Acid balancing post MLF pH out of range

Discussion in 'Wine Making from Grapes' started by knockabout, Dec 8, 2018.

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  1. Dec 8, 2018 #1

    knockabout

    knockabout

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    Hello,
    So my first time making wine from grapend I could really use some help here. I'm trying to figure out how to balance acid post mlf.
    So cab grapes
    10/15 23.5brix ta 5.4, ph 3.6
    Post mlf ph 4.25 /6. Gallons

    It tastes pretty bad now no spoilage but sure doesn't taste how the wine kits taste immediately post fermentation -I'm not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing.

    It seems my ph is too high and I might benefit from adding acid - probably should tweaked more at primary, can anyone walk me though the steps to figuring out how much acid I might consider at this point - I've read morewinemaking guide and Daniel p's homewinemaking but both get pretty nebulous at the point. I realize I haven't posted ta - will be checking that today but can anyone use a pretend ta and kinda guide me through the process?
    Help Is much appreciated!!
    Thanks
     
  2. Dec 8, 2018 #2

    cmason1957

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    I think the first step is to double check that post MLF ph. I haven't ever seen it move that much. I expected to read something like 3.8, maybe 4.0 ph. I suppose it is possible that the PH was very high pre-mlf and that is the reading that is off, no way to tell for sure now.
     
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  3. Dec 8, 2018 #3

    mainshipfred

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    Try using fermcalc, it's free and a good source for adjustments. Their acid adjustments is based on TA. I took it from 5.4 to 7 and it calculated 33 grams. As a general rule 1 g/l of tartaric will increase TA by 1 and lower ph by .1. There are binders in wine that will alter this or any calculation. You definately want to get it below 4.25 but taste is just as important of a factor. When adjusting taste I will put some wine in 3 or so glasses plus a base and add tartaric of different amounts in each glass. Taste each to see which one you feel is best then take the reading either ph or TA and use fermcalc to determine how much to add to your bulk. As a general rule when adjusting by numbers only add half the calculated amount but when adding by taste you can use the full amount.
     
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  4. Dec 8, 2018 #4

    mainshipfred

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    I thought the differential was pretty high myself but neglected to mention it.
     
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  5. Dec 8, 2018 #5

    knockabout

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    This could've been the case....I only had the strips and realized they weren't doing the job so got a ph meter before mlf was done.....
     
  6. Dec 8, 2018 #6

    cmason1957

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    Well if done with the strips, assume it is wrong. That's my rule, anyway. So first step might be to follow Fred's advice and lower your ph. I would do a bench trial with about 100 ml of wine, probably target 3.8. See how it tastes.
     
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  7. Dec 9, 2018 #7

    porkchopmessiah

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    Yeah....f those things, best advice you guys gave me.
    Lol
     
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  8. Dec 9, 2018 #8

    Johnd

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    If you’re testing a wine that isn’t completely degassed, your meter readings will be distorted. Make sure meter’s calibrated, wine degassed, and take another reading before you start dumping acid into it.
     
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  9. Dec 16, 2018 #9

    knockabout

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    Thank you! This was a big help. We retested, did some bench trials and added just a bit of acid based on taste. I appreciate the feedback and critical thinking!
     
  10. Dec 18, 2018 #10

    NorCal

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    I think that is the right path (adjust to taste). Post mlf the wine is what it is. If you try to hit the pH number, you may have to add so much acid, that it is undrinkable. Knowing the pH number is important for SO2 addition and to have a sense on when you should drink the wine.
     
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