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How to Lower the pH in Wine With Tartaric Acid

        The amount of an acid's level of strength in a wine is measured by its pH. Grapes all have tartaric acid. Those grown in colder climates have more natural acid than those grown in warmer environments. Measure and add tartaric acid early in the winemaking process. When the crushed grapes, skins, juice and seeds are mixed together in a container, they gather color and begin to ferment. The wine at this point is called "must". A wine acidity test gives the home winemaker the ability to ascertain the pH level in a matter of minutes.
        1. Remove a sample of must into a glass. Immerse a strip of pH paper from the wine acidity kit into the sample. Match the color on the strip to the color strip that comes with the kit. Levels of pH are determined by color. The pH level for most table wine, red or wine, is between 3.3 and 3.7. White wines tend to be around 3.4.
        2. Measure and pour out 100 ml of must into five wine glasses. Label them 1, 2, 3, 4 and keep the fifth glass as the control glass for the pH and tartaric acid tests. In the sixth glass, place 10 g of powdered tartaric acid. Mix with a small bit of distilled water to dissolve the powder. Add 100 ml distilled water into the glass. Using the eye dropper, take units of 1 ml, 2 ml, 3 ml and 4 ml of the tartaric acid and distilled water and add to four glasses with corresponding numbers. Swirl lightly and measure each with pH strip to ascertain when the pH is lowered to the proper degree. Use the control glass to replicate the winning experiment to double check the results.
        3. Calculate how much tartaric acid needs to be mixed into the must. A gallon contains 3.785411784 liters. There are 1,000 ml in 1 liter. Thus a 6.5-gallon fermentation container contains about 25 liters or 25,000 ml. If during the experiments described on Step 2 it took 1 ml of tartaric acid to lower the pH in 100 ml of must, then it will take 2,500 ml or 2.5 liters of tartaric acid to properly lower the pH of the entire container.
        Sprinkle the determined amount of powered tartaric acid over the must. Mix through the must with the punch down tool (similar to a long-handled flat potato masher). The punch down tool is used to punch down the cap of crushed grapes and skins to aid in the fermentation.

Warnings: Tartaric acid is measured in grams per 100 ml of wine. No more than 83 g of powered tartaric acid should be added to 23 liters of wine.