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Sydney Weizen - Mash Ph

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ForkBoy

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Hi all,

Brewing a 50% wheat / 50% pilsner weizen tomorrow. Keeping it simple with just a 67C mash (although I can step-mash) and WLP300.

I brew with Sydney water and EZ_water_calc estimates the mash pH at 5.9, which seems high.

Should I worry about adding some lactic acid to drop it down to 5.6? Or instead of lactic, what salts might be appropriate for the style?

Aiming for banana over clove.

Thanks
 

gap

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Instead of taking the word of some water chemistery calculator why not
measure the mash PH and adjust if necessary.

Regards

Graeme
 

ForkBoy

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I don't have that capability right now.
 

///

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Your buggared ... chuck in some calcium regardless ...
 

Phoney

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for Sydney water I almost always go with around 4g each of Gypsum, Calcium Chloride and Epsom Salt.


Though with your PH that high I would also add in a teaspoon of mash stabilizer 5.2.


If you dont have that, then play around with lactic acids.
 

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for Sydney water I almost always go with around 4g each of Gypsum, Calcium Chloride and Epsom Salt.


Though with your PH that high I would also add in a teaspoon of mash stabilizer 5.2.


If you dont have that, then play around with lactic acids.
Or, buy a $12 ebay pH meter and find out where you are. I'm using 2 sources of Sydney water, one that without salts gives a mash pH of 5.5 and one a 6.8 ... on average ... so measure or be dammed ...
 

Phoney

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Ok! I bought an ebay ph meter about 2 yeats ago and its still in its wrapping in
somewhere in my shed. :lol: I really need to get off my butt sometimes...
 

ForkBoy

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Well for what it's worth... I imposed on a friend to drop by with some pH strips.

The calculator was bang on target.

2.4Kg pils + 2.4Kg wheat + 1tsp CaCl2 + 1tsp CaSO4 + 1/2 tsp MgSO4 + 2mL lactic in 20L mash ended up at 5.5 pH

at dough in without additions it was closer to 6.

So... pH meter > calculator > nothing.

Btw, are these $12 pH meters any good?
 

manticle

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Just for future reference, the acidifying contribution of magnesium is fairly small, malt/mash should contain sufficient levels and too much magnesium is always a bad thing - thus there is (in my view) no real need nor reason to add magnesium salts. Calcium, on the other hand is usually deficient in a mash and offers great benefit to many things. Too much is still a bad thing but it's unlikely you will add too much.

Get your sulphate from calcium salts rather than magnesium.

I reckon I'd trust pH strips over a $12 meter.

As an aside - was the pH taken at mash temp or a cooled sample? 5.5 is fine either way (although tail end of high if taken at mash temps) but good to note that temperature affects the reading. ~5.0 - 5.5 is a decent ranges at mash temp, ~5.3 - 5.8 around 20 degreeC.

If it's 5.5 at mash temp, it will favour beta amylase which may balance your high mash temp or undo it, depending on what you are chasing with your fermentability profile*.

*Actual differences may not be discernible to your palate - that's theoretical only from my end.
 

gobern

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I have been using an Ebay meter for a while. I have rechecked with calibration standards and still seems pretty accurate.Having said that, my mash Ph for Sydney water is typically 5.5 to 5.8 and no real need for correction. Have lowered Ph on sparge water a couple of times but could not detect any taste difference in the beer. Happy with the meter though.

Well for what it's worth... I imposed on a friend to drop by with some pH strips.

The calculator was bang on target.

2.4Kg pils + 2.4Kg wheat + 1tsp CaCl2 + 1tsp CaSO4 + 1/2 tsp MgSO4 + 2mL lactic in 20L mash ended up at 5.5 pH

at dough in without additions it was closer to 6.

So... pH meter > calculator > nothing.

Btw, are these $12 pH meters any good?
 

ForkBoy

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Thanks manticle, I adjusted mash at 30C dough-in. I assume that's the right time to make adjustments, before the main enzymes kick in.

I guess I'll grab some strips and a meter and see how they compare.
 

ForkBoy

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Well, this is interesting. Beersmith says my Pre-boil mash efficiency is 84%.

I don't think I've gotten over 70% previously on this system (a braumeister knock-off), although this is my first weizen on it.

Would correct pH make that sort of difference?
 

manticle

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Correct mash pH and appropriate calcium levels will help extraction efficiency.

By how much may depend on various things but if you noticed a major improvement and that's the main change you made from normal then at least part of it can be put down to that.
 

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Yep, correct pH (for the type of beer you are making) will affect attentuation and extract dramatically. One of the readngs did last year stated that extreme pH's can overide the mash temp and dictate the sugar complex.

Manticle and I have found ourselves championing pH again it seems. Water Chemistry can be made simple or difficult. First, you are better to add some calcium than none at all. Second, calcium is not just for pH manipulation, but is also thermo-protective of malt enzymes, helps trub formation and forms an ionic bridge between yeast to thelp them bind and floculate. Third, if you are trying to match a target water, most of the time you will get close, and close enough is good enough (the Beersmith water tool is pretty good, I've found the Palmer spreadsheet diffcult to use and has elements against what I was taught at Ballarat).

The pH that gives sugars of the highest fermentability and enables maximum sugar production is a pH of 5.2. Most big lagers head straight for this range obviously, but not being one to chase extract, most of my beers sit at 5.4 - 5.6. I want some body in the beer and a higher finishing SG without using a heap of crystal malt for example (finishng SG's are between between 8-14 depending on the beer and mash temp).

Never assume though that your water will always be the same. All matter of forces change the composition (rainfall or lack there of, switch in source, time of day). The water reports you get online are an average, a mate who works for Veola at Waterfall dam commented they manpulate water thoughout the day by menas of co2 acidifcation mostly.

Anyway, no need to panic. Plenty of relaxing can be done with a good homebrew. As mentioned, makng it easy on yourself by adding a small amount of salts and checking as an easy process. It will also give a better reproduciblilty and reliability to your beer by such an easy to do test.

If your still not sure, drop us a line, Manticle also knows a shite ton on this and could probably explain better than me,

Scotty
 

Clutch

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I think I might start playing with mash ph after reading this.
 

Phoney

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Just for future reference, the acidifying contribution of magnesium is fairly small, malt/mash should contain sufficient levels and too much magnesium is always a bad thing - thus there is (in my view) no real need nor reason to add magnesium salts.
magnesium should be in the 10 - 30 ppm range. Sydney water has 5 ppm.

How do you come to the conclusion that it's better to leave it as is with not enough magnesium rather than adding in a small amount that will correct this?
 

manticle

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Because there should be enough contributed from the malt. 5 ppm + what the grain gives you should be enough. Add it in should you wish to bump it up that tiny amount- most brewing texts seem to recommend that it's not necessary from my reading and I've not enjoyed the flavour of espom salts when I've used them. The effect of magnesium on mash pH is minimal - it contributes to yeast health but the mash itself will take care of that.
 

ForkBoy

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Thanks all some great info in this threat now.

As an aside, I have always wanted to make a very dry beer, but mash temps, grist and yeast alone have not quite got me there to date. Perhaps mash pH is the last lever.
 

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