Bubonic Porter debrief: water chemistry

Steve Killen steven.f.killen at gmail.com
Mon Jul 16 13:50:35 EDT 2012

Greetings, brewers,

So, I made a couple of observations when brewing the other day. We
typically use 5.2 pH buffer in the mash, and I have wondered whether it is
truly effective in our relatively mineral-free water. So I omitted it this
time and just used the planned mineral additions of chalk, water crystals,
and kosher salt (this last for flavor balance). I checked the pH at room
temperature about 5 mins after mash-in by filling a saucepan with ice and
water and then partially submerging a small glass of wort in it for about 5
minutes. Our pH was 5.0 according to the strip (read in direct sunlight).
In addition, according to BrewTarget I attained a mash efficiency of 81%
(expected wort SG 1.041, actual wort SG 1.049). Coupled with Clinton's
success with chalk on much lower-SRM grain bills, I think it's worth trying
a few pale batches with chalk/water crystal additions (calculated via Bru'n
Water or Brewer's Friend) and without pH5.2. I'm fairly convinced that
pH5.2 does nothing for us, and that we're better off just mastering water


Steven F. Killen <steven.f.killen at gmail.com>
| elvestinkle @ twitter
| pursuing.calefaction.org

Etsi provectus in sententiis sis
Esse parvulus in spiritus debes
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