Calcium or Potassium Carbonate

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David Engel

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May 20, 2019
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Western Washington
Hi All,

I want to be as ready as I can for the testing and correction of the must. I have artaric acid for upping the acidity and lowering the ph, but I do no have calcium or potassium carbonate to raise the ph (if needed). The hit results for the later on Amazon are staggering. What type of calcium or potassium carbonate do you use and where do you get it?

What are you making that you're worried about raising the pH? Don't buy something unless you're fairly certain you'll need it.

I have a bag of calcium carbonate that I have no idea how old it is. It might be 15 years old. Actually, it might be 20 years old. I can't recall the last time I used it.

In a few weeks I'm buying VA Vidal, and that has the potential to have a low pH. Unless it's below 3.0, I'm not going to adjust it until it's near bottling time. At that time I will evaluate by taste. I will check the pH, but will adjust by taste. The most likely action I'll take is backsweetening, as chemically raising the pH can negatively affect the taste. Been there, done that, burned the t-shirt.

Don't chase a number. Other than H2S, time is your friend.
Food for thought -- I have a few bottles of a NY Vignoles in my rack. Technically these are sweet wines, 5%+ RS. However, they taste off-dry. The acid levels of these bottles are very high, and the relatively high RS offsets that. The result is an off-dry taste.

For that reason, don't be concerned about backsweetening a wine to address strong acid. I'm a dry wine drinker and consider them delicious.

The numbers indicate a high acid, high sugar wine. The perception is off-dry. The numbers only tell part of the story. Trust your senses.
Calcium carbonate translates to ground up limestone. It is fairly slow reacting. In the scheme of things the old 1900 concrete tanks would neutralize wine, as well as putting a chunk of limestone in the must. Limestone powder is at my local oriental grocery store.
Potassium bicarbonate is a salt which is fast reacting, basically add it, mix and take a pH reading. I hate to suggest large changes in pH since it has potassium which can generate bitter flavor notes like light salt does.

My point of view is that cold crashing your juice a week or your finished wine in a Minnesota garage really works well. Yes I do have several ink birds and have taken over a refrigerator or chest freezer. ,,, but I am sometimes reminded that a refrigerator is for real food.

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