Reducing The Acidity Of My Ny State Riesling
Posted 27 March 2012 - 06:37 AM
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,
Posted 27 March 2012 - 06:42 AM
Posted 27 March 2012 - 07:21 AM
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.
Posted 27 March 2012 - 10:57 AM
If the pH is low, that would indicate a higher than normal malic acid content. Early grapes have more malic acid.
The pH is pretty low so I'm not so sure you have a lot of malic in there.
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.
Posted 27 March 2012 - 11:38 AM
Posted 27 March 2012 - 02:00 PM
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?
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.
Posted 27 March 2012 - 02:04 PM
Posted 27 March 2012 - 02:08 PM
Owner and Winemaker at Weathered Vineyards.
3 acres of Cab Franc, Merlot, Chardonnay, and Cayuga x Riesling.
Winery Opening Fall 2014 near Allentown, PA.
Posted 28 March 2012 - 03:46 AM
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
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.
Posted 28 March 2012 - 06:56 AM
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,
Posted 28 March 2012 - 07:02 PM
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