PH, TA and standards for different fruits.

Discussion in 'Country Fruit Winemaking' started by Rivenin, Aug 7, 2013.

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  1. Rivenin

    Rivenin Major brewer - Minor wino

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    Hello! and thanks for reading.

    i've been searching but cannot find an answer that really answers my questions. So i'm posting :i .

    So in my searching for basic TA numbers and PH numbers for fruit wine making have been coming up with close, but not standard answers.

    For example, i've been seeing a rule of thumb of the following.
    TA = .60%
    PH = 3.5/3.6 for fruit wines

    With that being said, i've seen some people say for certain fruits, the TA should be higher. For example, i've seen people say for elderberry, it should be around .80% TA.

    Also with the PH, i've seen people recommend 3.3ph or there abouts for a blackberry wine that is going to age... so this is all leading me to think there are different base PH levels and TA levels for different wines/fruits.

    Is there a guide of sorts to let me know a basic rule of thumb for different fruit varieties?

    Thanks!
     
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  2. Julie

    Julie Super Moderator Super Moderator

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    Sweet white .70% - .85%
    Dry white .65% - .75%
    Sweet Red .65% - .80%
    Dry Red .690% .70%
    Fruit wines .55% - .75%
     
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  3. WVMountaineerJack

    WVMountaineerJack Senior Member

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    The ART part of winemaking is balancing these things and balancing them to match the fruit and the direction you built the wine to go or where it wants to go. A high .8 acid in elderberry would be out of place for a dry one but could stand up to a very sweet batch. On the other hand if you lower the pH of blackberries to much you decrease the color intensity as well as affect the taste dulling it down so it doesnt match the fruit. A general guideline you see wouldnt really apply to both a bannana wine and an orange wine at the same time. WVMJ
     
  4. Rivenin

    Rivenin Major brewer - Minor wino

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    That's the kind of answers i've been seeing... while they make complete and absolute sense, it leaves me a bit confused on what to do as a new wine maker.

    Reason being is i know what i'd want; for example, a semi-sweet blackberry wine. However, i'm not completely sure where i need the TA and PH to handle the backsweetening later on.

    i guess what i'm saying is... being a new wine maker, i'm not sure exactly how to find the balance if i don't know how to accomplish it/what i'm shooting for in the first place, if that makes sense? or where would i read to learn how to place everything in balance?


    see, like in beer, if i wanted it sweeter, i'd raise the mash temp a few degrees... if i wanted it more acidic or more tart, i'd add a lactic fermentation or acidulated malt. but i'm not sure exactly how to tie that into wine making :)
     
  5. Julie

    Julie Super Moderator Super Moderator

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    Sorry, I forgot to post the PH levels and these are just guidelines. As you make more wines you will start to tweak your ph and acid levels but this will get you started.

    Wvmountaineerjack, a semi sweet elderberry can hold an acid of .80% very well. That is where I have my acid and I back sweeten to 1.008.

    PH

    Reds 3.4 -3.65
    Whites 3.1 - 3.45
    Fruits 3.5 -3.6
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2013
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  6. Rivenin

    Rivenin Major brewer - Minor wino

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    That's what i was hoping for on top of the other awesome info!
    I just needed some sort of a "Baseline"-esc number for TA and PH... then tweak as needed for a specific fruit (searching here has info for all sorts of fruits, but not in one area). And of course read some of the recipes on here for the fruits i want :).

    And - i'm going to post over in the beginner section for another question as it doesn't really relate to just fruit wines. So it'll have a similar title, but not cross posting, promise!

    Thanks again!
     
  7. WVMountaineerJack

    WVMountaineerJack Senior Member

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    Julie, you need to get a new acid testing kit (JUST KIDDING!).

    Rivenin, if you asked a specific question you might get a better bracket of answers then your very wide all fruit question. The fruit you start out with guides you to your numbers, if you try to force the numbers on the fruit you will end up fighting the batch the whole way. All these numbers are guidelines, not absolutes, like recipes, they cant take into count the quality or ripeness of water content of the fruit you have in hand.

    WVMJ
     
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  8. GreenEnvy22

    GreenEnvy22 Senior Member

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    Digging up an old thread here.
    I'm making a strawberry/rhubarb wine, 5 gallons.

    pH is currently 3.12, but TA is only 0.35.
    It's only been mixed a few hours, no yeast yet. Rhubarb is fresh (7lbs), strawberries frozen (12 lbs). SG is 1.067 right now.

    I expect SG will be bit higher in the morning as the pectic enzyme releases some sugars from the fruit, but not sure the pH will change much.
    Any thoughts on what you'd do here? TA seems low. I could add some acid blend but me pH will also drop then and it's already low for fruit.
     
  9. salcoco

    salcoco Veteran Wine Maker Supporting Member

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    all of the numbers and guidelines are just that guidelines to start you must . once fermentation is complete and wine is clear the best test instrument is you tongue ie taste. aft that time acid addition or sugar addition can be made to satisfy your taste.
     
  10. Stressbaby

    Stressbaby Just a Member Supporting Member

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    I agree with @salcoco.
    Simplified, TA ≈ taste, pH ≈ microbiology.
    If you add acid now, you may lower the pH too much and the yeast could struggle. Leave it there for the fermentation. Then after your microbiology (fermentation) part is done, adjust with acid to taste. If the pH drops at that point it won't matter and in fact could be beneficial in that your SO2 requirements are lower and the wine is better protected.
     
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