pH adjustment recommendation way off

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by Brewer #70081, Aug 16, 2017.

  1. Brewer #70081

    Brewer #70081 New Member

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    Just brewed an all-grain BIAB Märzen using BF. It was my second time using the BF calculators. I found the pH recommendation to be way off. I use bottled spring water and have the water report. I calibrate my pH meter before each brew at work with fresh standards. BF recommended that I add 43 mL of 10% phosphoric acid to get my mash down to a target 5.3. Out of caution, I added half of that to the strike water and 5 minutes into the mash the pH reading was 5.11.

    I also use the Bru'n water spreadsheet. Bru'n's acid addition recommendation would probably have gotten me to target range without further adjustment. It suggested about 10 mL in order to achieve between a pH of 5.3 to 5.4.

    Any recommendations about what I might be doing wrong with my BF settings? I'm wondering if it has something to do with splitting the water between sparge and mash. I'm adding all my salts to the strike water before mash. I do a 5.8 gallon mash and a 1.5 gallon sparge. I'm still a little uncertain if I'm setting up my water calc correctly in BF.

    Or, should I just continue to err on the side of caution and add acid to the mash in increments to avoid undershoot?
     
  2. CRUNK

    CRUNK Well-Known Member

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    I personally always back up each addition with a ph check to see where I'm at. I do my additions during stirring as I do step mashes, and recirculate with a kettle rims rig.
     
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  3. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    I've noticed, too, that the pH calculations tend to run a bit toward the tart side.... Incremental additions is what I do.
     
  4. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    are you just using the stand alone calculators or the advanced water calculator that pulls from your profile defaults
     
  5. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Advanced. But I blame mine on water variability over the year. In the spring, we're drinking fresh snowmelt, in the fall, it's surface water. And there's some well water thrown in for good measure.... One day I'll get serious and get a RO rig for my brewery but that's a lot of cash. And plumbing.
     
  6. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    I have something similar here, we pull from a lake a well and a underground cold water river which is crystal clear but it all runs through a treatment plant that puts out the same numbers all year round, I do notice more chlorine in the summer though just by smell
     
  7. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    I'll be testing the water hypothesis this weekend. Going to brew one of my Helles Projekt beers over with distilled water built up with salts and see what kind of results I get. If I get "better" results, I may spring for a RO rig later this year.
     
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  8. wobdee

    wobdee Member

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    Did you take other readings further into your mash? I think it takes about 30 minutes for everything to really settle down and I've seen my PH creap up throughout the mash.
     
  9. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Creep up? That's the wrong direction, usually.... I test at 5 minutes, cooled sample, calibrated pH meter. I have been testing at each infusion, including sparge, but I'm scrapping that in favor of testing the wort post-boil and correcting it to the value I want.
     
  10. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    iys a big difference in different ways of brewing, I recirculate continuously and because I do I get a true ph reading otherwise its not really mixed up enough to get a true reading
     
  11. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    Looking forward to hearing you results Nosey ive brewed a few pilsners now and wondered what a low mineral water profile may bring.
     
  12. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    My plan is to add 50 mg Calcium in the form of sulfate, 25 mg of sodium in the form of table salt. I may mix that up again when I start working with the water - I'm too lazy to do the calculations by hand and I want the Cl-/SO4++ ratio to be fairly high (1:1 - I want a malty beer). My grist is Pilsner malt with a bit over 2% Acidulated Malt.

    Was reading that notorious whitepaper on low oxygen brewing - I can't bring myself to add 100mg of metabisulfite per liter to my brewing water. Will see how this Helles comes out with just my normal process before changing anything else. That's why I'm enjoying these small brews - I learn a lot from doing them and don't have a lot of the beer lying around.
     
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