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Crazy idea

Spitballing ?

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It means taking a guess.

No you will not get significant inversion unless you take pH down to low value like 2.5-2.3 and raise temperature to 236F or slightly higher. You will not achieve either of these conditions during a boil. The 236 F temperature can only be achieved with high sugar concentrations much higher than what you would have in your wort. Secondly if your wort is at 2.5 during a boil you will have really screwed up your mash.

I made invert sugar because it was tough for me to get.

Sneezles Calcium hydroxide is a strong base so its easy to add too much. That is why I dissolve the calcium hydroxide in water and then add the solution with a medicine dropper.

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What does the calculation look like to convert from a water glass to 5 gallons?

Also, where can I get calcium hydroxide?

you can get calcium hydroxide online from a variety of places. Its also called pickling lime. msds is here

My wife picked up apple cider and I will do a titration of it by Sunday and post. I will include calculation details at that time. Recognize that because you are in unfamiliar territory that you will have to wing it a bit during the mash to get the pH right. The water programs are a crude way of guessing where pH will be during mash. Not sure if they would apply with apple cider instead of water. Using the programs, quoting a former employee, might be “like polishing a turd.”

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LOL Thanks Mike. You’ve been a big help.

Ok my apple cider had a pH of 3.4. To get to a pH of 5.5 it will take 7.7 grams of pure Ca(OH)2 per gallon. This is roughly 3 teaspoons of Ca(OH)2 per gallon. Your results may be slightly different due to different cider.

The higher pH did change the flavor of the apple cider. It had less of a bite or astringency if that describes it, at higher pH.

I never brewed hard ciders but apparently the final pH has an impact on the flavor as the below link covers. Note it also recommends lowering pH to below 3 to make a shelf stable product. I have no idea if the hops you use will help make the beer/cider shelf stable. May want to experiment with your final product to change pH to see impact on flavor and if pH above 3 keep it in frig. Just guessing on this. Others with hard cider and pH experience may want to comment as this is out of my experience realm. pH does impact beer flavor as well. As we would say in Pittsburgh yuns is going to need a pH meter:)

If someone is inclined to check my calculations I used 1.3 grams of hydroxide in 1/4 cup as a slurry to add to apple juice. Took 5.5 ml slurry to get to pH of 5.5 in a quarter cup of cider. calculations below

You are truly awesome, Mike. Thanks so much for this. This was the missing piece in my recipe.

I’m not overly concerned about altering the taste of the apple cider a little, as I just need to adjust the ph for the mash. After the boil, prior to primary, I can add more apple cider/apple juice concentrate to bring the taste back and lower the ph again. I can also add a little malic acid, if necessary, which would do the same thing. The ph isn’t a huge concern for fermentation, as my yeast can handle a slightly acidic environment, and fermentation would lower the ph anyway. Also, as you noted, hopping will also lower the ph. I just needed to figure out how to get the ph in proper mashing range, and you just showed me how. Thanks again!

I know you’re just throwing spit at the wall but the pH is only part of the problem. What other minerals are or are not in the juice? What flavor will be stripped in the filter bed? How much sugar will be left behind? Since you have never done a mash before maybe take a step back and learn that process. You have way to much going on in your recipe as it is and will never be able to analyze what you made.


Ok I am going to throw out a challenge to you all. I am intrigued by this. Out here in the boondocks, we have a big applefest in franklin Pa in fall. I want to come up with a graff recipe that the local micro brewer, trails to ales, might try. It should be a beer that the crowd of country folks who know lagers would try and enjoy. I need input from you all.

I was thinking of starting out with a small batch with a pilsner, kolsch, or hefeweisin recipe with the 1.05 gravity apple cider as the mash water with the pH adjusted to 5.3 to 5.6. As a first try I would make a double batch with half at full strength and half watered down to a lower ABV prior to fermentation. The idea is something the average attendee at the festival might try and order another. After fermentation I will play around with pH for the right flavor of course.

So put on your thinking caps and let me know your thoughts on how to brew something that the applefest crowd in Franklin Pa would enjoy.

I will brew this I promise you! Oh and of course I will provide data LOL

So, you are processing apples?
I’d suggest as simple as possible apple ale… Just buy 5 gallons of apple juice at a store… put yer 05 ale yeast in it… walk away… it does take time to get under 1.000… cold crash… keg and carb quite high… I’ve not had a bad commment… in fact… peeps are curious I don’t make more…

I am not processing apples. I was going to purchase apple cider at a local orchard and use it as mash water after raising the pH of the cider to 5.3 to 5.6 so enzymes work to convert grain starches to sugar. Get a concentrated beer and apple combination aka graff. I wanted to experiment with various recipes in gallon batches. Sounds like one valid comparison would be fermented apple juice vs graff.

Do you recommend apple juice over cider? As I understand, apple juice is filtered and pasturized apple cider.

Ive never had a graff that didnt taste awfull. If your trying to please coors light drinkers with a graf good luck. that said what I would do for an appelfest is make an apple wine and serve it cut with a seltzer. It makes a nice hard selzer which are also popular with that crowd. Just my opinion

I tried that apple-y stuff Busch light made… I won’t repeat that again… I’ve tried both the cider and juice… I could not tell a difference…

Thanks for suggestions. I will try fermenting apple juice/cider, google an apple wine and try that. Thinking about maybe I try blends of above with various beers first to see what beer base to use. Hefeweizen and pilsner are two beers I was thinking of trying the blend first. This would allow me to see if there is any hope.

Maybe all graff’s suck and I will find that out LOL

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