Ph crashes in sugar washes

Sugar, and all about sugar washes. Where the primary ingredient is sugar, and other things are just used as nutrients.

Moderator: Site Moderator

bastardbrewer
Bootlegger
Posts: 101
Joined: Sun May 05, 2019 2:26 am

Re: Ph crashes in sugar washes

Post by bastardbrewer » Wed May 06, 2020 12:55 am

Nice one bluefish that helped. first put in 4gr citric acid and 4gr CC, then waited a bit and pitched yeast. Now next morning it still crashed to 3.2 though, so had to add even more CC to get it above 4. the citric acid and CC didnt seem to buffer at all.

Not sure what happened there. So far so good and still bubbling away nicely, hardly foam but plenty of bubbles and movement in the wash.

User avatar
NZChris
Master Distiller
Posts: 8536
Joined: Tue Apr 23, 2013 2:42 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: Ph crashes in sugar washes

Post by NZChris » Wed May 06, 2020 1:47 am

4g of CC wont last long if pH is dropping, which is the reason I don't bother using powdered CC.

I use whole large shells so that, as the surface dissolves, the surface area of CC available to react with the acids doesn't change much. I put the shells in at the start, before I'm in trouble, then I can forget about pH for the rest of the ferment, when I either distill it, or remove the shells because they can wreck a finished ferment if they raise the pH much over 7.

User avatar
bluefish_dist
Site Donor
Site Donor
Posts: 1104
Joined: Fri Jan 16, 2015 10:13 am
Location: Cos

Re: Ph crashes in sugar washes

Post by bluefish_dist » Wed May 06, 2020 6:19 am

bastardbrewer wrote:
Wed May 06, 2020 12:55 am
Nice one bluefish that helped. first put in 4gr citric acid and 4gr CC, then waited a bit and pitched yeast. Now next morning it still crashed to 3.2 though, so had to add even more CC to get it above 4. the citric acid and CC didnt seem to buffer at all.

Not sure what happened there. So far so good and still bubbling away nicely, hardly foam but plenty of bubbles and movement in the wash.
For 100 gallon I added around a cup of each. If I remember correctly that was 1lb of cc and 1/2 lb of citric. That would give a dose rate of 4g/gallon on the cc. Also I did adjust that to meet each product. Some more, some less. When it was right, ph would be between 4 and 4.25 after 24 hrs. You can add too much and the ph won’t drop. This makes the wash more susceptible to infection.
Formerly
Dsp-CO-20051

bastardbrewer
Bootlegger
Posts: 101
Joined: Sun May 05, 2019 2:26 am

Re: Ph crashes in sugar washes

Post by bastardbrewer » Fri May 08, 2020 9:39 pm

It's done it again, big foam like bubbles bubbling right out the waterlock hole, filling the lid and the floor of the cupboard. Can't help but feel its a reaction between the CC, yeast and perhaps the leftover rice that didnt get broken down fully by the sebstar products. Don't know what else it could be. Maybe have to go back to basics and find out step by step who's the culprit.

User avatar
NZChris
Master Distiller
Posts: 8536
Joined: Tue Apr 23, 2013 2:42 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: Ph crashes in sugar washes

Post by NZChris » Fri May 08, 2020 10:06 pm

What form of CC are you using bastardbrewer?

StillerBoy
Site Donor
Site Donor
Posts: 2251
Joined: Thu Dec 01, 2016 6:27 pm
Location: Ontario

Re: Ph crashes in sugar washes

Post by StillerBoy » Sat May 09, 2020 4:04 am

bastardbrewer wrote:
Fri May 08, 2020 9:39 pm
It's done it again, big foam like bubbles bubbling right out the waterlock hole, filling the lid and the floor of the cupboard.
What you are experiencing is not a Ph issue.. it's a wash / mash ingredient issue.. and it also a head space issue.. certainly not a CC reaction..

Some combination of ingredients will cause lots foaming, requiring either more head space in the fermenter, or the use of an anti-foaming agent.. malt and rice are known for their foaming and requiring more head space..

Mars
" I know quite certainly that I myself have no special talent. Curiosity, Obsession and dogged endurance, combined with self-criticism, have brought me to my ideas "

– Albert Einstein

User avatar
Durhommer
Distiller
Posts: 1617
Joined: Tue Mar 12, 2019 11:23 am

Re: Ph crashes in sugar washes

Post by Durhommer » Sat May 09, 2020 4:56 am

When I do malt Stillerboy I use a 30 gallon blue barrel and I do off grain I fill it to 25 gallon and use a hose into a gallon milk jug as blowoff/airlock it goes nuts for the first few days but settle down by day 4.when I open it the krausen ring is really high up the barrel walls but no overflow
You have two ears and one mouth for a reason....

User avatar
bluefish_dist
Site Donor
Site Donor
Posts: 1104
Joined: Fri Jan 16, 2015 10:13 am
Location: Cos

Re: Ph crashes in sugar washes

Post by bluefish_dist » Sat May 09, 2020 6:33 am

Have you added any fermcap at? It really helps. Grain mashes tended to foam more for me. More than once I came in to a few gallons on the floor. The worst was a porter beer. Black sticky foam everywhere. Adding fermcap which is an anti foam helps. The other solution is more headspace in the fermenter.
Formerly
Dsp-CO-20051

User avatar
Durhommer
Distiller
Posts: 1617
Joined: Tue Mar 12, 2019 11:23 am

Re: Ph crashes in sugar washes

Post by Durhommer » Sat May 09, 2020 2:24 pm

Headspace is key
You have two ears and one mouth for a reason....

StillerBoy
Site Donor
Site Donor
Posts: 2251
Joined: Thu Dec 01, 2016 6:27 pm
Location: Ontario

Re: Ph crashes in sugar washes

Post by StillerBoy » Sat May 09, 2020 2:34 pm

Durhommer wrote:
Sat May 09, 2020 2:24 pm
Headspace is key
Being mindful that head space is important.. plus that when it's not possible, to use an anti-foam agent.. and half the head space with be required..

You have to options with doing those grains..

Mars
" I know quite certainly that I myself have no special talent. Curiosity, Obsession and dogged endurance, combined with self-criticism, have brought me to my ideas "

– Albert Einstein

User avatar
Durhommer
Distiller
Posts: 1617
Joined: Tue Mar 12, 2019 11:23 am

Re: Ph crashes in sugar washes

Post by Durhommer » Sat May 09, 2020 3:30 pm

I get it ...if you're cheap like me you buy the bare necessities and master your techniques
You have two ears and one mouth for a reason....

bastardbrewer
Bootlegger
Posts: 101
Joined: Sun May 05, 2019 2:26 am

Re: Ph crashes in sugar washes

Post by bastardbrewer » Wed May 13, 2020 1:21 am

Thanks gents, it is ordinary CC in granular shape form a reputable brewing equipment distributor. I fill till 25 liter / 5g in a 30 liter / 6g bucket.
Havent used fermcap before... will look into it. So next time i'll just have to only fill till 23ltr or so or use that fermcap... and the list of additional supplements keeps growing :-)

think i thought it was the CC as I have started using that recently, perhaps just one of those silly assumptions you make without realising.

cheers,
BB

User avatar
rubberduck71
Novice
Posts: 91
Joined: Sat May 30, 2020 11:22 am
Location: Eastern PA

Re: Ph crashes in sugar washes

Post by rubberduck71 » Mon Jun 01, 2020 5:04 pm

bluefish_dist wrote:
Tue May 05, 2020 5:18 am

Adding CC can cause a reaction and release a lot of trapped co2. Think mentos is coke or baking soda and vinegar. The trick is to add it in small amounts. This allows it to foam without going crazy. Also wait between additions to give it time to react. Nothing worse than adding too much and watching your fermenter turn into a fountain.
Wish I'd read this about 6 hours ago. My BW stalled and my ph meter said it was just below 3.0. After some research (but alas, prior to reading this part), I added some soda ash (sodium carbonate) - I didn't have any calcium carbonate handy, and didn't want the side effects I'd read about baking soda affecting taste.

Poured in 1 tbsp and used a drill mixer - whoops... foamed up like a fiend! Luckily I had my 7 gallon bucket inside a storage bin, so while it easily overflowed the side of the bucket, it never touched the hardwood floor. She who must be obeyed* would have had a royal freak-out with my new hobby.

*not sure who coined this phrase, but it's a classic that I'll be holding onto...
There are two times of year: FOOTBALL SEASON and... Waiting For Football Season

Royco
Bootlegger
Posts: 111
Joined: Fri Apr 17, 2020 1:00 am
Location: Western Cape, South Africa

Re: Ph crashes in sugar washes

Post by Royco » Mon Jun 08, 2020 4:13 am

Just started a 27L mainly sugar plus some molasses wash (yesterday). Our water pH is 6,5 and the wash pH started at 4,5 and now at 3,5.
Can't find a source of calc carbonate so today in desperation flung in 2 Tbsp bicarb, which does not seem to be recommended. Also found a bottle of quail eggshells (crushed) and put in a sock full. From reading up it seems the eggshells do not help after the horse has bolted, but may stop further pH falling? I will get another reading and see if it has helped at all.
Have done a few sugar washes now and never worried about the pH. In future will correct the level from the start.
Incidentally my neighbour owns a seafood restaurant specialising in oysters! He said anytime I need just bring a bucket and he will fill it.

Royco
Bootlegger
Posts: 111
Joined: Fri Apr 17, 2020 1:00 am
Location: Western Cape, South Africa

Re: Ph crashes in sugar washes

Post by Royco » Mon Jun 08, 2020 4:18 am

Poured in 1 tbsp and used a drill mixer - whoops... foamed up like a fiend! Luckily I had my 7 gallon bucket inside a storage bin, so while it easily overflowed the side of the bucket, it never touched the hardwood floor. She who must be obeyed* would have had a royal freak-out with my new hobby.

*not sure who coined this phrase, but it's a classic that I'll be holding onto...

rubberduck it is indeed a classic expression, to the extent it has a universal acronym: SWMBO!

User avatar
goinbroke2
Site Donor
Site Donor
Posts: 2138
Joined: Mon Mar 24, 2008 6:55 pm
Location: In the garage, either stilling or working on a dragster

Re: Ph crashes in sugar washes

Post by goinbroke2 » Fri Jun 26, 2020 10:38 am

Hi guys, I've been doing bigger and bigger washes lately and now that I've gone to 120L washes I'm having issues.
First batch went well and I got 5 gal of 74% from 120L when it was all said and done. (pot still, strip then spirit run)
Second batch I got about 3 gal or a bit more from the same size wash.
The only differences is the first batch fermented 4-5 days and then I ran it. Second wash was exact same recipe but ran around 9 days because I couldn't get to it. The temp did drop a bit in the stilling room but it fermented fine the whole time. (or so I thought)

Never checked the ph (although I have an electronic tester)
So, about 20kg's of sugar (I forget exactly, used the calculator to get 10% I think) about 5 lb's of cracked corn and topped up the 121L can with 90* water.

I came on here and saw this thread and went and bought some calcium carbonate and an "acid pack" that included citric acid and a couple other acids for brewing beer. Anyway thanks for the thread and all the insight, I do have one question,
What should the starting PH be? Water currently is a well (very rocky on this mountain) and about 7.8ph.
What should I reduce it to, or, should I leave it and correct it after 24hr's?

I see "equal parts of acid and carbonate" that's fine, but how much in 120L?

Is there a calculator I haven't found?

Thanks
STILL 1.jpg
Numerous 57L kegs, some propane, one 220v electric with stilldragon controller. Keggle for all-Grain, two pot still tops for whisky, a 3" reflux with deflag for vodka. Coming up, a 4" perf plate column. Life is short, make whisky and drag race!

StillerBoy
Site Donor
Site Donor
Posts: 2251
Joined: Thu Dec 01, 2016 6:27 pm
Location: Ontario

Re: Ph crashes in sugar washes

Post by StillerBoy » Fri Jun 26, 2020 12:09 pm

goinbroke2 wrote:
Fri Jun 26, 2020 10:38 am
What should the starting PH be? Water currently is a well (very rocky on this mountain) and about 7.8ph.
What should I reduce it to, or, should I leave it and correct it after 24hr's?
Sugar wash should at the Ph of 5.5 at the pitching time.. re-checked at the 10 hr after pitiching and making the adjustment to Ph of 4.2 - 4.5.. using calcium carbonate or calcium hydroxide available a building supply store..

Make sure that the fermentation temp is kept at a stable fermenting temp of 85*.. on large volume, pitch at 90* and maintain it at 85*, that with using bread yeast..

Mars
" I know quite certainly that I myself have no special talent. Curiosity, Obsession and dogged endurance, combined with self-criticism, have brought me to my ideas "

– Albert Einstein

User avatar
goinbroke2
Site Donor
Site Donor
Posts: 2138
Joined: Mon Mar 24, 2008 6:55 pm
Location: In the garage, either stilling or working on a dragster

Re: Ph crashes in sugar washes

Post by goinbroke2 » Sat Jul 04, 2020 8:36 am

Excellent, thanks Mars.

Picked up a 25kg bag of corn sugar because I messed up the math in my head and thought it was a really good deal. I think I'll put on a batch of beer with it and then do up another batch of sugar wash with the rest.

Thanks again, I'll follow those numbers and see what happens.
Numerous 57L kegs, some propane, one 220v electric with stilldragon controller. Keggle for all-Grain, two pot still tops for whisky, a 3" reflux with deflag for vodka. Coming up, a 4" perf plate column. Life is short, make whisky and drag race!

User avatar
bluefish_dist
Site Donor
Site Donor
Posts: 1104
Joined: Fri Jan 16, 2015 10:13 am
Location: Cos

Re: Ph crashes in sugar washes

Post by bluefish_dist » Sat Jul 04, 2020 10:55 am

Pitching ph should be 5.2-5.6. It does make a difference in how the wash finishes. Adjust with backset or citric acid.
Formerly
Dsp-CO-20051

Yaakov
Novice
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Jun 14, 2020 12:21 pm

Re: Ph crashes in sugar washes

Post by Yaakov » Wed Sep 09, 2020 5:23 pm

frunobulax wrote:
Sun Apr 29, 2018 4:14 am
StillerBoy wrote:
frunobulax wrote:Also your starting ph has nothing to do with a ph crash, it's about the alkalinity (buffering capabilities) of your water.
Have you experimented or played with variest wash/mash starting PH..
Of course I have. I have very soft water,( I've had it checked several times for making beer) and I know if I'm making a sugar wash the PH is gonna crash terribly so I'll buffer it upwards with pickling lime.(I use a Milwaukee 102 PH meter) On the other hand, someone else may live in the mountains and have very hard water from all of the rock the water has to pass through, picking up calcium and magnesium along the way, which will buffer the wash. And while we both have a starting PH of 7 (due to the ionic balance), my wash will certainly crash into the 2's and the alkaline water may only drop a few points, it may not stall at all. That's why it's silly for a recipe to say "add 2 tablespoons of lemon juice or x amount of carbonate" for a perfect ferment. everyones water is different so every ferment will be different. All that said, if your sure PH is crashing then stalling, throw a few tablespoons of carbonate in.
Yes

Post Reply