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Honig Künstler
12-19-2013, 07:38 PM
Don't know why I haven't found the answer on my own, but. ..what acidity Level is the best range for metheglins? About 3.9? And I'm sure I can add a blend to achieve the desired level at racking?

Shmafty
12-19-2013, 08:26 PM
By 3.9, it sounds like you're talking in terms of pH. But, when working with acid as it relates to the taste of wines (or meads), usually you work in terms of titratable acidity. Both of these are measurements of some level of acid, but pH indicates the strength of the acid, and TA indicates the actual amount of acid.

You can usually get a TA Test Kit from your LHBS for something like $10, and they're pretty easy to use. I'm not sure what the best measurement for a metheglin specifically would be, but the level often depends on how sweet the wine or mead is. A good target number for TA might be 0.60%; maybe go a little more if sweet, a little less if dry.

This is my go-to reference for acid info, if you'd like to learn more: http://winemaking.jackkeller.net/acid.asp

bernardsmith
12-19-2013, 10:23 PM
By 3.9, it sounds like you're talking in terms of pH. But, when working with acid as it relates to the taste of wines (or meads), usually you work in terms of titratable acidity. Both of these are measurements of some level of acid, but pH indicates the strength of the acid, and TA indicates the actual amount of acid.

You can usually get a TA Test Kit from your LHBS for something like $10, and they're pretty easy to use. I'm not sure what the best measurement for a metheglin specifically would be, but the level often depends on how sweet the wine or mead is. A good target number for TA might be 0.60%; maybe go a little more if sweet, a little less if dry.

This is my go-to reference for acid info, if you'd like to learn more: http://winemaking.jackkeller.net/acid.asp

You don't think pH is critical? Isn't it pH that determines how much free SO2 you need to protect the wine?And pH that will prevent spoilage as the mead ages? I generally test for pH but taste for TA

Shmafty
12-19-2013, 11:36 PM
You don't think pH is critical?

I didn't mean to make the impression that pH was unimportant. I guess I was just assuming that he was talking about balancing acid for the tasting. I personally don't mess too much with pH after primary, and I probably just had TA on the brain. ;D

bernardsmith
12-20-2013, 12:57 PM
I didn't mean to make the impression that pH was unimportant. I guess I was just assuming that he was talking about balancing acid for the tasting. I personally don't mess too much with pH after primary, and I probably just had TA on the brain. ;D

And I wasn't asking the question about the importance of pH in any ironic sense as in doing a double take: You DON"T think it's important??? but asking it seriously... Isn't a measure of pH more important than a measure of TA? I tend to measure pH but rely on taste and not measurement to determine the amount of acidity I want to taste.. and isn't there a kind of "balance" between the sweetness and the acidity that a wine needs to have - so a sweeter wine needs to be sharper than a drier wine; a wine with more body needs to be sharper than one with less.. otherwise the wine will taste ... insipid

GntlKnigt1
12-20-2013, 01:11 PM
pH is HUGELY important.... search the forums about it.... It is also quite variable, and can impact taste dramatically (One level for a melomel, another for a chocolate mead), and bacteria (see my 6th blog http://www.gotmead.com/forum/blog.php?b=123 ), and aging. Hugely important.

Shmafty
12-20-2013, 02:17 PM
That's an interesting read, GK, thanks for sharing that. After reading a little bit more, it would seem that TA testing does not produce accurate results in mead due to reactions with acid in the honey. So definitely disregard that advice. Admittedly, I do usually try to rely only on taste when adding acid, and have only ever attempted to use a TA test kit once when trying to figure out by how much I should reduce.

I will hush up and defer to the more knowledgeable folks, and go off and do some more research. Always good to learn something new!

bernardsmith
12-20-2013, 05:24 PM
That's an interesting read, GK, thanks for sharing that. After reading a little bit more, it would seem that TA testing does not produce accurate results in mead due to reactions with acid in the honey. So definitely disregard that advice. Admittedly, I do usually try to rely only on taste when adding acid, and have only ever attempted to use a TA test kit once when trying to figure out by how much I should reduce.

I will hush up and defer to the more knowledgeable folks, and go off and do some more research. Always good to learn something new!

Again, I don't pretend to have any significant knowledge but I would argue that rather than "hush up" it is always best to air thoughts and ideas. If you think you have evidence to support a thought you may find that your thoughts may be more useful to everyone than experts who offer ideas based on little else other than our fetishization of expertise. At the very least the offer of a thought compels others to really think about what they think they know and to respond thoughtfully to your thoughts and such responses help teach me and others far more about the science and art of wine and mead making... So , PLEASE don't "hush up".

loveofrose
12-20-2013, 07:24 PM
Again, I don't pretend to have any significant knowledge but I would argue that rather than "hush up" it is always best to air thoughts and ideas. If you think you have evidence to support a thought you may find that your thoughts may be more useful to everyone than experts who offer ideas based on little else other than our fetishization of expertise. At the very least the offer of a thought compels others to really think about what they think they know and to respond thoughtfully to your thoughts and such responses help teach me and others far more about the science and art of wine and mead making... So , PLEASE don't "hush up".

I agree. Better to say something wrong and be corrected than to think I am right when I am not!

Honig Künstler
12-23-2013, 12:54 PM
Thanks for the replies on this subject...I assumed that the balance between acidity and pH was important, but due to costs of honey I wanted some Intel rather trial and error when it takes a year to see if you did it right! I can live with close for my first batch, fine tune as I go. But it needs be drinkable yes?

Now another question. ..how often are all of you going into your mead once it's in the secondary to take samples to test alcohol, and other monitoring? Removing the airlock creeps me out for fear of contaminates. ..

fatbloke
12-23-2013, 02:49 PM
-----snip-----
Now another question. ..how often are all of you going into your mead once it's in the secondary to take samples to test alcohol, and other monitoring? Removing the airlock creeps me out for fear of contaminates. ..
When you're new at this mead making lark, it's very easy to read about the possible pit falls and give them too much credence.....

Oxidation is possible, but if there's any fermentation still occurring or even if its showing stable finished numbers it will have enough dissolved CO2 being released to be ok.

Once you rack it off the lees, then you need to make sure that you keep head space to a minimum.

After all, oxidisation is a slow process.

Ergo, once you have got a finished ferment number, if you're intending back sweetening, you can siphon off a pint or two, then add the sweetener to bring the numbers up then just top off.

Any small excess can be kept in soda pop bottles that can have the air squeezed out and capped to be kept in the fridge. Then you have some ready made top up if you need it....

After each addition or whatever there should be no reason to repeatedly keep opening fermenters, carboys etc once its stabised, sweetened and clear. So as long as you keep it airlocked with minimum head space you should be ok. Of course if you're really concerned you can always just get some compressed CO2 to flood the air spaces etc. Gas blanketing is another way of protecting the surface.....

bernardsmith
12-23-2013, 04:37 PM
When you're new at this mead making lark, it's very easy to read about the possible pit falls and give them too much credence.....

Oxidation is possible, but if there's any fermentation still occurring or even if its showing stable finished numbers it will have enough dissolved CO2 being released to be ok.

Once you rack it off the lees, then you need to make sure that you keep head space to a minimum.

After all, oxidisation is a slow process.

Ergo, once you have got a finished ferment number, if you're intending back sweetening, you can siphon off a pint or two, then add the sweetener to bring the numbers up then just top off.

Any small excess can be kept in soda pop bottles that can have the air squeezed out and capped to be kept in the fridge. Then you have some ready made top up if you need it....

After each addition or whatever there should be no reason to repeatedly keep opening fermenters, carboys etc once its stabised, sweetened and clear. So as long as you keep it airlocked with minimum head space you should be ok. Of course if you're really concerned you can always just get some compressed CO2 to flood the air spaces etc. Gas blanketing is another way of protecting the surface.....

I very much agree. Assuming that we are making small batches and not hundreds of gallons and assuming that we are careful (not obsessive but careful) about cleanliness and about sanitizing anything that touches the must or the mead then I don't think anyone should be paralyzed with anxiety about spoilage. This is not brain surgery or a space walk. The mere fact that wine CAN oxidize does not mean that in five minutes or in 60 minutes everything you have done is shot to hell. When I rack I taste. Between rackings everything is sealed. The seal is not hermetic. I don't ferment in a vacuum. Nothing I use is sterile. And nothing I make I plan on storing for 10 years.. With good clean practice you are encouraging the processes you want to encourage and you are inhibiting the processes you want to inhibit. The end result is a mead or wine that is eminently drinkable. You can over worry. Don't. There is no need. Just relax. This should be a fun activity and not something that is anxiety provoking.

sdrilling
12-23-2013, 08:25 PM
We are in the same boat. We are also newbies with a number of brews bubbling away in the basement (cider, wine and mead.)

We have several things in secondary and a couple items in bulk storage.

Nothing tastes really bad -- but nothing tastes really good either -- except maybe the cran-apple cider.

We did purchase the "el cheapo" Ph meter and have added that measurement our process.

We also stumbled on an article on Jack Keller's site about acidity and PH.

http://winemaking.jackkeller.net/acid.asp

So ................ my question is would Jack Keller's thoughts on acidity and ph in wine apply for meads?

steph