Acid Blends in Wine Making

Acid Blends in Wine Making

What Is An Acid Blend? Acid blends are mixtures of acids that are naturally found in wine making grapes. Most blends primarily contain malic, citric, and tartaric acids. Wine making grapes contain more than just these acids but these are the three most abundant acids. Malic acid contributes tartness to wines. It is the primary acid found in apples for a point of reference. Citric acid, of course, is the dominant acid found in citris fruits. Tartaric acid also brings tartness to wine and is the dominant acid in cranberries. An acid blend is used to increase the titratable acidity of a wine. While the point here is to adjust the amount of acids contained within the must it will have an affect on the pH of the must, a measure of the strength of the acids present. Grape acids are usually at the following concentrations: Tartaric = +6 g/L (50%) Malic Acid = 4-6.5 g/L (40%) Citric Acid = 0.1-0.7 g/L (10%) LD Carlson acid blend comprised of the following: Tartaric Acid = 10% Malic Acid = 50% Citric Acid = 40% As you can see the ratio of acids in the acid blend is not the same as you see in wine making grapes. This means that a wine must treated with an acid blend could have an unnatural mixture of acids. While this isn’t necessarily a bad thing from a taste perspective some wine makers feel like this can lead to balance issues. Wine makers that choose not to use acid blends will often add acids individually depending upon what they’re trying to accomplish. For instance tartaric acid can be added alone to increase tartness and increase titratable acidity to a more palatable level while avoiding the addition of too much citric acid. You should also know that different brands of acid blends contain different ratios of acids. If the balance of each individually is something you’re concerned about be sure to ask your supplier. When To Use It Acidity is the determining factor of tartness in wine. pH is important to for understanding how strong your acids are but acidity is a measurement of how much total acid you have. So if your wine has very little acid, even if it is a strong acid, the wine will not have a tart component to it. This can lead to flabby wines. Acid blends should be used to treat the must prior to fermentation. Getting the balance correct not only makes your wine taste better but also helps the yeast do their job better. Some fruit wine and mead makers will add acid blends just prior to bottling. They measure the amount by taste and not with a scale. This practice is largely discouraged though as it can lead to a grainy mouthfeel and a less integrated final product. How Much To Use Before adding any acid blend to your wine, unless you’re following a recipe ingredient for ingredient, you need to understand what your must acidity is before adjusting it. The simplest and least expensive way to figure this out is by using a titratable...

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