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After fermentation and racking

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Dave35

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I'm going to buy regina juice buckets of red wine, I keep getting different info. There website says to add 1 gram of potassium sorbate and one gram of potassium metabisulfite per gallon after fermentation. And that's it. No more before bottling.

I was told not to do either.
I was told only use the metabisulfite.
Then I was told to add metabisulfite every time I rack.

I did it last year and it turned out good. But I'm doing alot more this year and I'm hopeful to get some consistency in advice.
 

drainsurgeon

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I'm still fairly new here also, but most here say to add kmeta (potassium metabisulfite) after first racking and ferment is done. After that every other racking or 3 month period and one more dosing right before bottling. 1/4 tsp per 6 gallon batch. Sorbate is only needed if you are going to back-sweeten the wine.
 

Dave35

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Yea I think there online instructions are very general and the sorbate is for sweet wine. Thanks for your input. How many grams do you thing that is as far as the sorbate one gram? Or half a gram.
 

Johnd

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I'm going to buy regina juice buckets of red wine, I keep getting different info. There website says to add 1 gram of potassium sorbate and one gram of potassium metabisulfite per gallon after fermentation. And that's it. No more before bottling.

I was told not to do either.
I was told only use the metabisulfite.
Then I was told to add metabisulfite every time I rack.

I did it last year and it turned out good. But I'm doing alot more this year and I'm hopeful to get some consistency in advice.
OK, let's try to make this simple.

1. Ferment your wine in the bucket until the specific gravity is around 1.010 (a hydrometer is a great investment at 10 bucks)

2 Transfer (rack) to a sanitized carboy, install an airlock and let it sit until the SG doesn't change for 3 days in a row.

3 Rack your wine to a sanitized carboy, leaving the lees behind. If your wine has fermented dry, indicated by a specific gravity of .996 or lower, and you do not intend to ever add any sugar to it, you do not need potassium sorbate. The sorbate is simply birth control for yeast and once added prevents the yeast from multiplying and fermenting sugar. If you have no more sugar, you don't need it. You do need to add potassium metabisulfite. KMS will protect your wine from both unwanted organisms and bacteria as well as providing a level of protection from oxidation. Typical dosage is 1/4 teaspoon per 6 gallons every three months.

4. As your wine sits in the carboy and ages, it will naturally release the CO2 in it (from fermentation) and will also begin to drop sediment and clear. As this process evolves, you may feel the need to rack if the sediment layer gets to be an inch or so and your wine is looking clear, so go ahead and rack it, leaving the sediment behind. If it's been a month or month and a half since your last racking, add 1/8 teaspoon of KMS to the nice clear wine after you rack. If you've waited 3 months, use the full dose of 1/4 teaspoon.

5. Rack every 3 months if there is sediment to rack off of, also adding the 1/4 tsp KMS dose.

This is a very simple explanation, and there are other interventions available to remove CO2 quickly and to clear your wine quickly, but time and patience will work every time.

The protection provided by the KMS degrades as it becomes bound in solution within your wine, that's why we add the dose of 1/4 tsp per 6 gallons every three months. This is just a rule of thumb if you don't have the equipment or testing supplies to test for free SO2 in your wine. So if you aren't testing for it, follow the rule of thumb and it will keep you and your wine out of trouble.
 

Dave35

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Very helpful and detailed! I like it! Thanks sounds right to me.
 

Dave35

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Do you recommend sodium metabisulfite or potassium metabisulfite or doesn't matter?
 

Dave35

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Also I'm trying to figure out the dosage every one want a to sell you Camden tablets and not the powder. What one do you recommend?
 

heatherd

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Also I'm trying to figure out the dosage every one want a to sell you Camden tablets and not the powder. What one do you recommend?
I like the powder for how well it dissolves, but some people like the convenience of the tablets.
 

Dave35

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Do you recommend dissolving it in a small amout of the wine and then adding. Some people say warm water. I thought putting it into small amount of wine would work.
 

Dave35

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Is it necessary to add potassium metabisulfite right before bottling? And how long does you think it's safe to sit in a bottle and how long should it sit?
 

drainsurgeon

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You can dissolve it in water, wine, or just sprinkle it in. I usually do a racking just before bottling. just to make sure there are no more lees dropping out. If there is any gunk at the bottom of the carboy, I let her sit another week or two. I add the 1/4 tsp into the carboy I am racking into and stir it up good. Adding just before bottling is just a little added protection in case some of those nastie's sneak in while your bottling.

I think your "how long should it sit" question is referring to aging. Generally, 6 months to a year. Some keep improving with age, but some do not. Some of the fruit wines are at peak in just a few months. Dragon Blood is one of those.
 

Johnd

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Heatherd is right on track. Although it comes down to personal choice, mine is the powdered form for ease of measuring either with fractional teaspoons or with a gram scale, plus you don't have to crush it to get it to dissolve.

The sodium is a fine product for sanitizing, but will add an off flavor to your wine. Potassium is good for both, my choice is to only use potassium to avoid ever switching them up.
 

Scooter68

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Tablets have one advantage - you use one per gallon - measuring made simple. In some cases as JohnD gave in his directions (great ones by the way John) you might split a tablet for odd gallon amounts (1, gallon 3 gallon, 5 gallon)
You have to crush tablets up but that's not hard at all (Unless you lean over too close while checking to see if you have crushed it enough - cough cough) I still use tablets - one less possible mistake in measuring and easy to tell when I need to go get more.
 
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