Starting PH?

Discussion in 'Skeeter Pee' started by crabjoe, Jan 23, 2020.

Wine Making Forum

Help Support Winemaking Talk by donating:

  1. Jan 23, 2020 #1

    crabjoe

    crabjoe

    crabjoe

    Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2019
    Messages:
    328
    Likes Received:
    39
    Gender:
    Male
    I was just wondering, when making the initial must, what PH measurement should I be looking for?

    I'm speaking of the initial must, with only the 1st 2 bottles of concentrate in the must.... before the 3rd is added.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Jan 24, 2020 #2

    cmason1957

    cmason1957

    cmason1957

    CRS Sufferer WMT Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2011
    Messages:
    3,299
    Likes Received:
    2,323
    If I follow the Skeeter pee recipe exactly, I never measure the pH.
     
  3. Jan 24, 2020 #3

    crabjoe

    crabjoe

    crabjoe

    Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2019
    Messages:
    328
    Likes Received:
    39
    Gender:
    Male

    I know.. And with so many posts in the past about SP stalling or having trouble starting, I was wondering where the must should be.

    Tonight, I put 5 gallons of sugar water in a bucket (9 lbs of sugar) and added 64oz of Aldi lemon juice. so I ended up with 5.5 gallons..

    And the magic PH number I got was ....... 2.97.

    Used EC1118 yeast. SG was 1.076

    Once I start seeing bubbles and the gravity drop, I'll post back.
     
  4. Jan 24, 2020 #4

    cmason1957

    cmason1957

    cmason1957

    CRS Sufferer WMT Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2011
    Messages:
    3,299
    Likes Received:
    2,323
    If you proofed that yeast, as in let it bloom in some warmish water and then let it cool to the temp of the must, I think you will be fine. I have made it before with that lemon juice.
     
    crabjoe likes this.
  5. Jan 24, 2020 #5

    crabjoe

    crabjoe

    crabjoe

    Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2019
    Messages:
    328
    Likes Received:
    39
    Gender:
    Male
    It's been a bit over 12 hours and I went to check on the must..

    There are no visible signs that the yeast have started, but I can hear a faint sizzle here and there.. so it sounds like at a PH of 2.97, EC1118 will work, but I know its straining.. I'll check this evening again, around the 24hr mark to see what it might be doing.
     
  6. Jan 25, 2020 #6

    jgmillr1

    jgmillr1

    jgmillr1

    owner, winemaker

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2017
    Messages:
    454
    Likes Received:
    221
    I don't follow the "recipe" but I deacidify it and work it to the point where the pH is in the 3.3-3.4 range. Never have issues of stuck fermentations.
     
    crabjoe and cmason1957 like this.
  7. Jan 25, 2020 #7

    crabjoe

    crabjoe

    crabjoe

    Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2019
    Messages:
    328
    Likes Received:
    39
    Gender:
    Male
    I was thinking about trying it in that PH range, but then I was thinking it might not be lemony enough. I was also thinking about trying to get my hand on some thompson grape juice.. using it and just a 32oz bottle of lemon juice.

    BTW, when you say deacidify, are you saying you're using the same 3 bottles as the recipe calls for, but adding something like calcium carbonate to increase the PH?
     
  8. Jan 25, 2020 #8

    crabjoe

    crabjoe

    crabjoe

    Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2019
    Messages:
    328
    Likes Received:
    39
    Gender:
    Male
    @jgmillr1

    You've given me an idea.. I'm not sure how well it will work but here's the plan. Let me know what you think.

    The plan for the next batch is to use all 96oz of lemon juice added to 5 gallons of sugar water... which would include the nutrients and what not. Use calcium carbonate to increase the PH to around 3.1-3.2. I'm thinking at that level, I should get able to get a decent fermentation going. Once it's done fermentation and cleared, I'll push it through a sterile filter (0.35 micron) to remove any possible chalky taste.

    I'm thinking since the PH will be higher, I'd need less sugar to back sweeten with... I hoping this will allow it to get the same flavor profile or something very close to the original recipe since the lemon essence will still be there, just the acid would have been reduced.
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2020
  9. Jan 29, 2020 #9

    jgmillr1

    jgmillr1

    jgmillr1

    owner, winemaker

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2017
    Messages:
    454
    Likes Received:
    221
    @crabjoe

    This is similar to what I do with using the calcium carbonate to deacidify to a good pH for the fermentation. You'll use quite a bit of it and it will leave a chalky sludge at the bottom of the container. It filters out nicely with a 1um filter.

    I've noticed calcium citrate crystals at times when I've heavily used the calcium carbonate. Unfortunately time is the only way to drop these since they aren't strongly temperature dependent like with potassium bitartrate.

    So you'll have to measure your TA and decide where you want the sweetness to end up. I went for more lemon juice overall for the flavor and so the TA is higher, meaning I must add more sugar for balance. I've still been adjusting the recipe to dial it in. It's good now though at least.
     
    crabjoe likes this.
  10. Jan 29, 2020 #10

    jgmillr1

    jgmillr1

    jgmillr1

    owner, winemaker

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2017
    Messages:
    454
    Likes Received:
    221
    I'm using calcium carbonate and bicarbonate for the deacidification. I don't use the bottles, so you'll have to track the pH and TA with it on your brew.
     
    crabjoe likes this.
  11. Jan 29, 2020 #11

    crabjoe

    crabjoe

    crabjoe

    Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2019
    Messages:
    328
    Likes Received:
    39
    Gender:
    Male
    Update on PH.

    I took a hydrometer reading it was showing 1.045. Mix mixed in the extra nutrients and took a PH.

    PH was showing 2.45. I was shocked and worried it might drop a bit more if I add the 3rd bottle of lemon juice. I thought my PH meter needed calibration and I calibrated and took the PH again. PH 2.45 again. I was worried.

    Went a head and added the 3rd bottle. stirred like crazy and took a PH reading. To my surprise, the PH went up to PH 2.75.

    Now the wait to see what happens at this PH level.... Will it stress the yeast too much and cause a stink, or will it chug along to finish... I guess I'll find out soon.
     
  12. Jan 29, 2020 #12

    cmason1957

    cmason1957

    cmason1957

    CRS Sufferer WMT Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2011
    Messages:
    3,299
    Likes Received:
    2,323
    If you just took your freshly calibrated Ph Meter and dunked it into your fermentation bucket, you can ignore the reading. If you take a sample out, shake it, then heat it a bit to drive off all the CO2 and carbonic acid that's brewing there, it might be close to something useful, that stirring of the must and the PH went up is a dead giveaway.
     
  13. Jan 29, 2020 #13

    crabjoe

    crabjoe

    crabjoe

    Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2019
    Messages:
    328
    Likes Received:
    39
    Gender:
    Male
    I had sitrred the must before taking the sample. I stirred till I got as close to no bubbles as possible. That sample was PH 2.45. After I added the lemon juice then stirred again is when it went up to 2.75.

    I didn't think there would be much carbonic acid left because it was almost bubble free.

    BTW, if I heat up the sample, might that in itself change the PH? If not, that's the route I'll take the next time.
     
  14. Jan 29, 2020 #14

    Johnd

    Johnd

    Johnd

    Large Member WMT Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2015
    Messages:
    5,865
    Likes Received:
    5,452
    Location:
    S Louisiana
    It's not about the bubbles that you can see, it's about the CO2 in solution in the must. For a reading on an actively fermenting must to be accurate, it needs to be completely degassed, and warming helps that endeavor.
     
    cmason1957 and crabjoe like this.

Draft saved Draft deleted

Share This Page

Group Builder