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Raise pH RO water

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  • Raise pH RO water

    Commercial kombucha brewer.
    How do you raise the pH of RO water?
    It takes around 300mg/L of sodium bicarbonate to raise my water pH to around 7.
    I have played around with sodium carbonate and this required much less.
    I have also been using a mix of calcium carbonate and sodium bicarbonate.
    Keen to hear how others raise their pH?

  • #2
    If your water has few minerals, as RO water does, then you don't want to obsess over pH. It's fairly meaningless. A tiny amount of ions swings the pH wildly in RO water. Once added to a mash, then the pH becomes important for enzymes to do their work. Changing pH of RO water isn't required if you reach your target mash pH. The book WATER by Palmer and Kaminski is a great read to understand how water influences brewing.
    Phillip Kelm--Palau Brewing Company Manager--


    • #3
      Perhaps the guys I have worked with producing Water Kefir and Kombucha are doing something different to you, but they simply fermented sugar along with some yeast nutrients, rather than producing sugar solution from malt etc. As previously stated, RO water really doesn't take a lot to alter the pH and bicarbonate is highly buffering, which is why you seem to be adding a lot of salts. I would be far more concerned about the effects on the performance and growth of the scoby, and thus the flavours and final pH you get than worrying about adjusting the pH to start with. From what I have seen with the guys I have worked with, you needn't adjust RO - they don't bother with their untreated (apart from carbon filters for chlorine removal) town water. If you are not convinced, simply brew two "identical" batches, one treated, the other not treated and see what the difference is. If you can't detect a positive difference then don't bother treating in future. Why waste money and effort treating something if not necessary?