Citric Acid in Wine
Wine grapes vary in total acidity and sugar content depending on the environmental conditions in the area they are grown. A low level of tartness is necessary characteristic of all wines. If the wine grape is high in sugar and low in acidity, citric acid may be added to produce the desired tartness.
Citric acid may also be added to eliminate the unwanted haze formed by metal compounds of iron and copper. Iron is naturally present in all grapes. Copper however is a contamination that enters the wine in different ways. Source of copper in wine usually include the copper based fungicides used by farmers and copper vessels and pipes used in wineries.
In either case, increasing the acidity (reducing the pH) can dissolve the haze particles and improve the overall color and clarity of wine.
In order to obtain a desirable level of tartness in the finished wine and thereby enhance its sensory characteristics, the use of CITRIC ACID is recommended.
Prevent or Eliminate Haze/ Cloudiness of wine
There are many different reasons for cloudiness in wine. Your wine may still be fermenting; it may have pectin haze, tannin may be falling out of wine, it may have protein haze or possibly metal haze (mainly iron haze). Increasing the acidity by adding CITRIC ACID is recommended for all kinds of metal haze and some protein haze. The pH of wine may be adjusted (reduced) as needed in fermentation, aging or finishing stages.
Fermentation of high pH (low acidity) musts results in wine with poor clarity and less desirable color. This use of CITRIC ACID is permited under the BATF regulations which states in part: ” Acids of the kinds occurring in grapes may be used to correct natural deficiencies in the fruit, or juice, or wine made therefrom, to the extent that the finished wine does not contain more than 8 per thousand of fixed acid (calculated as tartaric acid)
Desirable levels of acidity in white grape juice prior to fermentation range from 0.7 to 1.0 g/100ml, depending on final wine composition and wine style desired. CITRIC ACID can be used to raise the total acidity of grape juice into the desirable range.
The total acidity decreases due to the fermentation process and as a result of detartration. This reduction can be equivalent to about 0.260g/100ml. This reduction in total acidity must be taken into consideration when correcting natural acid deficiencies in fruit.
Because the acidity of wine changes during the aging process, CITRIC ACID should be added very early in the aging process to assure that the acidity of the wine has equilibrized prior to finishing.
The winemaker, in addition to using the finishing materials contained in the list of “Materials Authorized for Treatment of Wine” by BATF, gains additional protection against the possibility of cloud or haze formation by using CITRIC ACID to stabilize his wine. A unique property of CITRIC ACID is its ability to form chelates with metals. The formation of CITRIC ACID metal complexes can effectively reduce the availability of these metals to form compounds that are one of the causes of haze in wine.
The use of CITRIC ACID for this purpose is specially approved by the BATF (1982C) as follows:
Grape wine, regardless of acid content, may be stabilized, as part of the finishing process, by the addition of not more than 5.8 pounds of citric acid for each 1,000 gallons of wine.
The regulation recognizes the unique structure of CITRIC ACID which enables it to sequester metal ions. A metal chelate which is soluble is said to be sequestered.
Adjusting the taste
The winemakers know, through experience and sensory evaluations, the level of total acidity desired for the wine being produced. The proper amount of CITRIC ACID to be added will be based on either the natural or fixed acidity of the grapes to be fermented or the wine being aged or finished.
The analytical methods to make the above determinations are detailed in the BATF regulations. The fixed acidity is the total (titratable) acidity less the volatile acidity. the fixed acidity is the nonvolatile acidity of the wine.
The use of CITRIC ACID to correct natural acid deficiencies in other natural fruit wine is permitted under current regulations (BATF, 1982e). The regulations allow only CITRIC ACID to be added to citrus fruit wine and do not allow its addition to apple wine. Either CITRIC ACID or malic acid may be used in other fruit wines.
ABOUT THIS PRODUCT: (C001) Citric Acid is the primary acid found in fruits such as oranges, lemons and pineapples. It is typically used in wines that are naturally lacking in acid. Wines too low in acid are flat tasting. Citric Acid adds a liveliness to the wine and helps to bring out it`s fruity flavors. Also, having the proper level of acidity will help to establish a vigorous fermentation. Before you add any acid to a wine you should first check its acid level with pH Strips or a Acid Test Kit. Or, you should be following a reliable recipe.
Before Fermentation: Dissolve the required amount of Citric Acid directly into the wine before the yeast is added. Titration readings taken with an Acid Testing Kit should be about .55%-tartaric for a proper fermentation. Readings taken using pH strips should be about 3.8 to 3.4. One level teaspoon of Citric Acid will raise the acid content of on U.S. gallon by .15%-tartaric.
At Bottling Time: Sometimes wines will not taste their best, even when they are at their optimal level of acidity and may require a slight final acid adjustment to taste. This can depend on the wine`s character and your personal taste. To do this, first put measured amounts of Citric Acid, by taste, in a quart sample of your wine. If you add too much to your sample, blend it back into the batch and pull a new sample. Once the dosage is established, add that dose to the entire batch.
Specification, Chemical Properties:
|Citric Acid, Anhyrous , FCC, Food Grade
|99.5 -100.5 (Typical 99.9)
|Citric – TN20565
|< 50 ppm
|Oxalate – TN20740
|< 5 ppm
|Heavy Metals as Lead – TN20630
|99.9% < 600 micron
|Residue on Ignition
|< 0.05 %
|Sulfated Ash – TN20910
- INCI NAME: Citric Acid
- CAS#: 77-92-9
- EC Number: 201-069-1
- Procuct Code: C001
- Minimum Shelf life: 2 Years
- FCC, USP, BP, EP, FB, JP, FEUM, E-330
- No animal testing data available
- TSCA: Listed
- Made in: USA
This product is available for immediate shipping from our warehouse in Clifton, New Jersey.
Disclaimer and Regulatory Notes:
The information provided in this page are based on our collective knowledge, personal experience and information gathered from other resources. We do not however provide any warranty or guarantee to the accuracy and applicability of such information. It is the sole responsibility of the reader, user and wine producer to perform their own independent investigation and make their own determination of the validity of such information. Commercial production or home production of wine may be regulated differently in different regions of the world. Wine makers must review the laws of their own country, state, county or city to ensure their operation does not violate any of the applicable regulations.