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Reducing The Acidity Of My Ny State Riesling


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#1 lodestone

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 06:37 AM

My 2012 NY State Riesling finally cleared. Initial pH and TA were 3.00 and .78.(right on the money with the supplier's numbers, BTW)

After cold stabilizing and fining, my pH is 3.03...I have two batches, one I added the Susse Reserve to , and the other I did not.

As far as my tastes go, and what I'm trying to get to with this wine, the sweetened wine is still a bit too acidic. I think it's sweet enough, but still too acidic.

The unsweetened wine is really obvious in its over-acidity.

I don't have any Susse Reserve left, because I used a lot more of it than I planned on while sweetening the first batch, so I have to sweeten the second batch with something else. I am thinking of using a kit Riesling Ice Wine addition.

However I do it, should I get the level of sweetness worked out in batch 2, like I did in Batch 1, and then worry about modifying the acidity, or should I get the acidity worked out first, and then sweeten?

As far as reducing the acidity, I have read in Pambianchi that I can use Potassium Bi-carb, or Acidex. He says that Acidex will reduce Tartaric and Malic. I am thinking that the Malic reduction might be a good idea, since the wine was a bit under ripe (18 Brix) , and I do sense a bit of that "green-apple" thing going on.

I am interested in opinions on how to proceed.

thoughts on sweeten or de-acidify first,
thoughts on using the ice wine as a sweetener,
thoughts on potassium bi-carb vs. Acidex..

and of course, any caveats are appreciated,

thanks,

DanL

 


#2 Hammered

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 06:42 AM

I had a similar high acid (Rieslings are typically low sugar, high acid) Riesling this year and decided to put it through malolactic fermentation. My goal was to keep it as dry as possible, so I figured it couldn't hurt. It's being cold stabilized at this point, but the mlf seemed to make a difference in moving it toward my ultimate plan for a dry white wine. I may also try blending it with some Viognier to see how that affects it.
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#3 Joe_Sallo

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 07:21 AM

Your pH isn't an issue so I would suggest you pull the acid down by 1g/l and I see no issue with potassium bicarbonate; if you have Acidex go ahead and use it. The pH is pretty low so I'm not so sure you have a lot of malic in there. What about back sweetening with honey if necessary? I think if you pull that acid into the 6.5g/l range you won't be doing anything else...

I wouldn't suggest mlf on Riesling, I'm curious as to how Steve's turns out. I'm not sure the Germans and Alsatians do that to Riesling and they have the same weather to contend with as NY.

#4 Crazy Run Ranch

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 10:57 AM

The pH is pretty low so I'm not so sure you have a lot of malic in there.

If the pH is low, that would indicate a higher than normal malic acid content. Early grapes have more malic acid.
I would reduce acid first, then sweeten. And I would bench trial the acid reduction first, then bench trial the back sweeten. Why not just use sugar for the back sweeten if you are out of juice?

Edit: I like CC's advise below. Mine was aimed at if you have already decided to adjust the acid. But CC's post reminded me of a friends rose that had loads of sugar and acid but tasted well balanced and very good.

#5 Tomer1

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 11:38 AM

If your using acidex you can treat only part of the wine and blend back.
My advice may or may not be backed by actually personal expirience and should be treated as such. :)

#6 Calamity Cellars

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 12:06 PM

My experience with Riesling is that any acid reduction other than cold stabilization causes significant flavor reduction. I found that sweetening to offset the acidity is a far better solution.

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#7 lodestone

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 02:00 PM

My experience with Riesling is that any acid reduction other than cold stabilization causes significant flavor reduction. I found that sweetening to offset the acidity is a far better solution.

Yes, thank you. I think that really answers the question I was having. I'll sweeten first, and see if that establishes a nice balance. In your experience, have you had Riesling with that low a pH?

DanL

 


#8 Tomer1

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 02:04 PM

Is it possible that the co2 generated during the deacification causes volotile aroma compounds to be lost and thats what is damaging the wine?
My advice may or may not be backed by actually personal expirience and should be treated as such. :)

#9 Calamity Cellars

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 02:04 PM

yes. this year it was under 3.00.

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#10 wxtrendsguy

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 02:08 PM

I had a 2010 NY Riesling that was picked about a week or two too early. If I remember correctly at bottling after CS and filtering the acid was right around 0.7 and the PH was 3.3. Still tasted way to acidic to me so I am guessing there was still plenty of malic in there....ended up having to make it fairly sweet to back down the acid but it brought the fruity nose alive and my neighbors think its actually quite good though it still is a little too sweet for me. Took about 9 months in the bottle before it matured into a nice wine.

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#11 bzac

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 03:46 AM

I also find that using pot carb or acidex with reisling rips the flavours out of it.

I would consider blending with lower acid wine .

or using a higher dose of biolees , say 4tsp per carboy . this can often tame the acid edge and give the wine a bit of swwetness
Above all relax , it's winemaking ,it's not supposed to be stressfull . It's not sky diving.

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#12 Joe_Sallo

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 05:33 AM

...If the pH is low, that would indicate a higher than normal malic acid content. Early grapes have more malic acid. ...


I reread the post and dropped the ball, thanks for the catch.

That brought up another question though, can you use Acidex on a finished, delicate white? It's not pretty in action and more suited for must if memory serves me right.

I'm going to have to get some biolees inhouse, I get higher acid grapes at times too and Zac's suggestion sounds interesting.

#13 lodestone

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 06:56 AM

I think I'm going to wind up with 3 versions of this wine.

The first version is 5 gallons of wine fermented dry, which was backsweetened with the Susse Reserve. I haven't finished my tasting trials yet to decide if it needs any more sugar than it has.

The second version is going to be a few gallons back sweetened with the ice wine (it's a kit ice wine I made a few years ago, and I am not that crazy about it as a solo act, so don't worry, I'm not dumping an expensive "real" ice wine in there)...I have done some trials with that, and have one bottle which I like, refrigerating, and I'm going to bounce that off a few other palates, whose taste buds I respect.

the third batch will be the balance, probably 3 gallons, which will be back sweetened with sugar or honey, or I may break that up into two batches and do one of each of those.

for me, the take home lesson is, I think, to balance the acidity by sweetening, and avoid, if at all possible, trying to reduce acid.

I would try Zac's Biolees trick, but the only Biolees I have is about 4 years old (never been opened, though, so maybe it's good)...

I've never back sweetened a wine before, so my plate is full just trying to figure this out. I'll save the Biolees experiment for another time.

thanks for the advice,

DanL

 


#14 Canadian Corkdork

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 07:02 PM

I completely agree that balancing the acid with sweetness is probably the best answer. The pH and TA are not particularly low/high respectively, for a Riesling. I've had plenty of really good Ontario Rieslings with pH below 3.0 and TA's higher than 10g/l.




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