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Tony_Tiz

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My wine is sitting on a very thin layer of lees and its been racked twice, degassed and clarified. Its been sitting for about a month after adding Chitosan and Kiesolsol.

I ordered pH test strips and just tested my wine. I plan on getting a pH meter to get a more accurate reading, but right now, my pH is high, in the 4.0 range. So I need to lower it. I plan on adding Tartaric Acid to lower it but do I also need to any KMeta to be safe or just wait until I get the Tartaric Acid, because I have to order it? Will lowering the pH improve the taste?

This is only my second time making wine and I don't want it to go to waste.
 

Johnd

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First regarding sulfite additions. Assuming you have a 6 gallon carboy and added 1/4 tsp at some point after completing fermentation, plan to add an additional 1/4 tsp per 6 gallons every three months until you bottle the wine.

Regarding pH, hold off doing anything to your pH until you get an accurate reading with a decent meter, then you can decide whether or not you want to make any adjustments. If it is a little high and could benefit from some lowering, doing some bench trials on small samples to determine what tastes best, then adjusting the whole batch is the preferred method.
 

Tony_Tiz

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First regarding sulfite additions. Assuming you have a 6 gallon carboy and added 1/4 tsp at some point after completing fermentation, plan to add an additional 1/4 tsp per 6 gallons every three months until you bottle the wine.

Regarding pH, hold off doing anything to your pH until you get an accurate reading with a decent meter, then you can decide whether or not you want to make any adjustments. If it is a little high and could benefit from some lowering, doing some bench trials on small samples to determine what tastes best, then adjusting the whole batch is the preferred method.
Thanks John. I did add the 1/4 tsp at each racking. I didnt think of doing it with samples, that makes more sense. So lowering the pH will improve the taste?
 

Stressbaby

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Use TA as your target, not pH.

High pH usually goes with low acid but not always. Taste correlates better with TA than pH. In a way that makes things easier because acid additions change the TA in a linear fashion, while that cannot be said for pH.
 

Tony_Tiz

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Use TA as your target, not pH.

High pH usually goes with low acid but not always. Taste correlates better with TA than pH. In a way that makes things easier because acid additions change the TA in a linear fashion, while that cannot be said for pH.
What can I use or how do I test the TA? How do I know of the TA is good?
 

Johnd

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Thanks John. I did add the 1/4 tsp at each racking. I didnt think of doing it with samples, that makes more sense. So lowering the pH will improve the taste?
Lowering the pH may or may not improve the taste, you’ll only find out by trials. Once you’ve determined where your wine tastes best, and have adjusted the whole batch.

pH measures the strength of the acid in your wine on a logarithmic scale, TA measures the quantity of acid in your wine in grams / liter or percentage. Whether you measure the TA or not, your taste buds will tell you where your wine tastes best during trials. I purposely didn’t bring TA into the equation, knowing you don’t have a pH meter, you probably aren’t prepared to test for TA, and didn’t want to confuse the issue for you.
 

Scooter68

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Along with purchasing a pH meter purchase a bottle of Sodium Hydroxide (0.1 N ). Then you can use the pH meter for testing both pH and TA. You can take one sample and do the pH test then, following steps found here: http://www.sachomewine.com/blog/winemakers-articles/winemaking-chemistry-notes/determining-titratable-acidity-sodium-hydroxide/

Just remember that the test sample must be discarded once you've added the Sodium Hydroxide.

I've done both test types but have pretty much just gone back to checking the pH only.
 

Tony_Tiz

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Lowering the pH may or may not improve the taste, you’ll only find out by trials. Once you’ve determined where your wine tastes best, and have adjusted the whole batch.

pH measures the strength of the acid in your wine on a logarithmic scale, TA measures the quantity of acid in your wine in grams / liter or percentage. Whether you measure the TA or not, your taste buds will tell you where your wine tastes best during trials. I purposely didn’t bring TA into the equation, knowing you don’t have a pH meter, you probably aren’t prepared to test for TA, and didn’t want to confuse the issue for you.
Thank you.
 

Tony_Tiz

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Along with purchasing a pH meter purchase a bottle of Sodium Hydroxide (0.1 N ). Then you can use the pH meter for testing both pH and TA. You can take one sample and do the pH test then, following steps found here: http://www.sachomewine.com/blog/winemakers-articles/winemaking-chemistry-notes/determining-titratable-acidity-sodium-hydroxide/

Just remember that the test sample must be discarded once you've added the Sodium Hydroxide.

I've done both test types but have pretty much just gone back to checking the pH only.
Thanks Scooter.
 

wineview

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First regarding sulfite additions. Assuming you have a 6 gallon carboy and added 1/4 tsp at some point after completing fermentation, plan to add an additional 1/4 tsp per 6 gallons every three months until you bottle the wine.

Regarding pH, hold off doing anything to your pH until you get an accurate reading with a decent meter, then you can decide whether or not you want to make any adjustments. If it is a little high and could benefit from some lowering, doing some bench trials on small samples to determine what tastes best, then adjusting the whole batch is the preferred method.
What is a good target PH? Is it the same for all wines.
 

Tony_Tiz

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What is a good target PH? Is it the same for all wines.
From what I've researched most red wines should be between 3.2-3.6. White wines being more acidic might be lower but, I'm not sure.
 

NorCal

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At this point, the wine kinda is what it is. I’d toss the meters and listen to your tongue. It is very easy to make the wine undrinkable by adding too much acid, post ferment. As suggested, do blind taste trials (blind if possible) and figure out how many grams per liter to add.

Note: I’ve bottled 4.0 wines, that taste fine to me. I just plan on drinking them within a year or two.
 

Tony_Tiz

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At this point, the wine kinda is what it is. I’d toss the meters and listen to your tongue. It is very easy to make the wine undrinkable by adding too much acid, post ferment. As suggested, do blind taste trials (blind if possible) and figure out how many grams per liter to add.

Note: I’ve bottled 4.0 wines, that taste fine to me. I just plan on drinking them within a year or two.
Thanks NorCal. Part of me also needs to run through this for future batches so I learn, this is only the second pass at making wine and the first turned to nail polish remover because I done in before learning to swim. But I hear ya. I did taste it and it tasted ok to me. Thanks again
 

mainshipfred

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Yes to the bench trials. Put wine in 3 or 4 glasses and another unadjusted. Put differing amounts of tartaric in each glass and taste each. If still not to your liking add more tartaric. Then take the one you like, measure the ph and then calculate the amount needed for your bulk volume but only add 1/2 to 3/4 the amount.
 

Tony_Tiz

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Yes to the bench trials. Put wine in 3 or 4 glasses and another unadjusted. Put differing amounts of tartaric in each glass and taste each. If still not to your liking add more tartaric. Then take the one you like, measure the ph and then calculate the amount needed for your bulk volume but only add 1/2 to 3/4 the amount.
Thanks Fred I will do that.
 
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