View Full Version : Acids - When and Which to use?

David Baldwin
10-16-2004, 01:40 AM
I understand that there are several types of acids commonly used to add "balance" to sweet meads, but I'm a bit foggy as to what characteristics each type of acid or blend will add to the mead.

I've read posts suggesting that theh acids be added after fermentation is complete which makes good sense to me. Are there any other schools of thought on the subject?

10-16-2004, 02:44 AM
Hi David,
Of the 3 most common, Citric Acid is the smoothest and least harsh of the bunch. It also helps retain color and has some preservative benefits.
The next least harsh is Malic Acid. If put in at the start, some yeasts like 71B-1122 will convert 20-40% of it to Lactic acid which is much rounder (smoother) and milder.
The most harsh of the 3 is Tartaric.
Acid blend is a combination of all 3.
Take them and dilute in water and taste for yourself. They will not hurt you. Its the best way to get a feel for what they will do in advance. On English Meads I find it preferable to add at beginning even though it prolongs fermentation. On all the rest, I add at the end if needed by taste. One teaspoon, stir and taste. More if desired. Helps to balance out overly sweet meads.
Joe in MO for the week

David Baldwin
10-17-2004, 06:50 AM
Thanks Joe,

That's great advice. I'll get some from my local winemaking store this week and do some taste testing.