Bulk aging, Kmeta, Airlock Questions

Discussion in 'General Wine Making Forum' started by I3igDmsu, Feb 16, 2015.

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  1. Feb 16, 2015 #1

    I3igDmsu

    I3igDmsu

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    Hey everyone, I'm newer to wine making (just started my second batch today). I have a few questions:
    1. I am bulk aging a Mezza Luna Red right now (added everything from the kit - sorbate, chitosan, meta bisulfite and degassed a lot) when I started bulk aging. I was planning on bulk aging for 6 months and bottling as long as it's totally clear. Bottle age for 3 months and then start drinking (9 months total aging). Are these agings appropriate for this wine? I've heard you at least need to bottle age for 3 months for bottle shock. True?
    2. What other steps do I need during the bulk aging and bottling process? Rack a few more times (once every 3 months?)? Remember I added the metabisulfite at the beginning of bulk aging. Should I add K-meta when racking? How much Kmeta? When bottling, how much Kmeta to add to each bottle?
    3. I have a 3 piece airlock on the glass carboy right now that I continually need to fill up with Kmeta (once a week or so) because of evaporation. How should I switch this to a S-airlock, which I've heard needs less maintenance? I don't want to let too much oxygen in during the switch... Is there a time to add it that would be better (ex. when racking - but not sure if I need to rack)?

    Sorry for all of the questions and thanks for the help!
     
  2. Feb 17, 2015 #2

    sour_grapes

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    For #1: I think those agings sound appropriate to this wine (which does not have a grape pack). However, I should note that I made a MLR, and it still tastes young at over 18 mos. old. I did not bulk age it to speak of, however, so hopefully yours will mature faster.

    #2: Standard advice here is to add 1/4 tsp k-meta every three months. You probably won't even need to rack, but you should rack when you see a layer of sediment. I would plan to bottle three months after you last added k-meta, and therefore add another 1/4 tsp at bottling time.

    #3. Just pull out the old trap and put in the new one. Your exposure will be negligible.
     
  3. Feb 17, 2015 #3

    olusteebus

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    use glycerin in the airlock. It will not evaporate.
     
  4. Feb 17, 2015 #4

    bkisel

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    I just starting using Saran Wrap for a bulk aging airlock. I add two rubber bands around the neck after the wrap has been placed to ensure an air tight seal. So far so good.
     
  5. Feb 17, 2015 #5

    Floandgary

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    Purpose for racking every couple of months is to get finished wine off of any sediments. Eventually (some sooner than others) there will be no more droppings and you'll be ready for bottling when aged to your satisfaction. 1/4 tsp K-meta per 6gal of wine at each racking, for protection from any wild yeasties , is the accepted norm. I stir in K-meta @3 days prior to bottling. No need to add anything to individual bottles. No harm in drinking as soon as you bottle. Actually a good idea so as to witness progress/changes. After all the end result is "what tickles YOUR tastebuds"! Record it all...
     
  6. Feb 17, 2015 #6

    Bergmann

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    Waterless airlocks are the way to go after fermentation and prior to cold stabilization, and from then on. Been my technique for quite a while now.
     
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  7. Feb 18, 2015 #7

    jumby

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    Why K-meta 3 days prior to bottling? I bulk age on average for 6 months. I add K-meta when I start aging then again at 3 months. At 6 months I just bottle. I never had a problem to this point. Just wondering if I should dosing it again prior to bottling too???
     
  8. Feb 18, 2015 #8

    sour_grapes

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    How long do you intend to age it in the bottle? The "right" answer depends somewhat on that.
     
  9. Feb 18, 2015 #9

    jumby

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    Usually the last bottle is gone before reaching 2 years old. Is OK to add the K-meta during bottling or should it be done a few days prior to bottling?
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2015
  10. Feb 22, 2015 #10

    jumby

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    Thoughts anyone?
     
  11. Feb 22, 2015 #11

    bkisel

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    I think k-meta @ bottling would be just fine.

    For kits I add the 1/4 tsp k-meta at bottling. I bottle age 2 mo. for 4-week kits and 3 mo. for 6-week kits before gifting and consumption begins. I'm starting to hold back a bottle or two of each batch I make but the rest is gone easily with a years time.

    For DB I add no extra k-meta at bottling. DB gets bulk aged, if you can call it that, for maybe two weeks and then bottled. DB gets gifted and consumption begins days after getting bottled.
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2015
  12. Feb 22, 2015 #12

    sour_grapes

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    I agree -- adding just prior to bottling is fine. Just dissolve it in some wine or water to make sure it is well and truly dissolved.
     
  13. Feb 22, 2015 #13

    Floandgary

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    Bulk aging recommends dosing with K-meta @2-3 month intervals. The only reason I add K-meta prior to bottling is that I try to time it around the time I would have done a rackover. And several days before bottling only to allow things to disperse and settle. Fact is, it's my habit. No real science behind it and you won't be adding k-meta forever. I would suspect that the use of K-meta and/or similar substances is a result of an aging process somewhere, some time time ago, that developed an adverse issue and spoilage. It's simply a generalized safeguard to make our hobby a little less rigid:b
     
  14. Mar 17, 2015 #14

    corinth

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    bulk-aging-kmeta-airlock-questions-

    I understand the schedule for bulk aging and the addition of K- meta(basically). What I need help understanding is why do we add K-meta every three months for a red wine( for example), say nine months but but once we bottled our wine at six months (our last dose prior to bottling), our bottles of wine will never(?) get a dose ever again or say a year and a half. What is it about bottling that exempts it from the addition of K-meta while in the bulk aging stage, we add k-meta?

    I am starting to wander about but I know some one will be able to decipher what i have attempted to convey.:?

    Thanks,
    Corinth:sp
     
  15. Mar 18, 2015 #15

    heatherd

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    If I understand your question, I think the answer is that kmeta acts as an antioxidant during aging. Once wine is bottled there is less need for that. The incremental dose is because home winemakers tend to use lower amounts than commercial ones, so we have to keep adding the small dose. More info:
    http://winemakersacademy.com/potassium-metabisulfite-wine/
    Heather
     
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  16. Mar 18, 2015 #16

    Bergmann

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    kmet is used to preserve the wine, the Resulting SO2 only acts as a preservative when free. once bonded to O2 it has done it's job, some is also lost to evaporation. When we rack the wine we introduce more O2 to the wine while at the same time offgas SO2 this depletion can put our wine at risk. so as insurance we replace it. once the wine is bottled little O2 contacts it and little SO2 can offgas or become bound.
    In summation the addition during bulk aging keeps the free SO2 at proper levels to protect the wine, at bottling it insures the wine goes into cellaring with adequate free SO2.

    If one chooses to one can measure the free SO2 prior to bottling and add what is required in conjunction with the acidity of the particular wine, to be precise.
     
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  17. Mar 18, 2015 #17

    Turock

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    Well, it depends. If you're sweetening and using sorbate at bottling time, then yes you need to use a dose of meta. However, if you otherwise have the proper amount of free sulfite in the wine, you don't need to re-dose it. The only way to know this is by testing for free sulfite.
     
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  18. Oct 9, 2018 #18

    bstnh1

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    Not sure I'd go with Saran Wrap for any period of time. It's made from polyethylene and has a high oxygen permeability.
     
  19. Oct 9, 2018 #19

    balatonwine

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    Rinse your bottles with a 10% k-meta solution, let drain, then bottle. For most wine consumed within two years, that is enough. :)
     
  20. Oct 14, 2018 #20

    winemaker81

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    I3igDmsu, first, my responses to your questions:

    1. Every wine is different. Keep in mind that 90% of the world's wine production is intended for consumption within 3 years. Your intention of drinking the wine starting at 9 months is probably reasonable. Most wine is certainly drinkable within a few months of bottling, but most benefit from at least 6 months aging. My best response is to ask the question, "what do YOU want?". If you are satisfied, no one else's opinion matters.

    This morning I racked a methyglin that I started a few months ago. I tasted it, and am very pleased. It's clear and stable, I could drink it now. But I know from experience that it will be far superior a year from now, and even better 5 years from now. It's a trade-off of enjoy now or enjoy later.

    The only realistic solution is to make a LOT of wine so that some has a chance to age .... :)

    2. Touch the wine as little as possible. If there is no significant sediment in 3 months, don't touch it. Folks will tell you the wine needs sulfite every 3 months. I disagree. If it doesn't need racking, don't. Add sulfite at bottling, typically 1/4 tsp per 5 gallons.

    3. I stopped using "S" airlocks decades ago. If one gets junk in it, you throw it out, it's nearly impossible to clean. I don't understand what condition you have that the airlock liquid evaporates in a week, but I accept that it is true. Check the airlocks every week and keep them as full as they can be.

    You want to admire your own handiwork, so check the airlocks on a regular basis. :)

    I have a question: what benefit do you expect to get from bulk aging?

    As you are a newcomer to the hobby, I'm interested in your perception of the practice of bulk aging.

    My attitude on bulk aging predates the internet, but recently I'm developing a new opinion -- based, believe it or not -- on kit wines. Kit wines have me thinking of the reasons behind old practices. I'm seeing modern products as game changers.

    Let's make this a general question -- why does anyone practice bulk aging?
     

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