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Is it ever too late to add tartaric acid to wine?

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Vinoors

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I know obviously the sooner the better, but I'm curious if there is a point at which, even if you have low TA and High PH, adding TA is not advised because it won't integrate well into the wine? As I mentioned in a separate post, my Zin/Cab/Petite Syrah is currently at 3.88ph & 6g TA. I'm ok with it as is, but its been pretty cold here already in the northeast, and so If I can't prevent wine diamonds from forming, I'm afraid it will be way too flat.
 

cmason1957

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If you are happy with it as it is, why are you going to cold stabilize it?? Probably your wine will never see temps much lower than what you store it at.

I don't understand the cold stabilize it, drop tartaric, and then add tartaric back into it?? Maybe I just miss the point.
 

Vinoors

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If you are happy with it as it is, why are you going to cold stabilize it?? Probably your wine will never see temps much lower than what you store it at.

I don't understand the cold stabilize it, drop tartaric, and then add tartaric back into it?? Maybe I just miss the point.
Sorry, I may not have been completely clear. The issue is that the basement is cold and the wine may throw crystals unintentionally. This happened to me last year. I don't have a temp gauge down there, but it doesn't feel all that cold. However, I did read something that this can happen even at higher temperatures if those temperatures persist for an extended period of time. Something like 45 degrees over 3 weeks as opposed to 35 degrees for 1 week....I'm making those specific #s up, just using that as an example.
 

jgmillr1

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I know obviously the sooner the better, but I'm curious if there is a point at which, even if you have low TA and High PH, adding TA is not advised because it won't integrate well into the wine? As I mentioned in a separate post, my Zin/Cab/Petite Syrah is currently at 3.88ph & 6g TA. I'm ok with it as is, but its been pretty cold here already in the northeast, and so If I can't prevent wine diamonds from forming, I'm afraid it will be way too flat.
Your numbers don't look bad. I'd be sure to keep up the sulfites to guard against oxidation, but not worry about the TA/pH. I would worry that adding enough tartaric at this point to lower the pH will drive the TA too high and make your wine overly tart. The TA is low enough now that you may not have significant tartrate precipitation anyway.
 

salcoco

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wait util you are closer to bottling then do a taste test, if needed tartaric acid can still be added at that time.
 

Vinoors

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How long is an unopened bag of TA good for? Just picked it up on morewine.com- if I decide to forego an adjustment, can I use it on my must in October 2018? ....or did I waste $10.99?
 

salcoco

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shelf life is a year or better. If used put it in a sealed jar with plastic top.
 

balatonwine

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the wine may throw crystals unintentionally.
Tartaric acid crystal precipitates are normal. Not just during cold stabilize but during aging in the bottle. Many a fine well aged red wine I have uncorked had crystals on the cork and in the decanter. If your starting TA and pH was within the correct range there is no reason to later adjust. Let the wine "be what it is".
 

JohnT

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If your PH is at 3.88, and you are happy by the taste of it, then (if my math is correct) you should be maintaining SO2 at somewhere around 95ppm.

Can anyone confirm my number?
 

jgmillr1

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If your PH is at 3.88, and you are happy by the taste of it, then (if my math is correct) you should be maintaining SO2 at somewhere around 95ppm.

Can anyone confirm my number?
Looks about right to maintain the nomimal 0.5ppm free SO2 target level at that pH. The problem of course is that dose of sulfites can be detected by a normal Joe. I would tend to hedge lower on sulfites and shoot for 75ppm while being anal about keeping oxygen away from the wine. Depends on how long it will be bulk aged before bottling. There isn't a lot of margin at that pH between having a wine that smells of sulfites and one that is prone to oxidation/spoilage.
 

stickman

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I believe at that pH, 95ppm is correct for .85ppm molecular so2. I don't recall ever going that high with any of my wines even at high pH. A molecular so2 of .5ppm might be more reasonable for that pH, which would require about 60ppm free sulfite. When the total so2 gets high, maybe over 200ppm, it can affect taste, so when taking the free so2 to 95 you have to be aware of the bound so2, and be certain that together they don't exceed 200 ppm.
 
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JohnT

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Good points guys! I have never had to add that much SO2 either.
In all my years of winemaking, I do not believe that I ever ended up with a PH that high.

Here is an observation. The OP is saying that he has a 3.88 PH with a .60gpl TA. Although not impossible, My thinking is that it is highly unlikely.

Perhaps a retest is in order before he does anything else. Can't hurt to confirm the numbers.
 

NorCal

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I know obviously the sooner the better, but I'm curious if there is a point at which, even if you have low TA and High PH, adding TA is not advised because it won't integrate well into the wine? As I mentioned in a separate post, my Zin/Cab/Petite Syrah is currently at 3.88ph & 6g TA. I'm ok with it as is, but its been pretty cold here already in the northeast, and so If I can't prevent wine diamonds from forming, I'm afraid it will be way too flat.
Not sure if you have already completed your adjustments or not. I have found that I can be very aggressive adjusting preferment, but need to be very conservative post ferment. Be sure to do bench trials because it is easy to render the wine undrinkable with even a little bit of adjustment.
 
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