Originally Posted by Gremlyn
The malic acid all depends on how tart you like it. To figure out the right amount for me, I did some taste testing with scaled down amounts of juice.
I just started a batch that is 3oz malic acid, and 0.2oz tannins, and I also pitched malolactic bacteria along with the yeast this time to see how that goes.
EDIT: so the 0.2oz of tannins has made it quite dark (I'm using the only tannins I had access to, which is grape tannins), but it's only 1 day into fermentation so we'll see if it lightens up over time. I'm sure it will and I will post up when I have results.
Maybe my conversions aren't accurate, but isn't 3 oz equal to ~6 tablespoons. That's a lot of malic acid. I've seen a few recipes with 1 or 2 tablespoons for a 5 gallon batch, so 6 tbsp quite a bit - at least relative to those recipes. On the other hand, I've never had an actual English draft cider, so that amount of acid may be spot on.
I've got a batch in the carboy with 1 tsp of tannin and 2 tbsp of malic acid. It's only been fermenting for a week and a half, but the flavor seems pretty good. The tannin is right, but I might add some more malic acid, though we're talking about maybe another 1/2 tbsp.
Maybe I'll make a test batch with a gallon jug and see how ramping up the malic acid tastes, especially if you get it some time to age. I'd suspect that what might taste too tart at one month could be awfully good at 4 or 5 months.
Anyway, thanks for the recipe. By the way, what temperature do you ferment at. I've kept the carboy temperature down ~62 degrees simply because I've heard that lower fermentation temperatures help better keep the apple flavor and aroma. But I have no idea if that's true. Maybe another experiment is offing.