How to deal with HIGH acid wild blackberries?

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BigDaveK

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I thought wild blackberries had a pH range of 3.0 - 4.5?

Here's my story...
Thawed over the weekend. Months ago I started testing all my ingredients as part of my protocol. The wild blackberries came in with a Brix of 9 and a pH of 1.2. 1.2!! I thought that was crazy. I diluted it a little and got 2.2. Diluted a little more and got 3.1 Well, I thought after adding water everything would be fine. Big mistake. My 1-gallon batch with about 6 lbs of berries turned into a 2+ gallon batch. The flavor is better than expected so it's not a total loss, just not what I planned. And I decided I wasn't about to water down the other batches. So...

I remembered I had a couple beets still in the ground and that the pH was over 6.0. Dug them up, cooked them, used the beet water for a 1-gallon batch. pH came in at 3.2. (BTW, the beets were delicious. Never again will I harvest them before December!)

No more beets. What was I going to use for the third 1-gallon batch? Potatoes! Also over 6.0. Sliced, cooked, potato water for batch #3 and mashed potatoes for dinner. pH came in at 3.3.

I know the acid is a bit high but I decided I could live with it for blackberry wine. When I was done just for sh*ts-n-giggles I looked up a couple recipes and they all add acid, as little as 1/2 tsp to as much as 2 tsp. Needless to say I did not add acid.

I know about potassium bicarbonate but I'd rather not add chemicals. Is there any other way to control acid other than mixing high-low acid ingredients?
 
I remember a few discussions on using things like 71B, cold-crashing, MLF, sweetening, etc... but I think these were scenarios where the pH was a bit higher than where you are as a starting point even going into fermentation.

I'm hesitant to use bicarbonate because of the taste (I feel) it imparts. I've tried it previously and just haven't liked how the wine turned out.

I think you're onto something with blending though. I found this pH values of common foods from Clemson University, I imagine it's an approximation or average, considering the variety of variables that could go into local differences.

Knowing all that you've fermented and are fermenting, perhaps this could be useful in other ways as well ~
 
I remember a few discussions on using things like 71B, cold-crashing, MLF, sweetening, etc... but I think these were scenarios where the pH was a bit higher than where you are as a starting point even going into fermentation.

I'm hesitant to use bicarbonate because of the taste (I feel) it imparts. I've tried it previously and just haven't liked how the wine turned out.

I think you're onto something with blending though. I found this pH values of common foods from Clemson University, I imagine it's an approximation or average, considering the variety of variables that could go into local differences.

Knowing all that you've fermented and are fermenting, perhaps this could be useful in other ways as well ~
I'm glad I was apprehensive about the potassium bicarbonate. Thanks for your view!

I taste at every stirring (which means a couple times a day) and two very nicely taste like blackberry. But I may have stumbled on a good combination with the beets. Blackberry flavor and then so much more, very complex. I'm hopeful and excited.
 
I taste at every stirring (which means a couple times a day)
This explains your constant good mood!

But I may have stumbled on a good combination with the beets. Blackberry flavor and then so much more, very complex.
On the surface it sounds like an odd combination, but it appears they complement each other, which is a great reason to blend.
 
This explains your constant good mood!


On the surface it sounds like an odd combination, but it appears they complement each other, which is a great reason to blend.
Just trying to learn - there may be micro changes in flavor from one mixing to the next.🤣

I agree it seems like an odd combination but this was my first year growing beets. These have a completely different flavor from the ones I harvested earlier for wine. VERY sweet and I'd almost eat the raw. Delicious! And now I have two things on my mind - first, I'm really curious and excited about where it will go. Second, I'm wondering if I screwed up my beet wine by harvesting too soon.
 
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