The topic is pH measurement in beer brewing, like water chemistry, is one that these Brew Dudes are seeking to learn more about so we can discuss it from a place of experience. We have received many questions about the subject over the past few years and we feel obligated to present our thoughts so far. As fate would have it, Hanna Instruments reach our to us and we have partnered to use their Beer pH Tester as a part of our quest for knowledge. Let’s watch this video to learn more about our take on why pH is important and when you should measure it in your homebrewing routine.
When Should You Take a pH Reading?
Mike starts off by talking about taking a pH reading during his mash. It was driven by his issues with attenuation. He was using pH strips and felt like he was getting what he needed from that method. Mike was taking pH readings because the enzymes that break down starches into sugars in the mash process need to be in a certain pH range to do their thing. If the mash pH is too high or too low, the starches won’t convert at the same level.
He feels like the only place to really take pH is during the mash process. The value of taking readings after the mash, either post boil or post fermentation is low on his priority list. Mike thought is, if you have a proper pH range during the mash, then the pH of your beer the rest of the way will be just fine.
He talked about the issue with taking a mash reading. The time it takes to chill a sample to room temperature makes it tough to make an adjustment in your mash. As we discussed in our note taking post, if you take a reading and your pH is off, then it’s put down as a note to correct it for next time. We feel that starch conversion doesn’t take a hour especially with today’s well modified malts. Once they get wet at a certain temperature, the race is on. pH measurement is just a point of data for you to collect and understand how to adjust to improve your beer.
The Need For a pH Meter
Even though Mike used strips in the past, he thinks the only want to get a better understanding of pH in your homebrewing practice is to get a meter. Like understanding cell counts in yeast, you can’t rely on an online calculator – you need a microscope. Having a pH meter allows you to gather accurate data of your brew as it happens. By using the meter properly and collecting the information of your brew session will give you the ability to make changes to improve your beer.
If you are in the market for a pH meter, you can use the one we use. Here is the information we got from Hanna Instruments:
Discount Code: Brewdudes10
We hope we have been helpful to you. Let us know if you have other questions.