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Although the taste of my cider is often excellent sometimes it can be too acidic and hard to drink large quantities.

How would one:

  1. Test the acidity
  2. Control the acidity

Also, what pH should it be?

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1 Answer

up vote 10 down vote accepted

I've made a few ciders and here are some things that I found.

Apple juice is completely fermentable, which means it will dry out. More than likely this is what is giving you those "acidic" flavors. It's not so much acid, as it is a lack of residual sugars.

To balance this you need to add something non-fermentable to it. Typically when I make cider I will add 2 pounds of pale or amber dry malt extract, as well as 1 pound of Crystal 60L grain.

The sugars left by these will leave you with more body and a less dry cider.

It's also not a bad idea to use a less attenuative yeast than what many people do for ciders in conjunction with the use of malt extract and grains.

You could test the acidity levels with pH testing strips. If you want to strait up change the acidity instead of adding the non-fermentables then you could add calcium carbonate. The pH of cider should be between 3.2 - 3.8.

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+1 on the malt & yeast suggestions. Best "cider" I ever made had malt extract in it and was made with ale yeast. PLUS it was drinkable in a few weeks instead of a few months. For parties and such, I'll make this hybrid which is called "Graff" if you want to Google some recipes. –  Graham Apr 7 '11 at 14:13
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