Ascorbic Acid

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Donz

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Do you guys add Ascorbic acid to red wine? My shop advises to add a little with meta as it helps prevent oxidation. Can you taste it in the wine after?
 

Stressbaby

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It is an anti-oxidant initially, but I think recently it has been shown to be a pro-oxidant later when concentrations drop. I, for one, do not use it in whites or reds.
 

Johnd

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I do not use it either, K-meta has proven to me to be all that is needed, in addition to good racking and topping up practices......
 

Donz

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Ah well, I took my shop's advice and added some, very little to each demijohn and barrel - 2 grams.

Hope it doesn't affect my wine in a negative way…!
 

stickman

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I agree with the others on not using ascorbic acid in general. It is a powerful antioxidant, but as Stressbaby indicated, once it is spent, the wine can oxidize faster than if none were added. I have used it a couple of times on white wines without any issues, but it was added at bottling when the wine doesn't see much future oxygen. Be especially careful with oxygen exposure going forward and keep SO2 levels in the proper range.
 

Donz

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I don't get why all the packages and stores say it prevents oxidation then...
 

stickman

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It does prevent oxidation, but there are conditions around how it is used. It is mainly used in white and rose wines. I wouldn't panic, just keep sulfite levels up, which is standard practice anyway. There is a lot of data on the web; some information can be found here.

http://www.apps.fst.vt.edu/extension/enology/EN/133.html
 

Donz

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Nice read here thanks… I'm not too concerened as I didn't add much and I'll keep everything topped up and taste frequently.
 

Stressbaby

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You'll be fine I think. From my reading, it is mainly a problem involving browning of white wine.
 

Donz

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Yeah I just hope it doesn't affect the taste
 

JohnT

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Ascorbic acid can definitely affect the taste of your wine.

Although it is a good antioxidant, it is also a rather harsh acid on the pallet. You need to be rather careful and always do a bench test (add a bit to a small sample, taste, and scale up from there.

The only time I ever use ascorbic acid is when I am dealing with latent sulfur issues. Ascorbic acid can convert mercaptan compounds into H2S which can be easily eliminated through the use of applied copper.

Other than that very specific use, I never add ascorbic acid to my wines. It is just too harsh.

There is a much better approach to controlling oxidation. If you maintain the right level of SO2 given your preferred PH level, and keep the carboys sealed with a minimum of headspace, you will definitely keep oxidation in check.

I am surprised that your shop owner made this recommendation, especially when we are dealing with a red wine which is already loaded with antioxidants.
 

Donz

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Well glad I didn't put much then. Yes my shop did recommend this and it is the largest and best wine shop here in Montreal - mosti Mondale 2000

https://www.mostimondiale2000.com/

I put 2 grams per 54liters as they recommended. Wine was tasting a little flat so maybe this could actually help in the long run. Either way, I will definitely not add anymore.
 
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Handy Andy

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I have found that my fruit wines do not appear to oxidize like my red wine does when it is left exposed to the air. The only reason for this appears to be oranges are higher in vitamin c, than grapes.

If you only fancy a single glass of wine rather than the entire bottle, would there be any mileage to adding a pinch of ascorbic acid to a bottle of red when it is opened?
 

JohnT

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I have found that my fruit wines do not appear to oxidize like my red wine does when it is left exposed to the air. The only reason for this appears to be oranges are higher in vitamin c, than grapes.

If you only fancy a single glass of wine rather than the entire bottle, would there be any mileage to adding a pinch of ascorbic acid to a bottle of red when it is opened?
I am guessing that you are not measuring the pH in your wines.

Wines with high pH/ low TA (or low acid) are vulnerable to oxidation. You need to do some measuring to know the required adjustment.

The problem with ascorbic acid is that it is hard on the pallet. I recommend adjusting with tartaric acid, which is naturally occurring in grapes.

Also, you can compensate for a high pH by adding kmeta (but only if the pH is at a reasonable level).
 

Rice_Guy

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Red grape has phenolic pigments which are an anti oxidant, you probably would not see a change.
Whites and country wine are more subject to oxidation, so it might help there. In using ascorbic in wine I have not seen a difference. Two questions have you tried a VacuVin to remove oxygen, ,, and do you like sharp in the back throat flavor note (a symptom of oxidized alcohol)
 

Handy Andy

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The Ph on my Orange wine is 3.6. It is not hard on the pallet. My red wines are fruity, and about the same Ph. We drank all the white wine :) before I bought a Ph meter.

I dont have anyway of measuring Tartric Acid, but have noted lots of acid crystals inside my barrels, between rackings, which I understand are Tartric Acid crystals. I have not seen these in my other fruit wines.

Yes we have a Vacuvin and use it on the our red wines. None of my wines are sharp.

Thanks for the responses.
 

Handy Andy

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I have been enjoying last years wines.

However!!

I am now down to my last 15 litres of red wine from last year. The last 5 litre jar I bottled, tastes more acidic than the previous jars. Is there a reason for this?? Should I be putting more k meta in the jars?? I read on the forum that people are adding k-meta every three months. The Ph on the last 5 litres I bottled has dropped to 3.0, is there anything I can do to fix or stop this??? Could this be a one jar problem or can I expect the rest of my wine to become more acidic???
 

Darrell Hawley

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I have been enjoying last years wines.

However!!

I am now down to my last 15 litres of red wine from last year. The last 5 litre jar I bottled, tastes more acidic than the previous jars. Is there a reason for this?? Should I be putting more k meta in the jars?? I read on the forum that people are adding k-meta every three months. The Ph on the last 5 litres I bottled has dropped to 3.0, is there anything I can do to fix or stop this??? Could this be a one jar problem or can I expect the rest of my wine to become more acidic???
Hope you get some help from those that have more knowledge from this forum. BUT, as a last resort, invite more people over next weekend to finish it off and start another batch. :D
 

Handy Andy

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My wifes 70th birthday is coming up, and she wants a big party. So I guess a lot of my remaining grape wine will disappear, along with a lot of other fruit wines and alcohol I have made :)

I was wanting to know if there is something I should be doing to control the acidity? I am suspecting I may need to add more metabisulpate or have done something else earlier on maybe. Also maybe it was just the one 5 litre demijohn that is a little acidic, ph 3.0 is not horrible but it could be better, and it is still drinkable.
 

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