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How many of you don't check sulfite levels before bottling?

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Boatboy24

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I'm pretty bad about it, often forgetting probably because I'm thinking it's relatively safe once in the bottle. Trying to be better about sulfite testing overall though.
 

reeflections

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Still new to the game. I made my 1st batch of wine in February of this year and have made a total of 19 5 and 6 gallons batches. So far (knock on wood) I have been pretty happy with every batch without the means to test sulfite levels. Nor have I the capability to even test ph besides the paper that I have trouble reading. I've yet to make a kit wine, but I do follow recipes with some slight variations.

I guess if I start having problems, due to not knowing sulfite levels or ph, I will get what is needed to test them and learn how to correct. Maybe if I decide I want to make something different that I can't find a starter recipe for I will have to go that route. At this point, it seems that I don't know enuf to know what I don't know.

To date I have made banana, blueberry, ginger, SP, cherry, strawberry, and just started my 1st DB today.

So far, my biggest problem has been letting it age without drinking it all. I'm finally "getting ahead" enuf to solve that dilemma.
 

sour_grapes

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I'm pretty bad about it, often forgetting probably because I'm thinking it's relatively safe once in the bottle. Trying to be better about sulfite testing overall though.
I don't have the capability, nor the inclination to test sulfite levels at any time.
^^^^^
These.
 

NorCal

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I do, mostly because we have higher pH wines and I want to have enough SO2 to protect the wine, but not more than I need. My whites, where they have much better pH and I bottle in Jan, I’ll just toss 50ppm in and call it a day.
 

wood1954

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I’m going to start using labs to do my testing, very cheap and probably more accurate than my testing abilitie, in the past I would rinse my bottles with so2 prior to filling hoping that would help. I also add so2 to the carboy I rack to on bottling day, so it’s just a guess.
 

Bts

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I consider making wine without sulfites akin to crossing the street without looking both ways, you will get away with it until you don’t. I use sulfites.
And the question was about checking sulfite levels, not using sulfites at all. I have never checked sulfite levels because I don't have the equipment. However I always add sulfite at approximately the traditional dosage/schedule, including before bottling. Not the most precise method, but I've never had a batch go bad in the bottle. Presumably the traditional schedule is a bit heavy handed, and I could get away with less sulfite if I tested, but I've never seen any reason to bother.

Edit: Anecdata: I've done mostly juice buckets/kits for the last few years, but I recently opened a an 8 year old bottle of peach wine that I had forgotten in a corner, and it was still fine despite being sweetened and low on acidity and tannin. My understanding is that it's important to have sulfite enough to scavenge all the oxygen introduced in racking plus a little extra. How much extra doesn't matter all that much as long as you've got enough.
 
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jvbutter

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I'm not so good about it. I look at the date of last activity, then adjust accordingly. This weekend, we bottled up some of 2017 / 2016 Riesling and Gewurtz. I last filtered and sweetened it 6/20, so i did nothing more than siphon into bottles and cork.
 

ibglowin

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With a Kit wine especially a white wine that was being bottled anywhere from 3-6 months post yeast pitch and would be gone in 12-18 months more than likely I did not worry so much about SO2 levels.

However all red wines made from fresh grapes were absolutely tested for SO2 levels prior to bottling. If you are paying like I was close to $1000 a year for fresh grapes (~900lbs) and then babysitting the wines for 2 years before bottling including 3-6 months in a barrel you would be foolish not to test and risk your hard work perhaps only lasting a few years. I still have wines from as far back as 2011 that are drinking beautifully because they had decent adjusted pH, added tannin and proper SO2 levels at bottling.
 

itsmeagain

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When you bottle the wine does that stop the fermantation process? does anything stop it?
 

salcoco

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for a couple of years I would measure the so2 during aging and before bottling. I found that sulfate level would drop dramatically between racking every three months. then I went back to just adding a 1/4 tsp/ 5 gallons and began measurement and found that this dosage level covered all my sins without any problem. So I got rid of my equipment and just follow the common dosage. Somewhere in my reading years ago if you make a K-meta solution of 11 grams citric or tartaric acid and 3 grams of K-meta in one gallon of water and use this to spray the inside of the bottle before bottling it gets about 24ppm right off. So as a minimum I would recommend doing the spray.
 

sour_grapes

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When you bottle the wine does that stop the fermantation process? does anything stop it?
Your fermentation should be long over before you consider bottling it.

Home winemakers don't really have a practical way to stop an active fermentation. It stops when the yeast run out of food.
 

winemaker81

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I have never checked sulfite levels because I don't have the equipment.
This is me. Nor do I have the inclination.

I was taught to add 1/4 tsp K-meta per carboy at each racking (post-fermentation) and at bottling. This has worked so far and I have experienced nothing that makes testing imperative.

That said, everyone should do what they want to do. I'll never knock anyone for testing anything. Do what you believe you need to do.
 

Johnd

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I acquired the ability to test for SO2 with the intention of using it for all of my sulfite adjustments, including at bottling time. The reality is that I seldom use the testing equipment for testing SO2 at any time other than at bottling time.............
 

stickman

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I occasionally test while the wine is bulk aging, but not as often as most textbooks recommend. Because I'm bulk aging in a tank that's oxygen permeable, I'll transfer to demijohns on the bottling rack, and then test and add SO2 usually twice, over the period of 4 to 6 weeks or so just before bottling.
 

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