Acidifying Mead(/pyment)

Homebrew Talk - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Forum

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

Kent88

Sometimes I have to remind myself
Staff member
Mod
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
May 13, 2014
Messages
6,819
Reaction score
7,304
Location
Midwest USA
So I have a pyment I made from 6lbs of honey, a 1-gallon red wine kit, and the White Labs sweet mead strain. I think the gravity is stable now (I used some yeast nutrient and it has been sitting for a few months, will be taking a gravity reading soon). When I transfered to secondary it tasted a bit "flabby"/sweet/cloying. I've read that I can acidify more to balance that out.

I have malic acid and acid blend, which would be better? Acid blend seems to be the go-to for beginners, and I've read that malic acid is the dominant acid in grapes. I've heard of people who believe tartaric is best but I'm not going to use that now (but if you feel like explaining why I should use that down the line I'd be happy to read about it) unless you can be really convincing.

How forgiving is acidifying this way? If I add a little too much or not quite enough will it be obvious when it is consumed, or even ruined if I add too much?
 

bernardsmith

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 10, 2012
Messages
5,528
Reaction score
1,966
Location
Saratoga Springs
Malic is the dominant acid in apples. The dominant acid in grapes is tartaric (which is why many wine makers mistakenly assume that TA stands for tartaric acidity rather than titratable acid). Adding malic and citric along with tartaric (acid blend) means that you will be changing the flavors of the grapes with acids more or less quite alien in the amounts you will be dosing. If that ain't a problem... then go right ahead but if you (for whatever reason) selected a grape varietal or a specific blend of varietals then adding acid blend may not provide you with the flavors you were looking for.
How much acidity to add? That really should be determined through bench testing but if that is too much work you want the TA to be around .65 g/l. (although like everything else in wine making it is all a matter of balance among flavor, sweetness, tannin and acidity). Very much more and the mead is too tart to enjoy, very much less and it will remain bleh...
 
OP
Kent88

Kent88

Sometimes I have to remind myself
Staff member
Mod
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
May 13, 2014
Messages
6,819
Reaction score
7,304
Location
Midwest USA
Huh, ok, I was going by the chart in Steve Piatz's Mead book. Double checking that, it refers to Muscadine grapes, and it does also say Tartaric is a dominant acid (along with malic). So I guess I'll have to use the acid blend this time, as there is some tartaric in there. Next time I get to the local brew shop or put in an online order maybe I'll get some tartaric.

I'll have to try the 0.65 grams / liter. I have 3 gallons, that is a little over 11 liters.

This isn't for a contest or anything. The flavors I am looking for are pretty much just "Pleasant to drink", a little sweet, not flabby, but not like a sweet tart candy.
 
Top