How to add acidity to a wine with natural ingredients

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JT101
Tom Good
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How to add acidity to a wine with natural ingredients

Post: #283347 JT101
Fri Dec 19, 2014 2:11 pm

Another brain teaser for you

I wonder if in those dusty old french recipe books in a farmhouse somewhere, there is a cheap and cheeful non-precise suggestion for adding acid (tartaric, malic and citric) to wine with local produce?

Now tartaric obviously comes from grapes. But adding more grapes won't help in their normal form

Malic acid is high in very green apples such as crab and granny smith

Citric acid would have to come from lemons (if grown in a greenhouse) or red / black currants or gooseberries.

Any ideas on quantities and techniques?

Maybe no-one ever bothered.

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Tom Good
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Re: How to add acidity to a wine with natural ingredients

Post: #283349 JT101
Fri Dec 19, 2014 11:14 pm

Well, I've been doing some digging myself and this is what I've come up with so far


Nutrient – Maybe replace the shop bought powdered yeast nutrient with either sultanas, yeast extract or malt extract?

Citric acid – The obvious substitute would be lemon juice, but given that it’s difficult to grow in the UK, could I add a proportion of other citric acid rich fruits e.g. red currants, gooseberry, blackcurrant, tomatoes, strawberries, raspnerries?

Malic acid – Add japonica quinces or crab apples to increase this acid

Tartaric acid – Well this one is pretty much impossible, given that it comes from grapes. If my grapes are low in tartaric acid, then I can’t just add more grapes I suppose. Not sure about this one.

Tannin - Fruit stalks, stones or cores, chestnut or oak chips, plant galls, herbs, spices, nuts, berries

Any comments on effectiveness and suggested quantities welcome

thanks

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Green Aura
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Re: How to add acidity to a wine with natural ingredients

Post: #283350 Green Aura
Fri Dec 19, 2014 11:33 pm

We add citrus fruit, a cup of strong tea and 1/4 tsp of vegemite to most of our country wines. Sometimes we omit the tea in some of the whites, although I can't remember which, off hand.

We've got a very simple wine making book, "Wine making the natural way" by Ian Ball (I think). I rather like most of the wines we make using his methods.
Maggie

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Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage. Anais Nin

JT101
Tom Good
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Re: How to add acidity to a wine with natural ingredients

Post: #283361 JT101
Sun Dec 21, 2014 3:32 pm

Thanks Maggie, but as my posts suggest, natural is not the only thing I'm looking for. What I can be grown in the UK also, so Tea and probably Lemons are out.

If that guy has some British grown additives I may buy his book

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Green Aura
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Re: How to add acidity to a wine with natural ingredients

Post: #283363 Green Aura
Sun Dec 21, 2014 4:22 pm

We grow lemons and limes, on the north coast of Scotland, in an unheated polytunnel.

You've sorted the malic acid and yeast extract will sort your nutrient requirement. Apparently tartaric acid can be found in cranberries which can also be grown here.

I'm not entirely sure of the need for all these things, although I'm sure MKG would disagree, hence my reference to the book.
Maggie

Never doubt that you can change history. You already have. Marge Piercy

Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage. Anais Nin

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Re: How to add acidity to a wine with natural ingredients

Post: #283364 Odsox
Sun Dec 21, 2014 5:11 pm

Green Aura wrote:We grow lemons and limes, on the north coast of Scotland, in an unheated polytunnel.

Yes it's amazing what you can grow if you don't let on to the plants.
My Christmas marmalade is Lemon and Ginger, both home grown, and I had a Clemantine growing in the unheated greenhouse for about 10 years, grown from a pip.

To get back on topic, I grow grapes and have made 10 litres of wine this year. I'm a complete newby in wine making (as opposed to wine drinking) and it has turned out rather well, the grapes have a nice acidity with enough sugar for about 11% ABV. The finished wine is very reminiscent of a good Mosel, light bodied and very refreshing.
Tony

Disclaimer: I almost certainly haven't a clue what I'm talking about.


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