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fun4stuff
03-23-2008, 09:23 AM
12 lbs honey
6 lbs cherry purree
6 tsp acid blend
lavlin D47
water to 5 gallons

i started a cherry mead about 1 month ago. i recently heard that cherry meads can end up being too acidic. how would i tell that mine was too acidic? what is the taste like? would i have to get pH paper? To make things worse, I used 6 tsp of acid blend for the 5 gallon batch (I got the recipe from the local homebrew shop). I have since read it is better to add acid blend to taste (if u even need it at all).

What can I do to correct acid level? Can you add a base?

It is already in the secondary (no airlock activity). Would adding 1 gallon apple juice or some blueberries to sweeten it up help (to balance off the acidity)?

wayneb
03-23-2008, 02:01 PM
Hmmm...

With that much of an acid addition up front, are you even getting fermentation? In many cases of folks trying to follow these older recipes (where somebody who never made a mead probably assumed, incorrectly, that without tartaric or malic acids honey would make a fermented beverage that would taste "flabby"), the fermentation stalls or even fails to start at all, because the pH of the must turns out far too low.

You can adjust pH upward (and reduce the perceived acid level) somewhat by adding potassium carbonate or potassium bicarbonate. That will only work for small to medium adjustments, though. Most other bases are not a good idea to add, since they leave a salty taste in the result.

The best way to know if a recipe is turning out too acidic is to taste it. If it has too much of an acid "bite," that is something that probably won't age out. If you think it's going to turn out to be too acidic, add a few grams of K-bicarb, wait a couple of days, and then taste again. It may require more than one addition to bring things around to where you want them to be. Still, the best procedure (as you've learned from reading postings here on Gotmead) is to not add any acid until fermentation is over, and then only add to taste.

akueck
03-23-2008, 02:12 PM
If pH adjustments don't work, you can also blend before bottling or in-the-glass with a sweet mead or a liqueur.

fun4stuff
03-23-2008, 02:25 PM
Hmmm...

With that much of an acid addition up front, are you even getting fermentation? In many cases of folks trying to follow these older recipes (where somebody who never made a mead probably assumed, incorrectly, that without tartaric or malic acids honey would make a fermented beverage that would taste "flabby"), the fermentation stalls or even fails to start at all, because the pH of the must turns out far too low.

You can adjust pH upward (and reduce the perceived acid level) somewhat by adding potassium carbonate or potassium bicarbonate. That will only work for small to medium adjustments, though. Most other bases are not a good idea to add, since they leave a salty taste in the result.

The best way to know if a recipe is turning out too acidic is to taste it. If it has too much of an acid "bite," that is something that probably won't age out. If you think it's going to turn out to be too acidic, add a few grams of K-bicarb, wait a couple of days, and then taste again. It may require more than one addition to bring things around to where you want them to be. Still, the best procedure (as you've learned from reading postings here on Gotmead) is to not add any acid until fermentation is over, and then only add to taste.

It actually fermented fast. Went from 1.090 to 1.010 in ~1 week. Temperature was a little high in mid 70s.

I am very inexperienced. I have tasted it, and it tastes good to me. Mildly "hot"... However, I have only tasted 2 other meads (A dry and sweet tradional mead). I am not sure I know what acid flavor would taste like. Is it anything like tasting lemon juice or orange juice?

Could I test the pH with pH paper, and adjust to a certain pH (and taste)? i know I could do a titration to measure the acidity, but I have read on here that is not that accurate with meads.

I will have have my SWMBO taste it tonight..... i think her taste is better than mine.

fun4stuff
03-23-2008, 02:28 PM
If pH adjustments don't work, you can also blend before bottling or in-the-glass with a sweet mead or a liqueur.


what about adding some apple juice or blueberries to this batch and restarting another fermentation? EtOH content should be around 12% right now and D47 goes to at least 14%. Would this help at all?

wayneb
03-23-2008, 02:52 PM
IMO, all flavor changes should be done to taste, only. You don't need the pH meter to tell you when something tastes good, or not. Also, there are fundamental differences between pH, titratable acidity, and sensible acidity. The only one that matters at the end of fermentation is the sensible acidity, or how the acidic flavors balance with other sensed flavors in the final result. If you have balance, then don't mess with it.

I don't recommend adding additional fermentables late in the course of fermentation. That often results in the surviving yeast producing high levels of fusels and other higher order alcohol-sugar compounds, which taste bad and take long aging periods to mellow out. It is best that you leave this batch where it is (especially if it tastes good to you as-is), and experiment with how changes in the recipe (adding more fermentables up front for example) will affect a new batch.

And yes, acids taste sharp or sour. "Hot" flavors are usually the result of higher order alcohols present in the batch. There are some fusels produced as a byproduct of any fermentation, and the higher the finishing ethanol percentage the higher the concentration of the other alcohols, everything else being equal. That's why most fermented alcoholic beverages taste better with aging -- those higher order compounds begin to break down after long periods of rest in the bottle.

skunkboy
03-23-2008, 03:43 PM
Never had a problem with cherry meads turning out acidic. Tasting bad if I added too many sweet cherries, yes,
but acidic, no.