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CookieKiller63

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I just started making my own wine in July. I've been working from Jack Keller's book, Home Winemaking, The Simple Way to Make Wine. One thing I'm unclear about is, when the recipe says to age for a year, does that mean to age for a year after bottling, or does that year of aging include the time already spent bulk aging in the secondary fermenter?

Also, what type of PH Meter do you use to test the PH level of your wine?
 

Coffee49

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Well first subject, aging, Jack was right on with minimum 12 months aging. I believe that the startup, 1st and 2nd racking should go 10 months, at that point the suspension has settled off and the wine will age much better in 28 bottles than in a carboy vessel, PH (parts hydrogen)is an acid content, high PH is 1, low PH is 4. Whites shoot for 3.1, reds 3.8. PH strips are generally used.
 
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CookieKiller63

CookieKiller63

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Coffee49 Thanks so much for responding. I used PH strips for my first batch, which was a white wine (pear wine), but when making a red wine, the strips get discolored and you can't read them. Unless I'm doing something wrong or missing something - which is entirely possible.
 

SatchIce9

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Coffee49 Thanks so much for responding. I used PH strips for my first batch, which was a white wine (pear wine), but when making a red wine, the strips get discolored and you can't read them. Unless I'm doing something wrong or missing something - which is entirely possible.
You could try using a PH strip on a commercial red wine you like the acidity of, to see the color change of the PH strip from that, and compare it to a PH strip test on your home made red to try and compare and adjust acidity.
 

bernardsmith

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I guess I take a slightly different view of pH and wine making.
pH is critical only if the level of acidity is too high (pH is too low - below 3.0 ). Yeast cannot thrive in an acid bath. pH is also critical when it comes time to bottle because the level of acidity determines the amount of free SO2 you need to inhibit oxidation and increase shelf life. There are calculators for determining how much K-meta you need to add but typically wine needs about 50 ppm of free SO2 (the equivalent of about 1 campden tab per gallon or about 1/4 t of K-meta for 5 gallons of wine.
What is far more important for the wine drinker is not the pH which measures the STRENGTH of the acids (tartaric (grapes) is stronger than malic (apples) but the TA - the AMOUNT of the acids in the wine... we TASTE the amount, NOT the strength. So you can have too little of a strong acid or too much of a weak acid. You want for most wines a TA of about 6 g/ liter of wine. You CAN use a pH meter to determine the amount of acid but you do so by measuring the volume of a known base (usually Sodium Hydroxide (Na OH) to a known volume of the wine that changes the pH to 8.2
 
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