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Thoughts on acid addition

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havlikn

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What is everyone’s thoughts on acid addition. I have always thought acid should be added well after fermentation is done because cold stabilization and mlf can reduce ta. I know others try to plan ahead and increase acid at fermentation knowing the acid will drop. What do you practice? Is one method better than the other? Personal preference?
 

Scooter68

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Always heard that acid levels should be 'set' before fermentation begins to both promote healthy ferment and to aid in protecting the wine. If a ferment stalls out halfway through the Alcohol level may be too low to protect the wine and you cannot accurately adjust the pH/TA during or early on after fermentation has completed.
Before bottling or anytime after you are certain the CO2 is gone you can check the TA/PH and obtain accurate reading but again I don't like to go in with an "off" target pH Too much acid - inhibit fermentation, Too little acid - permit bacteria growth (Until ABV is high enough to protect.

Remember to adjust slowly and allow several hours between adding/reducing and check the levels. So start as soon as the basics of the must are present. (Tannin, Yeast Nutrient, even Pectic Enzyme all can be added after the acidity is set)
 

tradowsk

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Easiest way is to adjust pre-ferment to make sure the yeast are happy, and then adjust during bulk aging to personal taste.
 

havlikn

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That’s what I thought is if acid is in decent range to start, let it ferment and then back add any acid.
 

rustbucket

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That’s what I thought is if acid is in decent range to start, let it ferment and then back add any acid.
I agree with your plan. The mistake I make most often is adding too much acid too soon. It's easy to add later but much harder to remove if you over do it.
 

Scooter68

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The one key is get the pH below 3.6 - that helps protect it and keeps you from having a flabby wine.

Remember rushing to get the fermentation started leads to the Oops posts we see here. Take your time. If you put K-meta in as you started preparing the must you should have at least 48 hours before bad things can start to happen. Failure to add K-Meta leaves the must wide open to any bacterial action.
 

Rice_Guy

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Acid is part of the preservative system in wine which helps in keeping bad microbes out and helps with preventing oxidation (oxidized ethyl alcohol/ acetaldehyde/ sharp burn down the throat flavor). I lineup pH first.
roughly:
Campden tablet (meta) & water = sulfite solution = SO2, , , (the preservative we want). The disassociation constant is 1.81 so there isn’t a lot of SO2 produced, , but every tenth of a pH unit lower produces more.
 

NorCal

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Acid adds pre-ferment for a proper wine preservation strategy. Acid adds post ferment to taste, not a pH adjustment.

The reason I say that is from my experience the amount of tartaric needed post ferment to move the pH needle any significant amount can render the wine undrinkable. Almost comical as I’ll dump a pound of tartaric in my ferment preferment but I’m afraid to add even 10% of that post ferment and most times don’t mess with it.
 

Scooter68

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Acid adds pre-ferment for a proper wine preservation strategy. Acid adds post ferment to taste, not a pH adjustment.

The reason I say that is from my experience the amount of tartaric needed post ferment to move the pH needle any significant amount can render the wine undrinkable. Almost comical as I’ll dump a pound of tartaric in my ferment preferment but I’m afraid to add even 10% of that post ferment and most times don’t mess with it.
Good point - Sounds like a mistake made once upon a time that somebody learned from.... Just another reason to go slow with these processes and check more than just the numbers. I played the acid balancing game too fast once when getting a wine ready - Do Not want to do that again.
 

Rice_Guy

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Acid adds pre-ferment for a proper wine preservation strategy. Acid adds post ferment to taste, not a pH adjustment.

The reason I say that is from my experience the amount of tartaric needed post ferment to move the pH needle any significant amount can render the wine undrinkable. Almost comical as I’ll dump a pound of tartaric in my ferment preferment but I’m afraid to add even 10% of that post ferment and most times don’t mess with it.
Very wise!:br
 

Scooter68

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Yes - Very good analogy there. If you start out missing or having too much of the right 'materials' in the must, your wine will turn out different than a wine starting with the proper balance. That difference might be OK but more than likely it will create a faulty wine that is missing something or too heavy in something.
 

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