Measure Total Acids ... after fermentation possible?

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

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

Sballe

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 1, 2022
Messages
45
Reaction score
11
Location
Denmark
So - my local brewers shop finally has TA-kits back in stock ... unfortunately I have already started fermenting my 5+ batches of cider ... some of them for several weeks already...

When measuring the TA (in a useful way) must it be done with the clean unfermented juice ? Or can I do it next time I rack ?
 

Chalkyt

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Apr 19, 2017
Messages
740
Reaction score
391
Location
Snowy Mountains, Australia
Andrew Lea (Craft Cider Making) replied to a similar question on Cider Workshop about a week ago.

"Target pH for fermentation control is set before fermentation. Target TA for flavour balance is set at final blending and preferably after any MLF.

If adding synthetic acid, malic is the one usually used. However, if MLF is likely to occur later, then lactic may be a better bet because it cannot convert further. Citric acid is not advised because it may convert to acetic if MLF takes place. Tartaric is not advised because of possible potassium tartrate crystal formation. Tannic acid makes no sense because it is an acid in name only".


Cheers, hope this helps.
 
OP
OP
S

Sballe

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 1, 2022
Messages
45
Reaction score
11
Location
Denmark
Andrew Lea (Craft Cider Making) replied to a similar question on Cider Workshop about a week ago.

"Target pH for fermentation control is set before fermentation. Target TA for flavour balance is set at final blending and preferably after any MLF.

If adding synthetic acid, malic is the one usually used. However, if MLF is likely to occur later, then lactic may be a better bet because it cannot convert further. Citric acid is not advised because it may convert to acetic if MLF takes place. Tartaric is not advised because of possible potassium tartrate crystal formation. Tannic acid makes no sense because it is an acid in name only".


Cheers, hope this helps.
Thx ! Great help 👍 …so if I understand correctly— TA is measured as late as possible - probably just before bottling when last adjustments are done …
 

Chalkyt

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Apr 19, 2017
Messages
740
Reaction score
391
Location
Snowy Mountains, Australia
That is probably the right way to do it. However, when I adjust for pH before fermenting, I find that with "eating apples" (which many of us only have access to) the original pH is often 4.0 or above. Adding malic acid to bring this down close to 3.6 usually also increases an original TA of around 3g/L to something like 6 g/L. So, I end up with a "sweet spot" of pH3.6 and TA of 6g/L before I even start.

Interestingly, I recently returned from a vacation in Tasmania which has a long history of apple growing and is now embracing cider in a big way. As a general observation most of the ciders there are from eating apples (since that was their main business) and a typical blend mighty be Pink Lady, Fuji, Gala, etc. Just for fun, I checked out a couple that I brought back to the mainland, and as a general rule they seem to have a high pH (up to 4.0) and low TA with ABV 5% to 6% and some sweetness. This suggests to me that they are stopping fermentation at around 1.005, possibly to satisfy the volume market.

Food for thought!!! Although there is a wide spread of pH vs TA among cider apples such that one can't be used to predict the other, it may well be that (at least in my experience) there is a sort of relationship between the two for the common range of eating apples.
 
OP
OP
S

Sballe

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 1, 2022
Messages
45
Reaction score
11
Location
Denmark
That is probably the right way to do it. However, when I adjust for pH before fermenting, I find that with "eating apples" (which many of us only have access to) the original pH is often 4.0 or above. Adding malic acid to bring this down close to 3.6 usually also increases an original TA of around 3g/L to something like 6 g/L. So, I end up with a "sweet spot" of pH3.6 and TA of 6g/L before I even start.

Interestingly, I recently returned from a vacation in Tasmania which has a long history of apple growing and is now embracing cider in a big way. As a general observation most of the ciders there are from eating apples (since that was their main business) and a typical blend mighty be Pink Lady, Fuji, Gala, etc. Just for fun, I checked out a couple that I brought back to the mainland, and as a general rule they seem to have a high pH (up to 4.0) and low TA with ABV 5% to 6% and some sweetness. This suggests to me that they are stopping fermentation at around 1.005, possibly to satisfy the volume market.

Food for thought!!! Although there is a wide spread of pH vs TA among cider apples such that one can't be used to predict the other, it may well be that (at least in my experience) there is a sort of relationship between the two for the common range of eating apples.
Thx ! Good info.

Do you only ever use Malic acid? Or also tartaric and citric? … I think I read somewhere that if you want to lower the Ph — but don’t want to increase the TA too much … then tartaric/citric are better choices than malic acid somehow …
 
Top