Wine & Cider pH

December 21, 2009

When I was describing the differences between making beer, wine, and cider, I mentioned that they have different pH levels. A quick refresher, pH is measured on a scale of 0-14, where 7 is the middle and is neutral, such as water or milk. Things above 7 are considered basic, such as baking soda, lye, and chlorine, and things below 7 are considered acidic, such as lemons or vinegar. Now, beer, wine, and cider are all acidic, but to different degrees. In my case, I need to make wines and ciders in the 3.2-3.8 pH range. Anything more acidic (less than 3.2) will make it taste funny, which is what could be plaguing my cinnamon cranberry apple cider. Anything more towards neutral (greater than 3.8) could allow bacteria to grow and also have off flavors

Wine supply stores sell pH testing strips, which are great to have around. If the batch needs to be more acidic, lemon juice or acid blends also available at supply stores will help lower the pH. If the batch is too acidic already, the best advice is to try and find other fruit that is less acidic to averaging the pH of the batch.

I am aware that grape wines have three different kinds of acid already present, and that only one of those acids are really desirable, so there are special kits to test for this. However, other fruit do not contain all three of these acids, and so a simple pH test is all that is really needed.

5 Responses to “Wine & Cider pH”

  1. […] juice is too acidic to make wine. It must be blended with something to raise the pH to the 3.2 – 3.8 range required for making wine.  Supposedly, licensed winemakers are not allowed to dilute a fruit juice with water to ferment, […]

  2. […] have mentioned before that pH is important when making wine and cider because it helps protect the wine from bacteria and it tastes better. A wine or cider low in pH is […]

  3. […] processes will happen naturally unless sulfites are regularly used to prevent it, or if the pH is too low. If a winemaker harvests in the fall and starts fermentation, the MLF process usually […]

  4. […] vine very often that I won’t eventually finish after some time. I believe the pineapple was too low in pH to make a good wine with, so they attempted to raise it. The result is a wine that has a very good […]

  5. […] did have to adjust the pH a bit since it was too high at approximately 3.8. I believe I got it pushed down to 3.6, but […]

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