View Full Version : pH

Fred Scheer
09-25-2008, 07:23 AM
How many of you check wort, beer pH?



09-25-2008, 10:28 AM
Every beer I brew. Constant surveillance on brew day throughout production. Especially pre and post boil. What is the alkalinity of your water? If you're using RO, probably not as necessary...

09-25-2008, 05:51 PM
We check pH for:

first wort
towards end of runoff
last wort

during knockout
after dilution

at final gravity

i like to know where my pH is throughout... seems to be fairly consistant, but changes here and there. mostly in final beer. adjustments to water additives are made to compensate.

09-26-2008, 05:31 AM
We check pH in:

first wort
final runnings
full kettle, beginning of boil
end of boil
final beer, post fermentation

More often than not, it stays very routine. When there are marked changes, it gets our attention quickly.

Fred Scheer
09-26-2008, 07:29 AM
Hey Guys:

This makes me feel good to see that some of you check pH that much.

I will give a paper (MBAA Mid Sout One Day Technical Conference)
on the importance on pH measurement during the whole
brewing process. I have collected data for ~ 2 years and will report on it.


Fred Scheer

09-26-2008, 08:13 PM
While at Siebel, one of our lecturers (Dr. Klaus Zastrow) went to some length to educate us of the importance of pH measurements, causes, and consequences all the way through the process. His notes would be helpful to you--unfortunately I no longer have them. Good luck!

09-26-2008, 11:37 PM
I'm curious how many people that check pH also taste test the same samples.

09-29-2008, 06:15 AM
All of us, I hope! I suppose that if you're brewing the same beer all the time and your water and malt never change, you could argue that you don't need to check much, but even then I wouldn't sleep right.

Us brewpubs, where stuff changes more and we make up new recipes a lot, very important.

I check mash pH maybe every 5-10 minutes as I dough in, adding salts and/or acid as needed to achieve pH 5.2-5.3 or so. I check first runnings, and check a few times during lautering to make sure the running are still about 5.2-5.3. I record pH before and after the boil (and sometimes adjust it), pH at pitching, pH after fermentation. When I have the occasional slow start to fermentation, I check to make sure it has dropped a little, letting me know my yeasties are alive.

Fred Scheer
09-29-2008, 12:06 PM
I have to agree with WOOLSOCKS, "All of us, I hope!"

Thanks for your reply


10-01-2008, 06:24 AM
Does the ph of your wort change appreciably over 5-10 minutes?
Or is it a product of temperature correction?
The most important ph reading is at dough-in. A range of 5.15-5.52 is best, I have always done a small scale experiment w/a new grist and implemented a water treatment to suit, typically shooting for a 5.35. Though I have gone through the process of checking at every interval I have never seen an appreciable change. The next most important, is the finished product. Differences in ph of the finished product can be indicative of yeast performance and storage hygiene issues. The best argument for having good ph measuring capacities is the yeild from your mash at optimum ph. If you are using 50k# of grain per year and you can increase your yield by 2% (which is the low end) you have paid for a good ph meter.

10-01-2008, 11:14 AM
What meter/meters are best for going from mash>boil>ferm to cellar. I use a Hanna for which I paid dearly and it's very temperamental.

10-02-2008, 05:41 AM
All meters are pretty damn good, as apposed to a ph checker. The most important thing is that your probe is compatible w/your application and is in good working order. If you are getting erratic readings or cannot rely on readings, you may want to replace your probe or probe element.

10-02-2008, 02:12 PM
Actually I’m trying to avoid buying another 400.00 meter that doesn’t work ,the one I bought was represented as “ for my application”. I'm looking for one that I can rely on. I keep it in the storage solution and calibrate it every time I use it the probe has been changed twice the unit has been sent back three times and they say it is fine and it still goes nuts half the time. Which “meter” or homebrew checker do you rely on?