Wheat mash PH

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by Aje1967, Jan 26, 2019.

  1. Aje1967

    Aje1967 New Member

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    Hello,

    I am planning on brewing a wheat beer and by tinkering with my calcium chloride mash additions I was able to get the PH down to 5.58 which, I believe, is a good PH. I have to add 2 teaspoons to the mash (11 lbs) to get that. Is that acceptable? I am new to caring about my water.
    I use bottled artesian water and got the water report from the company. Pretty interesting.

    Thanks,
     
  2. Yooper

    Yooper Administrator
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    Basically, no. I mean, sure it would work, but think of calcium chloride as salt (which it is). When you make spaghetti sauce, adding a little seasoning makes the spaghetti sauce go from bland to great. The same is true of beer- adding a little of the correct salt is "seasoning" to improve the beer flavor. So think of those additions as seasoning salts, and not a way to adjust mash pH. Two teaspoons is around 10 grams(?) so it is probably ok, but might not be.

    To target mash pH, a little acid is what should be used. Lactic acid and phosphoric acid are most common in the US and what I'm most familiar with.

    There is an article for water chemistry here: https://www.brewersfriend.com/2017/11/19/brewing-water-basics-part-1/
    It's in three parts, but it is part 1 and a quick read.
     
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  3. HighVoltageMan!

    HighVoltageMan! Well-Known Member

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    #3 HighVoltageMan!, Jan 26, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2019
    Adding calcium to the mash lowers the pH, but only slightly. Some form of acid is needed as Yooper said already to lower pH. Usually water salts are added to increase the calcium content of the wort, most brewers target 70ppm for yeast health/flocculation and to get a proper balance between chlorides and sulfates. That balance is the flavor enhancer Yooper mentioned.

    Ph also changes with temperature, as the wort cools to room temperature it will cause the pH to rise about .2-.3. I measure pH with a meter at room temperature to because it’s easier on the probe. I target 5.4-5.8 at room temperature depending on the style of beer I’m brewing. I also target a specific pH in the fermenter at pitching. 5.2 for light beers and 5.4 for dark beers.

    Water calculators are good to get your mash in a ballpark range, but a good pH meter will help you nail it from mash to keg, pH affects the beer all the way from the mash to when you pour it into a glass. When I started all grain I used the water calculators, but now I just target calcium levels and sulfate/chloride ratios. ph changes slightly with malt from batch to batch and year to year.

    You’ve entered a brewing rabbit hole. It will make you a better and more knowledgeable brewer in the end, but at first it can seem a little intimidating. Just keep in mind this is supposed to be fun.
     
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  4. Aje1967

    Aje1967 New Member

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    HaHa, thanks guys. The rabbit holes entrance is already pretty far behind me! Ugh. My daughter got me a starter kit and a box to make an amber with extract. Now I am worrying about mash PH.
    I put some acidulated malt into the recipe and reduced the calcium. I guess now a PH meter is in my future.
     
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  5. Yooper

    Yooper Administrator
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    Haha- we all know how it is. In 2000, I bought "The Beer Machine 2000" and announced in a different forum that "I'll never go all-grain" once I started extract brewing with a boil in about 2005 or so.

    Now I have a 1/2 barrel all-electric indoor home brewery.

    It's a slippery slope!
     
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  6. Craigerrr

    Craigerrr Well-Known Member

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    It really is quite comfy down here in the rabbit hole
     

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