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PH/Tataric relationship

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baron4406

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I just did my last transfer of Some Chilean wine i started in may. This batch was a "Chilean Bordeaux" blend of Cab Sav, Cab Franc, and Merlot (33% each). 6 gallon juice bucket of each plus a flat of grapes each. Got 4 - 5 Gallon batches from this combo. Three of the batches I attempted my first MLF ever on- and the 4th was a "control", I checked the PH and Tataric levels and am scratching my head a bit. The Tataric on all 4 is about the same- 0.625%. However on the MLF batches the PH is 3.2-3.3. the "non" MLF is at 3.4 PH. I was under the impression an MLF will make your wine less acidic, my MLF batches are more acidic. What's even more bizarre is the taste- the non-MLF batch tastes good but a little rough. The MLF batches taste very smooth and tasty-no rough edges. You'd never know the non=MLF and MLF batches were fermented in the same primary. So you think i should try and raise the PH a bit even with the good Tataric levels? This wine will sit until next May, then because I need the carboys they will be bottled. Probably try to bottle age them for another year.
Just getting into making wine from Grapes. The first couple of year the wine was very spotty. This year I ramped up and am doing over 100 gallons.
 

salcoco

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MLF changes the malic acid in wine to lactic acid it does not affect the tartaric acid. the Ph measure the total acids in the wine. you are correct the Ph of the mlf wines should be higher. tartaric will remain the same in the wines both MLF and non-MLF .cannot explain the ph difference.
the smoth taste of the MLF wines is the lactic acid affect.
I would let the non-MLF wine age out and the rough edges will disappear.
 

zadvocate

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Have you checked your Malic Acid levels? I use the accuvin test strips they are easy to use and pretty accurate. That would at least give you a good idea where they are at in the process.i.e. has MLF finished. Also, are you sure of your numbers? Your right, the conversion of malic acid should lower your TA and raise your PH, so I don't know what happened. I would just recheck everything and make sure your measurements are accurate. Chemicals go bad and PH meters need calibrating or go bad too. I calibrate every time use mine.
 

Ajmassa

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Also, since it hasn't been said yet you still might be scratching your head some. But your tartaric numbers are not known. When you test TA it's not your 'T'artaric 'A'cid. It's your 'T'itratable 'A'cid. Or some refer to it as Total Acid. Maybe that will help
 

NorCal

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Think of TA as the amount of acid and pH as the strength of the acid. For me, the pH is all about the SO2 efficacy and the TA is all about taste. I gain .1-.2 pH when I go through mlf.

I'd give it some time, before adjusting.

Another note: If you are going to combine the wine that has gone through mlf with the wine that hasn't gone through mlf, I'd give it time together to make sure it doesn't kick off a spontaneous mlf in the bottle (unless you are going to put a lot of SO2 in at bottling)
 

stickman

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One thing to consider when racking wine from a large batch into smaller carboys, often the wine is stratified in layers from allowing it to settle, and when you rack you can get slightly different wine in each carboy. The other thing to consider, did one carboy possibly get more press wine, which may be different in acid composition?
 

baron4406

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Well the press wine was in one secondary, when I racked to my next step I evenly distributed between all the carboys, then did the MLF.
BTW I have a decent PH meter and I do calibrate it before every use. Also sorry about my screwing up the nomenclature, I meant "T/A" acid was a 0.6% on all batches. These are gonna sit until May so I'll recheck it then. i have Calcium Carbonate that I'd rather not use.
 
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