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pH and Winemaking #557 01/17/05 03:53 AM
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Lisa Shea Offline OP
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We spent all day Saturday with Eric, the winemaker at Lenz winery in Long Island, NY. His catchphrase was "what's the pH"? He is very convince that one key to making good wine - and preventing contamination by Brett - is by keeping a low pH.

pH is the scale of how acidic or basic a substance is. The lowest, most acidic value is 0. The highest, most basic value is 14. 7 is pure neutral.

Wines tend to fall in the range of 3-4, meaning acidic, in the range of orange juice.


Lisa Shea, owner
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Re: pH and Winemaking #558 03/01/05 10:47 PM
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Howard Offline
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Where in your view of things does the importance of PH fit into the scale of other important items that both the viticulteur and vinter - should achieve.
For instance does the Former consider sugar levels more important - or concerning ripeness - in a bad summer can the PH level fall below that which would be acceptable, before the sugar levels are as high are minimally needed?
Does the latter have the major role in deciding when a white wine has achieved it's optimum balance between sweetness and acidity?

As my first ever response, is this the kind of reply that is welcome? Howard

Re: pH and Winemaking #559 03/09/05 02:02 AM
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Lisa Shea Offline OP
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Well, you always need a certain amount of sugar in order to get the resulting amount of alcohol. Otherwise it's not really a wine. So it is about balancing the yield of each fine so that it allows the grapes to ripen properly and maintain the pH as well. But I'm happy to send an email to Lenz to ask what he would do in that situation, we'll see what he says smile

I always love all responses smile

BTW just a little nit-pick, that is "its" in your post above - "it's" is only "it is".


Lisa Shea, owner
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Re: pH and Winemaking #560 04/29/05 06:54 PM
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Nathan Offline
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pH is hugely important. It is the main parameter that determines what microbes can and will survive and thrive in a wine. In addition it has a compounding relationship with free SO2, the main antioxidant and antibacterial agent in white wine, and very important in red wine. The lower the pH, the better the less SO2 is required for adequate protection. pH also has an impact on the palate feel of wine, and the impression of tannin. I think that as a harvest parameter, it is vital to know pH, maybe more important than sugar, especially if you are in a wine region that prohibits the addition of Tartaric acid at the fermentor.


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