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When do you measure pH


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#1 drez77

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Posted 24 August 2018 - 05:10 AM

When during the mash do you measure pH? I have always been a 10 minute guy but now I am seeing a lot of chatter on HBT in the "Brewing Science" section about having to wait till 30 minutes to measure especially with the new generation 2 pH models that some of the software/spreadsheets are using.

 

I will be honest, after trying to read them and the bickering back and forth it made me want to give up even measuring :)

 

It also leads to my next question of how important is it to be off your measurement a bit.  Do I really need to be dead on or is 0.02 off or what about 0.1?  I have had some batches where things when wrong on brewday and I was no where close but the beer was fine.  I listen to a lot of podcast with commercial brewers who do not adjust at all.  Granted, I understand that water and pH is important but do homebrewers take it to a level that it does not need to go?

 

 


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#2 djinkc

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Posted 24 August 2018 - 05:16 AM

I test pH when my Star San mix is over 4 days old.

 

I quit testing my mash years ago


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#3 Poptop

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Posted 24 August 2018 - 06:18 AM

 

I quit testing my mash years ago

 

I dial in my acid per BrunWater as needed.  I haven't tested in a long time.


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#4 ER Pemberton

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Posted 24 August 2018 - 06:22 AM

Usually I'm about 10 minutes in.  I make a lot of the same recipes and I make beers in the same general ABV range so I generally need around the same amount of acid to get into the correct pH zone.  Yes, sometimes the pH is a smidge high and if that happens I add a few more drops of acid.  I mentioned once before that a decent meter helps you to understand what you need to do to get your pH correct and at some point you may not even have to measure anymore (apparently DJ is at that point), but you can't really get to that point without the meter.  Taking the pH now is more of a formality than anything else and I almost never have to adjust it.  But... I have not been listening to podcasts about this.  Thank Jeebus too because I would be ringing my hands over whether I was doing it right.  :D  I check it when I add my sparge water too just to make sure it's okay and I used to check the kettle pH but I stopped doing that assuming that mash pH + sparge pH should equal a good kettle pH.



#5 drez77

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Posted 24 August 2018 - 06:25 AM

I dial in my acid per BrunWater as needed.  I haven't tested in a long time.

I have had issues with BnW in the past giving me readings that would not match reality, I hope the new version will change that.  My issues were one of the reasons I started to read these posts on pH and the calculations ... I wish I did not!


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#6 ER Pemberton

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Posted 24 August 2018 - 06:33 AM

Drez, you're using the Omega meter, right?  What is it that you think is not working properly in terms of your pH?  I'll be honest, I'm not an expert on this but I know that you want the mash pH in a certain zip code so you can have an efficient mash and maximize your yield and I know that a kettle pH that is too high can result in a darker than usual wort and also a stubborn haze.  My beers have had a really nice pale color and they have been clear so the kettle pH must be okay.  I typically shoot for 5.2 to 5.3 on the mash pH.  If I measure it and it's 5.32 (or something), I just roll with it.  No issues that I know of.  



#7 drez77

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Posted 24 August 2018 - 06:46 AM

Drez, you're using the Omega meter, right?  What is it that you think is not working properly in terms of your pH?  I'll be honest, I'm not an expert on this but I know that you want the mash pH in a certain zip code so you can have an efficient mash and maximize your yield and I know that a kettle pH that is too high can result in a darker than usual wort and also a stubborn haze.  My beers have had a really nice pale color and they have been clear so the kettle pH must be okay.  I typically shoot for 5.2 to 5.3 on the mash pH.  If I measure it and it's 5.32 (or something), I just roll with it.  No issues that I know of.  

Yes, Omega.  I have been doing full volume mashing and BnW apparently does not predict well with thin mashes.  That is supposedly changed in version 5.3.  I have been shooting for a pH in the 5.4 range and not worrying much if it is a bit above or below.  I have made beers that were good either way, I am starting to think it is becoming and academic exercise for some to try and predict to the thousandth what the pH will be.  I am not going to take a pH reading of all my malts prior to brewing and enter that into any spreadsheet!


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#8 ER Pemberton

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Posted 24 August 2018 - 06:57 AM



Yes, Omega.  I have been doing full volume mashing and BnW apparently does not predict well with thin mashes.  That is supposedly changed in version 5.3.  I have been shooting for a pH in the 5.4 range and not worrying much if it is a bit above or below.  I have made beers that were good either way, I am starting to think it is becoming and academic exercise for some to try and predict to the thousandth what the pH will be.  I am not going to take a pH reading of all my malts prior to brewing and enter that into any spreadsheet!

Of course it is.  We should know by now that some brewing eggheads are going to tell you that your mash pH must be 5.248170821 or else your beer will not be perfect.  I seem to remember some pro brewers mentioning that pH test strips were fine for homebrewers because you don't have to be EXACT, you just need to be in a safe range.  I'm sure that's a crude way of looking at it and I admit that I wanted better instruments to know what my pH was but that doesn't mean the pH has to be that specific.  I have no issues with people who want to be that exact but I know that I don't need to do that.  



#9 LeftyMPfrmDE

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Posted 24 August 2018 - 07:27 AM

I use BnW and a Milwaukee 102 pH meter- typically using 1.5 Qt/Lb ratio. with the use of BnW and checking with the meter- 20 minutes into a mash- I'm useally +/- .2-.3 with BnW spreadsheet predicts. (if the spreadsheet states 5.19, and the meter says 5.21, close enough), also, I calibrate the meter before each mash, and keep it stored in the recommended storage solution after cleaning with Distilled water; the probe of this particular meter is a pricey thing to replace, so I treat it with kid gloves. 


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#10 pickle_rick

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Posted 24 August 2018 - 07:35 AM

once it's mixed up I wait 5-10 mins and stick a colorphast strip in there for about 20 seconds and see if I'm in the ballpark.  if I'm within 0.2 of what I was shooting for I usually just leave it.


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#11 neddles

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Posted 24 August 2018 - 08:44 AM

15 minutes. I dont have issues with Brunwater and thin mashes. Cant rmember when I last was off by more than 0.1 or so. I shoot for 5.3 or 5.4 typically but only correct if it is off at 5.1 or 5.6 or so.
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#12 denny

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Posted 24 August 2018 - 11:09 AM

Martin says to wait at least 15 min.  The pH will naturally tend to settle around 5.4, but takes a while to do it.


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#13 djinkc

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Posted 25 August 2018 - 05:56 AM

Just for grins - 5.4 at 30 minutes today


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#14 pkrone

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Posted 25 August 2018 - 10:04 AM

I check mine at 30 min.   Since I'm still playing around with my sodium metabisulfite dosing, my pH bounces around some.   Better safe than sorry.


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#15 pickle_rick

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Posted 25 August 2018 - 01:38 PM

Isn't a half hour a long time to have a not so good made ph?

Edited by pickle_rick, 25 August 2018 - 01:38 PM.

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#16 pkrone

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Posted 25 August 2018 - 02:14 PM

Yeah,  I check it shortly after mash in, actually, to see if I'm in the ballpark.   :mellow:   I seem to have left that one out.   Oops.  


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#17 drez77

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Posted 25 August 2018 - 04:09 PM

Seems from the threads I have seen measuring early will not give accurate readings.
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#18 ER Pemberton

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Posted 25 August 2018 - 04:19 PM

Yeah,  I check it shortly after mash in, actually, to see if I'm in the ballpark.   :mellow:   I seem to have left that one out.   Oops.  

I feel like all of us are good enough at what we do that it would be really out of left field that we would not be "in the ballpark".  Most adjustments I make are really, really minor.  If you mashed at a pH of over 6.0 (I'm making this up) for 30 minutes you would probably be toast.  But I doubt any of us would do that.  



#19 pickle_rick

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Posted 26 August 2018 - 05:21 AM

probably true.


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