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Adjusting pH for a Pinot Noir

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Dom Lausic

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Hi All,
Just crushed 12 cases of Pinot Noir (432 lbs of grapes/200L of must) yesterday and getting ready to inoculate yeast, but trying to adjust acid first. My pH was 3.0-4.0 and TA was 0.5. Wanted to bring the pH down to about 3.6 as I was planning on going through MLF.

Thinking of adding 250g of tartaric acid. Any thoughts??? To much tartaric acid or too little??

First time making a Pinot Noir and haven't had to adjust a pH this high before. So looking for some thought before I make any drastic decisions to my wine!

Looking forward hearing from everyone!

Happy Winemaking!
 

Boatboy24

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My pH was 3.0-4.0...
Was the pH 3 or 4? If you've got it all in different containers and that is the range of multiple readings, I'd leave it alone. Hard to say what it would be when you combine them all.
 

Boatboy24

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I'm being lazy and not doing the math. But I'd target 3.5-3.6. I don't think you want to adjust much more than that. Biggest I've done is 0.4.
 

Dom Lausic

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Gotcha. I read tartaric acid should be 1g/L to reduce pH by 0.1. So for 200L of must, to bring to 3.6 I would need 800g of tartaric acid. Does that sound right??
 

Johnd

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@Dom Lausic , if I were i in your shoes, I’d consider both pH and TA, and err on the side of adding too little. If your TA is 5.0 g/L, I wouldn’t increase the TA to any more than 6.0 g/L, and thus, would add 1 g/L. Additions should be calculated on volume of finished wine, which is not 200 L, more like 70% of that, or 140 L of finished wine. So I’d add no more than 140 g of tartaric, and I wouldn’t do it all at one time, I’d do it in stages, 70g, then increments of 20 g, testing pH along the way. We never really know how pH will react, and my experience is that it’s difficult to predict at this stage of the game.

If you add 800 g of tartaric to the equivalent of 140 L of finished wine, you’ll be adding 5.7 g/L to your TA, I doubt you’ll like the resulting taste from the dramatic increase in TA.
 

Dom Lausic

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Amazing, makes total sense!

I will test now and post results of where I ended up. Must temp is currently at 51 degrees F but having a hard time keeping it cool enough before I inoculate with yeast. Was trying to cold soak for a couple of days prior to pitching, but temp is rising and I don't want to risk spoiling!
 

Dom Lausic

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Can I continue to add tartaric acid once I've inoculated with yeast? Or should my adjustments be made prior to?
 

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Can I continue to add tartaric acid once I've inoculated with yeast? Or should my adjustments be made prior to?
Try to make your adjustments prefermentation, allowing the acid to be integrated into the wine as it is created. Minor acid addition can be made to taste later. The goal now is to get your must into range, so somewhere around 6 g/L TA, pH in the 3.3 - 3.7 range, but you shouldn’t blow up your TA just to get to pH 3.6. The fact is, that you can manage higher pH with a good sulfite plan, but a TA that’s too high produces a tart, sour tasting wine.
 

Dom Lausic

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Ok, I'm at 3.8 pH and my TA is 0.7-0.8.

I've run out of tartaric acid at the moment, and won't be able to get more until tomorrow afternoon. Think my values are within range? Or should I wait until tomorrow, when I can get some more tartaric acid?
 

Johnd

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Ok, I'm at 3.8 pH and my TA is 0.7-0.8.

I've run out of tartaric acid at the moment, and won't be able to get more until tomorrow afternoon. Think my values are within range? Or should I wait until tomorrow, when I can get some more tartaric acid?
How much did you add to get to .7 / .8? I wouldn’t add any more.
 

Dom Lausic

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I was trying to balance between the TA and pH values you gave by starting at 150g and going up by 20g. But I guess the values crept up while dissolving in the must. I'll call it quits for now and pitch the yeast! Fingers crossed!
 

Johnd

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I was trying to balance between the TA and pH values you gave by starting at 150g and going up by 20g. But I guess the values crept up while dissolving in the must. I'll call it quits for now and pitch the yeast! Fingers crossed!
Understood. With acid additions particularly, it’s important to start small and go slow, it takes time for it to dissolve and get mixed in. Little higher TA than I’d like to see you start with, but I’m betting your pH will rebound up and your TA down. Good luck!!!
 

Ajmassa

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should I pitch the yeast now? or wait until the morning?
If your done adding acid I don’t see what waiting would accomplish. At this point your just gonna wait until after fermentation and MLf completion to check acid again anyway.
Pretty sure acid integration isn’t gonna affect the yeast (or vice versa). I say pitch away!

*btw- he said add 70g, then increments of 20 until your at 140. I think you might have misread it. Ain’t no thang. Just another factor that will be part of making the wine what it is. .... which is all yours.
 

Dom Lausic

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Yikes! Yes I did misread that…. I've pitched with Lavlin RC 212, and I expect to see something tomorrow!

Was planning on doing MLF with Wyeast 4007 Malolactic Blend Culture.

Any experience with this for a Pinot Noir?? Or any recommendations?
 

Dom Lausic

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Note that the Wyeast mentioned about, I believe, is intended to go in secondary. I've read in the forum of others co-fermenting. Any thoughts? I just pitched the yeast tonight, so if I were to co-ferment, I guess I'd have to do so rather quickly
 

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