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How to reduce citrus flavor?

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buttonsrtoys

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I've made a few batches of Argentia Ridge Chardonnay. It consistently comes out too citrusy for my taste. I've aged them on the lees, which seems to help, but it's still a bit too citrusy for me. The other flavors are nice, as is the mouthfeel. I just finished two batches and they're aging in carboys. Is there anything I can add post-clearing that will tone down the citrusy taste? Some citrus would be nice. I'd just like to tone it down some.
 

balatonwine

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Was the Chardonnay aged in a barrel? If not, then put it in a barrel for a few months. Chardonnay is one white that improves and mellows from barrel aging.

If it was aged in a barrel, then bottle it and ignore it for at least a year. The citrus may mellow with age.
 

JohnT

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Do you make any acid adjustments? if you are adding "acid-blend" or citric/ascorbic acid, I would recommend that you switch to tartaric acid (a naturally occurring acid in grapes).

What is the PH level of your wine? If high, you can opt to lower the acid level (and maintain a higher SO2 level) through cold stabilization or chemically if need be.

If the acid levels are reasonable, and you are not adding any harsh acids (like citric acid), then the best advise I can give is for you to look into doing malolactic fermentation. This would remove malic acid from your wine and replace it with lactic acid. This should soften your wine and make it more buttery which I love in a chardonnay.
 

buttonsrtoys

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Was the Chardonnay aged in a barrel? If not, then put it in a barrel for a few months. Chardonnay is one white that improves and mellows from barrel aging.

If it was aged in a barrel, then bottle it and ignore it for at least a year. The citrus may mellow with age.
I don't have a barrel. Would adding cubes to my carboy suffice? If so, would the darkness of the cubes affect the citrus?
 

buttonsrtoys

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Do you make any acid adjustments? if you are adding "acid-blend" or citric/ascorbic acid, I would recommend that you switch to tartaric acid (a naturally occurring acid in grapes).

What is the PH level of your wine? If high, you can opt to lower the acid level (and maintain a higher SO2 level) through cold stabilization or chemically if need be.

If the acid levels are reasonable, and you are not adding any harsh acids (like citric acid), then the best advise I can give is for you to look into doing malolactic fermentation. This would remove malic acid from your wine and replace it with lactic acid. This should soften your wine and make it more buttery which I love in a chardonnay.
John, thanks for the detailed response. Lots of new info for me to read up on. I haven't tested the PH level. Will do so tonight and report back.
 

Julie

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As JohnT said, it may be a high acid level. I would check your PH before doing anything to the wine.
 

cmason1957

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I am thinking, based on the Argentina Ridge Chardonnay, that this is a wine kit. If that is true, you do NOT want to attempt doing MLF on it, you will end up with an low acid, bland tasting wine. Cold stabilization or chemically lower the acid is probably the way to go. I might first try to mask it, by adding oak to the wine for a bit, that might help.
 

buttonsrtoys

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I am thinking, based on the Argentina Ridge Chardonnay, that this is a wine kit. If that is true, you do NOT want to attempt doing MLF on it, you will end up with an low acid, bland tasting wine. Cold stabilization or chemically lower the acid is probably the way to go. I might first try to mask it, by adding oak to the wine for a bit, that might help.
I just performed a pH tend and it's between 0.7% and 0.8%, so on the high side. I only have a residential fridge, so cold stabilization would be tricky (please correct me if I'm wrong about that). What are my chemical options?
 

Ajmassa

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I just performed a pH tend and it's between 0.7% and 0.8%, so on the high side. I only have a residential fridge, so cold stabilization would be tricky (please correct me if I'm wrong about that). What are my chemical options?
It’s winter! What’s your local temps in December normally?
* I assume you did a TA test not a ph reading with a meter. Educated ph guess (barely) from your TA level is low 3’s. Nice and stable to endure any work you might end up doing too.
Potassium bicarbonate is sold at my LhBS. Calcium bicarbonate, calc-carb, and K-carb are also used.
 
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Elizajean

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I've realized my original reply was neither helpful nor informative, my apologies. I hope you find a way to tweak this to get the results you want...that's half of the fun.
 
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buttonsrtoys

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It’s winter! What’s your local temps in December normally?
* I assume you did a TA test not a ph reading with a meter. Educated ph guess (barely) from your TA level is low 3’s. Nice and stable to endure any work you might end up doing too.
Potassium bicarbonate is sold at my LhBS. Calcium bicarbonate, calc-carb, and K-carb are also used.
These days it's anyone guess what the temps will be! :) I'm in Nova Scotia where it typically would be below freezing now, but is more in the 40s for the next week. Should be dropping below freezing before Christmas, though. So leave it out in the cold for a couple days?
 

Ajmassa

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These days it's anyone guess what the temps will be! :) I'm in Nova Scotia where it typically would be below freezing now, but is more in the 40s for the next week. Should be dropping below freezing before Christmas, though. So leave it out in the cold for a couple days?
I honestly don’t know how long. I just started a cold soak for the 1st time myself. Been a week in the garage so far. Wrapped em in towels. Carboys are hanging right around 45°. Got a large amount of sediment dropping out already.
Will probably check em this wknd. But I hear all diff kinds of timeframes. From a couple days to a couple months. I’m just kind of wingin it.
** below freezing is ok because of the alcohol content. Wine won’t freeze until it’s steadily 15°-20° for a good bit I read.
 
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ceeaton

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** below freezing is ok because of the alcohol content. Wine won’t freeze until it’s steadily 15°-20° for a good bit I read.
In my few years of experience, my wine usually doesn't turn into a "slushy" until it hits 12*F (after being outside in the garage, protected from wind, in slightly higher temps previous to the 12*F) for four hours, with the ABV at 12% or above. I assume it would "slushy" earlier if it was a lower ABV wine, and possibly last longer if it was a higher one (seek advice from one of our resident Scientists to confirm that one). Those are my results, so don't assume you can leave it out at that temperature without having some issues. These wines were also in "plastic" carboys (PET) and not glass. I'd not necessarily want to use glass with anything below freezing. I've had a few crack upon bringing them inside (this was with my ventures brewing beer).
 

buttonsrtoys

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I honestly don’t know how long. I just started a cold soak for the 1st time myself. Been a week in the garage so far. Wrapped em in towels. Carboys are hanging right around 45°. Got a large amount of sediment dropping out already.
Will probably check em this wknd. But I hear all diff kinds of timeframes. From a couple days to a couple months. I’m just kind of wingin it.
** below freezing is ok because of the alcohol content. Wine won’t freeze until it’s steadily 15°-20° for a good bit I read.
Thanks for the info! Super helpful. I read up a bit on cold stabilization and the source said to maintain 30F, but sounds like it doesn't have to be that precise.
 

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