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Very High TA in Barbera Wine

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Hi,

This is my second year making wine from grapes, and my first year making with Barbera grapes. I know that Barbera is known for having much higher acid levels than most wines, but my TA is 11.0. (PH is at 3.5.) I tested it twice since I couldn't believe the TA was that high. (I used the same PH meter when doing the TA test.)

I fermented on the must for two weeks and pressed it 4 days ago.

I read this thread and sdelli also had very similar TA & PH. (http://www.winemakingtalk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=49933&highlight=high+ta)

Do you think this is okay? Should I let it ride and see how it is in a few months? Should I add cream of tartar?

Any advice would be appreciated.

Thanks!
 

ceeaton

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Hi,

This is my second year making wine from grapes, and my first year making with Barbera grapes. I know that Barbera is known for having much higher acid levels than most wines, but my TA is 11.0. (PH is at 3.5.) I tested it twice since I couldn't believe the TA was that high. (I used the same PH meter when doing the TA test.)

I fermented on the must for two weeks and pressed it 4 days ago.

I read this thread and sdelli also had very similar TA & PH. (http://www.winemakingtalk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=49933&highlight=high+ta)

Do you think this is okay? Should I let it ride and see how it is in a few months? Should I add cream of tartar?

Any advice would be appreciated.

Thanks!
How old is your Sodium Hydroxide solution? I had some start losing it's effectiveness between Spring and Fall this year, and it was stored in the fridge to boot! As it loses it's effectiveness it will take more solution to raise the pH to the endpoint of 8.2 (hence your TA will appear to be higher).

Also make sure you are using the right formula depending on if you have 0.1N or 0.2N solution. And make sure you degas your sample since you just pressed.

I'm imagining with your pH levels that you are about 1/2 of what measurement you came up with.
 
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How old is your Sodium Hydroxide solution? I had some start losing it's effectiveness between Spring and Fall this year, and it was stored in the fridge to boot! As it loses it's effectiveness it will take more solution to raise the pH to the endpoint of 8.2 (hence your TA will appear to be higher).

Also make sure you are using the right formula depending on if you have 0.1N or 0.2N solution. And make sure you degas your sample since you just pressed.

I'm imagining with your pH levels that you are about 1/2 of what measurement you came up with.
Thanks for your response. I just bought new TA test so I don't think that is it unless this one was sitting on the store's shelf for too long.

I haven't degassed the wine so I'll give that shot this weekend and see if it the TA decreases.

Thanks again!
 

Luse_Cellar

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How does it taste? If it was really a TA of 11.0 I'm sure it'd be very very tart. The pH is a great level in terms of microbial stability. The TA is really mostly going to affect the taste of the wine, so I would adjust the TA based on taste.
 
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How does it taste? If it was really a TA of 11.0 I'm sure it'd be very very tart. The pH is a great level in terms of microbial stability. The TA is really mostly going to affect the taste of the wine, so I would adjust the TA based on taste.
It's slightly tart, but not too tart. Based on that, I'm guessing that my TA test was off. It definitely tastes like a Barbera, but a bit too hot. However, I'm guessing that is because it was on the high end, at 25 brix before fermentation.

For some reason, I thought such a TA level would effect its stability. I'm glad to learn that it just effects taste.

Thanks for the reply & the information!
 

Luse_Cellar

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It's slightly tart, but not too tart. Based on that, I'm guessing that my TA test was off. It definitely tastes like a Barbera, but a bit too hot. However, I'm guessing that is because it was on the high end, at 25 brix before fermentation.

For some reason, I thought such a TA level would effect its stability. I'm glad to learn that it just effects taste.

Thanks for the reply & the information!
I would think that a TA of 11.0 would be very very tart, so I would agree that your measurement is likely off. TA does affect stability to some degree, it is after all a measure of total acidity. However, pH is much more important in terms of stability, as it will show you directly the concentration of Hydrogen ions which are most important for stability. Basically, if the acid level tastes right I wouldn't fret too much over the TA measurement.
 
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I would think that a TA of 11.0 would be very very tart, so I would agree that your measurement is likely off. TA does affect stability to some degree, it is after all a measure of total acidity. However, pH is much more important in terms of stability, as it will show you directly the concentration of Hydrogen ions which are most important for stability. Basically, if the acid level tastes right I wouldn't fret too much over the TA measurement.
Awesome! Thank you!!!
 

FreddyC

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I helped a friend pick this year and while we did a field blend of all 7 of his varietals, his Barbera was at 27 Brix, 3.5 pH and a TA of 11.0 as well. I fermented it separately before blending in with the rest and putting though Malo. It is now dropping tartaric like crazy in my 56* wine cellar. I would cold stabilize yours and you may find you are OK.
 
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I helped a friend pick this year and while we did a field blend of all 7 of his varietals, his Barbera was at 27 Brix, 3.5 pH and a TA of 11.0 as well. I fermented it separately before blending in with the rest and putting though Malo. It is now dropping tartaric like crazy in my 56* wine cellar. I would cold stabilize yours and you may find you are OK.
Thanks for the information! The wine is in my basement, and since I live in Boston, it will be quite cold in there this winter so that should bring the TA down.

I'm thinking, no matter if the TA test was correct, based on the advice I got from this thread, I'll just let it do its thing and do another test when I rack it in a few months.
 

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