> grow in my yard. High acidity seems to be my most serious problem. I
> wonder whether you know any good chemical techniques for lowering
> acidity apart from adding calcium carbonate, which I have found
> helpful but insufficient. (I'm going to try malolactic fermentation
> too, but I like to pursue multiple strategies in parallel wherever
Multiple strategies might include: chemical deacidification, acid
metabolisation by a yeast (eg use Lalvin's 71B-1122 which can
metabolise 20-40% of the malic acid in the must during fermentation)
or acid metabolisation by Lactobacillus plantarum (a pre-fermentation
biological deacidification of malic acid which can reduce malic acid
by 40-60% (available from CHR Hansen)), malolactic fermentation, a
residual sweetness balancing, or post fermentation wine blending.
I remember the "high acid fruit must; pulp; sugar; some questions"
covered this issue.
From that thread, an example of a multiple deacidification strategy
19 ppt (as sulph. = 29 ppt as tartaric). Use about 9 g/l K2CO3
(potassium bicarbonate - this avoids the chalkiness of calcium,
deacidifies to a greater extent for the same mass of powder, and the
potassium can be precipitated out when cold stabilising) to reduce
acid to 10 g/l sulph. (15.4 g/l as tartaric), then ferment with
Lalvin's 71B-1122 yeast reducing acidity by 40% to 6 (9.2 tart.), then
conduct a malolactic fermentation finally reducing acidity to 4 g/l
(6.1 as tart.).
> I also took the repeated empahsis on fruit quality to heart, and I'm
> starting to think that if I'm serious about this (that is, if I want
> to spend any time and money on it at all), I might best chop down the
> wild trees and plant domestic varieties that will give me better
> material to work with. I'd like to ask what others' experience has
I'd definitely go with that. Cultivated fruit is almost always
> been with different varieties of plums. Should I simply choose the
> one with the least-acid fruit? Or, should I assume that any domestic
I'd say you should consider the other elements too such as sugar
concentration, tannin content, and flavour development etc.
> variety will have a manageable acid level and look for the fruit that
> tastes best to me? Or, should I restrict my choices to one or more
I'd go for manageable acid levels, but not at the expense of the
> particular varieties which have been found to produce good results?
Try a whole range of choices if possible. I haven't experimented with
enough varieties at all but I have found Spanish Friar plums pretty
good and Victoria plums are nutorious for making good plum wine
(though I can't speak from personal experience on the latter). I'd
actually encourage using a blend of different varieties of plums -
this results in increased complexity, and even a certain degree of
balancing of the resulting juice.
Hope that helps - let me know if there's anything else I can add.