PDA

View Full Version : Ph for Mead & Cyser



Strix_Varia
09-20-2006, 02:33 PM
What is the proper ph for mead and Cyser? My Cyser Ph test says it needs acid! I just cant imagine it does given all the apples and the addition of the juice of a lemon and the addition of acid blend to the must before fermentation began. Now it wants more acid!?! :help:

Angus
09-20-2006, 02:54 PM
Strix,

A suitable pH for yeast fermentation in Mead is between 3.7 and 4.6. This can be reached naturally from the gluconic acid in the honey and the natural acids in the fruits (particularly the lemon). How are you measuring the pH?

Angus

Strix_Varia
09-20-2006, 03:26 PM
I am useing PH test strips (not the best but thats all they had in ) I broght it down to 3.6 or 3.8 it was definately reading higher in the 4.6 range before I adjusted it.

Dan McFeeley
09-20-2006, 04:24 PM
What is the proper ph for mead and Cyser? My Cyser Ph test says it needs acid! I just cant imagine it does given all the apples and the addition of the juice of a lemon and the addition of acid blend to the must before fermentation began. Now it wants more acid!?! :help:

Well, tell us what the pH of your must is! Then we can figure some things out.

In general, the sugar fermenting yeasts which we make use of, like a pH a bit lower than that favored by bacteria. That allows them to dominate the micro milieu and crowd out competitors. This can vary somewhat with various yeast strains but in general, it's good to shoot for around 3.7.

Now, honey must in general will have a pH of about pH 4.0. That's only an empirical observation, i.e., my own eyeball measurements. Lots of other meadmakers have reported similar figures.

A pH of 4.0 or so is ok. Once the yeasties start the active fermentation, they'll be secreting organic acids as byproducts of their metabolism, and also as an adaptive measure. The organic acids they secrete contribute to the flavor profile (a good thing!), and lower the pH of the must below the level that bacteria like. In other words, a starting pH of about 4.0 is ok, because the yeasties will bring it lower, just about where you want it.

In other words, for the average honey must, you don't have to worry about it. Check it just to be sure, but so long as everything is alright from the start, you can stand back and let the yeasties do their thing. Even if the pH is a bit too high to start with, they'll lower it on their own.

Again, let us know what the starting pH is, also the recipe (if you haven't listed it already). That'll help us help you.

Dan McFeeley
09-20-2006, 04:34 PM
Oops, sorry, scrolled down too quickly and didn't see your reply to Angus. A pH of 3.6 to 3.8 is ok. In fact, it's just about perfect, according to Roger Morse's research. Morse had settled on 3.7 as the best compromise between a pH that both aided yeast fermentation while yet inhibiting bacterial growth. This can vary somewhat according to yeast strain (Oskaar and other knowledgable folk will have to bring me up to speed here! ;D ).

As important as it is to get yeast fermentations at their optimum, the best approach is to set things up as best as possible, then stand back and let the fermentation proceed naturally. That's kind of a French approach to winemaking, respecting terroir and nature, but intervening when necessary.

Strix_Varia
09-20-2006, 05:41 PM
I hate to mess with stuff that's not officially "broken" (that actually comes from years of working on Austin-Healey's and some other Italian sports cars). I am quite capable of "fixing " things beyond all repair. But I felt compelled to tinker with both mother nature and go against my better instincts and add acid to my Cyser.

My fermentation start was delayed this time and I posted this. I was advised to check my PH. That's when I did my fist dangerous thing...I started thinking :tongue1:. In the meantime I added another pkg of yeast and warmed my pail in a bath tub of warm water. Bam fermentation takes off at about 2 bubbles per second. But in the back of my mind I'm thinking: is my batch of Cyser doomed because of something I cant see? So I bought the test strips now 3 days since 1st pitch. They looked like it was pretty high very dark green. All those apples and juice of a lemon, a lemon peel and 2 teaspoons of an acid blend and the must wanted acid. So I added an acid blend to take it down to abouut 3.6 (all those colors look the same to me)

So have I ruined natures processes? Is the batch doomed to taste like a lemon/

WRATHWILDE
09-20-2006, 06:33 PM
The Only thing to do now is wait and see... You'll probably be fine. Remember the 1st rule of mead making is patience. Ok, actually the 1st rule is sanitize all of your equipment, but the second and third rules are patience. When in doubt ask yourself, did I follow rule one? If the answer is yes, see rule 2... if after a couple of weeks you're getting anxious... see rule 3. If you're still anxious... repeat until the mead has been racked and aged for one year.

Cheers,
Wrathwilde

Oskaar
09-20-2006, 08:18 PM
Hey Stix,

Dan and Wrath are right on the money. The whole idea of pH measurement is to see if you're in the general range. Dan mentioned that the yeasties will bring things into balance and basically optimize their environment if possible given the growth medium and available nutrients. It's when you see the acid level is too high that you'll need to buffer before you pitch your yeast. If the acid level impedes the mead's progress then you end up with problems. It's a good idea to test anyway, just so you get an idea of where your pH in different batches.

Great post Dan, very informative.

Cheers,

Oskaar

Strix_Varia
09-21-2006, 07:24 AM
Remember the 1st rule of mead making is patience. Ok, actually the 1st rule is sanitize all of your equipment, but the second and third rules are patience.

Alright its been 4 days since I pitched it. I was thinking :tard: I could just put a straw down in the airlock hole and just sip it out of my primary :drunken_smilie:. why rack it! :icon_puke_l: LMAO :cheers:

Leonora
09-22-2006, 03:26 AM
I have a long skinny bit of tube that I use as a straw to sample directly from my carboys! I sanitize it by soaking it in Star-San. But it works great!

Most of the time I run the sample off into a glass, but sometimes I just have a slurp.

:laughing7:

I got caught one morning by one of the folks who works with me and got all sorts of *&&^%@ about it for the rest of the day.

Leonora