Low pH & Borderline TA should I MLF?

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mgarnto

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Hi all,

I have a juice bucket cab sauv that is just about finished with secondary fermentation. With my TA being borderline and my pH low what would yall do? Should I MLF or skip it?

SG- .995
pH- 3.16
TA- 6g/L

I shook the sample quite a bit, so there shouldn’t be any issues with CO2 throwing off my readings.
 

Rice_Guy

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Your TA is in the middle of target, not borderline. Combined with a thin flavor I would not remove more acid since that will tend to make the flavor impact weaker. You could build up the flavor impact by adding a tannin or a toasted oak product.
In looking at wines over time I have seen a trend where the pH will climb by 0.2 units over the starting must, combined with additional degassing you should see the acid numbers run on the low side. ,,,,,, If this is your October post with a cab juice at 3.6 you could see the pH up to 3.8 after two years.
I have a juice bucket cab sauv that is just about finished with secondary fermentation. With my TA being borderline and my pH low what would yall do? Should I MLF or skip it?
pH- 3.16 , , , , TA- 6g/L
Welcome to wine making talk
 
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mgarnto

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Your TA is in the middle of target, not borderline. Combined with a thin flavor I would not remove more acid since that will tend to make the flavor impact weaker. You could build up the flavor impact by adding a tannin or a toasted oak product.
In looking at wines over time I have seen a trend where the pH will climb by 0.2 units over the starting must, combined with additional degassing you should see the acid numbers run on the low side. ,,,,,, If this is your October post with a cab juice at 3.6 you could see the pH up to 3.8 after two years.

Welcome to wine making talk

So would your recommendation be to skip MLF and oak it?

I have lysozyme on hand that I could add to stop/delay MLF. I also have medium+ French oak that I could start out with.
 

Rice_Guy

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but to me it tastes very thin, bland, and a hint of fruit.
Yes I would skip a MLF. A good growing region will not require MLF, ,,, mainly cool climate crop is too high on acid.

For a bland wine/ food your choices are 1) add more acid 2) add a strong flavor as bitter/ tannic 3) add other flavor as toasted oak 4) add solids to build the body as the juice concentrate from a kit 5) do a novel food as adding a few percent of no sugar cranberry juice or .5 to 1% crab apple juice (tannin).
WARNING! I am a food industry guy who was paid to do the last choice and get it on the grocery shelf, 97% of the new products will fail , ,,,, example the wife thinks using 100% canned tomato is too acidic so today I added 1 tsp limestone paste to a pint of tomato purée in a rice dish and the acid is gone :ts / yucked up and this dish goes out to the cats. ,,, do a bench test to get an idea ,,,, and go slow.

Foods are very personal, it is always good to get an opinion from the target audience, your thin may be what an audience like my wife thinks is excellent.
 
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Mario Dinis

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Taste is verry important and unique of course. I started MLF on October 1st on Cab Sauv, Cab Frank , Petite Sirah, Merlot and Chardonnay. My chromatography test done on October 29th shows it at halfway. Today Icheckec the Ph and it varies from 2.82 to 3.16. No degassing yet and no oaking either, but the taste does not reflect those numbers at all. I just calibrated my Ph meter.
 

CDrew

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Yes I would skip a MLF. A good growing region will not require MLF, ,,, mainly cool climate crop is too high on acid.

What? I think this is mis-stated.

Virtually every red wine undergoes MLF. For stability reasons as well as flavor. It isn't just the amount of acid, it's how it tastes, and a sharp malic acid green apple taste would not be appropriate in a red wine.

Anyway, for virtually any red wine, I would strongly recommend MLF. If you feel it needs more acid, add tartaric acid.
 

AbruzziRed

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Taste is verry important and unique of course. I started MLF on October 1st on Cab Sauv, Cab Frank , Petite Sirah, Merlot and Chardonnay. My chromatography test done on October 29th shows it at halfway. Today Icheckec the Ph and it varies from 2.82 to 3.16. No degassing yet and no oaking either, but the taste does not reflect those numbers at all. I just calibrated my Ph meter.
Mario what did your wines end up at? I have a Cab Sauv and Chardonnay with PHs of 2.9 and 2.6 post AF. Pre AF they were 3.5 and 3.4…. Does make sense to me.
 

Mario Dinis

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Mario what did your wines end up at? I have a Cab Sauv and Chardonnay with PHs of 2.9 and 2.6 post AF. Pre AF they were 3.5 and 3.4…. Does make sense to me.
I didn't record the final Ph, but my MFL on all wines wasn't successful. It stalled halfway through and couldn't get it to go. I bottled them in April and I have to say that they're not bad at all. I didn't have to degas at all.
 

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