Steeping Grains & Mash PH in Extract Brewing?

Discussion in 'Beginners Brewing Forum' started by Rephy, Nov 30, 2018.

  1. Rephy

    Rephy New Member

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    #1 Rephy, Nov 30, 2018
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2018
    First off I am new to home brewing so this may be a silly question, but Im confused to the reported numbers I am getting on the Mash PH in the recipe builder.

    Im extract brewing a recipe kit, 5 gallon batch, 3 gallon boil, 7 lbs extract, 1 lb steeping.

    I researched that Distilled and RO are fine for brewing extracts due to the correct water chemistry is already contained within the extracts, so using neutral water is fine.

    I have added steeping grains to my recipe and the recipe builder adds a Mash PH below where it should be. I have a distilled water profile of 7 PH. All other elements are set to 0. The Mash PH stays low when I remove the steeping grains and never goes away. If I build a recipe with no steeping grains I don't see a Mash PH show up at all. Its seems once you add steeping grains you get a low PH permanently.

    I realize steeping the grains will change the PH slightly depending on the grain. Do I need to bring the PH level up? Does it matter? Can I get rid of the reported number, N/A? Is the PH part of the BJCP and will it make my beer invalid to the style? I see N/A on other peoples recipes but can't do it in mine. I have a few other questions but I want to start with these.
     
  2. Rephy

    Rephy New Member

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    So I performed another test recipe, it worked fine. No PH shows up. May have something to do with me syncing the recipe from the app. Not sure why the PH is stuck on the original recipe.
     
  3. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

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    Honestly I wouldn't even worry about it for now. Get the brewing under your feet and worry about that in a bit.
     
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  4. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Agree with Hawkbox: There's lots of time later to worry about pH. At this point, concern yourself with sanitation and if possible, fermentation temperature.
     
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  5. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    Steeping grains are a very small percentage of your fermentables. PH is important for conversion efficiency but with steeping grains you're not really converting (until you start doing mini-mash with base malts) but rather getting flavor and sugars from pre-converted Crystal malt, etc.
    Sounds like it's a quirk in the recipe calculator and you'll be fine ignoring it.
     
  6. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    you really only worry about ph when you brew an all grain but you can change things with salts in an extract in the boil, it's mostly for flavor, body or finish taste so until you brew for a year I wouldn't worry about it you first need to identify off flavors and water tastes then you move on to more complex flavors
     
  7. Myndflyte

    Myndflyte Active Member

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    As others have said, pH is really only important with all-grain mashing and not steeping. With steeping, you are just rinsing the sugars off the grain and there is no conversion happening. So don't worry about pH at this point and focus more on your overall process and sanitation.
     
  8. Rephy

    Rephy New Member

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    Thank you everyone for your responses. I do realize the steeping grains have little affect. It just bothered me that the Mash PH is showing up in my extract recipe. Im technical about the way I go about things, its a trait I developed being in the following fields; analytical statistics, database / web development, graphic design, purchasing, and in various other IT fields.

    Update, I determined this is a software development issue. This is an issue with the syncing between the iPhone app and the online recipe builder. The test recipe I built online showed no PH. Once I synced with my phone, the Mash PH then appeared on the recipe online. I have the app set to the same equipment as online. No PH shows on the phone app. It appears the only thing that syncs correctly is the recipe, but when it does it causes a Mash PH to be added online, it does not appear on the app. I will continue to evaluate. I have deleted the app from my phone and reinstalled it, starting fresh to see what happens. So far it appears to only sync brew sessions from online to the phone, but not from the phone to the app. There are definitely issues with the syncing. Equipment profiles do not sync. I would say it is not wise to use the two in tandem.
     
  9. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    pH IS important with steeping but only when you steep in too much water. Two ways around it: Keep the water volume low, not more than 2qt/lb, or steep in wort - the reconstituted extract. That's the beer side of it, the web side, well, not my specialty.
     
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  10. Rephy

    Rephy New Member

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    Thanks for the input on steeping. Unfortunately I followed the recipe that came with the kit. Placed 2.5 gallons in kettle and steeped grains for 20 minutes around 160. Hope this won’t affect my beer to much. In the future I will steep grains in less water. The recipe also gave the option to place grains in at room temp and bring up to 170 or until 20 minutes elapsed.
     
  11. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    Nosy has a good point but for most recipes it may be a technicality. Given that most tap water is pretty high PH it could lead to leaching some astringency if there's not enough malt to naturally lower the PH of the wort. I think with most recipes it'd be hard to really go to far with it, though. Most recipes are similar to the one you made with a fairly large amount of water for steeping. It doesn't seem to have a big negative impact.
     
  12. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    True. Excess of caution. Worst you'll get is a bit of astringency from steeping in too much water.
     
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  13. Rephy

    Rephy New Member

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    Update, so I ran another test recipe. Wiped the app from the phone reinstalled and synced the new recipe. The recipe did not convert to provide a Mash PH online. Thought I was good to go, wrong. If you go in and try to edit the recipe, the Mash PH will then shows up with a number. If you don't make a change and don't save the recipe, the Mash PH will remain n/a. Only when and if you try to edit the recipe, will the Mash PH be changed from n/a to a Mash PH number.

    Although there are some syncing issues. It appears the glitch is online and not with the
     
  14. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    it's very possible the extract portion of the ph script hasn't been looked at or tested, I know I didn't so if you find it doesn't work correct you should put some info in the technical forum for the developer to look at
     
  15. Yooper

    Yooper Administrator
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    Good idea- I put in a ticket for this and will keep you posted. I'm not sure how this will be solved, but I've made them aware of this issue and we'll definitely be looking at this.
     
  16. Yooper

    Yooper Administrator
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    Thank you for all of the information. I've put in a ticket.
     

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