Mead with PH of 2 - How to fix?

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mrspock

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Been making mead for years, and this is a first.

Background: Honey came from my wax cappings from beehives. Contained dead bees, etc etc. Nutrient rich, but also added yeast energizer.

Fermented in primary for 1 week siphoned off leaving solids behind.

Check on it 3 weeks later and taste: I taste no unfermented sugars, and it's VERY TART.

It's not the sour taste of vinegary/oxidation. It's something else. A very clean tartness.

PH test shows PH of 2.

Batch is otherwise fine. How do I raise the PH?
 
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potassium carbonate is the usual chemical. I have used 1/4 tsp of baking soda in the past when I didn't have any K2CO3, but have read not to use bicarb because of the sodium, and therefore salty taste. 1/4 tsp in a 1gallon batch did not change flavor as far as I could tell. It was not fermenting well and had a pH below 3. Degassing to drive off excess CO2 may also help some.
 
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mrspock

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Excellent. Put in 1/2 tsp of PC today. How long until I should see a change?

I also have Calcium Carbonate. Is it ok to add in addition to the Potassium Carbonate?

As a third card, I may put in 1/4 tsp of baking soda as well. Am pulling out the stops to save this batch.
 

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Give it a couple of days to balance out, but the reaction should be pretty quick. What I did was poured a series of 1oz pours, and then measuring very small amounts, mixed in until it tasted right (partial Grams per oz) and then did math and worked up from there. Iirc for a 5 gallon batch it wound up being several Grams. But see what works best for your mead.
 
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mrspock

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Ok, I'll wait. I've put it out on the deck to cold crash in the near-freezing temps.

If I don't see any mellowing, I'll add some of the Calcium Carbonate.

will also Degass.

I'll let you know how it goes. Thank you.
 

dmtaylor

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I would try adding pickling lime (calcium hydroxide). It is essentially flavorless, unlike potassium additions which can taste more salty.
 
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mrspock

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Ok! I assume it's ok to add all of these additives together?

I did not see Pickling lime at the brew store - Any suggestions where to get?
 
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mrspock

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Two days after adding 1/2 Tsp of Potassium Bicarbonate, it's taken the edge off. Almost drinkable. Today I degass and add Calcium Carbonate.

Also cold crashing outside on my deck.
 
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Calcium carbonate is chalk, and won't dissolve very well, unless the pH is very low (below 3.0). Gypsum is Calcium Sulfate. Don't add that.
Have you taken a pH after adding the K2CO3? The amount you added should have raised it to a mangeable level. You can also balance the tartness by backsweetening some. And adding some tannin will also balance it.
 
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mrspock

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Calcium carbonate is chalk, and won't dissolve very well, unless the pH is very low (below 3.0). Gypsum is Calcium Sulfate. Don't add that.
Have you taken a pH after adding the K2CO3? The amount you added should have raised it to a mangeable level. You can also balance the tartness by backsweetening some. And adding some tannin will also balance it.
TY! Wish I'd read this 2 days ago - I should have added the Calcium Carbonate first. I've corrected my previous post, and see it's not gypsum.

I'm now at about a PH of 4.5 according to my tongue. It's Tolerable-drinkable, but not quite pleasurable drinkable. Also just added 1/2 tsp of baking soda.

Thanks for the tip on Tannins - I know it's a component of tea, but don't think that's what you mean. Where do I obtain them?
 
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Thanks for the tip on Tannins - I know it's a component of tea, but don't think that's what you mean. Where do I obtain them?
Tannins are available from black tea, and that is one possibility. They are also in oak, so that's another. But at any homebrew supply store or online you can pick up a bottle of 'wine tannin' which is designed to add as a postfermentation correction, like acid blend is. I believe there's a liquid, but I use a powder. Takes about 1/4-1/2 tsp per gallon, so the 2 oz. bottle lasts forever.
 
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Whatever you do, whatever you add, however you backsweeten, the recommendation is to do 'bench trials' Basically add a known measured amount of whatever to a known measured amount of the drink. Use varying amounts of additions until you find the balance you like best. Then do the math to figure out how much you have to add to the whole batch to get the same flavor. Backsweetening, and adding most other stuff tends to cloud the mead up again, so afterwards I generally let her sit another couple weeks before bottling.
 
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mrspock

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Tannins are available from black tea, and that is one possibility. They are also in oak, so that's another. But at any homebrew supply store or online you can pick up a bottle of 'wine tannin' which is designed to add as a postfermentation correction, like acid blend is. I believe there's a liquid, but I use a powder. Takes about 1/4-1/2 tsp per gallon, so the 2 oz. bottle lasts forever.
TY!

I've got oak powder left over from Wine kits. Same? Will it not impart some flavor?
 
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mrspock

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Just an update - I kept it outside in cool weather and did several passes of adding the various bases to bring the PH up. It was going slowly, but then I brought it inside and everythign kicked in... have a very high PH now... and the mead has a very strong "body". Perhaps even a milky mouthfeel.

It's a bit much. So word to the wise: Adjust PH at room temperature!
 

Silver_Is_Money

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I believe the 'nominal' pH of a typical finished Mead is expected to be in the ballpark of 3.6 +/- ~0.4 pH points.
 
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