Chemical free

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I've been making meads without using campden tablets or any chemicals to stop the fermentation, and i'm just wondering if there is anything special that i need to do. basically, i've just been waiting until the fermentation has stopped for about a week or so, then i've bottled. no explosions, yet.
Campden can not stop fermentation
unless you are willing to use so much that your wine
will taste like chewing sulfur matches.

Always let the wine ferment to dry then clear
and then add
in equal amounts potassium sorbate and
potassium metabisulphite (campden).

The sulphite will prevent oxidising and prevent
molds and bacteria to grow. The sorbate will prevent
any living yeast to multiply so prevent a new
fermentation to start.

Do some reading on this.
You can find good free books on my web-log
in the column on the right:

THe purpose of campden tabs is to provide s02 (sulphites) that stuns or kills wild yeasts so that your wine yeasts can get first crack the sugars in your must. If your making wine from fresh fruit or grapes, then you definately should consider sulphiting your must.

Most wine kits include a packet of potassium metabisulphite that is added after fermrntation is complete and before you start the degassing or racking procedures. Sulphites are a thing that will dissipate out of wine over time through the airlock.

I've found that wines with more sulphites are more likely to cause a bad hangover. Thats why i try to leave them out whenever i can.

The sorbates (stabilizers) are chemicals used to kill off all the yeast once they are finished converting the sugars into alcohol. They are also used in a wide variety of food and pharmacy products as preservatives. While they will prevent renewed fermentation, they will not stop an active one.
(I have read that Potassium Sorbate is prescribed as a cure for feminine yeast infections :eek: )

If your wine is clear and the SG has been stable below 1.000 for at least a month, then you dont need to stabilize. There shouldnt be any sugars left to wake your yeast up. Just be extra careful with your cleanliness and sanitation.
Hey also
I thought I was the only one going chemical-free. Been doing it for several years now. What I've found is that my wine spoils more often than before. That's the price you pay.
I also discovered that my bottled wine spoils more often than locked wine. I leave my wine under locks unless I absolutely have to bottle it. Maybe it oxidizes more and tastes different, but I haven't noticed it. On the down side, I have to constantly check the lock levels and change the solution occasionally. Something to think about.

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