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skyfire322

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I'm three weeks away from bottling, so I decided to check the SG and do a quick taste (Riesling/Traminer blend).

The SG is right where I want it (0.998), but the acidity (3.4 on the pH scale). Would K Carbonate be the way to go?
 

Johnd

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I'm three weeks away from bottling, so I decided to check the SG and do a quick taste (Riesling/Traminer blend).

The SG is right where I want it (0.998), but the acidity (3.4 on the pH scale). Would K Carbonate be the way to go?
How does it taste? K carb will raise the pH if that’s what you want, but do bench trials to see if that makes it better or worse. Don’t know much about that particular wine, but 3.4 isn’t off the scale for whites.......
 

Julie

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Like Johnd said, how does it taste? Ph is right on for it, actually it is on the high side but still within range and since the PH is on the high side, the acid would be on the low side, I would let it go as it is.
 

ibglowin

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For that wine you really want something down around 3.2-3.3 so by no means would you want to add any Carbonate. In fact you may need to add more acid to lower your pH a tad.
 

skyfire322

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Thanks for all the replies! It tastes like lemon juice; my lips pucker a bit but not acidic to the point where it burns my throat. I *assume* it may mellow out after a few months in the bottle?

I really haven't delved deep into the numbers when it comes to acid so I wasn't sure if that was low or high because I usually go by taste.
 

Julie

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If your lips are pucking, this would be more of a tannin issue than an acid issue. And that will age out. Did you take a glass and add a little sugar to it to see how that was?
 

skyfire322

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If your lips are pucking, this would be more of a tannin issue than an acid issue. And that will age out. Did you take a glass and add a little sugar to it to see how that was?
The last time I tried it, it wasn't that acidic so I didn't plan on adding additional sugar but I'll give that a shot next week!

What are you using to test pH?
I'm using pH strips that I the guy from the LHBS gave me. Would an electronic one be more reliable?
 

ibglowin

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Definitely. Strips are close but can be way off depending on their age and your color perception.

The last time I tried it, it wasn't that acidic so I didn't plan on adding additional sugar but I'll give that a shot next week!


I'm using pH strips that I the guy from the LHBS gave me. Would an electronic one be more reliable?
 

grapeman

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It is probably beyond your testing materials at present, but a TA test would help out here. You can get cheap kits for testing it (relatively speaking) and find the amount of acid in the wine, not just how acidic it is.
 

Julie

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Acid and tannins are two different things. You talked about the wine being acidic but said your "lips puckered" when tasting. Acid leaves a bite on your tongue, tannins causes your mouth to pucker.
 

Scooter68

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Even if your test strips are spot on at 3.4 you do not need to add anything to reduce the acidity.

BUT most importantly is to use a better pH or TA test method.

You don't mention if your wine is a red or white wine. Reds are pretty tough to test with even the best test strips - that's why a pH meter is the way to go - even if you are doing a TA test.

If you are going to be making wine you'd do well to invest in a pH meter. They are simple to use, relatively easy to calibrate and give accurate results. If you notice most pH recommendations are given to 1 decimal place. Most meters are accurate to .05+/- so even an inexpensive pH meter, if maintained, will give your good results.
 

skyfire322

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Acid and tannins are two different things. You talked about the wine being acidic but said your "lips puckered" when tasting. Acid leaves a bite on your tongue, tannins causes your mouth to pucker.
That's the weird thing. It initially had a bite on my tongue but dissipated once I swallowed.

It is probably beyond your testing materials at present, but a TA test would help out here. You can get cheap kits for testing it (relatively speaking) and find the amount of acid in the wine, not just how acidic it is.
I see there are TA kits for $12 on most sites so I can probably pick one up tomorrow, along with a digital pH meter. I've found some on Amazon but they advertise for pool water and soil. I assume that won't matter, correct?
 

Scooter68

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Key thing you need get with the pH meter is some calibration solution. Many meters come with one set and that should take care of the initial calibration but you really should invest in more packets of the solutions or a couple of bottles. To do the TA test you just need the pH meter and some Sodium Hydroxide (NaOH). You can read on how to do that with a pH meter and that will give you TA results more accurately than the basic kit. Having the pH meter and NaOH means you can do both pH and TA test easily. Getting a TA kit will get you started but with a pH meter you only need the NaOH.
 

skyfire322

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So I just tested it again with a calibrated electronic pH meter, and also checked the TA. The result from the pH meter came back with 2.88 and the TA was 7.5 (which according to the chart is in range for whites).

Is the pH number concerning at all, or just I go with it?
 

ibglowin

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Yes, thats pretty low for a white wine. You should be more around 3.2-3.4 range. Might be time for a bench trial with some Acidex or similar.
 

Donatelo

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Thanks for all the replies! It tastes like lemon juice; my lips pucker a bit but not acidic to the point where it burns my throat. I *assume* it may mellow out after a few months in the bottle?

I really haven't delved deep into the numbers when it comes to acid so I wasn't sure if that was low or high because I usually go by taste.
I have a Gewurztraminer that is 3.4 PH The Sg went to .994. It is the same way but it is expected to mellow out. The traminer wines may take a little longer to lose the tangy feel. I plan on adding 2 oz. of Apricot flavor per 3 gallons before bottling to give it a little character. You might consider letting it age in bulk a little longer. Sorry that I'm no authority on wines.
 

skyfire322

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Yes, thats pretty low for a white wine. You should be more around 3.2-3.4 range. Might be time for a bench trial with some Acidex or similar.
I haven't used that (or potassium bicarbonate) before, so before I add anything I'll double check after re-re calibrating it. Thanks!

Edit: Doesn't the addition potassium bicarb decrease the TA? By decreasing the pH, would the decrease in TA hurt since it's currently in the "acceptable" range?
 
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skyfire322

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Update: I re-calibrated the pH meter and triple checked to make sure I was getting the right reading. pH was at 3.19, which is a lot better. I also tasted it, and the acidic taste is much more tolerable!

Between then and now, I have been putting four ice packs in my carboy cooler. I don't *think* that played much role in it or not but hey... It's getting there!
 

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