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Fact Check – Splash Racking Reduces SO2

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BigMac

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After a carefully controlled experiment I can tell you it does NOT.

Last year after picking and fermenting Frontenac Gris I zoned out and overdosed the wine with SO2 so that it was near 100ppm.

I do want to mention that over the past few years I have been hitting newly fermented wine at about 60ppm with the initial addition to preserve the aromatics of the wine. I’ve had much better results since I’ve been doing this.

I’ve pretty much thrown out the SO2 / PH chart, in my mind this gives the bare minimums to protect the wine but not the nose.

But I digress…

Since fall 2017 to now, the SO2 dropped from 100ppm to 60ppm.

Factoid – The legal maximum of SO2 in wine in the US is 350ppm. That’s a crapload of SO2.

I use the Vinmetrica SC-100 to test SO2. If you don’t have one you need to get one. Using the ROT of adding a 1/4tsp to your carboy every time you rack, really doesn’t cut it.

So I have the 8 gals of Frontenac Gris on my bench with a gravity feed to a 15 gal open bucket. I help it along by splashing it around with my paddle. Then pump it back into the carboy with my All in One Wine Pump. And if you don’t have one of those you need to get one!

So I figured I would do this 5 times. I was hoping to get it down to 40ppm or even 50ppm I would be happy with.

The SO2 was 60ppm when I started, and 60ppm when I finished.

My conclusion is that Splash Racking does not reduce SO2.

The wine tasted good, I bottled it.

My wife is happy she has white wine, now I can bet back to my red.

Cheers!
 

Johnd

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After a carefully controlled experiment I can tell you it does NOT.

Last year after picking and fermenting Frontenac Gris I zoned out and overdosed the wine with SO2 so that it was near 100ppm.

I do want to mention that over the past few years I have been hitting newly fermented wine at about 60ppm with the initial addition to preserve the aromatics of the wine. I’ve had much better results since I’ve been doing this.

I’ve pretty much thrown out the SO2 / PH chart, in my mind this gives the bare minimums to protect the wine but not the nose.

But I digress…

Since fall 2017 to now, the SO2 dropped from 100ppm to 60ppm.

Factoid – The legal maximum of SO2 in wine in the US is 350ppm. That’s a crapload of SO2.

I use the Vinmetrica SC-100 to test SO2. If you don’t have one you need to get one. Using the ROT of adding a 1/4tsp to your carboy every time you rack, really doesn’t cut it.

So I have the 8 gals of Frontenac Gris on my bench with a gravity feed to a 15 gal open bucket. I help it along by splashing it around with my paddle. Then pump it back into the carboy with my All in One Wine Pump. And if you don’t have one of those you need to get one!

So I figured I would do this 5 times. I was hoping to get it down to 40ppm or even 50ppm I would be happy with.

The SO2 was 60ppm when I started, and 60ppm when I finished.

My conclusion is that Splash Racking does not reduce SO2.

The wine tasted good, I bottled it.

My wife is happy she has white wine, now I can bet back to my red.

Cheers!
I'm curious about your results, were you testing for Free SO2 or Total SO2 when you observed no change in the concentration after racking back and forth?
 

stickman

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I think it is good that people post their experiences.
A couple of things to note about sulfites; only the molecular portion of SO2 is volatile, so initially the splash racking may reduce the level by only a couple ppm which might not even be detected during testing, but the wine has picked up dissolved oxygen which will react with wine components generating compounds that will ultimately consume some of the free SO2. If you saturated the wine with oxygen, the free SO2 may drop 20 to 30ppm, but that might take 4 weeks to see the results.
 

Ajmassa

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. I do want to mention that over the past few years I have been hitting newly fermented wine at about 60ppm with the initial addition to preserve the aromatics of the wine. I’ve had much better results since I’ve been doing this.

I’ve pretty much thrown out the SO2 / PH chart, in my mind this gives the bare minimums to protect the wine but not the nose.
!
So2 ph chart protects from bacteria and oxidizing, but not the aromatics you say? And more is needed? Is this your theory or accepted fact? Whats the reasoning behind losing the nose via too low So2 ppm?
 

pgentile

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I think it is good that people post their experiences.
A couple of things to note about sulfites; only the molecular portion of SO2 is volatile, so initially the splash racking may reduce the level by only a couple ppm which might not even be detected during testing, but the wine has picked up dissolved oxygen which will react with wine components generating compounds that will ultimately consume some of the free SO2. If you saturated the wine with oxygen, the free SO2 may drop 20 to 30ppm, but that might take 4 weeks to see the results.
Doesn't temperature play a role as well? @BigMac curious to what the temp of the wine was during this process?
 

BigMac

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I'm curious about your results, were you testing for Free SO2 or Total SO2 when you observed no change in the concentration after racking back and forth?
I was measuring the free SO2.
 

BigMac

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Doesn't temperature play a role as well? @BigMac curious to what the temp of the wine was during this process?
I like where you are going with this. My basement is around 67 degrees in the summer.
So you are thinking that the cooler the temp the less impact?
 

BigMac

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So2 ph chart protects from bacteria and oxidizing, but not the aromatics you say? And more is needed? Is this your theory or accepted fact? Whats the reasoning behind losing the nose via too low So2 ppm?
LOL! My theory only sir. However I got the suggestion from the head winemaker at Fox Valley Winery in IL. Jason is in our wine club and always has good tips.
 

BigMac

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I think it is good that people post their experiences.
A couple of things to note about sulfites; only the molecular portion of SO2 is volatile, so initially the splash racking may reduce the level by only a couple ppm which might not even be detected during testing, but the wine has picked up dissolved oxygen which will react with wine components generating compounds that will ultimately consume some of the free SO2. If you saturated the wine with oxygen, the free SO2 may drop 20 to 30ppm, but that might take 4 weeks to see the results.
Hello Stickman! Thank you for this! I will report back in a month.
I bet you are right.
Like many things, key details often get lost when information is passed along.
 

meadmaker1

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Hello Stickman! Thank you for this! I will report back in a month.
I bet you are right.
Like many things, key details often get lost when information is passed along.
As a technician ive often commented on , how difrerant a thought sounds out loud, than it does bouncing around between my ears.
 

AkTom

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And just for the record... my head isn’t empty. It’s filled with silliness. That keeps the wind from whistling when it goes in one ear and out the other.
 
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