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Low Ph after MLF

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orto

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I just tested These 2 batches because I was going to put them in carboys for bulk aging, Here are my numbers.
batch 1 PH 3.8 TA 6 SO2 30
batch 2 PH 3.83 TA 5.7 SO2 42
I'm unsure where to begin making adjustments, any advice would be helpful.
Thanks, Dave
 

ceeaton

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I just tested These 2 batches because I was going to put them in carboys for bulk aging, Here are my numbers.
batch 1 PH 3.8 TA 6 SO2 30
batch 2 PH 3.83 TA 5.7 SO2 42
I'm unsure where to begin making adjustments, any advice would be helpful.
Thanks, Dave
I'd call that high pH, not low. If you leave as is you need to raise the SO2 levels a bit. Search on this site (I know there is a thread somewhere) or check this pdf out which took all of 10 seconds to find: https://www.accuvin.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/How-SO2-and-pH-are-Linked.pdf (go to the second page for a nifty low res graph).

You could add some tartaric acid to both of them, but only go 1/2 of what you think at most. In reality, I'd degass a sample and taste test it first before doing any adjustments whatsoever.

By the way, what type of wine is this, I'm assuming a red wine or Chardonnay since you did a MLF?
 

orto

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I'd call that high pH, not low.
Sorry that's what I meant, I always mix up PH because high PH is low acid, so I always reverse it. I was wondering how much acid to add so I could keep the SO2 below 40ppm if possible because I seem to taste it bellow 50 ppm. not in this but in something else I tried, I was told it had 50 ppm by the guy who made it, and it tasted like matches to me. They are both reds the first is a zin and the second is sangiovese. Thanks
 
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Johnd

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Sorry that's what I meant, I always mix up PH because high PH is low acid, so I always reverse it. I was wondering how much acid to add so I could keep the SO2 below 40ppm if possible because I seem to taste it bellow 50 ppm. not in this but in something else I tried, I was told it had 50 ppm by the guy who made it, and it tasted like matches to me. They are both reds the first is a zin and the second is sangiovese. Thanks
One gram of tartaric acid per liter of wine will lower the pH by .1 units. As Craig wisely advised, go slow, add half what you calculate is needed, mix well, wait and take your reading. I never make more than one addition per day, giving time for changes to take place. Make sure your samples are degassed, as CO2 in the wine will throw off your readings.
 

orto

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I added it a couple days ago, and tested it again tonight. I added a little bit less than half of what I calculated. They dropped all the way with less than half of the calculated acid. one is 3.63 the other is 3.64, but there is a problem. They don't taste good any more. They taste like the wine that sells for $4 or $5 dollars a bottle now. They tasted good before but now they are dreadful, I doubt I could drink a whole glass.
 

Stressbaby

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If it were me I'd put it away and come back and taste it again in a few months.
 

Johnd

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I added it a couple days ago, and tested it again tonight. I added a little bit less than half of what I calculated. They dropped all the way with less than half of the calculated acid. one is 3.63 the other is 3.64, but there is a problem. They don't taste good any more. They taste like the wine that sells for $4 or $5 dollars a bottle now. They tasted good before but now they are dreadful, I doubt I could drink a whole glass.
Glad you went slow, I have had the same thing happen numerous times, but followed sound advice from others. Regarding the taste, you probably have CO2 in there, plus, they're babes in the woods, stay the course, bulk aging, letting your wine develop its flavor profile and aroma over time.
 

orto

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Yeah, I guess it's just a matter of waiting now. Thanks
 

Johny99

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I could keep the SO2 below 40ppm if possible because I seem to taste it bellow 50 ppm. not in this but in something else I tried, I was told it had 50 ppm by the guy who made it, and it tasted like matches to me. They are both reds the first is a zin and the second is sangiovese. Thanks
Im all for keeping SO2 to a minimum, but an ability to taste at 50ppm is very odd based on the reading I've done. Possible, but pretty rare. I'd suggest making a test with water and 50 ppm, blind if you have help, and see if you can really detect it. The "guy" may have made a mistake on that one. I only say this because a Zin with enough alcohol could be pretty nicely balanced.
 

orto

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Im all for keeping SO2 to a minimum, but an ability to taste at 50ppm is very odd based on the reading I've done. Possible, but pretty rare. I'd suggest making a test with water and 50 ppm, blind if you have help, and see if you can really detect it. The "guy" may have made a mistake on that one. I only say this because a Zin with enough alcohol could be pretty nicely balanced.
It was cider ,so it may be because of that. but it really tasted like I put a book of matches in my mouth. Not sure why you quoted guy?
 

NorCal

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According to my UCD, professional winemaker friend, wine is microbial stable at 3.8 pH, with the proper SO2. I wouldn't touch it, or do bench trials first (although I realize you already added it). Wine has strange buffering capabilities, where it could take a lot more than you wouldd think to move the pH needle.

All my red wine turned out over 4.0 pH this year, that was Grenache, Syrah and Cab Franc (meter is calibrated and double checked with another meter). Even a 1/2 g/l of tartaric negatively affected the wine. I'm keeping the barrel topped and the SO2 levels around 70ppm. The CA state limit is 350ppm and I'll be below that, and I don't believe there will be any sensory impact, or at least I'm praying. It may not be a wine that keeps for 10 years, but it tends to be drunk within a few anyways.

So, I wouldn't worry about a 3.8 pH and if you did put in too much so2 by mistake (which I suspect), give it a good splash rack, it will blow off most the time.
 

Johnd

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It was cider ,so it may be because of that. but it really tasted like I put a book of matches in my mouth. Not sure why you quoted guy?
Just thinking out loud here, but that "book of matches" taste, I imagine is sulfur, which might not be attributable to the sulfite we add to protect our wine, but instead, to H2S issues encountered and not managed during fermentation, resulting in that taste in the wine.

If you regularly consume commercial wines, they almost certainly contain sulfites well over the 50 ppm level you indicate, do they give you that same taste?

At any rate, I like to keep the sulfite in my wines to a minimum as well, and shoot for pH's at 3.6 and lower for good protection without having to add a lot of it.
 

Johny99

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It was cider ,so it may be because of that. but it really tasted like I put a book of matches in my mouth. Not sure why you quoted guy?
Could have been, particularly if it was CO2 charged. The bubbles may have pulled sulpher out? Interesting, I don't SO2 my cider as I sugar charge at bottling to carbonate it. Anyway, I quoted "guy" since you didn't name him, that's all. I hope the acid melds and the taste improves.
 

orto

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I force carb my cider but don't use so2 specifically because of the one I tasted and didn't like. The only downside is after doing chromatography on it it looks like my cider is spontaneously doing an mlf.

Could have been, particularly if it was CO2 charged. The bubbles may have pulled sulpher out? Interesting, I don't SO2 my cider as I sugar charge at bottling to carbonate it. Anyway, I quoted "guy" since you didn't name him, that's all. I hope the acid melds and the taste improves.
 

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