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Rain Water Ph 4.7

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Thefatdoghead

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Don't know if anyone cares but it really surprised me that rain water that came down today in south east Queensland had a PH of 4.5. Obviously people who brew with rain water would know that it's on the acidic side but I never thought it was in that range.
Loving my new digital PH meter, I wish I bought one ages ago! Peace of mind in the mash and I can check my pool and fermentation of mead and beer etc.
 

amiddler

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What is your roof and gutter made out of? Far from suburbia? Acid Rain? Have to test mine now you mention it.
 

Thefatdoghead

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Mate I put a clean bucket on the drive and caught about 4 litters in the afternoon. Im about 20 minutes inland from Caloundra on the sunny coast. Meter was calibrated yesterday with PH 4 solution and PH 7 solution.
 

amiddler

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It would be interesting to have it tested to find out what ions are causing the pH issues.
The good part is thet water pH doesn't have a great impact on mash pH which is where it matters.
 

Thefatdoghead

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I only tested it because i made a wheat beer out of straight rain water and one fermentor got infected and the other was just really wrong on the pallet so i tipped it!
Think ill stick to tap water...mines PH 6.98.
 

dent

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The pH of very clean water can be not very instructive, for brewing purposes. The water quite possibly has very little buffering capacity. It would be more worthwhile IMO to conduct a test mash with 100% pils malt, see what mash pH you get, and go from there.
 

drsmurto

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The pH of very clean water can be not very instructive, for brewing purposes. The water quite possibly has very little buffering capacity. It would be more worthwhile IMO to conduct a test mash with 100% pils malt, see what mash pH you get, and go from there.
Good point, a pH meter relies on conductivity of which there is very little in pure (distilled) water.

I highly doubt the pH of the water is actually that low, try diluting it with small quantities of tap water (1-2%) and see what that does to the reading.
 

dent

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Yeah, I think the pH reading probably IS accurate, it's just that it's a useless measurement - especially without knowing the buffering capacity of what (if anything much) is in that water.

That rain water probably is excellent brewing water. You won't really know until you try a mash in it, then you will see how the buffering capacity of the water meets that of the malt.
 

RdeVjun

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I'm no chemist, but you may find that the pH could stabilize at a higher value once allowed to stand. I'm not up on the exact reasoning, however that may be due to carbonic acid which is then lost as CO2.
Another reason why the pH is low may be elevated levels of nitrogen oxides due to lightning, as far as I'm aware that would not result in a higher pH when allowed to stand.
Could be completely off base too...
Edit: BTW pH of 4.7 is not outside the normal range of rainwater.
 

Thefatdoghead

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Ill try dilute 1/4 tap water PH 7 (pretty close) with 3/4 rain water see what I get. No idea whats in the rain water but sulphur dioxide would be high from pollution? im just guessing. I'll see if the ph has a large change. Im still learning water chemistry and only know the basics so im just dicking around really.
There was heaps of lightening before the rain though.......you could be right RdeVjun.
 

Thefatdoghead

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**** it, ill go grind a couple of hanfulls of pil's malt and mash it for 40 min at 65 and see what the ph ends up at.
 

labels

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Of course, rain begins by nucleation, that is water vapour condensing on a nucleation point which could be anything as stated below

From Wikipedia,

"Water vapor normally begins to condense on condensation nuclei such as dust, ice, and salt in order to form clouds."

Firstly, this means that rain water is never clean and depending on what type of nuclei it starts consdensing on will affect the properties of the water that ends up as rain including, of course, the pH.

Steve
 

Batz

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I'm a Water Watch volunteer, I monitor two creeks in my area for any changes in PH, salt, phosphorus etc.

It just happens it is my turn with the equipment today so I have checked the PH of my rain water, this is out of the tank.

5.67

Seems about right.

http://www.soest.hawaii.edu/GG/ASK/rain-creek-pH.html

Batz
 

Thefatdoghead

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I didn't think to move the bucket of rain water undercover for a sample today and it rained again last night so the PH of the rain water was 4.97 today. I used 200gm premium pils malt and mashed into 750ml of the rain water.
Mashed for 40min at 65 degrees and 20min at 72 deg. Cooled the wort down to 30 degrees and ended up with a PH of 5.4. I calibrated the meter before I started.
 

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