Banana - Too Much Acid?

Winemaking Talk - Winemaking Forum

Help Support Winemaking Talk - Winemaking Forum:

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.

Dave_W

Member
Joined
Jun 25, 2024
Messages
31
Reaction score
13
Location
Louisiana
Making a batch of banana wine.

1 gallon batch
6 pounds bananas and skins

Boiled the bananas and skins for 30 minutes then let it cool.

The starting pH was over 6. I added 2 tsp of acid blend and it came down to about 5 pH, and a TA of 0.5. I let it sit overnight and rechecked and the pH was the same. Ended up adding another 3 tsp of acid blend to get the pH down to a 4.

Using LD Carlson acid blend. 5 tsp total added to 2 gallon batch.

I pitched the yeast, and it is fermenting.

Am I chasing the pH too much on bananas? Should I be ok with a higher pH?
 
I think you would be better off getting the pH down just a few more tenths. If the pH is 4 or more, you run the risk of spoilage as the fermentation tapers off.

That’s what I have been reading, it’s just that the original recipe only called for 1/2 tsp of acid blend so it seemed odd to add so much.

I’m also using pH paper in a range of 2.8 - 4.0 and not a meter. I’m working on getting a meter. I’ve got some 0-14 paper as well.
 
That’s what I have been reading, it’s just that the original recipe only called for 1/2 tsp of acid blend so it seemed odd to add so much.
Recipes are often what worked, not what's best.

I am not as concerned with pH as others, but agree that having the pH below 4.0 is a good idea, for the reasons Bob mentioned.
 
A meter is a good idea in the long term.

However, I caution chasing numbers. The must and the wine produced from it are complex solutions. All constituents are in some sort of balance (or imbalance) with each other, so the readings of any individual attribute will vary from wine-to-wine, and be fine.

Among other things, pH and TA can vary dramatically from wine to wine, and each can be valid for the individual wine. Making it more complicated, while pH and TA are typically inverse (high pH means low TA), that is not a given. Your judgment is key in making good wine.

Regarding pH, pre-fermentation I will adjust pH if it's below 2.9 or above 3.9, as that range is one that is good for the yeast and not good for other microorganisms.

Post-fermentation? I may check pH out of curiosity, but all acid adjustments are by taste. The pH meter will not drink the wine, so it's opinion is of no value to me.
 
A meter is a good idea in the long term.

However, I caution chasing numbers. The must and the wine produced from it are complex solutions. All constituents are in some sort of balance (or imbalance) with each other, so the readings of any individual attribute will vary from wine-to-wine, and be fine.

Among other things, pH and TA can vary dramatically from wine to wine, and each can be valid for the individual wine. Making it more complicated, while pH and TA are typically inverse (high pH means low TA), that is not a given. Your judgment is key in making good wine.

Regarding pH, pre-fermentation I will adjust pH if it's below 2.9 or above 3.9, as that range is one that is good for the yeast and not good for other microorganisms.

Post-fermentation? I may check pH out of curiosity, but all acid adjustments are by taste. The pH meter will not drink the wine, so it's opinion is of no value to me.

Here is my take away….. adjust pH for fermentation to be between 2.9-3.9 for the yeast, and to prevent unwanted organisms.

Post fermentation the TA is adjusted for taste, not necessarily a number. The TA number may be used to get in the ballpark but ultimately it’s the taste that matters. pH is not important after fermentation.
 
Here is my take away….. adjust pH for fermentation to be between 2.9-3.9 for the yeast, and to prevent unwanted organisms.

Post fermentation the TA is adjusted for taste, not necessarily a number. The TA number may be used to get in the ballpark but ultimately it’s the taste that matters. pH is not important after fermentation.
That's a good summary of my POV.

Regarding the final pH and TA -- most wines end within an expected range for each. But some don't, so chasing a specific number (pH, TA, or both) fails as the resulting wine is out of balance, e.g., it doesn't taste good.

Keep in mind that pH is not acid level, it's ionization level, and it can vary a lot. And the TA is balanced by other constituents, especially sugar -- sugar doesn't change the TA, but it changes the taste perception in the mouth.

Regardless of how much science we apply to winemaking, it's an art that requires judgment. And judgment comes with experience, although listening to various experiences on this forum can help avoid mistakes. This doesn't mean we should not apply science; just that science is not the complete answer.

The most important question in winemaking is "why?". Why I or anyone else does what we do will help you make your own decisions. You don't have to do what I say -- just think about why and make your best decisions.
 

Latest posts

Back
Top