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celladwella

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On Saturday 10/9 I crushed the following California lodi region grapes 4 cases of Cab Sauv, 5 merlot, 5 Sangiovese and 2 Alicante. Initial numbers were Sg 1.107 Ph 4.09. I was unable to take a TA reading. Wednesday 10/13 I got my delivery of Go ferm and Yeast, i winged it and added about 3/4 lb of Tartaric Acid hoping to lower the ph and up the TA which I lm sure was probably low. today my sg is at 1.0237 and ph is now 3.55 do you think it will turn out okay?
 

CDrew

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Your numbers seem off. The initial one is already over 25 brix and your second one must be wrong because even if the decimal point is misplaced it still doesn't make sense.

That was a brave acid correction but it looks like you hit a decent pH target. But what's the brix now? I'd aim for 24-25.
 

celladwella

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Your numbers seem off. The initial one is already over 25 brix and your second one must be wrong because even if the decimal point is misplaced it still doesn't make sense.

That was a brave acid correction but it looks like you hit a decent pH target. But what's the brix now? I'd aim for 24-25.
The second reading was taken post yeast addition. Brix is at 6 now. So the ph is in a good place?
 

CDrew

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That makes total sense. I did not realize that fermentation had happened!

The pH looks good, but I'll be very curious the TA in the end.
 

celladwella

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That makes total sense. I did not realize that fermentation had happened!

The pH looks good, but I'll be very curious the TA in the end.
Thanks I just watched a good video on you tube the home wine making channel. He explained that you can use a ph meter to check the total acid . I have some new Sodium Hydroxide .01 and some .1 that i tried to do the color change test but for some reason didn’t work so Im going to give it a try and see what I get.
 

CDrew

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Thanks I just watched a good video on you tube the home wine making channel. He explained that you can use a ph meter to check the total acid . I have some new Sodium Hydroxide .01 and some .1 that i tried to do the color change test but for some reason didn’t work so Im going to give it a try and see what I get.
Good. You'll need the 0.1 for this titration. I have found the Home Wine making channel has very clear instructions. But you are correct, you use the pH meter to determine the end point, not the color change with phenolphalein which is old school and hard to see sometimes.
 

celladwella

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Good. You'll need the 0.1 for this titration. I have found the Home Wine making channel has very clear instructions. But you are correct, you use the pH meter to determine the end point, not the color change with phenolphalein which is old school and hard to see sometimes.
I’m confused can’t you also use the .01 since it gets factored into the calculation?
 

balatonwine

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added about 3/4 lb of Tartaric Acid hoping to lower the ph and up the TA which I lm sure was probably low. today my sg is at 1.0237 and ph is now 3.55 do you think it will turn out okay?
When you add Tartaric acid, it is to adjust TA, not pH. The two are somewhat related, but not perfectly. As Jeff Cox wrote in "From Vines to Wines":

"TA has 10 times more effect than pH on the wine's taste, so it's TA that's adjusted, and pH is left to fend for itself."

Every wine is different. For example, I once ruined 60 liters of mulberry wine by simply adding too much Tartaric acid to adjust it. I suspect your wine might be okay, but to get it there it will/might probably require quite a bit of cold stabilization to get it drinkable.


Hope this helps.
 

celladwella

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When you add Tartaric acid, it is to adjust TA, not pH. The two are somewhat related, but not perfectly. As Jeff Cox wrote in "From Vines to Wines":

"TA has 10 times more effect than pH on the wine's taste, so it's TA that's adjusted, and pH is left to fend for itself."

Every wine is different. For example, I once ruined 60 liters of mulberry wine by simply adding too much Tartaric acid to adjust it. I suspect your wine might be okay, but to get it there it will/might probably require quite a bit of cold stabilization to get it drinkable.


Hope this helps.
I’m hoping it does turn out okay. The main reason I added it besides the ph being high was the sweetness I did a taste test. I realize now that it still can have high TA being so sweet. Also given the size if the batch I didn’t think it was such a large addition of Tartaric.
 

celladwella

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I’m hoping it does turn out okay. The main reason I added it besides the ph being high was the sweetness I did a taste test. I realize now that it still can have high TA being so sweet. Also given the size if the batch I didn’t think it was such a large addition of Tartaric.
I also plan to put it thru Malolactic and then barrel age it dont plan on drinking it for a couple more years. I still have all
Of the 2020 edition and some more 2018 that I’m consuming.
 

CDrew

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There are different schools of thought on this. The wineries I am most familiar with, adjust pH at crush and don't bother with TA measurements. It isn't as rigorous from a scientific standpoint but gets the job done. For the home wine maker you can make the rough adjustment, that 1g/L will adjust pH down by 0.1. So if your wine is pH 3.8 and you add 2gm Tartaric per liter you will get to approximately 3.6.

And that has been my approach. At crush, I make a rough pH adjustment, then near bottling I do a pH measurement and titration of TA. If the pH is way off, I'll make a second small adjustment before bottling, tempered by the now known TA. But in the end, for the preservative properties of wine, it's the pH that matters. Otherwise it's the taste and you'll need to do some taste experiments not try and just hit a numerical target.

With the numbers @celladwella was starting with, I would have probably calculated what I thought the amount of wine I would end up with at the end, and add 3g/L tartaric to get to approximately 3.8, then a later TA titration to make sure it isn't sky high and maybe do a small adjustment or maybe not. To make the adjustment from 4.09 to 3.55 would take close to 6gm/L which is outside of my comfort zone for an addition. It may be perfectly fine though, just outside of my limited experience. I'll be curious to hear how your vintage comes out.
 

balatonwine

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for the preservative properties of wine, it's the pH that matters.
Preservation of wine is a combination of TA, pH, alcohol content, residual sugar, O2 contact, varietal of grapes, wine making style, etc. etc. etc.

There are of course upper limits to all the above, but those need to be seen as a holistic group of each, not a singular factor of only one.

Which is why a white wine, an amber wine, a rosé wine or a red wine have different pH recommendation thresholds. And those thresholds can vary depending on the varietal and the expected "drink by" date for that varietal. Ergo, it is, like all with wine making, complex.

For example, a Hungarian Takaji wine can cellar for decades. The combination of acidity and residual sugar content makes this a long cellar wine. But another wine, a dry wine, made from the same grapes with an equally high acidity will not cellar as long. Ergo, no. Acidity (i.e. pH or TA) alone is not all that matters.
 
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AaronSC

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And that has been my approach. At crush, I make a rough pH adjustment, then near bottling I do a pH measurement and titration of TA. If the pH is way off, I'll make a second small adjustment before bottling, tempered by the now known TA.
Don't you find that adding tartaric that late in the process (at bottling) adds a weird sharpness to the taste or chemical smell to the wine? Is the idea that this might mellow or disappear during extended bottle aging? What is the disadvantage of adjusting the TA right before and right after fermentation? This has been my practice. I would worry that in waiting a year or so (depending on when you bottle) to adjust acidity, you leave the wine exposed with a potentially high pH during the aging process.
 

balatonwine

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At crush, I make a rough pH adjustment, then near bottling I do a pH measurement and titration of TA.
In short, even a little bit of properly measured chemistry can't hurt, and not doing it seems to result in a lot more work in the end.

From the above, it seems you are making more work for yourself, with extra adjustments needed, later, which would probably be not needed with a proper one time initial adjustment.

So this method, to me, seems a waste of time over simply doing the chemistry right to start with.


For me, if you need to adjust, so much easier to adjust at the start, and do it right, once. And only need to do it once.
 

CDrew

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For me, if you need to adjust, so much easier to adjust at the start, and do it right, once. And only need to do it once.
I could agree with you if it were that predictable. But given that the amount of final wine you get is not yet known, the final pH is not known, and even the final TA is not known, it isn't predictable at all. We are all striving to make a balanced wine where flavor and chemistry intersect. Doing most of the adjustment up front makes sense with a chance to tweak it at the end. Your method may be different but it sounds like you are missing a potential chance to improve your wine.


Don't you find that adding tartaric that late in the process (at bottling) adds a weird sharpness to the taste or chemical smell to the wine? Is the idea that this might mellow or disappear during extended bottle aging? What is the disadvantage of adjusting the TA right before and right after fermentation? This has been my practice. I would worry that in waiting a year or so (depending on when you bottle) to adjust acidity, you leave the wine exposed with a potentially high pH during the aging process.

I usually do my final acid adjust in the spring, and it stays in the bulk "tanks" (kegs!) until bottling in October. I've not noted any chemical taste. Make sure you use the grape derived tartaric though. The synthetic chemical stuff is not what you want.
 

celladwella

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All good points brought up here I will keep you posted as time goes on and I do some racking and Tasting post MLF.
 

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