View Full Version : Is it necessary to continually adjust pH?

03-06-2011, 06:31 PM
First time mead making. On day 6 of SLOW primary fermentation, measured pH at 2.63, adjust with CaCO3 to pH 3.96, added nutrients and life was good again. It is now day 14, SG = 1.018 and the pH is down a bit to 3.41. Should we adjust the pH again with CaCO3 (we originally added it in 1/2 tsp increments until we reached the final pH)?

Also, my mead partner says it has a little bitter taste, more so than grape wine at this same stage. We used Orange Blossom honey, no additional fruits or flavorings. Have no idea what it should be tasting like. Comments anyone?

Thanks for your input.

03-06-2011, 06:53 PM
It would be helpful if you posted a full recipe and the procedure you used to brew this mead.

That requested, it is probably not necessary to adjust the pH right now; 3.41 is within the healthy range for wine yeast. Somebody with more experience may be able to give more thorough advice, though.

The taste of a fermenting mead (and a young mead, while we're at it) will usually be fairly acrid and sharp tasting, and generally not pleasant; this is not something you need to be concerned about.

03-06-2011, 07:06 PM
MEAD MAKING BATCH 01, 02-19-11


Day 1. (February 19)
a. Honey Orange Blossom , 5 qt.
b. Water bottled, 3-3/4 gal. (to make 5 gal. must)
c. Yeast Lalvin, EC-1118, 5 g. (temperature range 50 - 95F)
d. Yeast Nutrient GoFerm, 6.25 g.
e. Yeast Energizer - Fermaid K, 5 g. (each of two feedings, 1st added Day 2)
f. Sulfite Campden tablets, 5 (added to must)
g. Must T = 66F
h. Must starting SG = 1.112 (26.3 Brix)
i. Yeast began vigorous growth within 10 min. of adding must to rehydrated yeast.
j. Pitched yeast and stirred vigorously. Fitted sealed lid with airlock.

Chevette Girl
03-06-2011, 07:10 PM
I'd keep an eye on it in case it drops more, but it should be OK at this pH I think. If it's already at 1.018, not much more fermentation is going to happen anyway, it's almost done eating all the honey, so it shouldn't drop the pH much more.

And Welcome to Gotmead!

03-06-2011, 07:39 PM
Yeast can taste bitter. You're probably just tasting that. Once it clears it will taste a lot better.

Medsen Fey
03-08-2011, 08:44 PM
EC-1118 will definitely taste bitter. Let it clear and age before you pass judgment.

You don't need to worry about a pH of 3.4. EC-1118 will tolerate that just fine (as will most yeast). The big drop in pH usually occurs within the first 48 hours. After you adjust it at that point, the pH usually doesn't shift too dramatically so the answer is no, you don't have to continually adjust it.