View Full Version : Sparge Water Ph

02-20-2004, 11:39 AM
I know the consensus is that you do not need to worry about sparge water Ph, only the Ph of the runoff. But here is my question, IF you match the Ph of the sparge water with the Ph of your mash, then you do not need to worry about the mash run off Ph nor the need to try to adjust if if goes off track.

Does this process not seem easier?



Chip Tate
02-23-2004, 06:55 AM

Your strategy of acidifying the sparge water to the mash pH will work some of the time. When this really won't work is when you're brewing styles with more acidic malts like porter or stout that have a naturally low pH. Acidifying sparge liquor any more than necessary (which often it is not) with these types of brews will give you a low pH in the kettle which will give you a very poor hot break during your boil. Of course, some will argue that a good hot break is not essential with such beers because clarity isn't that important. But do remember that a poor hot break affects fermentation and taste profiles as well.

I find that the easiest strategy for dealing with runoff pH is either to stop the runoff when the pH creeps too high. If your water supply is very hard, this may not be an option. Alternatively, experiment with acidifying all of your sparge water just enough to have the pH hit 5.8 when you stop running off the mash.


02-23-2004, 07:45 AM

Thanks for the information. At this time, I only brew lagers so the a good hot break is necessary. Since I am going to be moving to a double decoction, I am looking for any simplified processes that I can take.


08-11-2004, 08:34 AM
Online acidification of sparge water before sparging-good idea

08-11-2004, 06:58 PM
The goal in acidifying is to knock down the alkalinity of the sparge water.
Alkalinity is what keeps the pH up, not the pH of the sparge water. Alkalinity is the buffering capacity of the water or how difficult it is to lower the pH of the water.
If you lower ph to your desired running pH, you are over treating you water. This will cause other negative changes associated with low wort pH (i.e. accelerated staling of finished beer, increased chill haze, decreased hop utilization and the above mentioned decrease in protein coagulation).
Your grain bill will also help…darker grain is more acidic and will lower alkalinity more...therefore to achieve the same desired pH less acid will be needed.
There are always more opinions than brewers, but I like to keep final running pH below 6.0. I feel that this keeps undesirable malt flavors from becoming soluble in the wort.