The content of this page was updated on 9/7/2012.
I'm always trying to better myself as a brewer, and I've gathered a
lot of new data about water and mash chemistry over the past
year and a half. Some of it significantly affects how brewing water should be treated:
-The target mash pH range of 5.2-5.5 is for room temperature measurements, not mash temperature measurements.
of the pH strips available at homebrew shops report values that are
about 0.3 lower than the actual pHs. I was using them, which made me
believe my mashes were within the target pH range when they weren't.
-Kohlbach's claim that each mEq/L of residual alkalinity will raise pH by 0.084 was for 12-Plato kettle wort, not mashes.
with significant carbonic acid, such as Madison city water, requires
additional slaked lime to convert carbonic acid into bicarbonate ions.
-Lactic acid does not fully dissociate at common brewery pHs
Armed with new information, I updated the series on water chemistry and consolidated it from six parts to five (woohoo!). Here are the links to the articles:
Part I (introduction)
Part II (ballpark water treatments)
Part III (factors that affect mash pH)
Part IV (bulk water treatment)
Part V (mash water treatment)
I rewrote the old articles instead of writing new ones because leaving up the old stuff, some of which was valid and some of which was outdated, would have been confusing. In addition, I wanted to leave the original web addresses intact so people who use them as references would be able to find the new information as easily as possible. I included latest revision date in the body of each post so people will know when the content has changed since the publishing dates.