My first re-fermentation in the bottle!!

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BigDaveK

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Well this is interesting....
In early November I bottled a 3 gallon batch of tomato wine, half dry and half back sweetened. It's delicious bone dry and I actually had second thoughts about back sweetening. Oh well...
Deciding what to open I noticed the cork looked wet on the tomato, #9 x 1 3/4. It was wet all right, and there was sediment and the bottles were cloudy. I siphoned to jugs and the amount of non-stop bubbles was amazing!!
Checked my notes, k-meta and quantity of syrup but no mention of sorbate. DOH! I guess for it to work it needs to be added to the wine rather than remain in the package. :oops:
Could have been bad. Lesson learned.
 
K-meta will kill a small colony of weakened yeast cells, but most lab cultured yeast is pretty immune to this. The idea is that if you have racked several times as you age , then when you stabilize there are really very few viable yeast cells remaining. K-sorbate, however, prevents those cells from budding (reproducing), so what you have is what there is. If you don't have a way to stop the cells from budding, even one remaining viable cell will become two, two will become four, four eight and before very long you will have a large enough colony to do some serious damage to any sweeteners you may have added to back sweeten.
 
I'm glad you caught it early! Consider it a rather pointed but inexpensive lesson.

My elder son thought I was nuts as I say things out loud as I do them. He eventually realized it was for myself, not him. It's also a good idea to write things down as I do them.
 
My elder son thought I was nuts as I say things out loud as I do them. He eventually realized it was for myself, not him. It's also a good idea to write things down as I do them.

I thought I was the only person who did that.

[Begin SideTrack]
My wife was helping me do something with the wine one time and asked me why I did that. I used to work in the oil field as a person who went out to the wells after being drilled to run tests and tell them depths of various formations. When I was in training, the guy who taught me how to do it, insisted that I say to the others in our truck, things like powering up tool, opening tool, etc. One time I didn't and the guys questioned me why not. It helped us all know I was doing it right. I carry that forward to everything. and then right down the time I did it and what I did. (That last part was done to make sure we got the bonus $ for doing things). That's the main reason the guys questioned me.
[End SideTrack]



Also, I never depend on the it's been XX amount of time since the yeast was pitched so it has died off. If I backsweeten, I'm putting in K-Meta and K-Sorbate. Of course, I have been known to wear a belt and suspenders.
 
I thought I was the only person who did that.

[Begin SideTrack]
My wife was helping me do something with the wine one time and asked me why I did that. I used to work in the oil field as a person who went out to the wells after being drilled to run tests and tell them depths of various formations. When I was in training, the guy who taught me how to do it, insisted that I say to the others in our truck, things like powering up tool, opening tool, etc. One time I didn't and the guys questioned me why not. It helped us all know I was doing it right. I carry that forward to everything. and then right down the time I did it and what I did. (That last part was done to make sure we got the bonus $ for doing things). That's the main reason the guys questioned me.
[End SideTrack]



Also, I never depend on the it's been XX amount of time since the yeast was pitched so it has died off. If I backsweeten, I'm putting in K-Meta and K-Sorbate. Of course, I have been known to wear a belt and suspenders.
Not to worry, I'm sure you looked nice. 😇
 
Well this is interesting....
In early November I bottled a 3 gallon batch of tomato wine, half dry and half back sweetened. It's delicious bone dry and I actually had second thoughts about back sweetening. Oh well...
Deciding what to open I noticed the cork looked wet on the tomato, #9 x 1 3/4. It was wet all right, and there was sediment and the bottles were cloudy. I siphoned to jugs and the amount of non-stop bubbles was amazing!!
Checked my notes, k-meta and quantity of syrup but no mention of sorbate. DOH! I guess for it to work it needs to be added to the wine rather than remain in the package. :oops:
Could have been bad. Lesson learned.
Oh well... Now you can drink it dry! 😄
 
Dave, how old was the wine when you bottled it?

Also, I never depend on the it's been XX amount of time since the yeast was pitched so it has died off. If I backsweeten, I'm putting in K-Meta and K-Sorbate. Of course, I have been known to wear a belt and suspenders.

David (@Rice_Guy) does it and I'm sure it works ... but I agree, it's hard to change a habit of decades. I reserved 4 liters of Elderberry, which will be my test in about 4 months. I'm going to backsweeten and bottle w/o sorbate at the 12 month mark.

Part of this is proving to myself that it works in a limited (5 bottle) test, AND part of it is to see if there is a noticeable taste/smell difference with the same wine bottled with sorbate.

Another experiment is kieselsol & chitosan -- I made a pair to triple kits in fall 2021, and bottled 2/3 without a fining agent. I added K&C to the remainder 19 liters of each batch, and bottled 3 weeks later. I will be opening bottles in a few months to see if there is any significant difference between the unfined and fined versions.
 
Dave, how old was the wine when you bottled it?


Part of this is proving to myself that it works in a limited (5 bottle) test, AND part of it is to see if there is a noticeable taste/smell difference with the same wine bottled with sorbate.

Another experiment is kieselsol & chitosan -- I made a pair to triple kits in fall 2021, and bottled 2/3 without a fining agent. I added K&C to the remainder 19 liters of each batch, and bottled 3 weeks later. I will be opening bottles in a few months to see if there is any significant difference between the unfined and fined versions.
An early one, wine #14. It was in bulk for 7 months, crystal clear no sediment. I'm glad I noticed it. I didn't know the pressure would push wine through the cork! I'll be tweaking my bottling protocol.

I don't say what I'm doing out loud but fortunately my brain is wired to immediately write down what I've done. That's why my log book has so many stains - I don't even take a second to wipe my hands.

Interested in your experiments!
 
K-meta will kill a small colony of weakened yeast cells, but most lab cultured yeast is pretty immune to this. The idea is that if you have racked several times as you age , then when you stabilize there are really very few viable yeast cells remaining. K-sorbate, however, prevents those cells from budding (reproducing), so what you have is what there is. If you don't have a way to stop the cells from budding, even one remaining viable cell will become two, two will become four, four eight and before very long you will have a large enough colony to do some serious damage to any sweeteners you may have added to back sweeten.
As I understand it, k-meta doesn't kill the yeast. It's an anti-oxidant, bonds with free oxygen, supposed to stop the yeast from multiplying. like you said.
Here's an interesting experience for you....
My sassafras wine stuck at 1.050. After a couple days I added more yeast and a bit of nutrient, started up again. But it stuck again at 1.036. I was busy and ignored it for a month. No change in SG. Don't know why but I added k-meta. (My early notes are pitiful.) The very next day it was bubbling and eventually finished at .988. Don't know why for sure but the sassafras is delicious and one of my favorites from last year.
 
I didn't backsweeten my tomato wine. I liked it dry, which is surprising considering my favorite wines are usually closer to koolaid sweetness. 🤣😂🤣

I have learned that it really does depend upon what, if anything, one eats while drinking a particular wine. Even Hubby likes the Barbera with steak or lasagna, even though he prefers wine even sweeter than I do.

Oops, there I go sidetracking!
 
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