A Balanced Drink Starts With PH Balanced Ice!
One reader’s notes.
I did a bit of a search and couldn’t find this topic so here goes..
Some time ago in my never ending quest for 20yr old spirits in 20 days (or weeks – I am a patient man after all).. I grabbed my pH meter and ran amok amongst my grog and all the bottles of commercial spirits I had on hand – wrote the figures and date on the bottles/containers
The upshot of this (as you may suspect) is that pH is a very reliable indicator of the age of a spirit.
The lowest reading of 3.64 was from a 21yr old Glenfiddich.
12yr Chivas 4.05
JD black label 3.89
My 3yr old stuff – all gone (new years resolution – keep some)
My 2yr old stuff about 4.35 (lovingly aerated/warmed/coddled)
My 1yr old stuff about 4.6 av.
I can confirm that in the limited time I have been checking, the pH of my various bottled commercial spirit has not changed – ie lends weight to the belief that in the absence of oak and air ‘exchange’ – aging ceases on bottling (for all practical purposes)
Allowing for differences between meters, it would be interesting to see results from others – keeping a check like this does give a valuable measure of time changes in your spirit.
Fermentation Waters (great article).
Water is used in several phases of whisky production: steeping, mashing, cooling and dilution. Formerly water mills provided much of the energy needed in many distilleries as well. Distilleries have often been founded into places where water is easily available and it is believed at least in the marketing departments that fresh spring water or picturesque peaty burns play a significant role in the manufacturing process.
The most important attributes of steeping and mashing water are its hardness, pH, overall mineral content and microbiological purity.
Water hardness means the concentration of multivalent cations in the water, ie the amount of ions with a charge of +2 or more (mainly calcium and magnesium) and it is usually expressed as concentration of calcium carbonate (CaCO3) in the water. Soft water is defined as containing under 40-100 mg/l and hard water over 80-200 mg/l of CaCO3, depending on the source.
The pH (pondus hydrogenii) of water means the activity of hydrogen atoms in the water. The pH value describes the acidity of the water in logarithmic scale, ie pH