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Order of sweetening/aging/adding sulphites?

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donkeyface

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I've got another sulphite question on my first winemaking attempt. I've got six gallons of red sitting in my secondary. (It started life as Paul Newman's Organic grape juice.) I started this a month ago. It's currently at 0.998, super clear, and has been racked twice (once from primary -> secondary on 4/26, then again on 5/14). It's stable at 0.998, no signs of fermentation, which is fine, but I want to do two things: backsweeten it and bulk age it.

From the awesome "The Home Winemaking Book", I'm going to take the potassium sorbate route. But I'm unclear on the order of things. Should I:

1) Sulphite now since I don't have that nice protective CO2 layer anymore
2) Bulk age it
3) Backsweeten it/add potassium sorbate/sulphite again
4) Bulk age it a few more weeks to make sure fermentation doesn't renew

-or-

1) Bulk age it
2) Backsweeten/add potassium sorbate/sulphite
3) Bulk age it a few more weeks to make sure fermentation doesn't renew

I guess I'm asking if I should sulphite now or not before the bulk aging. Thanks again for the advice, and to the mods: thanks for running such an awesome site. :r You are greatly appreciated.
 

Wade E

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Add sulfite and sorbate now and bulk age it with sulfite again at 3-4 month intervals meaning after about 3-4 months it will need more sulfite. You are correct to give it a week or more after sweetening to make siure fermentation doesnt start back up.
 

Tom

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Yep! sounds like good advice hic hic :dg
 

donkeyface

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Thanks, y'all are awesome! I was wondering how often the sulfite needed renewing. I'll go this route then: sulfite and sorbate now, bulk age it w/ sulfite renewal every 3-4 months, sweeten it, wait a few weeks.

Do I have to renew the sorbate at all? If so, should I renew when I sweeten, renew every 3-4 months, or is doing it now as a one-shot sufficient?
 

donkeyface

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Awesome, I'll remember that one - I'd hate to make a six gallon mistake of geranium-smelling wine!!
 

Tom

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Awesome, I'll remember that one - I'd hate to make a six gallon mistake of geranium-smelling wine!!
You will only get that when you do MLF and then add Sorbate
Never add sorbate to a wine that went thru MLF
 
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