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Chardonnay Acid

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jkrug

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I recently bought some Chardonnay juice. I am wondering what type of acid to add to the wine, bland, citric or what? Any suggestions appreciated.
 

salcoco

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tartaric acid. have you made measurements to insure you need acid?
 

JohnT

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Absolutely! Tartaric acid!
 

Mismost

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since Chardonnay often has a hint of citrus, why not use citrus? Just curious as to the why.
 

Johnd

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since Chardonnay often has a hint of citrus, why not use citrus? Just curious as to the why.
From UC Davis:

"Citric acid is often added to wines to increase acidity, complement a specific flavor or prevent ferric hazes. It can be added to finished wines to increase acidity and give a “fresh” flavor. The disadvantage of adding citric acid is its microbial instability. Since bacteria use citric acid in their metabolism, it may increase the growth of unwanted microbes. Often to increase acidity of wine, winemakers will add tartaric acid instead."
 

Mismost

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From UC Davis:

"Citric acid is often added to wines to increase acidity, complement a specific flavor or prevent ferric hazes. It can be added to finished wines to increase acidity and give a “fresh” flavor. The disadvantage of adding citric acid is its microbial instability. Since bacteria use citric acid in their metabolism, it may increase the growth of unwanted microbes. Often to increase acidity of wine, winemakers will add tartaric acid instead."
Oh well, UC Davis...that settles it. I quit listening to anything coming out of California years ago!!:ft

Citric acid is often added to wines to increase acidity, complement a specific flavor or prevent ferric hazes...seems to fit better to me. But, I like lonesome roads!:h

Good sanitation would seem to minimize bacteria and "microbial instability"
 

Johnd

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Oh well, UC Davis...that settles it. I quit listening to anything coming out of California years ago!!:ft

Citric acid is often added to wines to increase acidity, complement a specific flavor or prevent ferric hazes...seems to fit better to me. But, I like lonesome roads!:h

Good sanitation would seem to minimize bacteria and "microbial instability"
I don't disagree about the California comment, but there are exceptions, I consider UC Davis Enology to be one of them. There are certainly uses for citric acid, and grapes contain it in very small quantities, with tartaric acid being the predominant acid.

Adding citric could throw things quickly out of whack, plus the additional risk microbially. If you desire citrus taste, add zest from a citrus fruit like an orange or grapefruit. Citric acid doesn't taste like oranges.

Everyone is entitled to buck the system as the see fit, to revolt against "The Man", if you will. You can even wear a shirt that says "He Hate Me" if you like. But in winemaking from grapes, we pretty much stick to tartaric acid............
 

Mismost

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JohnD...I know you're right. Which only means I'll have to pee on the electric fence....again...and find out for myself.

It was actually citrus zest that made me think citric acid in the first place. In fact I jarred up my first zest last night and bought a half a gallon of Everclear to make some more. I know that does brighten up a white wine.
 

ceeaton

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Just in case the last few posts confused you....Tartaric Acid!

Like @salcoco suggested, you need to measure your pH and TA and see if your wine is out of whack and also to get an idea how much acid you should be adding. And when you do add the acid, please only add 1/4 to 1/2 of what you think you need, you will thank me later, I promise you. Then let it mix for a few days, retest and go from there. Also use your taste buds to confirm that the wine is tasting better with your additions.
 

Johnd

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JohnD...I know you're right. Which only means I'll have to pee on the electric fence....again...and find out for myself.

It was actually citrus zest that made me think citric acid in the first place. In fact I jarred up my first zest last night and bought a half a gallon of Everclear to make some more. I know that does brighten up a white wine.
Don't laugh, I know your a wing shooter, but when I was a kid on a dove hunt at a farm, I actually peed on an electric fence. If you've done it once, you'll not repeat the activity!!

I'm certainly no expert, and I've also used zest to brighten up a wine, and it does, if you want to try using citric to adjust pH, go for it!
 

Mismost

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Don't laugh, I know your a wing shooter, but when I was a kid on a dove hunt at a farm, I actually peed on an electric fence. If you've done it once, you'll not repeat the activity!!

I'm certainly no expert, and I've also used zest to brighten up a wine, and it does, if you want to try using citric to adjust pH, go for it!
Peeing on an electric fence is how I learned to dance....learned real quick too!:h

interesting the timing of these threads....I have a five gallon batch of jam&jelly wine...it is just blah...no real flavor that I can pick out. It's not that it tastes bad, it has no real taste....which is an improvement! I was thinking add acid...because I have acid blend....so I wind up with a "bright blah".

just trying to avoid my first dumper. Gotta go to San Antonio, will go by the LHBS and see if there is anything that sounds/looks/smells like it might help.
 

NorCal

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JohnD...I know you're right. Which only means I'll have to pee on the electric fence....again...and find out for myself.
I was repairing a live horse fence last weekend and got a full jolt. I'd hate to have that go where the sun don't shine. If you taste citric acid, it tastes like sour lemon to me....go for the tartaric.
 
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JohnT

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Another point (in addition to above) is this..

Tartaric acid is the predominant acid in grape juice. It is far les harsh (taste) than Citric acid. Sure, citric acid will brighten up your wine, but IMHO in an unnatural way (taste).

You should at least do an acid trial to see if you prefer citric acid over tartaric. See if you truly like it better...
 

jkrug

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Do you recommend adding the acid before or after fermentation?
 

Boatboy24

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Do you recommend adding the acid before or after fermentation?
Pre-fermentation is preferred, but you can certainly tweak after. Tricky part is that the chemistry can change during fermentation and even more during MLF, should you go that route. Ideally, any post-fermentation adjustments are very small.
 

JohnT

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Do you recommend adding the acid before or after fermentation?

I recommend that you add acid both before and after fermentation.

In the case of red wines, acid becomes important for color extraction and healthy yeast. With this in mind, I test the acid and adjust (if needed) to be close to where I want it. For example, I prefer to ferment with the TA at a minimum of .55gpl for all wines. If lower than that, I will adjust upwards before pitching my yeast.

Note: I always perform another acid test after adjustment to be sure of the current acid level. Prior to fermentation, I do not have an exact measure of juice (since I macerate on the skins for reds) and also am not sure of how "pure" my juice sample is (for both red and whites). This is why I target .55 and normally end up slightly higher after adjustment.

I then will adjust the acid after fermentation via an acid trial (taste and judge the acid level I like best) and raise the SO2 accordingly.
 

jkrug

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How do i check for acid? I have a ph meter, but nothing to check for acid.
 
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