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pH Measurement

June 20, 2011

Not sure if this is really enough for its own post, but I was just listening to the Jamil Show, scoping out my next brew (wanting to do a lager that I can properly age) and at the end of the Schwarzbier episode, they talk about pH.  Jamil mentions “fast pH” strips as the most accurate (I’ve decided he’s probably talking about colorpHast strips).  He claims that electronic meters aren’t the way to go for people brewing less than multiple times per week and that these strips are spot on.  I do recall Gordon Strong mention that a pH meter was an invaluable tool for a brewer (in Brewing Better Beer).  I don’t recall if he stated that it should be electronic or not, though.  I tend to think his statement is more to emphasize that knowing your pH is important no matter how you measure it, but it’s worth noting that Jamil’s show aired at the end of 2006.  The pace of innovation in this field probably isn’t so much that it’s really changed since then, though.

So, I’m thinking it might not be a bad idea to get a batch of these sometime just to get a feel for how the pH reacts to different grain bills (in a coarse way).  For instance, comparing the pH I achieve based on expected SRM.  I’m far from sold that they’re critical equipment for a brewer, though.  I think I’ve done pretty well without so far.  Granted, I’ve made a few concessions in the spirit of pH by treating my brewing water with a CaCl additions and pre-boiling for my lighter beers, but in general I don’t believe it takes too much to get close enough to the right pH to be too crazy about measuring it every time.

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From → Equipment, Ramblings

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