In late August, 2018, I picked 350 pounds (160 kg) of Sauvignon Blanc grapes from my favorite vineyard in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada in California. I had made very good
Getting a wine’s acid levels right plays a big role in perception and profile, but numbers only tell part of the story. Don’t just use numbers to decide how you treat your wine — use some sense and your senses.
Balance is often the key to producing a winning wine. This means knowing how to measure and adjust acidity if needed. Learn the basics of wine acids.
In general, I think of how TA (titratable, or total acidity) and pH impact flavor and mouthfeel in this simple (and yes, perhaps simplistic) way: TA determines how tart or sour a
That’s coming is a long answer but I hope it will speak to the many possible country wine situations in which you may find yourself. A good number of our readers choose
I agree with you in that acid adjustments, especially big ones, can best be made in two steps. That way you can see if you like the result as you go along.
The answer to your question depends on the size of your batch. The bigger your batch, especially if it’s must all mixed together with juice and skins, you need to mix quite
I would only adjust with tartaric acid, and not an “acid blend” that contains either malic or citric acids. Both of the latter can be fermented by organisms in the bottle. On
I absolutely recommend that you bring your TA up and your pH down after MLF is complete. This is best accomplished by tartaric acid, because wine bacteria will not consume tartaric acid;
You can absolutely adjust acidity in a wine when it is one year old. Though I often say that it’s best to do major adjustments early on in a wine’s life (since
I always think that trying to precipitate out some of the worst crystals that could form is a good idea, especially for any wine that may be sold commercially or entered into
Perfectly ripe. That is how most winemakers — amateur and professional — want the grape crop to come in for every vintage. “Perfectly ripe” involves a whole host of factors. For home
Sometimes, a wine you believed would be balanced during fermentation comes up a little short after fermentation is complete. Learn what you can do to restore it to an order of balance with these post-fermentation adjustments.
That’s great that you are already planning ahead for this upcoming harvest. Indeed, a TA of 10.0 g/L is very high and I would certainly plan on de-acidifying for style as well
You certainly can adjust acidity after fermentation is complete, but many winemakers feel that the acid is better-integrated, as well as less-detectable, the earlier it is added. That being said, by all
For the most part, winemaking is relatively simple, unless you run into some serious problem. But occasionally it does throw a curve ball at you with, for example, an acid level that’s
It seems like you already have the acidity-adjusting situation well in hand — this is often one of the areas in which non-grape wines meet their downfall. As you already have realized,
Acid for sanitizing In The Winemaker’s Answer Book (on page 54), you say to add 12 grams of citric or tartaric acid to your sanitizing solution. Is it OK to use an
Oak chips, mesh bag?I am using Flextanks and oak chips for my wine and am really liking the results. However, I put the oak chips in loose and they clog up the
Raising pH the natural wayI am seeking an organic means to raise pH. Any suggestions?Jim Romano Carrollton, Texas The most “organic,” natural way to raise the pH of your wine is to
I’m not a fan of the pH and TA kits available out there either. pH test strips are pointless as they don’t spit out an actual number and the TA test kits
Bravo for you for doing bench trials! If you’ve read my columns over the years you know that doing bench trials, that is, testing a wine treatment on a small scale (“on
High pH and Low TA in a Chardonnay I have a batch of 2006 Chardonnay that has completed primary and secondary fermentation. It tasted flabby so I had it tested for pH
For winemakers, grape harvest is a period of intense activity. Important decisions and preparations need to happen well in advance of crush day in order for things to go smoothly. These decisions
First, let’s look at your question about the pH of water. We all learned in high school chemistry that water has a pH of 7.0, which is totally neutral, neither acidic nor