pH of water help

Discussion in 'Recipe Editor' started by Blackmuse, Jun 21, 2018.

  1. Blackmuse

    Blackmuse Well-Known Member

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    I have a question about water pH and acid.

    When I designed a beer and included my makts and acids to get a proper pH the system States I need over 3 grams citric acid for the mash and less than a gram for the sparge...

    Why is this?

    There is 4 gallons in the mash and 5 in the sparge. Also, you have the malts in the (yes I am doing an acid rest at 95)... So why the difference? If anything I thought it would be the other way.

    Any insight would be great!
     
  2. Yooper

    Yooper Administrator
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    The idea of acid is to get a proper mash pH. And if you have alkalinity in your sparge water, you need to neutralize that with acid as well. Can you give us a screen shot of what you are seeing? I can be more specific on it, if I can see what you're looking at.

    We have a short 3 part article on water chemistry in brewing, if you want to read the "hows and whys" of the additions:

    https://www.brewersfriend.com/2018/02/13/brewing-water-basics-putting-it-all-together/
     
  3. Blackmuse

    Blackmuse Well-Known Member

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    I'll work on getting those screen shots tonight. Until then I'll peek through the article.

    Thank you.
     
  4. Blackmuse

    Blackmuse Well-Known Member

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    I just realized I can share the link to my record. Here it is. Scroll through.and you'll see what I mean about the sparge water pH vs the mash.

    https://www.brewersfriend.com/mash-chemistry-and-brewing-water-calculator/?id=WXXXF0P
     
  5. Yooper

    Yooper Administrator
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    It looks like you have "use salts in mash only" checked, and "acidify sparge water checked". That's fine (preferable in many cases, to help with mash pH), but that's the reason it's broken up the way it is!
     
  6. Blackmuse

    Blackmuse Well-Known Member

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    So help me understand what that means? I'm doing an acid rest before my first decoction so should I uncheck use salts in mash only?

    I guess I don't get what checking those boxes does to the amount of salt needed.
     
  7. Yooper

    Yooper Administrator
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    The primary thing is to make sure your mash pH is where you want it. With an acid rest, you may or may not need acid in the mash. The software assumes no acid rest.

    The amount of salts used are to hit the targets you set. If you want, say, more chloride or calcium or magnesium, etc you will add more salts. Adding them all to the mash instead of all of the water can help with lowering the mash pH a little. Sparge water should have as little alkalinity as possible, so you use the acid there to neutralize the sparge water.
     
  8. Blackmuse

    Blackmuse Well-Known Member

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    So, I thought the system was assuming and acid rest since my pH was already lower with just the grains.

    Honestly, I think I'd prefer just the acid rest and no acid in the mash. I'll look what doing that does to the end pH.

    Since my water is at 6.4 pH And I want it roughly at 5.2-5.6 for sparging I should be adding some acid to the sparge water, yes?

    Just bejng sure I get what you're saying.
     
  9. Blackmuse

    Blackmuse Well-Known Member

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    I don't get it. Doesn't make sense that I only need .78 g of acid to bring Sparge water from 6.4 to 5.4... Yet without acid in the mash, just the grains and salt my pH shows up as having gone from 6.4 to 5.4... and it wanted me to add over 3.0 g of acid to drop it to 5.22!
     
  10. Yooper

    Yooper Administrator
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    Remember that the pH of the water you're using has almost nothing to do with the mash pH. The grains are acidic, and will bring down the pH quite a lot, but maybe not enough to hit a good mash pH of 5.3-5.5. The key is the alkalinity, which in your water looks very low. That's why only a bit of acid drops the sparge pH- it doesn't have high alkalinity. But for mashing, you don't just want to be under a pH of 6- you want to be in the 5.3-5.5 range so you'll need a bit more acid.
     
  11. Blackmuse

    Blackmuse Well-Known Member

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    So at the bottom where it says in the Mash Report - MASH pH: 5.4 - is that what I should expect my mash pH to be based on my grist? As in: My water pH is 6.4 and once I add my grains their acidity brings me to 5.4? I assume the answer is NO and that would explain why I am so confused...

    My alkalinity is low so it will not take much to change my pH with acid (the buffer (alkalinity) is low)) - Right?

    Thank you for your help and explanations. I THINK I am starting to get it. I just need to understand what the software is doing and why. If you think I should recheck the box I had checked previously to include the acid addition tot he mash I will. However, I want to understand why. lol A video on the water calculator would be SWEET!
     
  12. Yooper

    Yooper Administrator
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    Funny you should mention a video- that came up with us just the other day and we all agreed that it would be very helpful. We're talking about how to make that happen.

    You are correct in assuming that your water plus the grains in the mash would likely come up with a mash pH of 5.4 due to the acidity of the grains and adding the salts (which drive the pH down slightly).

    So you pretty much got it!
     
  13. Blackmuse

    Blackmuse Well-Known Member

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    "You are correct in assuming that your water plus the grains in the mash would likely come up with a mash pH of 5.4 due to the acidity of the grains and adding the salts (which drive the pH down slightly). "

    So then, I am back to why I'm so confused.... Why then would I need MORE acid to bring my Mash pH down .2 points then I do to bring my sparge water down 1 whole point?
     
  14. Blackmuse

    Blackmuse Well-Known Member

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    I think it just hit me. You mentioned alkalinity before. I may get it now. My grains must alter my alkalinity making it so that I need more acid to drop the pH... ?

    I think I'm going to go dig up my Palmer book and read that water/pH chapter I've neglexneg for so long. Lol
     
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