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Need Help With Metabisulphite Addition

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Junior
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Hi All,

I'm in the process of making my first wine kit (Wine Expert, Washington Yakima Valley Pinot Gris). I've followed the directions to the T and I am now waiting to bottle, in about two weeks.

My original intention was to drink the wine (or give it away) relatively quick; however, due to new circumstances, I will need to keep it in the bottles for about a year (most of it at least).

The instructions said that if I intended to age it for more then 6 months I should add Metabisulphite, but this was prior to putting it in the carboy for a month.

My questions is, now that I know I will be bottling and storing the bottles for around a year, should I still add the Metabisulphite? If so, is there an issue with adding it immediately prior to bottling? Should I add it and wait a certain amount of time before bottling?

Any advise is greatly appreciated as this is my first wine kit and would hate for it to spoil after such a long wait.

Thanks.
 

Johnd

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Hi All,

I'm in the process of making my first wine kit (Wine Expert, Washington Yakima Valley Pinot Gris). I've followed the directions to the T and I am now waiting to bottle, in about two weeks.

My original intention was to drink the wine (or give it away) relatively quick; however, due to new circumstances, I will need to keep it in the bottles for about a year (most of it at least).

The instructions said that if I intended to age it for more then 6 months I should add Metabisulphite, but this was prior to putting it in the carboy for a month.

My questions is, now that I know I will be bottling and storing the bottles for around a year, should I still add the Metabisulphite? If so, is there an issue with adding it immediately prior to bottling? Should I add it and wait a certain amount of time before bottling?

Any advise is greatly appreciated as this is my first wine kit and would hate for it to spoil after such a long wait.

Thanks.
Since this is your first kit, the assumption is that you have not yet acquired any of the testing materials to actually test your wine for sulfite content. If that's true, no worries. The "rule of thumb" that has been established for sulfite additions is very simple to follow. Add 1/4 teaspoon of sulfite powder for every six gallons of wine, every three months. If at bottling time, it's been 1 month since your last sulfite addition, take 1/4 teaspoon of powder, put it on a piece of paper, divide it into three equal piles, and add one of them to your wine. If it's been two months, add two of the little piles.

Once you have your sulfite addition made, and it has been mixed into the wine thoroughly, you may bottle your wine. Proper sulfite levels at the time of bottling, along with a decent cork, and reasonable storage conditions, will protect your wine for years of aging.
 

Scooter68

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Only thing I would add is if you are not going to consume your wine within 6 months (Any wine you make), it should have sulfite added. Based on what you have posted about your plans - you definitely need to add sulfite to the wine.

Additionally I would add the sulfite several days to a week before bottling in the event you have anything precipitate out of the wine.
 

Sams

Junior
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Thanks for the help!

Is there any problem with drinking the wine within 6 months if I add metabisulphite?
 

Scooter68

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Not as long as you don't over-dose the wine - So it's important to use the the correct amount base on your volume of wine. It looks like that's a 6 gallon kit so Johnd has given you great info on how to dose your wine properly.

In a carboy the metabisulfate will dissipate slowly - thats the reason it's recommended to add more about every 3 months during the aging process. AND that's why johnd recommended the splitting up of the dose into 3 equal parts so you can dose it correctly based on when you bottle it. Read his guidance carefully - it will keep you right on track.
 

Sams

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I'm about to buy my metabisulphite powder and I realized that my instructions don't mention a difference between Sodium and Potassium.

Should I be using one over the other? Are there any taste impacts?
 

sour_grapes

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Consensus here is to get the potassium for anything you will consume. (If it is just for sanitizing purposes, either will do.)
 

Johny99

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Consensus here is to get the potassium for anything you will consume. (If it is just for sanitizing purposes, either will do.)
Agreed. Sodium is reported to give a salty taste. I tested it in water against K but couldn't tell the difference. Then again as the price is similar, so I use K.
 
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