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Why Use Acid Blend?


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#1 Wade's Wines

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Posted 10 November 2010 - 08:05 AM

Here's a question from a non-scientist.
Since acid blend has Malic Acid in it, and you probably don't want to introduce non-malic acid fruit wines to a need to go through MLF, why use acid blend, rather than just Tartaric Acid? What is gained by adding all 3 acids to a wine?
Thanks!
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#2 Tomer1

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Posted 10 November 2010 - 08:35 AM

In theory the blend offers a diversity of acid profiles,
All 3 of the compenent are tart but each has its own different tartness.
Tartaric plays a major compenent in the blend because it allows for a more efficient lowering of Ph without extreme upping of TA and making a wine very tart.
My advice may or may not be backed by actually personal expirience and should be treated as such. :)

#3 wmoty

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Posted 10 November 2010 - 08:40 AM

I use tartaric. I find the acid blend too biting and does not soften well.

#4 Medsen Fey

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Posted 10 November 2010 - 08:45 AM

The principal natural acids in most fruits are citric and malic. Tartaric is mainly limited to grapes. There is some difference in the tastes if you compare each of the separate acids just mixed in water and put a little on your tongue. To keep the flavor of the wine closest to the fruit, using more malic/citric may be useful.

With that said, I mostly use tartaric (it is easiest to precipitate out it you over dose it), though in meads I will sometimes use a form of gluconic acid (that being the principal honey acid).
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#5 Jack

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Posted 10 November 2010 - 08:40 PM

I have had problems with high TA post fermentation. I now add just enough acid pre-fermentation to get my pH below 4.0 (assuming TA is also low). I use mostly tartaric to accomplish this. After that, I'll adjust using acid blend if needed.
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#6 Green Zeus

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Posted 11 November 2010 - 06:35 AM

The reason acid blend is used is because it rounds out the acids.

If you made solutions of each of the acids and tasted them, you'd find out that each has a predominate taste. You change the taste profile when using one acid. Tartaric, in a solution by itself, would be found to be the hardest tasting acid.

If you start looking at your acid blend, you'll see the ratios of each acid used. But did you know there are 4 or 5 DIFFERENT ratios used? This is something we discovered a few years ago. You have to check with the supplier you're using as to which one he is stocking.

When doing MLF's you have to use tartaric for acid adjustment and NOT acid blend. The reason for this is because the malic in acid blend can send the wine thru another MLF. And the citric in it could slowly convert to acetic acid.

#7 trpottery

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Posted 11 November 2010 - 07:28 AM

Many people are alergic to citrus in acid blend, my wife being one.

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#8 Joe_Sallo

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Posted 11 November 2010 - 10:14 AM

The reason acid blend is used is because it rounds out the acids.

If you made solutions of each of the acids and tasted them, you'd find out that each has a predominate taste. You change the taste profile when using one acid. Tartaric, in a solution by itself, would be found to be the hardest tasting acid.

If you start looking at your acid blend, you'll see the ratios of each acid used. But did you know there are 4 or 5 DIFFERENT ratios used? This is something we discovered a few years ago. You have to check with the supplier you're using as to which one he is stocking.

When doing MLF's you have to use tartaric for acid adjustment and NOT acid blend. The reason for this is because the malic in acid blend can send the wine thru another MLF. And the citric in it could slowly convert to acetic acid.


I never use acid blend; I have all 3 and use them all for different purposes; tartaric for adjust pH on grape wines, malic in proportion for grape based wine low it TA and in apple, citric for fine tuning a finished grape wine and in strawberry wine.

I'm not sure the malic you get in a winemaking shop is susceptible to mlf; I'm not a chemist but I seem to remember something about D and L types

#9 Wade's Wines

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Posted 11 November 2010 - 09:58 PM

You guys are scaring me! Too many unknowns!!! :unsure:
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#10 Tomer1

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Posted 12 November 2010 - 03:28 AM

Ignorance is sometimes a bliss. lmao.gif
My advice may or may not be backed by actually personal expirience and should be treated as such. :)

#11 Green Zeus

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Posted 12 November 2010 - 06:23 AM

Wade, what is the reason you're asking this question? Are you having a specific problem or were you just wondering WHY acid blend is used instead of individual acids?

#12 Wade's Wines

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Posted 12 November 2010 - 07:18 AM

The reason I asked, my Chambourcin Chocolate Raspberry Port was very high pH, and as I added alot of acid blend someone warned me about adding Malic acid to the mix. So, having added a lot already and still having a high pH, I went to the LHBS and bought Tartaric acid to finish acid addition with.
It made me wonder why we even mess with acid blend when it can introduce an acid that can cause spontaneous MLF, or Citric acid which can cause acetic acid to form.
Now my acid level is through the roof on the Chambourcin Chocolate Raspberry Port, but my pH is at an acceptable level. Oddly enough, even though there's so much acid in it (1.12 if I remember correctly), it tastes like it could use more acid! I think it has to do with the cocoa.
But that's why I asked the question.
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#13 Green Zeus

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Posted 12 November 2010 - 07:55 AM

In my opinion, the malic won't automatically cause an MLF. You'd have to have the bacteria cause it and I presume you've sulfited.

It seems to me,also, that the cocoa is responible for the strange PH problem. Maybe tartaric wasn't the best acid to use, and acid blend for this doesn't seem correct either. If you think the taste is otherwise OK, why don't you take a small amount and hit it with some citric acid? I've never made any wine with cocoa, but have seen lots of threads about it. So it seems SOMEONE on this site should be able to help you with this wine. Maybe you should post a thread about this specific problem so that the people who've worked with this wine can help you.

Citric acid converting slowly to acetic acid was mentioned when you have MLF involved. If you didn't MLF this wine, you shouldn't have any problem.

#14 Wade's Wines

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Posted 12 November 2010 - 08:05 AM

I think it's doing fine now, but it sure caused a head ache figuring out how to correct the pH! The head ache came from cramming too much chemistry in my head at once, I think! It always happened to me in school too. Some times when I'd be taking a test, it seemed like my desk was tumbling head over heels with me in it! Backwards! My face would turn red, or green, or blue... I worried about losing my breakfast! All over a simple little test! Good old stress!
Maybe I should have studied! Nah. What fun would that have been!
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#15 Tomer1

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Posted 12 November 2010 - 08:07 AM

Im not chemist but I dont think the cocoa has any ph buffering capabilities but then again choclate is a very complex substance.

Keeping so2 in proper level according to your ph will keep safe from unwanted mlf.


One interesting thing is what happends to the cocoa butter in the process of winemaking, does it emulsify or do you have a shiny layer of oil on top?
My advice may or may not be backed by actually personal expirience and should be treated as such. :)




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