Bad Water Buffer 5.2 and PH Testing

Thu Jun 16, 2005 5:49 pm

I've got a few all grain batches under my belt with less than satisfactory results. All of the beers I've brewed ended up with a really harsh after taste and they have all been very low OG. I have had very good luck with extract brewing so I'm sure it isn't my fermenting or sanitation. The water in my town is terrible so I've been using Reverse Osmosis water. I think that may be one of my problems. Not enough "anything" in the water. I have also never PH tested my mash. Could it be that my mash PH is too high or too low? If so, has anyone tried buffer 5.2? Is this a viable alternative to becoming a chemist?

:aaron2
damdiver
 
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Sat Jun 18, 2005 1:29 am

From what I have read this stuff is great. I was curious enough to buy some. I'll let you know after my next batch. It is supposed to hold your mash ph at 5.2 no matter what you do to it. We'll see.

Travis
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Lufah
 
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Sat Jun 18, 2005 10:07 am

I've heard mixed reviews on the 5.2. Some people say it worked great and others say it did nothing at all for them. Keep in mind that if you're using RPO water, it has no nutrients or minerals in it. You pretty much MUST treat it somehow, depending on the style you're brewing.
Denny
 
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For us Dummies

Sat Jun 18, 2005 3:26 pm

What is RPO?
We don't know why Beer-Drinking-Rodents develope fewer tumors. Follow up studies must be done. Dr. Richard Neilson University of Illinoise, 1986
popester
 
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Re: For us Dummies

Sat Jun 18, 2005 3:29 pm

popester wrote:What is RPO?


I think he meant ROP Reverse Osmosis Processed water? I think that is what he meant anyway. RO water has everything taken out.

Travis
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Lufah
 
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Sun Jun 19, 2005 6:15 am

Here is a quote from rec.crafts.brewing regarding treatment of reverse osmosis water:
"I use RO for most of my batches since I like to accentuate certain minerals for different styles of beer. You can't really use RO by itself since it's devoid of minerals. So before brewing, you'll need to get the following
salts for starters:

Gypsum (Calcium Sulfate)- 1g in 1gal gives 61 ppm Ca and 147ppm SO4

Chalk (Calcium Carbonate)- 1g in 1gal gives 106ppm Ca and 158ppm CO3

Calcium Chloride - 1g in 1 gal gives 72ppm Ca and 127ppm Cl2

Epsom Salts (Magnesium Sulfate) 1g in 1 gal gives 37ppm Mg and 145ppm
SO4

Table Salt (Soduim Chloride) 1g in 1 gal gives 104ppm Na and 160 Cl

Either purchase or make a scale capable of measuring to the gram since
volume measurements with brewing salts are not accurate.

-- John Heubel Frederick, MD"


I too have an RO filter due to very high carbonate levels in my water. The tap water here also has very high ph. With that combination, my beers were also tasting harsh. I mix my RO water 50/50 with tap water for most beers. For very light colored beers I use 90% RO water mixed with tap. I haven't had to resort to adding checmicals because I get enough from the little tap water I mix in.

Contact your local water company (public works department) and ask for a copy of their water analysis report. This is public information, so it shouldn't cost you anything (perhaps copy costs and postage). This will give you a much better idea of what your water is like. You really shouldn't try correcting things until you know what you are starting with. You might only make things worse.

A good primer on figuring out your water is John Palmer's 'How to Brew". This book is available to view free online at www.howtobrew.com. If you can only have one book on brewing, this is the one to have, expecially for inexperienced brewers.

I have not used the 5.2 product. I considered it until I picked up a PH meter. Once I started using my 50/50 water mixture, my PH is a consistent 5.2-5.4 so I don't mess with the PH.

This has been a long post, but the RO question is one I see quite often. Hope this helps.

Wayne
Bugeater Brewing Company
http://www.lincolnlagers.com
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Bugeater
 
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Re: For us Dummies

Fri Jun 24, 2005 11:10 am

popester wrote:What is RPO?


It's a typo! :oops: I meant RO....
Denny
 
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Re: For us Dummies

Fri Jun 24, 2005 12:31 pm

Denny wrote:
popester wrote:What is RPO?


It's a typo! :oops: I meant RO....


Could be fun to typr randam letters and let people try to guess what your talking about. :P

Travis
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Lufah
 
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