Measuring volatile acids?

Measuring volatile acids?

Post by bb » Mon, 28 Oct 2002 01:48:19


I recently read something about measuring volatile acids as one of the
basic tests for quality.  What are the volatile acids, how do you
measure them, and how do they affect the quality of wine?



Measuring volatile acids?

Post by Mike MT » Tue, 29 Oct 2002 10:18:18

Volatile acids are acids produced during or after fermentation which can
evaporate. Mostly this means acetic acid (as in vinegar), but it also
includes small amounts of formic, proprionic and butyric acids. They
affect the taste & smell of the wine in a negative way, and can be
associated with (caused by) bacterial spoilage.  Think of a wine which
smells & tastes slightly (or greatly) of vinegar. They are measured by a
somewhat complicated process of steam distilling a sample of wine and
titrating the acidity of the distillate. Or, you could just taste the
wine. It's pretty obvious.

Luck,          Mike MTM