Strawberry Wine has Low pH

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DCTWinemaker

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I have one gallon of Strawberry wine that I started in June and it has been aging for the last three months. It has cleared well and I racked it off the fine lees the other day. pH is 3.01 with TA of .9, SO2 is about 20-25ppm. It has an acidic/alcoholic taste with some fruit flavors coming through.

My understanding is that fruit wines should have a pH of 3.5-3.6 and TA of .55-.65 and to increase pH and lower TA, I should add Potassium Bicarbonate.

Any recommendations on how to proceed are welcome.
 

jgmillr1

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You'll want to Target the TA depending on the wine style you have in mind for the wine. If you want a drier wine, shoot for 6 or up to 8.5 for a sweet wine. Sugar does help bring out fruit aromas. Watch the pH as you deacidify and make sure it doesn't go over 3.5.

Either potassium bicarb or calcium carbonate would be fine. If you use potassium, a large adjustment can make the wine have a salty character. Calcium carbonate is good for fruit wines and large adjustments in TA. It will react slowly with tartaric acid and drop crystals over the next year. Not a problem for fruit wines (malic & citric acid) unless you've added an acid blend which contains tartaric. On a technical note, calcium can react with citrates if you majorly adjust a citric acid wine to form calcium citrate.
 

Johnd

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In addition to what was recommended above, consider doing some bench trials with sugar additions. Many times, the addition of sugar will do as stated above, bring out the fruit flavors, and it will also overcome the acid present in the wine. If you find that the amount of sugar you decide on doesn't overcome the acidity, then you can think about removing some acid. Personally, my preference is to use the potassium bicarbonate, you shouldn't need to use enough to adversely affect the flavor of the wine. As always, huge word of caution when adding acid reducers, GO VERY SLOW!!. Don't add the full amount you think you need to move the pH from 3.01 to 3.5, take your time and add small successive doses, stirring well and measuring between additions. It's a good idea to do it over a couple of days as well, to give the wine time to adjust fully to the addition.

My K-bicarb package says that 1 gram per liter will increase the pH approximately .1 units, but pH is a logarithmic measure, not straight line, so go slow. Since you have one gallon (3.8 liters), start off with a 2 or 3 gram addition, stir it in really well, let it sit a while, stir again, and check your pH to see what effect it has. As the pH starts to rise, the same dosage will probably have a larger and larger effect, so take it easy! Work slowly towards your goal.
 

Scooter68

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GO VERY SLOW!!. Don't add the full amount you think you need to move the pH from 3.01 to 3.5, take your time and add small successive doses, stirring well and measuring between additions. It's a good idea to do it over a couple of days as well, to give the wine time to adjust fully to the addition.

My K-bicarb package says that 1 gram per liter will increase the pH approximately .1 units, but pH is a logarithmic measure, not straight line, so go slow. Since you have one gallon (3.8 liters), start off with a 2 or 3 gram addition, stir it in really well, let it sit a while, stir again, and check your pH to see what effect it has. As the pH starts to rise, the same dosage will probably have a larger and larger effect, so take it easy! Work slowly towards your goal.

I can attest to that recommendation. I've overshot the mark going in both directions but most certainly with the reduction of acidity ( I use calcium carbonate) I now use doses of about 1/4 to 1/3 what I think it will need and more often than not - it ends up being about right the first time.

Of course I don't mind a wine in the ten to 20 range. (3.10 - 3.29)
 

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