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5 Things You Should Know About Acid Blend

Posted on July 23, 2012 by Ed Kraus There have been 16 comment(s)

Acid Blend For Wine MakingAcid Blend is a granulated blend of the three most commonly found fruit acids: citric acid, malic acid, and tartaric acid. It is added directly to a wine or must to raise its acidity level when necessary. The acidity of a wine is the tart or sharp taste. Wines too low in acid are flat or flabby tasting. Wines too high in acid are tart or sharp tasting.

Here are 5 helpful things you should know about Acid Blend.

1. Always Know How Much Acid Blend To Add:
Never guess at how much Acid Blend you should be using. Either have a wine recipe that tells you how much Acid Blend to add, or use and Acid Testing Kit to determine how much Acid Blend is needed to bring the wine into a respectable range.

2. One Teaspoon Of Acid Blend Will Raise One Gallon By .15%:
An Acid Testing Kit will measure acidity in terms of percentage by weight. With most wines you will want an acidity level in the .55% to .70% range. Once you know your wine's current acidity level, you can use the .15%, per teaspoon, per gallon, rule to know how much Acid Blend you need to add.

3. Acid Blend Is Easy To Add But Very Difficult To Take Out:
If there is ever any question as to how much Acid Blend you should be adding, always error to the low side. You can easily add more later. It's effects are instant. But if you add too much, the process for getting it out is, quite frankly, a big pain.

4. The Acid Level Of A Wine Can Change During A Fermentation:
It's not unusual for some acid to drop out of the wine during a fermentation. Conversely, the fermentation can make acid to replace what is lost. With these two things in mind it is possible for the acidity level to slightly rise or fall during a fermentation. For this reason you may need to do a second adjustment to the wine just before bottling.

5. Wine Ingredient Kits Do Not Call For Acid Blend At All:
If you are using wine making juices in the form of box ingredient kits to make your wine, you do not need to add Acid Blend to your wine. You do not need to worry about taking acid level readings. This is because the producers of these types of kits have already tested and adjusted the acidity level for you. They have it corrected perfectly for the type of wine you are making.
Ed Kraus is a 3rd generation home brewer/winemaker and has been an owner of E. C. Kraus since 1999. He has been helping individuals make better wine and beer for over 25 years.

This post was posted in Wine Making Blog

16 Responses to 5 Things You Should Know About Acid Blend

  • John
    John says:

    I made two gallons of Fig wine last night and realized during clean up that I used a tablespoon to dispense the Acid blend instead of a teaspoon. Any suggestions and what affect will this have?

    Thank You,

    Posted on July 30, 2012 at 7:13 am

  • Customer Service
    Customer Service says:

    Hello John, the additional Acid Blend is going to make your wine taste too sharp or tart. There is nothing you can do about it at this point in the winemaking process, but once the wine is ready to bottle, you can address this with Acid Reducing Crystals.

    Posted on July 30, 2012 at 7:52 am

  • Ed Cleary
    Ed Cleary says:

    What is the pH range for 0.55% to 0.70% acid in wine?

    Posted on August 3, 2012 at 10:25 am

  • Customer Service
    Customer Service says:

    Ed, there is no correct answer to your question. This is because the "total acidity" level of a wine, and pH level of a wine, are actually measuring acidity in two different ways. Total acidity (TA) is based on volume: "what percentage of that wine is made up of acid"? When you have a reading of .70 it means that .70% of that wine consist of acid. pH is asking: "how strong is the acid in the wine". Not all acids are the same strength. Malic, tartaric, citric, sulfuric, etcs, all vary in how strong they are (the pH). This means you can have a single TA reading with varying pH readings depending on which acids are making up the TA. This is a very oversimplified explanation, but I wanted to keep this a short comment.

    Posted on August 3, 2012 at 11:35 am

  • thomas
    thomas says:

    i made a gallon of parsnip wine but it is verry slow to clear 4 weeks and a 1/4 of yhe gallon jar is starting to clear will i just leave it to nature

    Posted on August 5, 2012 at 12:13 pm

  • Customer Service
    Customer Service says:

    Thomas, siphon the wine off the sediment into a clean container. Get as much of the liquid as you can, even if it comes with some sediment. Then treat the wine with our Speedy Bentonite. Directions are on the side of the jar. This should clear your wine up in about 5 to 7 days.

    Posted on August 6, 2012 at 6:23 am

  • Mark Buss
    Mark Buss says:

    I've been using Acid blend since I started making wine ten years ago. What benefits are there (or not) to using any of the other "specialty" acids such as malic or citric instead of the blend? With on enhance flavors more than the other?

    Posted on August 6, 2012 at 8:18 am

  • Customer Service
    Customer Service says:

    Yes, these acids all have slightly different flavors and will affect the wine's flavor differently. Using a 'blend' is that safest bet without doing some kind of bench-testing first.

    Posted on August 6, 2012 at 9:26 am

  • Mark Buss
    Mark Buss says:

    So is there a particular enhancement each acid will provide over another? For example, will citric acid bring out more of fruity flavor than a tartaric, and so forth?

    Posted on August 8, 2012 at 11:21 am

  • Customer Service
    Customer Service says:

    Mark, this is somewhat of a subjective area. The words I might use to describe a flavor might not be the impression the next person gets. Having said this, I will make an attempt: Citric: crisp, lemon / Malic: un-aggressive, banana, strawberries / Tartaric: Grapey

    Posted on August 8, 2012 at 11:50 am

  • Mike Hill
    Mike Hill says:

    Having read here that acidity can rise and fall during fermentation and that the acidity should be checked before bottling, I find it confusing that you also tell us that boxed wine kits already have the acidity arranged for us so we don't need to do anything else. So, if we are not using a kit, why do we need to adjust it before fermentation, possibly adjust it after fermentation and yet with a wine kit, not have to bother?

    Posted on January 25, 2014 at 2:25 pm

  • Customer Service
    Customer Service says:

    Mike, wine ingredient kits do not need to have their acidity adjusted because each one has been bench-tested by the producer. With each type of wine they know exactly what the acidity is going to do and make acid adjustments for you that compensate for this. When making wine with your own fruit, you need the acidity to be in a reasonable range to keep the yeast happy and to keep spoilage in check. After the fermentation has completed you want to a final check on acidity to make sure it is in a range the is acceptable flavor wise.

    Posted on January 27, 2014 at 6:45 am

  • Dr Jaabir
    Dr Jaabir says:

    What should i do to reduce the acidity. my TA is found to be 1.2 %

    even after adding the base blend given in the kit, i could not reduce it. What should i be doing?

    Posted on April 10, 2014 at 9:33 pm

  • Customer Service
    Customer Service says:

    Dr. Jaabir, I would not do anything to the wine until the fermentation has completed and the wine has had time to clear. Depending on the circumstance, that acidity can go up or down during a fermentation. Also, any titration you do during the fermentation will be thrown off by the CO2 gas that is still in the wine. Degas the wine through agitation before taking a reading. If you TA is still too high, you can use potassium bicarbonate to drop out some of the acid.

    Potassium Bicarbonate

    Posted on April 11, 2014 at 6:54 am

  • Ed Kraus
    Ed Kraus says:

    Debra, for the most part, the acidity level should be in the same range regardless of the sweetness of the wine. This is between .55% and .70%. Readings should be taken with an acid titration kit. In general fruit wines should be around .55% to .60%... reds around .60% to .65%, and white .65% to .70%. Sweetness of the wine should not make a difference in any of these cases.

    Acid Titration Kit

    Posted on December 30, 2014 at 9:27 am

  • Debra Bishop
    Debra Bishop says:

    Is there a different set of ranges for acidity for sweet fruit wines, and if so, what are they?

    Thank You!

    Posted on December 30, 2014 at 12:20 pm