Adding additional sulphites.

Discussion in 'Kit Winemaking' started by kuziwk, Oct 11, 2018.

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  1. Oct 11, 2018 #1

    kuziwk

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    Hi guys i added the 5G packet of sulphite during clearing. After clearing i racked off and added an additional 1/4 tsp since they said to do so if aging for longer than 3 months. Its about 6 weeks in and i think it spent enough time on oak...i also need to free up the carboy so thinking to filter and bottle. Should i add another 1/4tsp after filtering and prior to bottling? Or should i just bottle? I plan on aging the wine in the bottle and drinking it slow.
     
  2. Oct 11, 2018 #2

    NorCal

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    Is this into a 5 gallon carboy? Kit?

    5 grams into 5 gallons would be around 150 ppm.
    1/4 tsp into 5 gallons is around 50 ppm.

    Assuming this is a kit, I’m assuming your pH is around 3.5. You probably already have 4X too much . If it were mine I wouldn’t add any more.
     
  3. Oct 11, 2018 #3

    kuziwk

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    Its a 23L kit, basically just following the kit instructions. Also keep in mind that 200 ppm of sulphite that was added is not total free since alot of that woupd have bound with oxygen and such. Test kits in canada here are like $60 for 10 tests so pretty expensive...something i would like to avoid.
     
  4. Oct 11, 2018 #4

    Johnd

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    I think that @NorCal ’s point is that you’ve added quadruple what you need, and if you’ve handled your wine properly, in six weeks you’re nowhere near a level that you should consider adding more. I agree with him, though if you really plan to age the wine, consider another few months in the carboy.
     
  5. Oct 11, 2018 #5

    kuziwk

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    Ill try for bulk aging but hoping to free up the carboy, i have a wine celler anyways so aging in the bottle also works for me. I would leave it longer on the oak but there is a nice 1/2" layer of yeast on the bottom that should get racked off soon..., plus i heard for oak cubes 6 weeks is enough to extract the flavor. Not sure if it matters but the 5G of sulphite was added while i was clearing...its been racked from that once. Once it was racked i than added the 1/4tsp additional and the oak cubes and its been sitting for about 6 weeks.
     
  6. Nov 16, 2018 #6

    Mkwine

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    What exactly is the rule of thumb for adding extra sulfite? Short of having a kit to measure the levels, is it necessary to add extra Sulfites if you aren’t bulk aging and going straight to bottling?
     
  7. Nov 16, 2018 #7

    cmason1957

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    I'm going to assume you are asking about for kits. If you follow the directions and are doing a 6-8 week kit that you plan to bottle right on that schedule, no extra sulfite is required.
     
  8. Nov 16, 2018 #8

    Mkwine

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    That’s what I was looking for - thanks Mason!
     
  9. Nov 17, 2018 #9

    pillswoj

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    Further to that, if you do bulk age, 1/4 tsp every 3 months while bulk aging. Most of us rack of sediment if present every 3 months as well.
     
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  10. Nov 19, 2018 #10

    kuziwk

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    That's not always true, they recommend if aging longer than 6 months than additional sulphite should be added. They fail to specify if aging in bottle or bulk. I don't see the difference as Sulphites bind to the oxygen and bacteria over time and cancel each other out to some extent. So how is wine aging in the bottle compared to a carboy any different? If anything wine ages faster in the bottle due to temperature swings and such, it also exposes the wine to more oxygen than a fully topped carboy woulds. I would think the additional Sulphites would be needed for bottle aging.

    It seems some of the sulphite that didn't bind when you serve the wine if you decant or aerate will disapate anyways. I have always been adding the additional 1/4tsp right before bottling. I rinse my bottles with sulphites also prior to bottling. Typically though if I open a bottle the next day after bottling it has a bit of the aroma of Sulphites, however I think this is because I rinse the bottles with the sulphites, the aroma is not present in the weeks or months of bottle aging. I guess I just chaulk this up to the same as bottle shock, typically most bottles need a good month after filtering and bottling and I try not to open them.
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2018
  11. Nov 20, 2018 #11

    cmason1957

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    You are correct about needing to add extra sulphite, IF you age in bulk, once under cork, there isn't a need for extra sulphite, beyond what is supplied with the kit. You can add it, but you do not need to. The amount supplied by the manufacturer is enough to protect your wine no matter how long you then age in the bottle.
     
  12. Nov 20, 2018 #12

    kuziwk

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    Yes but I fail to see the difference if you are bulk aging or aging in the bottle. Racking obviously exposes the wine to oxygen something that would not happen in the bottle. However there are other things that can effect the wine in the bottle such as temperature, light, air bubble In the bottle itself ect. Not to mention once bottled, adding anything to the wine now is impossible. I still think adding 1/4 tsp is smart prior to bottling...perhaps also depending on the amount of Sulphites that were added while in bulk and the time it was in the aging vessle. I'm not trying to being argumentative, I'm just trying to look at both aging methods analytically.
     
  13. Nov 21, 2018 #13

    Mkwine

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    Is it safe to assume that if you add a 1/4 teaspoon prior to bottling, the added sulfite will not only be free, but will “evaporate” or release when decanted?

    If so, I don’t see any problem adding a little more to help ensure that all of the hard work isn’t for nothing.

    Do others agree?
     
  14. Nov 22, 2018 #14

    kuziwk

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    I suppose it depends on how much sulphite was added during bulk aging and how long it's been sitting. If you followed the kit instructions all of them generally say if aging for either 3 or 6 months depending on the kit you should add in the 1/4tsp. They do not however specify if bulk aging or bottle aging. Everything I've read over the past year arguable says that the addition before bottling is the most important step. I found with some wines you may get a slight aroma if you open them the day after bottling but it fades over the next few weeks to a month, which is really bottle shock territory anyways. This could also be due to the fact i sanatize the bottles with Sulphites as well without letting them dry, perhaps I should allow the bottles to dry first. Once the wine gets over the bottle shock it generally wont have any aroma of Sulphites anyways and it's because the SO2 binds with the oxygen and bacteria and cancels each other out. Whatever is left of the free SO2 or if you choose to drink the wine early just decant it for an hour, or get one of those bottle aerators, there is one specifically they claim to reduce sulphite levels by 56%. There was a study someone did on here that I'm still looking for, they claim following the wine kit instructions that SO2 levels were dangerously low by the time of bottling. I think manufacturers do this so the wine can be consumed very early for new customers, since they are advertising a 6-8 week kit...even for big reds. If the wine did not taste good even in the early stages it may turn people off of their wine, since many new to the hobby are impatient.

    The funny thing is, while the wine may not turn to vinegar it could fall somewhat flat and be missing out on flavors or aromas without enough SO2. The worst part, we wouldn't even know the wine could have been better, we think that's just how the wine evolved and how it's supposed to taste.

    Yes with kits we are putting in 4-5 g of Sulphites but I use a drill to degas shortly after, by the time the CO2 is gone, how much Sulphites are really left? Not to mention during clearing I'm sure alot of the Sulphites drop out and bind to the bacteria, which is what prevents the formation of vinegar.
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2018

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