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E.C. Kraus AC190 acid blend for wine making uses the following formulation:

  • 50% Citric acid
  • 25% Malic acid
  • 25% Tartaric acid

LD Carlson acid blend is composed of the following:

  • 40% Citric Acid
  • 50% Malic Acid
  • 10% Tartaric Acid

Is one better than the other? For which type of wine is each blend most suited? And why?

  • If possible, split your batch in two and try each of the them, then decide which is better for your wine. – Philippe Sep 25 at 18:32
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Well which is better would really depend on what you are trying to accomplish.

Let’s start with citric acid, it doesn’t really provide flavor, not on its own so much anyway. What it does is enhance the brightness of the fruit flavors that already exist in the recipe.

Malic acid (so called apple acid) is going to make your wine lean more toward an apple tartness. Not that kind of tart that makes you pucker, but the kind of tart that makes the wine feel crisp like fresh apple cider.

Tartaric acid is the grape acid, it is where the word tart comes from. It principle comes from the grape skins (also plum skins), it is the main acid you taste/feel in Sauvignon Bland and some tarter Pinot Grigio.

So what does this mean for you? Well it might not matter at all unless you want to create specific taste and mouthfeel properties. They both do the same job in the most general sense, which is to blend the three principle acid components in a balanced way.

You can think of the two blends this way, the JD Carlson is more for oxidative wines (mostly reds, wines that benefit from breathing before being served, and the EC Kraus is more for reductive wines (sharp whites that you serve straight from the frig and avoid oxidation at all cost). But as I said, it won’t matter too too much unless you are looking to adjust those qualities.

Edit: I forgot to mention malolactic fermention. If you are doing an MLF to reduce acidity, then go with EC Kraus, if however you are doing MLF to produce buttery notes like buttery Chardonnay, than you benefit from more malic acic and may wish to go with JD Carlson so there is more malic acid to convert.

You can also buy the three acid individually and make your own adjustments.

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