to have a pretty long electrode life. As to pH modifications, I'm careful what to add. As mentioned, I almost never get a low pH but it's sometimes high, although I have had some very dark beers come out too high in pH. As to adjustment, if it's in the range of about 5.0 - 5.4 hot, I do nothing. If I'm high, I keep some phosphoric acid on hand, if low, I use baking soda to adjust. Chalk, calcium carbonate, is not soluble and does nothing to adjust mash pH, in fact, it can lead to formation of apatite crystals (a form of mineral, a calcium phosphate), leading to gushers. A pH of 5.2 is the target for mash at mash temperatures (somewhere around 5.4-5.5 cooled), anywhere close will produce a good result.
     
  6. artbreu

    artbreu Member

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    Citric Acid

    Has anyone tried to lower pH using Citric acid? I am thinking about giving this a shot in some grapefruit IPA.
     
  7. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    it will but test as you go along it can get pretty acidly if too much is used, so you might want to compensate by lowering the bitterness a bit lower
     
  8. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Citric is generally not a good choice since it has, you guessed it, a citric flavor. If I have to acidify, a rarity, I use either lactic or phosphoric acid. Phosphoric acid is neutral in flavor and is therefore my acid of choice if I have to bring mash pH down.
     
  9. artbreu

    artbreu Member

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    hmm. I figured since I was going for a citra-grapefruit ipa it might work. I guess it's even more tart than I expected.
     

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