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Super high acidity (cherry wine)

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domaso

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I have 4 gallons of homegrown cherry wine. It's bulk aging more than a year now and is super acidic (it was acidic from the very start, and hasn't improved with aging). I measured the acidity using titration kit – it's 19g/L or 1.9% acidity :D (while red wines should be around 0.7% max). I've used 19ml of reagent until it changed color, so I'm pretty sure the numbers are correct.

The wine smells and tastes fine, only very acidic. What should I do?
I added 55g of potassium bicarbonate, this should drop the acidity by ~0.4% (it's not advisable to add more, so I didn't). Anyway - this would still leave me with 1.5% acidity wine.

Would any (or all) of the following be beneficial, or should I just dump it:

1. Backsweeten the wine to compensate a little.
2. Add some oak chips to add more complexity.
3. I still have 6 bottles of good cherry wine from 2015 summer harvest – I could blend it in.
4. All of the above.

Thanks for your opinions and tips.
 

Arne

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Try a taste test. Draw a glass and add a bit of sugar, taste, add a little more and taste. Keep it up til it gets too sweet or gets like you think you want it. Now, figure out where it is by specific gravity and try it at that gravity again tomorrow. If you like it, you are gold. Oak might help it a bit, I would not add the bottles of good wine, I would keep them and drink them on their own. If the juice is strong enough while taste testing you might try diluting with a bit of water. Don't try it with the batch til you try it on a small amount. It is easy to add stuff, but pretty darn hard to take it back out. Good luck with it, Arne.
 

salcoco

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if the above has positive results be more exact with our bench trials. make a sugar syrup two cups sugar to one cup hot water, mix in a blender let cool. take a number of wine samples , 1/4 cup which is 60ml, add 1/4 tsp(1.25ml) of sugar syrup in first, two in second, three in third etc. taste test. find the best blend of sugar and wine make a small batch, about 500ml let it sit for a week and revisit if still good, calculate the amount for the main batch.

Before adding sugar try cold stabilizing the wine. put in a environment where the ambient temp is about 40deg. wait a few weeks rack while cold and then measure and taste the wine. the cold will drop out the acid.

might want to try both methods.
 

Smok1

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Id have to agree with the cold stabilising if you havent done it already yet, im pretty sure you need to cold stabilize for the potassium bicarb to drop out the acid properly.
 

Ajmassa

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It's risky buisiness doing all this acid work without knowing ph.
Potassium bi-carb addition is good for 2-3 g/l. But for the amount you'd need to lower it should be calcium carbonate. Which doesn't need cold stabilization. And actually counter productive
Your target TA would still be on the high side I would assume. If your cherry wine is sweet with residual sugar in there, it would need a higher TA to balance.
I'm surprised your ph hasn't been mentioned yet. You definitely need to know that and monitor it during the acid removal. Calcium carbonate would remove the malic but even more tartaric. So you'd take about 1/3 of the batch and add the adjustment for the entire volume to the 1/3. Then add that back to the batch. Waiting several hours and checking ph and TA. And you would then have to re-adjust the high ph with tartaric but having removed malic. -- at least that's what they say.
Acid removal can get pretty technical.
I've always referenced this study:
http://wine.wsu.edu/2010/10/13/managing-high-acidity/
 

Smok1

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Just a question, but will pottasium bicarb or calcium carbonate even remove acid from cherry? Those products are designed to remive tartaric and malic acid from what ive read, would the acid in cherry be citric acid? Or does cherries have tartaric and malic as well?
 

pgentile

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Just a question, but will pottasium bicarb or calcium carbonate even remove acid from cherry? Those products are designed to remive tartaric and malic acid from what ive read, would the acid in cherry be citric acid? Or does cherries have tartaric and malic as well?
The cherry I made this year, only one ever, had a lot of malic acid.
 

domaso

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Thanks for the tips everyone!

I haven't done cold stabilizing, but the wine has been in secondary for 15 months already (in 65-70'F basement). It has been racked a few times and no more residue for months.

Unfortunately, I don't have any "spare" fridge for stabilization. However, I could place the wine outside – the forecast for the next week is 40-45'F – would that be low enough? And would a week be enough?

This is getting too technical/sciency for me... I'll see if cold stabilization helps, and if not, I'll try to backsweeten to taste, maybe dilute/blend a little, add some oak chips – if it's drinkable, it's drinkable, if not – I'll just dump it. I don't really want to add any more chemicals (calcium carbonate, etc.).
 

domaso

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Is your test kit using the .2 sodium hydroxide solution? Or the .1?
Can't really tell, I don't think it says anywhere... It's this kit, blue reagent liquid.
Depending on the fruit your wine is from (tartaric, malic, or citric), you add the wine to "C" or "J" mark, then add water to "0" mark, and then keep adding the reagent liquid until the color change. The amount of ml's used is the g/L's of acidity of your wine.

 

Ajmassa

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I thought there may have been an issue with the actual test reading perhaps. But I'm not familiar with that kit at all. And I haven't brushed up on my Lithuanian lately either.
 

domaso

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How the hell did you know I'm Lithuanian? :D (the kit is in Polish language, which I don't understand either, but it has instructions in other languages).

I double checked with the readings – all correct, done as per instructions. Also, I have tested my earlier wines before with this same kit (my black currant wine for example was 7 g/L's in acidity, which tastes good. With this year's cherry one it clearly feels too acidic.)
 
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