pH - high

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Apr 8, 2024, 4:39:51 PMApr 8
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Hi Everyone,

I just finished fermenting a cherry apple cider. I took already fermented apple cider and added pasteurized cherry juice to it and then re-fermented. Why, I don't know.

Anyways, the pH before the re-fermentation of the whole mixture was pretty high, about 3.93. I always wait until after fermentation to add any acids just to see what happens during fermentation. Maybe my first mistake. 

After fermentation the pH is still pretty high and I'm trying to bring it down to like 3.6 from 3.92 (didn't change much during fermentation). I added some malic acid, not a ton, to see what would happen and the pH hasn't really changed. If I do general calculations using the 3.4g/gallon of malic acid, I would be using like 2562g of malic acid for my 950 L to bring it down 0.3pH. Does that seem like a lot? 

I don't want to let this sit too long with a high pH, any other suggestions? Do I just add the massive amount of malic acid? I have no other juice/cider to ferment with at the moment.

Thanks in advance!



May 11, 2024, 5:54:26 AMMay 11
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Could you take a small sample with a well defined volume from your batch, add malic acid to the sample until you reach your desired pH, and then add the corresponding, proportional quantity of acid to your full batch?

Casa de Oro Cider

May 12, 2024, 4:38:44 PMMay 12
You can't really use an "acid calculator". Acids give off ions at different rates, meaning your pH will drop but only relatively predictably. The other thing is that acid additions are logarithmic. So while you may start with a 250ml sample and add .5g acid causing it to drop .35 pH, adding another 5g acid to it again will not drop the sample the same amount (.35pH) again.

I agree with LL. Taking a 250ml sample then adding, for example, .5g acid at a time, then testing in between each addition, you'll be able to 1) get to your desired pH with tested and quantifiable amounts, that you can then batch up*. And 2) you'll see the logarithmic function of the release of hydrogen ions relative to the solution.

*I wanted to note here that again, just because you batch up your test results, you will still only get close to the desired pH. Again because of the unpredictability of the release of the hydrogen ions from the acid. But you'll be in a much better position to make an educated prediction than you would be with an "acid calculator".

Good luck!

Anthony López
Maestro Sidrero

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May 12, 2024, 6:47:21 PMMay 12
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My approach isn't very "scientific", but it works O.K. in a practical sense. Fine adjustment can be made after fermentation if needed.

In the abcence of many "proper" cider apples in my small orchard, my cider is mostly based on eating apples (cox's orange pippin, fameuse, red delicious and a few others) plus some acid and/or tannin adjustment. Generally the starting TA after pressing is in the order of 3-4 g/L and pH up around 4.0. So, adding about 2-3 g/L of malic acid results in 3-6g/L TA and drops pH to around 3.6. With 50ppm of S02 I haven't had any spoilage issues. It might be a bit rough but as a starting point it works for me.

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