Quantcast

Acid adjustment?

Wine Making Talk

Help Support Wine Making Talk:

Charlietuna

Senior Member
Joined
May 11, 2011
Messages
423
Reaction score
48
Today we did 108 lbs of cab sav, 108 lbs of merlot & 108 lbs of Sangiovese.. the cab was in great condition & we got a lot of juice out. Merlot, some bad but ok. Sangiovese were rough. Lot of raisins. Took a lot of time to sort & pitched a good bit.

Numbers are :

Cab sav. Brix 22.4, ph 3.2, tartaric .6
Merlot. Brix 22.0, ph 3.8, tartaric .32
Sangiovese Brix 23.8, ph 3.0, tartaric .52

Do I need to adjust the Merlot? I have never adjusted acid, this is new to me.

Thanks, Brian
 

ceeaton

Sixth year
Joined
Feb 15, 2015
Messages
5,137
Reaction score
5,398
Location
Southern PA
Merlot. Brix 22.0, ph 3.8, tartaric .32

Do I need to adjust the Merlot? I have never adjusted acid, this is new to me.
In my limited experience, I would adjust the Merlot now verses later. I usually aim for about .60 % (6.0 g/L) TA. Using FermCalc and assuming about 8 gallons of wine from the 108 lbs of Merlot, FermCalc sez to add 61.337 grams (2.16 oz) of Tartaric acid. But wait, there's more, not only do you want to add the tartaric acid, you only want to add about 1/2 of the recommended dosage. Just something that people here on the site do, and it is for good reason. Lot's of things occur during fermentation and you may end up with too low of a pH if you add the full amount. The idea here is to get a pleasing acid level in the wine (TA), plus make a nice environment (pH of 3.4 to 3.6 or so) after your ferment is complete so you can do an MLF secondary fermentation without any issues.

So go 1/2 way (add about 30 grams of tartaric acid (not acid blend!!)) and that should help get your pH down a bit and add some acid and zing to your wine. After you ferment and before you add any MLB, take another test (after degassing a sample) and see where your wine is, pH and TA wise.

Others will pile on if I'm leading you astray, so give it a few moments before making any acid additions so that they can chime in.
 

Charlietuna

Senior Member
Joined
May 11, 2011
Messages
423
Reaction score
48
Hey Craig. Thanks! I have citric acid here. Will that work? If not I'll need to wait until Tuesday.
I'll be saving your response in my favorites. It's good info to keep.
 

stickman

Veteran Winemaker
Joined
Jun 16, 2014
Messages
1,741
Reaction score
1,777
Use tartaric, citric can be consumed and can cause extra volatile acidity during ML.
 

Charlietuna

Senior Member
Joined
May 11, 2011
Messages
423
Reaction score
48
Thanks. I ordered it last night. It'll be here Tuesday. What did we ever do before Amazon prime?
 

onlyreds

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 3, 2011
Messages
28
Reaction score
1
Why would you not want to add a combination of tartaric AND malic acid, or better still an acid blend? If you have plans to perform MLF you will want the malic as that's what is converted to lactic acid. Tartaric also has the weakest chemical bond of the titratable acids and as a result is responsible for the majority of the salts that precipitate out at cold stabilization. A blend of acids maintains the proportions you desire. I would enjoy an explanation of why NOT to use an acid blend.
 

stickman

Veteran Winemaker
Joined
Jun 16, 2014
Messages
1,741
Reaction score
1,777
You can use any acid you like, especially if you are tweaking a wine in the final stages, but generally speaking, tartaric acid is the acid of choice for initial adjustments. Acid blend usually contains a mix of tartaric, malic, and citric acids, although other blends are available. Tartaric acid is the most microbially stable acid of the three, the other two can be more easily consumed by bacteria. The Malic acid used in the acid blend is usually a mixture of two isomers, one of these will not be metabolized by the malolactic bacteria, which will leave excess malic acid in your wine. This may cause a harsh acidic taste depending on the type of wine, especially dry reds with significant tannin content. Taste is a major factor, tartaric is the primary natural acid in grapes, using other acids will often throw off the balance.
 

cintipam

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 7, 2013
Messages
801
Reaction score
268
Plus citric acid is converted into a type of vinegar by MLF. If you want to do MLF on any of your wines you have to figure that out early or just plain only use tartaric acid just in case you need to MLF later.

I tend to mix fruit into my wines at primary. Learned way back which fruits, mostly berries, have citric acid so I can avoid them in red wine making.

Pam in cinti
 

onlyreds

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 3, 2011
Messages
28
Reaction score
1
Tartaric remains stable during MLF. And if you have issues with acetic acid you've got bigger issues than acid selection. I would include malic acid in my acid addition and will yield to Stickman and pair it with tartaric. However, I would still add both and not tartaric alone. Off flavor profiles that are acid by nature are a consequence of one acid predominant over another. Hence the prevalence of acid "blends." Isomer redaction is a virtual non-factor in a blend that MIGHT include more than a single malic acid in its composition.
 
Last edited:

Mantas

Junior
Joined
Oct 26, 2016
Messages
3
Reaction score
0
If I over fermentation and wine is in bottels but wine acid is in 10ml 60%. Still posible help my "wine"?? Thenk you for help
 
Last edited:

JohnT

Moderator
Super Moderator
Joined
Feb 9, 2010
Messages
10,012
Reaction score
5,762
If I over fermentation and wine is in bottels but wine acid is in 10ml 60%. Still posible help my "wine"?? Thenk you for help
Let me ask. Are you saying that your wine has a TA of .6 grams per liter? Please correct me if this is wrong.

Another question: what exactly is wrong with the wine? does it taste too tart? not tart enough? If your wine tastes OK, and you have a TA of .6, I would not make any adjustments.

If the wine is not OK, then it is never too late to adjust acid.
 

Mantas

Junior
Joined
Oct 26, 2016
Messages
3
Reaction score
0
Hello, yes it means TA 0,6g/l. but taste is bad. Have alot acids. Its red grapes wine Sg 0,998. How to make it better? Sorry for my english.. Thenk you !!
 

JohnT

Moderator
Super Moderator
Joined
Feb 9, 2010
Messages
10,012
Reaction score
5,762
Hello, yes it means TA 0,6g/l. but taste is bad. Have alot acids. Its red grapes wine Sg 0,998. How to make it better? Sorry for my english.. Thenk you !!
your acid level should be good for a red wine. One thing you can try is to back sweeten it.

The question is how much sugar. Set up a "bench trial". pour a sample of the wine into 4 different glasses. Put varied amounts of sugar into each glass and taste. See if that helps.

If you find that sugar helps, then scale up the amount of sugar and add to your bulk wine. Also add some sorbate to ensure that fermentation does not start again.
 

jpftribe

Junior
Joined
Sep 22, 2016
Messages
26
Reaction score
9
your acid level should be good for a red wine. One thing you can try is to back sweeten it.

The question is how much sugar. Set up a "bench trial". pour a sample of the wine into 4 different glasses. Put varied amounts of sugar into each glass and taste. See if that helps.

If you find that sugar helps, then scale up the amount of sugar and add to your bulk wine. Also add some sorbate to ensure that fermentation does not start again.
This is a great thread, thanks to the OP and contributors.

Question on the above: If i wanted to experiment with this, what proportions of sugar would you recommend? Any specific type of sugar? Corn? Table?
 

onlyreds

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 3, 2011
Messages
28
Reaction score
1
Just add a whole bunch and don't bother hydrating it first, and don't bother with testing or reserving any portion for a future adjustment. Then you can find a nice box to put it in, chill it really well and walla. 2 buck Chuck. Now, can we please terminate this thread and get back to the science of acid management?
 
Last edited:

JohnT

Moderator
Super Moderator
Joined
Feb 9, 2010
Messages
10,012
Reaction score
5,762
Question on the above: If i wanted to experiment with this, what proportions of sugar would you recommend? Any specific type of sugar? Corn? Table?

I would take a 100ml sample, then add increments of .1 grams of sugar, tasting at each increment until you are happy.
 

Latest posts

Top