Adding sulphites before or after racking

Discussion in 'General Wine Making Forum' started by kuziwk, Nov 14, 2019.

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  1. Nov 14, 2019 #1

    kuziwk

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    Rookie question but say I’m at 25PPM sulfite, should I be adding sulphites before I rack or after? Most will say before, however how exactly are you supposed to add it before without stirring it in or otherwise distributing the sediment.
     
  2. Nov 14, 2019 #2

    Ajmassa

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    Mix it and add the sulphite dose to the empty carboy you are racking into. 1/4 tsp needs just a few cc’s of hot water to mix. (Or use the wine). And the racking will thoroughly mix the dose into the wine.
     
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  3. Nov 14, 2019 #3

    kuziwk

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    This is always what I do, however I read that one should mix it before racking to prevent oxidization during the racking process.
     
  4. Nov 14, 2019 #4

    stickman

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    I've seen that recommendation before, I believe it's based on the first so2 addition after primary fermentation and ML, so2 is added and stirred and the racking takes place a day or two later. The main focus of the procedure is to inhibit the population of bacteria before oxygen is introduced, and eliminate the heavy lees, the light lees are brought over intentionally. This is just another one of those decisions where there is no absolute right or wrong. For some winemakers and wine styles, there's no desire to completely eliminate lees this early in the process.

    @kuziwk if you already have 25ppm free so2, then adding so2 before or after racking is probably not an issue.
     
  5. Nov 14, 2019 #5

    CDrew

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    Any one else use those indose granules? Its a combo of KMBS and K Bicarb and dissolves like alkaseltzer mixing itself into the wine. I put the dose of those in the receiving vessel and rack, and the moment the wine hits the granules, they start to dissolve. I've been using them this year starting with harvest and so far, so good. But the only way to know exactly how much sulfite went into the receiving vessel is to put it in the receiving vessel, ideally followed up with a measurement.

    Anyway, not as cheap as bulk KMBS, but we're not in this hobby to save money. And there is essentially no waste because the sealed packs are good for a long time.
     
  6. Nov 14, 2019 #6

    Johnd

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    Interesting. K-Bicarb is what we use to remove / reduce acid from wine, have you ever checked your pH / TA before and after to see if you are affecting them?
     
  7. Nov 14, 2019 #7

    CDrew

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    No but it’s a tiny amount relative to the volume of wine.

    I’ll do it next time though and see.


    I could see where potassium carbonate (or Calcium Carbonate which is washing soda) would have a big effect, but not so much the potassium bicarbonate. Interesting. Some bedtime reading to do. The amount of KHCO3 is around 1 gram per 5 gallon equivalent.
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2019
  8. Nov 14, 2019 #8

    cmason1957

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    I don't think it effects the ph/ta. I have several commercial winemaking friends that swear by it. Easier to add to a big vat and make sure it gets properly dispersed is what they say.
     
  9. Nov 14, 2019 #9

    stickman

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    The question came up before, I use the 2gr so2 tablets and I haven't noticed any significant effect on pH or TA. One 2g net so2 tablet (5.5g gross) in a 30gal batch will yield about 17.6 ppm so2 and might drop the TA by .02g/l. They also have 5 gram net so2 tablets for the big boys with full size barrels. @Johnd @NorCal
     
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  10. Nov 14, 2019 #10

    Ajmassa

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    I’ve had a pack of the 2g’s in my “cart’ for a while now and have been meaning to ask a question about them.

    I understand the coating of the granules is layered so it dissolves at varying heights; designed to dose the wine proportionately as it drops.
    But Are they scored or able to be broken half for use on 15gal volumes?
     
  11. Nov 14, 2019 #11

    CDrew

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    They are already granular. So you can weigh them on a precision scale if desired. Also fairly easy to estimate 1/2 packet too which is about right for 5 gallons 50 ppm.
     
  12. Nov 14, 2019 #12

    stickman

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    I think you're referring to the granular material where there are different size pieces. The tablets I have are solid and drop straight to the bottom of the tank.
     
  13. Nov 14, 2019 #13

    Ajmassa

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    Hmm. You just lost me. I envisioned a large Camden tablet sorta. But composed of something that activates the dissolving. (The k-bicarb?). Basically a large alkaseltzer Kmeta pill.
    Seems I am way off ‍♂️
     
  14. Nov 14, 2019 #14

    Johnd

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    Interesting product. One 5g packet gets you 22 ppm in a 60 gallon barrel, so a couple would put me at 44. Dump two into the barrel, top up, put the bung in and done. Beats the heck out of stirring Kmeta into wine long enough to dissolve before dumping in.
     
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  15. Nov 15, 2019 #15

    CDrew

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    The granules come in individual dose packs. Works great. There are 2 sizes, the 2 gm and the 5 gm. I use the 2 gm size. They work really well.

    https://morewinemaking.com/products/effervescent-so2.html
     
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  16. Nov 15, 2019 #16

    stickman

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  17. Nov 15, 2019 #17

    NorCal

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    I’ve not seen these before. I could see the benefit of dosing as well as knowing it’s fresh. I buy a 1 lb bag each year and toss what’s left after the year is up. I’ve often wondered the efficacy of the SO2 after having the bag gone in to and out of after a year.
     
  18. Nov 15, 2019 #18

    whackfol

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    Pay attention to the weights. In my case the 5g sachet has 2g SO2. Contrary to most advice, I do split mine but only in half. I usually overshoot and it works out.

    The math is so easy. 2g = 2,000 mg = 2000 ppm in 1 liter. To figure what you need to add, just multiply the ppm’s needed by your volume and you know how many mg you need.
     
  19. Nov 18, 2019 #19

    CDrew

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    I racked 37 gallons of Tempranillo today and had 6.5 gallons over in a carboy. Measured and added the Inodose granules. Instant explosion of visible bubbles. You can see how this would distribute perfectly in the wine. No pH change after it settled down (about 3 minutes).

    And since the bubbles are CO2, they would tend to purge the headspace, even if minimal.
     
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  20. Nov 18, 2019 #20

    mbleill

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    I have been using the granular potassium metabisulfite; buying new every year.

    When racking 5 or 6 gallon carboy as in the first racking after primary fermentation and when adding potassium metabisulfite at subsequent rackings, I dissolve the granular product in a small amount of distilled water, ~ 1/4 tsp in 200 ml. I pour the dissolved solution into the receiving carboy then siphon the wine on top of the potassium metabisulfite solution. This thoroughly mixes the sulfites into the wine.

    When adding potassium metabisulfite to my 30 gallon oak barrels, I found that I need to dissolve the potassium metabisulfite in wine from the barrel prior to adding to the wine instead of dissolving it in water. By dissolving in wine, (SG = .994), instead of water, (SG = 1.000) the sulfite solution matches the SG weight of the wine and mixes with the wine a lot faster. When I used water, I found that the KSO2 solution sank to the bottom of the barrel and took longer to integrate into the wine. I have Vinmetrica sulfite measurement titration system.
     

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