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How important are acid levels?

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We are fairly new to wine making and have never used an acid titration kit for our "country" or recipe wines. Some of the wines that we've tried - I really liked the body/flavor for the most part - but they had a little bit of a bitter taste. For example, we made a Cranberry Raspberry wine from Kroger brand 100% juice Cranberry-Raspberry juice and followed a recipe for concord grape juice table wine. We used 2 tsp acid blend for a gallon of juice - was that too much? Or is it the fermented cranberry taste that seems bitter? It had great body and the flavor was "almost" right. We tried it after about 7 months of aging. Did we just not wait long enough?

If we did get an acid test kit - I'm assuming it indicates the amount of acid blend and/or tannin needed for a balanced wine?

Thank you for any insight!
 

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Rocco
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Acid is important to wine, without it the wine will taste sort of flat. I am not aware of any formula for acid additions that will give you a balanced wine because there are other factors involved such as knowing the pH level. With that being said, acid should be between .65 and .90 g/l but you will need an acid titration kit to know how much acid is in the wine. Once you know the starting point you can adjust by adding acid. Titration kits do not work very well with red wine because it is very difficult to see the change point. Some people will dilute the wine sample to make it more pink and therefore easier to see the color change. For white wines, they work pretty good. I should mention that the range I referrenced above is for tartaric acid in white and red grape wine.

I would highly recommend you visit Jack Kellers wine making website. He has the most information compiled in one place for home winemakers for all types of wine. His site is http://winemaking.jackkeller.net/index.asp.

Another place you should visit is More Winemaking at http://morewinemaking.com/search/102637///MoreManuals! for some great free manuals.

Hope this helps.
 
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