We're looking to make some applecider vinegar this fall. It would be great if we could use it for canning but I believe it needs to be 5% for proper canning.
Is there a way to measure the acidity with common household equipment? Or using ph strips? I'm making this up but something like:
(Please remember I got a C in chemistry)
Start with two tablespoons of ACV
Add the amount of baking soda into the ACV that should neutralize it if it's at 5% (let's say 1/4 teaspoon)
After it's done bubbling, add a pinch more baking soda and if it bubbles, it's at least 5%, if it doesn't, it's at or below 5%
Use some type of purple plant pigment as an indicator: Beet or cherry juice for example.
Make a solution of baking soda. Titrate a vinegar solution with a known concentration until the dye changes color. Record how much solution was used. Titrate an equal volume of your unknown vinegar in like manner. Then it's simple algebra to calculate the percentage of vinegar in the unknown.
% vinegar in wine = (5% standard vinegar * ml carbonate to neutralize it) / ml carbonate to neutralize wine vinegar
If you don't have accurate measuring equipment, like a scale or graduated cylinder, you may be better off doing the titration in larger lots.
I use PH strips. I think they cost about a dollar for 100 strips on amazon - eight dollars shipping. I cut the strips in half and I now have two hundred.
Some commercial apple cider vinegar has acidity written on the label.
Also, what Joseph said. I read somewhere (or it might have been a dream) you can pour boiling water on beats, then strain the liquid. The liquid will change colour based on acidity or base level. I'm not sure how much I trust it because when I'm doing something similar with plants to dye wool, I use an acid or a base to shift the colour - but the colour depends more on the plant than the PH.
https://www.amazon.fr/Johnson-Papers-Universal-Indicator-Strips/dp/B00FVYBLD0 Well you could buy universal indicator strips to tell you the pH as above .As litmus paper will just tell you if its acid or not
Its a bit more complicated than that I would suggest .
Firstly pH is not a simple scale its a logarithmic scale . So pH five it ten times stronger than pH 6 and pH four is ten times stronger than pH 5 . 7 is nutral after 7 you are actually measuring alkanity .
I would suggest if you want to use the above strips you first find out what the pH of 5% acid apple vinegar is. Then compare .
I suspect that there is not an issue because like with making cider the % of alcohol depends on the type of yeast used so getting over 5 % is doable in time if you use wine yeast then if you use some microbes that make cider to over 5 % just let the little beasties work until they can work no more
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It's been over 40 years since chemistry class, but I recall that pH and concentration measurements are different. Litmus paper is a simple way to test for pH. But one needs to do a titration to determine the % of concentration. So if I make homemade vinegar, I think I'd have to do titration in order to determine if I'm really getting 5% or better concentration of vinegar.
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Okay sciency replies are great, but,
I am going with taste it and see! Lazy way to find out, if it tastes good, than its good, if its too sweet, let it sit longer, too tart, water it down a bit.
Sciency ways are way more accurate though
Oh, sorry i just reread correctly the original post, so my above technique, with tartness, don't water it down for canning. Sorted, a lazy way.
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