pH meter

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pH meter

Postby jward on Tue Dec 15, 2009 9:36 pm

Anyone using a pH meter? Any experience with the ones commonly for sale from the homebrew supply stores? Do you measure the pH of you mash?
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Re: pH meter

Postby brahn on Wed Dec 16, 2009 12:40 am

I have an Oakton phTestr 20, it was the one Tyler recommended to me. It's not available at a lot of homebrew shops, but The Beverage People sell it and a lot of hydroponic supply shops carry it. I do generally use it to test my mash, I usually intend to check the final wort but I usually forget. That said, I've never seen my mash pH outside of 5.2-5.4, and I haven't noticed a difference in the beers between the different pH's. If you suspect you're having a problem with your pH, you can certainly borrow mine.

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Re: pH meter

Postby jward on Wed Dec 16, 2009 4:43 pm

Much of it is curiosity. Some of it is a concern over the mineral-astringency some of my beers have. I switched back to batch sparging to prevent oversparging (that and it's easier in IMHO). The ugly truth is that I only managed to brew twice this year which makes it difficult to test process changes. I do expect to brew much more this year. Maybe I should look into some of the test strips. I usually avoid those because they are usually color based which doesn't agree with my red-green color deficiency.

Thanks, and I may take you up on your offer. When I kept aquariums I had lots of lab grade equipment and did lot's of tests. I stopped after a while because nothing was ever out of specification. It's amazing how following standard processes leads to correct results even when you don't test. Of course testing can bring one piece of mind when in doubt.
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Re: pH meter

Postby JonGoku on Wed Dec 16, 2009 5:24 pm

jward wrote:I do expect to brew much more this year.


You better get rolling, you only have 2 more weeks left of "this year".

Just kidding, I know what you mean and I'm right there along with you. I truly hope I'm able to brew more constantly in 2010, and finally brew beers I like because I love the taste, and not just ones I like because I was the one who happened to brew them.
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Re: pH meter

Postby oc eric on Wed Dec 16, 2009 8:49 pm

Jward (john)

I use the test strips which have been helpful. I usually am within PH range or need a slight touch up. I would definitely go with the meter is the color test is not going to work.

BTW, if you're free during the week I'm usually brewing. The *only* benefit to being unemployed.
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Re: pH meter

Postby jward on Thu Jun 17, 2010 8:56 pm

I picked up an EXTECH ExStick 110 pH meter. After adding cheese making and soon vinegar making to the list of hobbies I figure I'll be using it enough. Being able to measure the mash once or twice and mead is a bonus. It has a flat bulb and you can measure the surface of an object aka a piece of cheese.
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Re: pH meter

Postby tylking on Fri Jun 18, 2010 6:15 am

pH is very important to me! We (The Bruery) measure the pH of our hot liquor, mash (mash rest doesn't begin until pH is within a 0.3 range), first runnings, mid runnings, last runnings, pre-boil, whirlpool, collection, fermentation and finally in packaging. We use the cheap pHep meter in our brewhouse and keg washer, I hope to get a better bench meter for our finished product and lab!
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Re: pH meter

Postby jward on Fri Jun 18, 2010 4:48 pm

Do you cool the samples to measure? Do you trust the ATC? What pH readings are you looking for or consider most critical?
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Re: pH meter

Postby tylking on Fri Jun 18, 2010 5:46 pm

We don't cool the sample, you just want to make sure that the meter is capable of handling the temps you plan on using it in and has a good tolerance towards it. I trust the meter, if we cool the sample our meter will have the same reading. Every reading is just as important! Mash, collection and package pH is probably the three you would want to take to get a general understanding of your beer.
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Re: pH meter

Postby jward on Fri Jun 18, 2010 8:13 pm

I'll start taking some readings and ask what you think. I used to use the mash 5.2 product but stopped. I may even fly sparge again to see if/how the pH varies with the runnings.

Thanks
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Re: pH meter

Postby DrDually on Sat Jun 19, 2010 8:38 pm

Why did you stop using 5.2?

jward wrote:I'll start taking some readings and ask what you think. I used to use the mash 5.2 product but stopped. I may even fly sparge again to see if/how the pH varies with the runnings.

Thanks
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Re: pH meter

Postby jward on Sun Jun 20, 2010 9:18 am

DrDually wrote:Why did you stop using 5.2?

It didn't make my beer better. It seemed like beers made with 5.2 take longer to clear.
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Re: pH meter

Postby oc eric on Mon Jun 21, 2010 5:21 pm

tylking wrote:We don't cool the sample, you just want to make sure that the meter is capable of handling the temps you plan on using it in and has a good tolerance towards it. I trust the meter, if we cool the sample our meter will have the same reading. Every reading is just as important! Mash, collection and package pH is probably the three you would want to take to get a general understanding of your beer.


Are you trying to hit the 5.2-5.4 pH range on all three steps?
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Re: pH meter

Postby oc eric on Mon Jun 21, 2010 5:22 pm

jward wrote:
DrDually wrote:Why did you stop using 5.2?

It didn't make my beer better. It seemed like beers made with 5.2 take longer to clear.


I just had a customer request it. Maybe I need to try it myself...
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Re: pH meter

Postby BrewMasterBrad on Mon Jun 21, 2010 7:11 pm

jward wrote:
DrDually wrote:Why did you stop using 5.2?

It didn't make my beer better. It seemed like beers made with 5.2 take longer to clear.


Same here. I didn't notice an improvement in my beer and it seemed to make my lighter beers cloudy. YMMV, since I really think it depends on what your local water is like.
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