Hi I'm brewing some apple wine at the moment, following a recipe for a dry apple wine from CJJ Berry's "First Steps in Winemaking" (2006 reprint p185).

The recipe lists ONLY the following ingredients:

  • 2.75k apples (I used golden delicious)
  • 1 kilo sugar
  • 150ml white grape concentrate
  • 1 teaspoon citric acid
  • 4.5L water
  • Yeast & nutrient

At no point in the recipe does it mention adding the citric acid, but it does mention within the method that you should "strain the stewed apple liquid onto the sugar and the thinly peeled rind of the lemon " (my emphasis). The lemon juice is added with the yeast. The lemon is never mentioned in the ingredients.

Obviously there's a printing error/typo that never got picked up in proofing, but should I be using both lemon and citric acid, or only one? The wine has just about stopped fermenting, and I'm about to rack it off for bulk aging. If I needed to add the citric acid now (I used only the lemon) is it too late?

  • I have a 1982 revised edition softback of this book that I've 'borrowed' from my parents. It has the same problem with this recipe.
    – robaker
    Commented Nov 10, 2010 at 10:12

1 Answer 1


The lemon zest/peel is going to mostly give you a hint of lemon flavor and does little to the pH, which would be what the citric acid is there for. You could definitely use both and have it turn out fine and it will also turn out fine with neither, but the result will taste different. The difference is going to come down to preferences. If you already know you don't like a tart cider, I'd ditch both. If you like tart, dry ciders, add both.

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