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PH adjustment for wine

I’ve made a couple of kit wines before but never checked/adjusted the PH (shame on me). However, I just tested my latest Merlot after a month in the secondary and the test strips tell me I’m basically making beer!

I have PH strips for beer and wine but the Merlot is registering a dark brown color when using the wine strips (which matches more closely to 5.8 on the beer PH scale), and registering a light yellow when using the beer strips (which looks like 4.6 on the beer PH scale).

So I obviously need to adjust down but not sure how far. From some quick reading it looks like Merlot should be around 3.68. I purchased an acid blend from my local brew store which is a 40/40/20 blend of tartaric, malic and citric acids.

1st question: Any good PH calculators on line?
2nd question: Is it typical for these kits to produce a high PH wine that needs adjusting? If not, I guess it’s my water.

Thanks in advance.

Kits are generally pre-balanced for pH. Do you have water with a lot bicarbonate in it? If so, that could do it and you might want to use distilled or RO water for future kits.

Adjusting for pH isn’t easy to calculate out ahead of time (the scale isn’t linear, and whatever is buffering your wine can make it even more unpredictable). Plus, there is a real chance to throw your TA out of whack. pH is important for biological stability, while TA is important for flavor. Unfortunately, they don’t always get to optimal numbers together. You can try adding acid blend in small amounts (15-20 g at a time, stir well, and let sit for a while to incorporate), then test both pH and taste. Keep adding until you get to where you like the results. Or better yet, pull aside a liter of wine and run the test on that, and then wait for at least a couple days, retaste to make sure it is OK, and then add the scaled up amount of acid.

Good luck.

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