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Brews & Views Bulletin Board Service * Brews and Views Archive 2007 * Archive through June 06, 2007 * Low mash Ph...What are the side effects? < Previous Next >

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brett matthews
Member
Username: Brettj

Post Number: 155
Registered: 06-2004
Posted From: 220.235.80.91
Posted on Monday, May 14, 2007 - 08:01 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I decided to check my mash ph on Saturday after not having checked the for the past year of brewing as it always hit the mark in the past. To my horror I noticed that it was 4.6.
I've been getting acetone aspects to my beers lately and the bittering seems harsh, are these consequenses of low mash ph? What are other "side effects"? The guy at my LHBS suggested low ph could be the cause after tasting one of my pale ales and it seems he may be onto something. Time will tell I guess
 

Tony Legge
Intermediate Member
Username: Boo_boo

Post Number: 276
Registered: 05-2005
Posted From: 142.163.69.186
Posted on Monday, May 14, 2007 - 10:08 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

For a start a lower mash PH will slow conversion and off the top of my head I would say a low PH would cause harsh flavors in your finished beer.
 

brett matthews
Member
Username: Brettj

Post Number: 156
Registered: 06-2004
Posted From: 220.235.80.91
Posted on Monday, May 14, 2007 - 10:35 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

That's pretty much exactly what the fella at the store said however I don't seem to have conversion problems. Thanks Tony, time to get more ph strips
 

Bill Pierce
Moderator
Username: Billpierce

Post Number: 7064
Registered: 01-2002
Posted From: 24.57.224.220
Posted on Monday, May 14, 2007 - 11:19 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

A mash pH of 4.6 seems rather low. Were you brewing a stout or porter with very soft or RO-filtered water?
 

Tony Legge
Intermediate Member
Username: Boo_boo

Post Number: 277
Registered: 05-2005
Posted From: 142.163.93.231
Posted on Monday, May 14, 2007 - 09:41 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Yeah, i got to thinking about this post today and was thinking the same thing, Bill.
Are your strips accurate?
 

brett matthews
Member
Username: Brettj

Post Number: 157
Registered: 06-2004
Posted From: 220.235.80.91
Posted on Monday, May 14, 2007 - 09:55 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Sorry Bill, 4.9 but I guess that is still very low. The water here in Melbourne (Aus) is very very soft, apparently as soft as Plzen or so the guys at the LHBS tell me. I would believe it as our water is known to be of top quality but very soft. BTW, I was brewing an English Pale
 

Bill Pierce
Moderator
Username: Billpierce

Post Number: 7070
Registered: 01-2002
Posted From: 24.57.224.220
Posted on Monday, May 14, 2007 - 10:13 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

That must be soft water indeed. I'd be inclined to add some calcium carbonate to the mash when brewing most styles. My guess is that your efficiency would go up if you did. As for the flavor effects, 4.9 is not so low that you would likely notice much difference. On the other hand, if you are brewing stouts and porters the mash pH would be lower and the beer could even be slightly sour.
 

brett matthews
Member
Username: Brettj

Post Number: 158
Registered: 06-2004
Posted From: 220.235.80.91
Posted on Monday, May 14, 2007 - 10:40 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I think I'll definitely be taking ph readings for every mash from now on. When brewing stouts or porters I have been adding the darker grains to the mash for the final 10 - 15 mins instead of with the mash proper. I've noticed the beers are much more palatable brewed this way.
 

Graham Cox
Senior Member
Username: T2driver

Post Number: 1108
Registered: 11-2004
Posted From: 68.32.253.156
Posted on Monday, May 14, 2007 - 10:56 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I have precisely the same "problem," Brett - very soft water with very low pH. While a blessing for Pilsners and such, it causes problems for darker beers. I have taken to doing the same thing you do to conteract that, plus I always add a few to several grams of calcium carbonate to the mash for anything darker than just a base grain-type beer.
 

brett matthews
Member
Username: Brettj

Post Number: 159
Registered: 06-2004
Posted From: 220.235.80.91
Posted on Tuesday, May 15, 2007 - 09:07 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Would low mash ph affect fermentation? Aforementioned beer was pitched with 3 packets of Safale 04 on PM 12/5/07 (OG 1048, 45 litres) which may be a bit heavy handed but it has already fermented to 1014. I can definitely taste a difference already, even at this early stage. It reminds me of the beers I was brewing 2-3 years ago when I was not as frustrated as I have been lately
 

Bill Pierce
Moderator
Username: Billpierce

Post Number: 7076
Registered: 01-2002
Posted From: 24.57.224.220
Posted on Tuesday, May 15, 2007 - 12:21 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I wouldn't think low mash pH would have too much effect on fermentation as long as the wort pH was at least 4.3-4.4 A wort pH much lower might begin to inihibit the yeast.