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I am making wine jelly and have run out of lemons. I have some citric acid in the pantry. Can I use the citric acid instead? The jelly calls for half a cup of lemon juice. If I can use it, how much citric acid would I use?

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Yes you can. Don't know about the quantity though. I'd just add it in small quantities until it tastes right. –  Chris Cudmore May 7 '12 at 23:54
    
@ChrisCudmore, the lemon juice is used mostly to bring up the acidity, not for taste. So adding the citric acid based on taste sounds like a bad idea. –  Jay May 8 '12 at 0:59
    
Yep, unless you trust your tongue as much as a pH meter, you're going to want to be sure about quantities. –  Jefromi May 8 '12 at 5:27
    
Though actually... I don't know your recipe, but I think wine typically has a pH (3ish) well below the cutoff I've seen for boiling water canning (4.6)? –  Jefromi May 8 '12 at 5:35
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3 Answers 3

I just read you can add 3g citric acid/l or kg to make jam or marmalade.

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It would help to know where you read this - we have no way to verify the accuracy of this ratio. –  Aaronut Feb 10 '13 at 21:53
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This link http://www.livestrong.com/article/520416-how-to-substitute-lemon-juice-for-citric-acid/ says 1/4 teaspoon of citric acid substitutes 1 tablespoon of lemon juice.

So for half a cup of lemon juice, use two teaspoons of citric acid, and compensate for the missing liquid.

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Hmmm. So they claim lemon juice is equal to a 6% solution of citric acid, instead of 4%. I wonder which is correct? –  FuzzyChef May 9 '12 at 6:18
    
They could both be correct depending on the variety of lemon used. –  Chris Cudmore May 9 '12 at 12:28
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Yes, you can. In fact, many canning and jarring recipes specifically call for citric acid.

Presumably you are using citric acid in its dried, crystalline form. In that case, a solution of around 4% citric acid (e.g. 4gm in 100ml of water) should be around the same strength as lemon juice.

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Compared to the lemon juice, citric acid solution won't be as flavorful. I imagine you could dissolve the citric acid in something else to keep from diluting the jelly, though then you might want to know about the pH of that something else. –  Jefromi May 8 '12 at 5:34
    
No doubt. Although most of the flavor from lemon juice is the citric acid (and ascorbic acid) in it, so I doubt it would mar the flavor that much. –  FuzzyChef May 8 '12 at 6:10
    
In 7 cups of jelly, I couldn't taste half a cup of lemon juice, but I think I'll add a bit more than the suggestion just to be safe with my pH levels (even though, as mentioned above, the pH levels are probably already OK). –  Chandra May 9 '12 at 1:28
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