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pH Measuring Equipment
pH Adjustments in Fermentations are quite standard, although not all Home Distillers know this. They sometimes add in Calcium Carbonate or Anti Acids like Rennies, just because someone told them to do it, and they do not always understand WHY they are doing it.
The fact is that one of the many factors that impact Yeast, and therefore impacts the Fermentation, is the pH of the Fermentation.
What not many people are aware of though, is that the pH of the final spirit product also matters. This is especially true in Gins (and other products) that contain color. If the color is Natural (which is a legal requirement in South Africa for Gin) then these color compounds will fade and change over time. If the pH is not right, this will happen even faster.
How do we measure pH?
- The most common and cheapest way to measure the pH of a Fermentation or Spirit is through the use of Litmus Paper, commonly referred too as pH Strips. The paper strip changes color based on the alkalinity or acidity of the liquid it is exposed too, and a comparison of this color to the provided color scale, gives the user an indication of the pH level. Standard or Universal pH Strips are quite affordable and cheap, however, their drawback is a lack of accuracy.
- More accurate pH Strips are also available, which measure more precise ranges. These are normally geared to specific product categories like Wine or Beer. The drawback of these are however that you cannot really experiment too much, otherwise your pH might be outside the standard range of that product category and therefore those strips.
- Digital pH Meters on the other hand combines high accuracy with a very wide range, but they are more expensive.