High Ph and low TA

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.


Junior Member
Nov 15, 2016
Reaction score
Noob here and I'm looking to see if pH and TA values change with time. I recently purchased a vinmetrica TC-300 and used it last night to get some reading on some wines I'm making.

Wine #1- Chilean Merlot -Ferm back in May 2016, Malo Ferm until late July. Racked and aging on oak chips ever since. 6 gallons.
Wine #1 results - pH 3.52, TA 6.4 g/L

Wine #2 - Calif Cabernet Sauvignon - Ferm Sept 2016, Malo Ferm in-process. 6 gallons
Wine #2 results - pH 4.3, TA 4.8 g/l

I did not have a way to test initially when beginning fermentation so I do not have those pH and TA values.
Both were a combination of fresh grapes and fresh juice when I started.

I believe the Chilean Merlot is coming along well based on the numbers I took from testing. It also tastes pretty good.

I am however concerned that the Cabernet has a high pH and a low TA. Malo ferm is still occurring based on the fact that bubbles are still rising up the neck of the carboy.

Will these numbers change as the wine matures?

If no, can I make any additions to get the pH and TA numbers in range for this type of wine?

Thanks in advance.
If you are sure of your numbers, and even if you aren't, test a few different tartaric additions. A pH that high can taste flabby and insipid. Also, it will be difficult to protect and stabilize for aging and bottling.
I'd start with 1g/L and see what happens. From there you'll just have to go by taste. Remember pH is logarithmic while TA is linear.
There is a good article on pH on brsquared.org site
Last edited:
I'd wait till mlf is done, then do as whackfol says. You don't want to shock the bugs at this point.
So what can I do?

As you already stated, the merlot is looking good from a numbers standpoint, it's always good when wines play nice.

The cab will take a little work, but it's very manageable. As whackfol and johnny99 both said, get through MLF first, then it'll be time to go to work. There are some huge stud cabs out there with high pH's, but 4.3 is too high for much comfort. A spoiled wine will never be good, so getting the pH into a range that affords you reasonable sulfite protection is important. Work slow and methodically, make small additions, allow time between them, and taste a bunch with other tasters if you can. pH 3.7 or lower makes me happy, your tolerance may be different.
Thanks for all your posts.
Went to local brew/wine store today and discussed with them. He stated that I may be slightly panicking and to give the wine some time. The grapes and juice I bought from them come form very reputable vineyards out west and they sell a boatload of wine juice and grapes and haven't had any complaints this season. So basically, me being a numbers guy/engineer, too much data may be too much to worry about at this point. The whole process is fascinating to me and my inexperience forces me to somehow gauge by data collection as to how things are going. kind of anal about it but I check on the carboys daily and probably need to back off a little. My understanding is as the wine gets closer to bottling, that is when adjustments can and should be made.
Thanks again.
I applaud you "anality." That's where the most learning happens.

As to pH/TA, the earlier you adjust the better. If I could predict the outcome, I'd make all mine before AF. My next choice would be before MLF. However, if i felt it would help, I would do it up until bottling. It's one of the most important factors in wine. Allowing Af, MLF, and aging to occur post acid addition allow the tartaric to meld with the wine and taste "more natural."
Last edited:

Latest posts