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Linetec

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Looking for some advice on when and how to add KMETA to juice. Last night I racked off my gross lee's from my carboy. After primary fermentation, I let the wine sit in the carboy for approx 2 weeks making sure I got good compaction of the lee's. I transferred the wine to a juice bail where I added approx 1/4 tsp of potassium metabisulfite. I transferred the wine back to my now clean and sanitized carboy and degassed the wine for approx 15-20mins using my vacuum pump. I topped up the carboy using last years wine to about 3/4" from the bung.

My question is, was it ok for me to add the potassium metabisulfite when I had the wine in the juice pail or should I have added it when I transferred back into the carboy? I've been reading other posts about oxygen exposure and such so I'm curious what everyone thinks.

Thanks!!
 

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Looking for some advice on when and how to add KMETA to juice. Last night I racked off my gross lee's from my carboy. After primary fermentation, I let the wine sit in the carboy for approx 2 weeks making sure I got good compaction of the lee's. I transferred the wine to a juice bail where I added approx 1/4 tsp of potassium metabisulfite. I transferred the wine back to my now clean and sanitized carboy and degassed the wine for approx 15-20mins using my vacuum pump. I topped up the carboy using last years wine to about 3/4" from the bung.

My question is, was it ok for me to add the potassium metabisulfite when I had the wine in the juice pail or should I have added it when I transferred back into the carboy? I've been reading other posts about oxygen exposure and such so I'm curious what everyone thinks.

Thanks!!
after ferment, and every time you rack, which should be somewhere around 3 months,
you get in a hury pitch you some skitter pee or dragon blood, that will keep you outta the good stuff,,,
Dawg
 
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First, O2 exposure is really misunderstood. O2 damage (oxidation) is a factor of wine volume, O2 amount, and time. Smaller volumes of wine will react negatively to larger amounts of air over shorter periods of time. Hopefully that makes sense.

6 gallons setting in an open bucket for an hour is not going to instantly oxidize. I personally recommend against it, but if it happens, it's not the end of the world. Similarly, a relatively large headspace in a carboy is bad, because the duration in which the O2 it contains gives it time to damage the wine.

Usage of K-meta is a divisive topic.

K-meta protects the wine because the free SO2 binds to contaminants in the wine, including O2. This uses up the free SO2, which is why we need to add more periodically.

A lot of folks add K-meta to the new must to kill or inhibit wild yeast and bacteria, then pitch the yeast a day later after the SO2 has done it's job and the level of SO2 is reduced.

If it's red wine and you're planning MLF? Most folks suggest going very light on K-meta or not at all, as MLB (bacteria, not baseball) doesn't handle K-meta very well.

After that? Some folks do SO2 testing and calculate the exact amount of SO2 to add to the wine.

Me? I add 1/4 tsp K-meta per 5 or 6 gallons of wine at each racking, and every 3 months during bulk aging. It's an old rule-of-thumb and it works.
 

Linetec

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@winemaker81 the wine was in the bucket at most 30 mins, very minimal exposure. I did add 1/4 k-meta at the very beginning before I pitched my yeast. Then added another 1/4 tsp after racking off the lee's. I was just looking for what others do in regards to usage of k-meta.

As for MLF, that's something new to me and still researching it. Don't know much about it yet...lol..I'm a newbie...but I'm sure there are many users on these forums that are experts who I can turn to for advice.
 
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@Linetec, there's more than one valid answer to most questions, so things can be very confusing for the beginner. I try to provide a complete answer without overwhelming you, which doesn't always work well.

Regarding time in an open bucket, this varies dramatically depending on what state the wine is in. During fermentation the yeast uses O2 to reproduce AND the wine is emitting a lot of CO2, so fermentation in an open bucket is recommended. The yeast gets the O2 it wants and the constant emission of CO2 protects the wine.

When making kits, after the first post-fermentation racking, I degas the wine and add kieselsol, then cover the fermenter with a towel, let it rest an hour, add the chitosan, and rack back into the carboy. Degassing does not remove all excess CO2 -- the wine may continue to emit CO2 for days or even weeks. During that hour the wine continuously emits CO2, providing protection.

I would not do that even 1 day later, as I can't be sure how much CO2 is being emitted, so I have no idea how safe -- or unsafe -- the wine is. So I err on the side of caution.

Use of kieselsol/chitosan is an odd one -- years ago kit instructions said to wait 1 to 5 minutes in between additions. More recently, instructions say everything from 1 to 24 hours. This is an area for more research on my part, as I have no idea what the best usage is.
 
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Looking for some advice on when and how to add KMETA to juice. Last night I racked off my gross lee's from my carboy. After primary fermentation, I let the wine sit in the carboy for approx 2 weeks making sure I got good compaction of the lee's. I transferred the wine to a juice bail where I added approx 1/4 tsp of potassium metabisulfite. I transferred the wine back to my now clean and sanitized carboy and degassed the wine for approx 15-20mins using my vacuum pump. I topped up the carboy using last years wine to about 3/4" from the bung.

My question is, was it ok for me to add the potassium metabisulfite when I had the wine in the juice pail or should I have added it when I transferred back into the carboy? I've been reading other posts about oxygen exposure and such so I'm curious what everyone thinks.

Thanks!!

My simple answer to your question is it probably doesn't matter at which stage you add it. Your exposure time to O2 is too limited to worry about.
 

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Hi Linetec and welcome to WMT! You got plenty of good advice from these other folks and it will help you as you continue making wine. I remember trying to read between the lines of simple kit instructions the first couple times I made wine. To directly answer your question ...

"was it ok for me to add the potassium metabisulfite when I had the wine in the juice pail or should I have added it when I transferred back into the carboy?"

Yes it was ok. It sounds like you only have the one carboy. I suggest you get a second carboy so you don't need to use the bucket and you limit yourself to one wine transfer in that operation instead of two.
 

Linetec

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@winemaker81 I totally get the open container when first pitching the yeast during primary fermentation. You are correct, things can get confusing given that there is so much information out on the web. It's hard to decipher what is the right way and what is the wrong way. My concern is that I don't want to lose a carboy due to a step I did that that could have been done different.

As for Kieselsol/chitosan, since I"ve degassed already in the carboy, is it safe to add this now? or should I wait till the next racking ( in 3 months)?
 

Linetec

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@my wine I've been a frequent visitor to this site for years but just recently started posting. I've gotten alot of good information and you stand corrected, the information and advice from these folks is worth gold.

I've got 5 carboys going right now. I will have to purchase another carboy since that makes way more sense in regards to keeping the wine transfer to one vs two.
 
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As for Kieselsol/chitosan, since I"ve degassed already in the carboy, is it safe to add this now? or should I wait till the next racking ( in 3 months)?
You can add a fining agent any time after fermentation is complete. A lot of kits add bentonite before fermentation.

Me? If I use a fining agent, I add it after degassing. My intent is to get the gross lees out soon.
 

Linetec

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@winemaker81 I did add the Bentonite right before fermentation. What I read was that the CO2 being produced during fermentation helps the bentonite circulate throughout the juice . I've done this 2 years now and haven't had any issues.

I will look into adding a fining agent. Thanks!
 
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@Linetec, the following is a good reference. The drawback is that it doesn't mention kieselsol & chitosan.

 

Linetec

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It's funny how carboys seem to multiply in my wine basement. I'm visiting my aunt and uncle in Philadelphia and he has 3 he doesn't need anymore. I guess I'll have to make more wine.
@my wine where at in Philadelphia? I live in South Jersey now but I was born and raised right outside of philly.
 

Linetec

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@winemaker81 Is kieselsol necessary? I've read that some add it and some don't. Again, here lies the issue with reading to much...lol....I get caught up in it and start questioning things.
 
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Is kieselsol necessary?
Strictly speaking, NO fining agents are necessary. 😉

Kieselsol & chitosan are used in conjunction as one is a negative ion and the other is a positive ion, and together they are amazingly effective. They certainly can be used separately, but it's like Abbott and Costello -- they work very effectively as a team.

IMO kit vendors are the cutting edge in wine research. They have a highly vested interest in researching new effective winemaking techniques. The use of degassing and fining agents has advanced greatly in the era of kits. Kit vendors want their customers to produce a pleasing wine and get it in the bottle ASAP -- since it will get drunk and the customers will buy more kits. I understand their POV.

Some folks on this forum don't like that, and I appreciate that as well -- faster is not better when producing quality wine.

My POV is in the middle -- I use techniques such as degassing and fining to accomplish MY goals, one of which is to get the gross lees out sooner than later, without impacting wine quality. But regardless of that, my wines will bulk age for 6 to 12 months as it produces a better end result.

I'm feeling very philosophical this morning and you are the recipient ... :p
 
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I have a follow-up question about KMETA dosing that has been bothering me. The frequent recommendation is 1/4 tsp per carboy at ~3 month intervals (at rackings) and I do that. What I don't see mentioned is the initial dosing at the end of fermentation. Kits come with a packet that is sometimes called sulfite and I assume is KMETA. We are instructed to add it after degassing after fermentation. Often the sulfite is supplied mixed with sorbate which isn't really necessary (per advice on this forum). I don't recall the exact dosage in the package but it is more than 1/4 tsp. I've been adding 1/2 tsp as an initial dose but would like to know if that's appropriate.
 
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I just weighed 1/4 tsp of K-meta. took 4 readings and it averages about 2.3 grams. Using Fermalc with a 6 gallon carboy that is about 60 ppm. 60 ppm is the recommended amount at bottling 3.8 pH wine. As a reference with a 3.5 pH wine the recommended amount is 30 ppm. Some gets bound immediately and some within the 3 month period. In a properly topped up carboy the level of free SO2 doesn't drop all that fast. If it drops 30 ppm in 3 months, which I think is an exaggeration, at the third racking, 9 months, you will be left with 150 ppm free. Now if you use a half tsp it will be 390 ppm. This is for glass, barrels are another story.
 

Linetec

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I don't recall the exact dosage in the package but it is more than 1/4 tsp. I've been adding 1/2 tsp as an initial dose but would like to know if that's appropriate.
When you say initial dose, are you referring to dosing prior to pitching the yeast?
 
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I have a follow-up question about KMETA dosing that has been bothering me. The frequent recommendation is 1/4 tsp per carboy at ~3 month intervals (at rackings) and I do that. What I don't see mentioned is the initial dosing at the end of fermentation. Kits come with a packet that is sometimes called sulfite and I assume is KMETA. We are instructed to add it after degassing after fermentation. Often the sulfite is supplied mixed with sorbate which isn't really necessary (per advice on this forum). I don't recall the exact dosage in the package but it is more than 1/4 tsp. I've been adding 1/2 tsp as an initial dose but would like to know if that's appropriate.

There is no way to know the amount of KMETA that is present in that combo packet of Potassium Metabisulphite and Potassium Sorbate. The sorbate amount greatly exceeds the Kmeta, that we do know, since you usually add 1 TBSP of sorbate at the same time as the Kmeta, if you are making a sweet wine. Generally, when I am making a wine kit that will end up sweet (or at least not dry). I add the normal 1/4 tsp / 6 gallons of kmeta after fermentation is complete, bulk age for 3-6 months and the combo packet much nearer to the time I am going to add the sweet part of the wine kit.
 
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