Beginner questions

Discussion in 'Beginners Wine Making Forum' started by Lynyrd Skynyrd, Oct 9, 2019.

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  1. Oct 9, 2019 #1

    Lynyrd Skynyrd

    Lynyrd Skynyrd

    Lynyrd Skynyrd

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    i’m preparing for my second time of wine making, and hoping for a sweet red wine (first batch was from an all inclusive kit that was drier than I like). My first question, in order to buy supplies, is: what is the difference between sodium bisulfite and potassium bisulfite? What do they do/how are they used? Which do I need, or both? And finally, are they harmful, as I read where some folks don’t like using them.
     
  2. Oct 9, 2019 #2

    Scooter68

    Scooter68

    Scooter68

    Fruit "Wine" Maker

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    Don't buy SODIUM Metabisulfate.

    Go with Potassium Bisulfate (Correct name is Potassium Metabisulfate) Shorthand that we use for it is K-Meta and in tablet form Campden Tablets.
    Simply put it’s an antioxidant. It slows down the aging, i.e. oxidation, of wine by removing free oxygen suspended in the wine.

    It's used for sanitizing and for aiding in the stabilization and preservation of wine.

    1/4 tsp of K-Meta is used per 5-6 gallons of wine to aid in perservation and stabilization of wine. It's used in that amount also when preparing fruit for fermentation. When used in preparation you wait 12-24 hours after dosing a batch before adding yeast.

    To make a sanitizing solutuion K-Meta is added at the rate of 2oz per gallon of water. That solution is then used to rinse bottles, buckets, carboys and equipment. Most times it's best not rinse after using it - just drain let things dry.
     
  3. Oct 10, 2019 #3

    Lynyrd Skynyrd

    Lynyrd Skynyrd

    Lynyrd Skynyrd

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    Okay, thanks. So if I read and understand correctly, sanitize with it, and use it prior to bottling to prevent fermentation in the bottle. And, if using fruit instead of juice, add it to fruit then wait 12-24 hours prior to adding yeast? And why do folks worry about adding it? I'm assuming it's not harmful or it wouldn't be used by anyone?
     
  4. Oct 10, 2019 #4

    Scooter68

    Scooter68

    Scooter68

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    We use K-Meta for:
    1) Sanitization at the higher strength.
    2) At initial crush/prep of fruit to eliminate bacteria and stun/stop wild yeast
    3) At end of fermentation to help prevent oxidation and prevent spoilage while we clear and age the wine.
    4) During aging approx every 3 months to renew protection from oxidation/spoilage
    5) Immediately before bottling time to provide that same protection to our bottled wine. Additionally if there is residual sugar in the wine or we have added fermentable sugar to sweeten the wine before bottling, we also add Potassium Sorbate to prevent yeast from re-starting fermentation in the bottle.

    BY ITSELF - K-Meta will not stop fermentation. It may slow it or stall it but if there is fermentable sugar present yeast can still ferment and cause problems so that's why we also add Potassium Sorbate to sweetened wine of one that has appreciable residual sugar. Personally if I add ANY sugar before bottling OR if my wine has an SG above .994 I would add potassium sorbate before bottling.

    If using a canned or bottled juice you probably don't need to use K-Meta. If you add real fruit or use Home-prepared fruit juice I would use it.

    SODIUM Metabisulfate use is like adding salt to your wine. Some folks use it for sanitizing but personally I would not want it in my wine so I would not even have it in on my shelf of additives.
     
    mainshipfred likes this.
  5. Oct 10, 2019 #5

    Lynyrd Skynyrd

    Lynyrd Skynyrd

    Lynyrd Skynyrd

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    Thank you SO much! That answers my questions completely!
     

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