pH is measured before harvest for optimum grape ripeness. It is measured to see if adjustments need to be made before primary fermentation or before malolactic fermentation. It is measured when adding sulfur dioxide as a preservative since the effectiveness of this chemical varies dramatically as pH changes. pH is controlled to optimize conditions for fining, for improving a wines resistance to microbial instability, and in defining a wines taste balance. The pH Test Kit has a range from 3.0 4.0, and a sensitivity to 0.1 pH unit.
REASONS TO USE pH TESTS:
1) Tests can be used for both red and white wines, and require NO adjustments or pretreatments. Accuvin has developed a unique membrane, built into each wine test strip, which selectively removes interfering colored anthocyanins without affecting other wine components.
2) Keeping track of pH at harvest, before primary fermentation, pre and post MLF, during maturation, and pre-bottling allows the detection of problems when they are small and require less expensive and extensive intervention.
3) At harvest, monitor pH as grapes approach ripeness to ensure optimum varietal character, a harmonious merging of characters.
4) Post fermentation, lower pH levels increase the effectiveness of bentonite clarification and improve color stability.
5) Regarding taste, lower pH levels exhibit increased astringency and increased sourness.
6) Regarding contamination, wines above 3.6 are at risk of bacterial instability.
7) Regarding sulfur dioxide levels, pH influences the amount of SO2 needed to keep SO2 at proper preservative levels.