How to get sulfite taste out

Wine Making Talk

Help Support Wine Making Talk:

peagen

Member
Joined
Dec 24, 2008
Messages
57
Reaction score
1
Does any one know how to get the taste and smell of sulfite out of the wine. I used sodium meta. I used 5/8 of a teaspoon when i started it on Dec. 19 and another 5/8 of a teaspoon when i racked on Feb 1st. Now it is almost ready to bottle but it has avery strong smell and taste of the sulfite. It was a 5 gallon batch made from welches grape juice. Does it just have to set longer.
 

Skyhawk

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 8, 2009
Messages
126
Reaction score
1
First, are you sure it's a sulfite smell and not the rotten egg smell of H2S?

But it does sound like a fair amount of meta you added, and you're probably over 100ppm with the last edition. Depending on the pH level, you likely have enough free sulfite in there to be easily detectable by the senses.

I'd rack it again, without being careful about preventing oxidation. In fact, I'd let things splash a bit while doing it. The excess free sulphite will bind with the oxygen. Then give it some time to recover (a couple weeks at least) and taste it every so often until you think it's good enough to bottle (without additional meta of course).
 

arcticsid

Arctic Contributor
Joined
Oct 26, 2008
Messages
4,203
Reaction score
59
If I understand corrctly you need 50ppm sulphite, thats roughly about a 1/4 teaspoon for 4 gallons or so. Am I close Sky? Did PAE use too much to begin with and was it necessary to add even more at the transfer?

Troy
 

peagen

Member
Joined
Dec 24, 2008
Messages
57
Reaction score
1
I may have used to much. I crushed a campden tablet once to see how much it was in measurment and it was about 1/8 of a teaspoon, and since all the receipes that I have say to use 1 tablet per gallon I used 1/8 of a teaspoon per gallon. So are yall sayin that you only have to add one tablet per gallon at the start and no more when it is racked again. Thanks for the info guys.
 

arcticsid

Arctic Contributor
Joined
Oct 26, 2008
Messages
4,203
Reaction score
59
I'm not sure bro', trying to learn right along with you. I just asked this question and Wade told me that 3 1/2 tablets is the equivalent of 1/4 teaspoon of powdered metabisulphite, and I do believe the general rule is 1 tablet per gallon. I hope I am not telling you wrong.
 

Skyhawk

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 8, 2009
Messages
126
Reaction score
1
The amount of meta required depends on the type of wine (red or white, sweet or dry) and the pH. k-meta is much more effective at a lower pH, so much so that it takes twice the amount of k-meta at 3.4 than it does at 3.1 to achieve the same level of free SO2.

What's important is the level of free SO2 in your wine. I don't measure SO2, but I do measure pH, which is enough to give me a ball-park measurement of what my levels are. There are many charts and graphs available that show the relationship between pH, free molecular SO2 ppm, total SO2 ppm, and the amount of k-meta.

Check here for example.

Here is a sulfite calculator.

At bottling, dry red wine "should" contain about 0.5 ppm free molecular SO2, and this can be achieved by usually having 20 to 50 ppm sulfites depending on pH, and white wine should contain 0.8 ppm molecular SO2. Sweet wines can contain 2.0 ppm free SO2 with over 100ppm sulfite.

A little over 100ppm isn't a LOT, but you might be able to taste or smell it depending on the acidity until the levels reduce over time. SO2 usually drops in wine even after bottling; by 10ppm or more within the couple months. So what you might smell very faintly at bottling time may not be there when you open the bottle, especially if you decant and let it "breath" at bit before serving.

I'm not a big believer in using SO2 as a preservative in bottled wine. At bottling time, I add a bit to lower oxidation potential - and levels of free SO2 are probably under 0.3 at the time. Keep in mind that my wine has been stablized (even when using a kit) at least 2 months before bottling. I know a person that uses no sulfite in their wine making process at all, and their big high-tannin/alcohol reds keep for years and continue to improve nicely. SO2 is also a naturally created substance in wine, and even when no meta is added, you'll likely see 6 ppm total sulfites in the bottle.
 

Ceegar

Senior Member
Joined
May 24, 2009
Messages
144
Reaction score
0
Does any one know how to get the taste and smell of sulfite out of the wine. I used sodium meta. I used 5/8 of a teaspoon when i started it on Dec. 19 and another 5/8 of a teaspoon when i racked on Feb 1st. Now it is almost ready to bottle but it has avery strong smell and taste of the sulfite. It was a 5 gallon batch made from welches grape juice. Does it just have to set longer.
I know this thread is rather old and the issue probably isn't an issue anymore, but I had this happen to my raspberry batch a few weeks ago where it smelled awful of sulfur/rotten eggs - to me those 2 smells are one in the same. I think I know why too - when I sanitized my straining bag I never rinsed it. My wife helped hold the bag open while I put the raspberries in it and afterwards she said her hands stunk - too much meta in a 1 gal batch I'm assuming. The funny thing is it didn't start to smell like that until fermentation was finishing up.

I did what Skyhawk suggested here and racked into a primary bucket then went from 1 bucket to another, back and forth several times between 2 buckets, letting it splash from a good distance into the buckets, splashing the living sulfites right out of it and it seems to went away after a couple of weeks.
 

jimk

Member
Joined
Jun 8, 2009
Messages
36
Reaction score
0
I think I may have screwed up my NZ Savignol Blanc. It tasted fine out of the carboy but I added 1/4 tsp meta to it before bottling because I was planning to store it in the bottles for a while. I bottled about 5 weeks ago and opened one bottle yesterday and the wine had a sulfur odor to it. Will this smell go away over time in the bottle?
Thanks
 
Last edited:

Racer

Future vineyard owner
Joined
Oct 25, 2008
Messages
619
Reaction score
1
Jimk your wine should be fine if thats all that you did extra to it. 1/4 tsp. of k-meta at bottling is for helping the wine store longer for you. If you can try to decant the wine before serving it. If not pour the wine into glasses ahead of time to help get the sulphite to bind with some O2 to drive off the smell.After a few more months you wont get this problem to show anymore.
 

Wade E

Premium
Joined
Jul 3, 2006
Messages
33,224
Reaction score
277
How long was it since you added the sulfite that came with the kit until you added the 2nd dose. Being a white wine if it was early it will need some time to settle in and opening a bottle in this short time after bottling isnt a good idea for any wine as the act of putting a cork in a bottle compresses air in there which stresses the wine, we call it bottle shock and that usually can take up to 3 months to go away.
 

jimk

Member
Joined
Jun 8, 2009
Messages
36
Reaction score
0
I actually wasn't planning to drink this for a few months but curiosity got the better of me. You have put my mind at ease.
Thanks again.
 

MN-winer

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 2, 2009
Messages
294
Reaction score
0
I had a sulfer smell on my Riesling last time I opened a bottle - too early I might add. It goes away quickly after decanting or pouring. No harm really but my habit is always to take a nice sniff after uncorking. The smell eventually has gotten better since my first opening.
 
Top