Malo causing too high PH

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I inoculated my '17 pinot with malo on 7/12. The PH was already around 3.8 for the 14 barrels inoculated. Now they are all around 4.0 - 4.2. I read that acid additions should be done before fermentation, but there wasn't any description as to why. There is little to no free so2 right now because I was waiting until after malo to rack and didn't want to impede that. So now I am worried about the PH skyrocketing while having no free so2. In yall's opinion, should I wait until malo is done, add tartaric acid AND so2, then rack? What order should I be doing things here?
 

Johnd

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I inoculated my '17 pinot with malo on 7/12. The PH was already around 3.8 for the 14 barrels inoculated. Now they are all around 4.0 - 4.2. I read that acid additions should be done before fermentation, but there wasn't any description as to why. There is little to no free so2 right now because I was waiting until after malo to rack and didn't want to impede that. So now I am worried about the PH skyrocketing while having no free so2. In yall's opinion, should I wait until malo is done, add tartaric acid AND so2, then rack? What order should I be doing things here?

You're on the right track, let malo finish, adjust pH and add your sulfite based upon the pH you achieve. pH adjustments made prior to fermentation give the acid the opportunity to integrate into the wine during the fermentation process, though I too have done it both ways, it is said to be preferred that large adjustments be made prior to AF / MLF. Make sure your pH meter is properly calibrated, and make your adjustments slowly so that you don't overshoot your target, pH sometimes jumps very quickly, and it's easier to add more than it is to remove.
 

Ajmassa

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Last fall I had a similar issue. With that high a PH and no so2- just keep an eye on the wine too. And make sure it’s topped up as much as it can be. Not much protection otherwise. I ended up with a oily surface needed to be addressed.
Hopefully the MLF finishes quickly and you can adjust, add sulphides, and rack soon. Good luck
 

NorCal

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Tread lightly with your post fermentation adjustments. I would also add acid to taste, not to pH; if you adjust to 3.6, I would suspect the wine will be undrinkable That is what would happen with the wine I make from my neck of the woods. Even a .5 g/l can throw the wine into "what have I done" zone.
 

zadvocate

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My understanding is that Adding acid post fermentation is a problem because it’s not soluble in alcohol whereas when you add pre fermentation it is soluble in water. Really good discussion on the podcast The Inside Winemaking Podcast with Jim Duane. I listen to it over and over three understand the dynamics of adding acid and pH
 

Ajmassa

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My understanding is that Adding acid post fermentation is a problem because it’s not soluble in alcohol whereas when you add pre fermentation it is soluble in water. Really good discussion on the podcast The Inside Winemaking Podcast with Jim Duane. I listen to it over and over three understand the dynamics of adding acid and pH

Been listening to that one for a while. By far my favorite wine related podcast. And that chemistry episode is incredibly helpful. But also the interview with various winemakers you catch all kinds of useful info.
 

Busabill

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Tread lightly with your post fermentation adjustments. I would also add acid to taste, not to pH; if you adjust to 3.6, I would suspect the wine will be undrinkable That is what would happen with the wine I make from my neck of the woods. Even a .5 g/l can throw the wine into "what have I done" zone.

I want to echo what NorCal said here. Pay less attention to the "wine math" and add your acid to taste! 2 years ago I had the same issue. After adjusting the acid to a PH I basically made the wine undrinkable, even though I only added 25% of the TA according to the math! And that was 45 gal. I did it to and had to toss it. So again, go by taste! Good luck, and Cheers!
 
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