Originally Posted by dirtysock
Thanks forthe help. Yea....I'm not a "less is better" type person. I like complex recipes, but coulda toned it down a little. How about the acid blend, is that just preferance or does it actually balance out the flavor?
Honey is already acidic, just that the acidity taste/flavour is masked by the high levels of sugar/sweetness i.e. if you mixed up just honey and water and then measured pH, you'd find something well below the 7.0pH of neutral.
Plus, if you measured the ferment daily, you'd note some wild swings in pH, which is connected to the gluconic acid element in honey, and that the CO2 seems to be in the form of carbonic acid etc etc - inasfaras a ferment, and what the yeast is doing, is actually a very complex thing. So with the limited knowledge of the average home brewer (rather than the expert knowledge of a molecular chemist or similar), we try not to do anything that will hinder the yeast in it's quest to munch the sugars and convert it to one of their waste products i.e. alcohol, so as you may have already found, there's no point in adding further acids, which, if they bring the pH down below about 3.0, are likely to cause problems.
At the same time, when a ferment is finished, if it should show signs of too much acidity in the taste, if the yeast has been immobilised so it can't convert any more sugars i.e. stabilised, then any acidity can be balanced out by masking some of it with additional sugars - in more "home brew language"........ back sweetening.
It also works the other way round i.e. if you make a brew that finishes a bit on the sweet side, then that, in turn, can be balanced with a little acid.
Oh and there's much debate about which of the fruit acids too use ? I've tried a few different ones, combinations etc etc and so far, I've found that the best mix (to my taste) is the one recommended by Ashton and Duncan, in their now out of print book "Making Mead" - which is 2 parts malic to 1 part tartaric.
We all have a different idea of what we like, taste-wise, so YMMV