Reducing acidity for stomach but not for taste

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GratefulBear

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I came across some pretty intense discussions on chemistry in my searches on this topic but definitely lacking clarity. Also, looked through Claude Jolicoueur's book. When I am drinking my cider frequently, I start to feel the acidity in my stomach and I had one friend who said the same thing. The root of the problem is obviously that I'm using juice from apples that are not classic cider apples and they are higher in acidity (I have never added any additives to my cider besides yeast and yeast nutrient). While, I wish I had a grinder and a press and time to hand pick my cider blend, I don't. There were two things I was thinking about doing. I was thinking about measuring pH of storebought cider/juice to find one with lower acidity. The other thing I was wondering if using a small amount of baking soda would help? This would reduce the "fresh" taste to the cider but then I could balance it out by adding tannins. Anyone gone through this process already and can save me some hassles?
 

Chalkyt

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This probably doesn't answer your question but FYI most of my own small orchard apples are "eating" types. Generally the pH is in the order of 3.8 - 4.0. i.e. they are not very acidic. Red Delicious are sometimes as high as pH 4.4 and can result in a fairly "ordinary" bland tasting cider, so adding malic acid to get somewhere near 5-6 g/L and a pH of 3.7 or so improves the taste and doesn't seem to make things acidy. This TA and pH seems to be the best balance. I make a straight Red Delicious as a lightly carbonated mild tasting "Ladies Quaffer" for my daughter-in-law.

Although Jolicoeur's chart shows that there can be a wide spread of TA/pH among apples, I have found that in practice most of my common apples fall into 5-6 g/L and pH 3.5 -4.0 range so I don't need much intervention. This year I made a Graham's English Cider from 50/50 Granny Smith and Pink Lady which uses lime juice and black tea and develops a nice citrus/tannin note.

Straight Granny Smith will typically be around pH 3.6 and is therefore good to add to improve acidity without the need for malic acid. Generally a mix of Red Delicious, Balerina, a few wild apples and some crabs produces a good quaffer.
 
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GratefulBear

GratefulBear

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That's good to know. I tend to make fully dry cider so that probably has something to do with it too. Acidity plus 8% alcohol and no body or unfermentable sugars like a beer would have.. may lead to it being a little rough on the stomach after a while. I could help it a little bit probably by testing pH of storebought brands and going with one with higher pH
 
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