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> Adding Tannins & Acid Blend to Mead
McBurtney
post Mar 16 2012, 05:10 PM
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Greets folks- I recently entered a mead in a competition. Even though I quite liked the it, the judges complained of the imbalance of the mead stating that it needed some tannins and acid to round it out. Any good suggestions as to how to achieve this?

As for tannins, I thought that adding a tea bag or 3 to the mead wort should do that. Is that correct?

As for acid, I have a malic and tartaric acid blend, but don't know how much to use on a 5 gallon batch. Granted I could experiment, but figured to invoke the sage counsel of this board. Any thoughts?

Cheers
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Dave F
post Apr 9 2012, 09:36 AM
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Some meads definitely benefit from tannins and acid blend, and tea is indeed one way to add tannins...it might be more reproducible if you used a tannin powder, so as to limit the variables; ie, type of tea, how long steeped, temp of solution, etc. There are different acid blends...the one I use also has citric acid. I really am not sure whether or not this is "better" or not...

You may get recommendations on the amount to add per gallon but as you mentioned, I think it's best to experiment...make up a solution of known concentration, and add small amounts to a few measured samples of mead before bottling. In my experience, the amount of acid and/or tannin needed really depends on the mead, more so with the acid than the tannin. I use a pretty standard amount of tannin (I think I've been using about 1 tsp per gallon of the grape tannin powder), but anywhere between 2 - 5 tsp per six gallon batch for the acid.

One final think about acid...even if you have a recipe dialed in and know exactly how much acid you will need, I think it's still best to wait until just before bottling to add it...there's a slim chance that the acid addition could lower the pH enough to affect the fermentation. Better to have a healthy fermentaion unstressed by already low starting pH...the acid is really only necessary once the mead crosses your lips!
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McBurtney
post Apr 10 2012, 09:24 AM
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QUOTE(Dave F @ Apr 9 2012, 09:36 AM) *
Some meads definitely benefit from tannins and acid blend, and tea is indeed one way to add tannins...it might be more reproducible if you used a tannin powder, so as to limit the variables; ie, type of tea, how long steeped, temp of solution, etc. There are different acid blends...the one I use also has citric acid. I really am not sure whether or not this is "better" or not...

You may get recommendations on the amount to add per gallon but as you mentioned, I think it's best to experiment...make up a solution of known concentration, and add small amounts to a few measured samples of mead before bottling. In my experience, the amount of acid and/or tannin needed really depends on the mead, more so with the acid than the tannin. I use a pretty standard amount of tannin (I think I've been using about 1 tsp per gallon of the grape tannin powder), but anywhere between 2 - 5 tsp per six gallon batch for the acid.

One final think about acid...even if you have a recipe dialed in and know exactly how much acid you will need, I think it's still best to wait until just before bottling to add it...there's a slim chance that the acid addition could lower the pH enough to affect the fermentation. Better to have a healthy fermentaion unstressed by already low starting pH...the acid is really only necessary once the mead crosses your lips!



Thanks for the insight Dave. (IMG:style_emoticons/brewboard/scratch.gif)
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