5 Things You Should Know About Acid Blend

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 that are too low in acid are flat or flabby tasting. Wines that are 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.
  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. 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. Shop Acid Test KitWith 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.
  1. 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 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.

43 thoughts on “5 Things You Should Know About Acid Blend

  1. 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,

    • John,
      Where did you get figs this time of year? I have a huge fig tree in my yard in Texas. One year we had a bumper crop and I made a big batch of wine after my wife finished making her preserves. Not big enough. The stuff was ambrosia after it had mellowed. Caution though, it was awful until it had been in the bottle a year, so don’t try to drink it too soon. Four times the acid blend may be pushing the envelope, but a little extra acid would have helped mine to be an even better wine.

  2. 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.

    • …you could also run a second batch of fig wine NOT using any acid blend and mix them together at final. This might be enough of a buffer to bring all or part of it back in range. Hint: If you go this way, mix very small, well measured amounts first just so you don’t end up with a poorly concentrated DOUBLE batch with a problem.

  3. 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.

    • This answer is the best succinct explanation I have found reading numbers wine books and articles. Without much chemistry, this is a really practical summary. Thanks.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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?

    • Acid blend is a great jack of all trades but knowing witch acid works best with any given fruit is wise.

      Watermelon you can take a dull watermelon and sprinkle citric acid on it and you will end up with a sour dull watermelon. But if you use Malic acid you transform a dull watermelon into something good again.

      Apple Juice. Apple = malus = malic acid. go to the store and they sell 100% pure apple juice with no added acid. it will be bland and flat then compare it to any other apple juice with citric acid and its night and day difference.

      Grape have always been the perfect wine fruit because of there high tartanic acid. not so much a acid you taste but you feel.

      If your making a blackberry wine you can use acid blend or target the missing acid in the profile with citric acid if your making raspberry wine the missing acid is malic acid.

  7. 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?

  8. 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

  9. 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?

  10. 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.

  11. 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?

  12. 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

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

    Thank You!

    • 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

  14. I am 3 days into primary fermentation of my first batch ever of wine using muscadines. Being a rookie, I did not add any acid blend before fermentation. Can I ad it now?

  15. I need citric blend for making bath products. I’ve never used this before. I’m making bath salts. Are there directions on the container for me?

    • Miriam, I am sorry, the citric acid will contain dosage information for adding it to wine but we do not have any information on using is in bath salts.

  16. I didn’t have any acid blend left so I used citric acid in a welches grape juice wine recipe.
    Haven’t bottled it yet. Will this make a difference?

    • Lionel, the acids in acid blend all have slightly different flavors and will affect the wine’s flavor differently. Using the blend is recommended. If you use only citric acid it would leave a crisp, lemon effect in the wine.

  17. Have a question for you. With kit wines They recommend degassing wine after secondary fermentation is complete and before racking.. Is this also true for home maid fruit wines. Or is it ok to rack them when the secondary fermentation is complete and then de- gas them before you add the chitosen. Thanks. Knute

    • Knute, it is perfectly fine to rack the wine away from any sediment before you start to degas the wine. You do want to degas before you add any type of fining agent or clarifying agent.

  18. Remember me? The guy who is making wine in the Philippines. I have been using a local fruit called Calamansi in lieu of Acid Blend for a whil and it seems to be doing the job. The Calamansi fruit is a bit smaller than a ping pong ball and is somewhere between a lemon and an orange in flavor. Any comments?

    • Larry, unfortunately we do not have any information on using Calamansi in place of acid blend.

    • Barb, we recommend replacing any wine ingredients within 2-3 years because they start to lose their strength.

  19. 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.

  20. Great post but the blend seems dicey: According to the product page: 50% citric acid (CAS 77-92-9), 25% malic acid (CAS 6915-15-7), 25% tartaric acid (CAS 87-69-4). Does this blend work equally well for reds, whites and the many different kinds of fruit wines. According to winemakersacademy.com, LD Carlson’s blend is different: 40% citric, 50% malic and 10% Tartaric. That said, Rick over at Home Winemaking Channel (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vANnH1XVjTQ) makes a compelling case for fine-tuning without the blend as reds and whites need more like 80% tartaric 15% malic and 5% citric. Thanks!

    • Michelle, Acid blend is necessary to create a balanced wine. A wine with low acidity will result in a flat and lifeless wine. There are other reasons that you want to have the appropriate acid level as explained in the article posted below.

      Getting A Handle On Wine Acidity

  21. I added citric acid in watermelon wine and now it is tasting too tart, which way may I use to reduce citric acid?
    Is citric acid the best acid to use while making watermelon wine?
    Does watermelon wine normally have high acidity level? Is it advisable to taste level of acidity of watermelon wine before adding extra acid?

  22. I’m on my first batch of fresh juice (Brix/pH/TA balanced before shipping). I’m looking at buying my first batch of frozen must and came across a Merlot with these stats:

    Brix: 25.5, pH:3.86, TA: 3.4

    YAN: 57 mg/L (as N), Malic Acid: .35 g/L,

    Tartaric Acid: 4.8 g/L, Glucose + Fructose: 260 g/L

    Can someone help me translate and tell me if this acid blend is a product I need to get a solid base to build on? Thanks!

  23. Can you please make a recommendation for acid blend addition for fruit wine which doesn’t have a recipe? I’m trying out white mulberry wine and can’t find any recipes for it. Scholarly papers show that the Ph is 5-6 and I found some Ph paper-slips which show that the acid is 6.0 or 6.5, but there’s no way to be more specific than that. When you absolutely have to guess, how much would you say should be added and when should it be added?

    Thank you for all your help. It’s so nice to have a website with really clear answers!

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