Potassium Metabisulphate & Glycerin Question

Discussion in 'Beginners Wine Making Forum' started by gsf77, Jul 22, 2019.

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  1. Jul 22, 2019 #1

    gsf77

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    Coming from a newbie;

    I have some wine in carboys that I was going to bottle. A couple are from Welch's 100 percent grape juice.The other one is Welch's and scuppernongs(aka scuppernines down south). About a week ago I poured a sample out into another small container and did the shake test. I got some fizzle but not much at all. Of course WASTE NO WINE! so I sampled it :) It tasted pretty good, a little sweet and a tad high on the alcohol. Then about 3-4 days ago I added Potassium Metabisulphate but no glycerin. My thinking was since they do the same thing it be a waste, and I didn't want to taint the flavor any. Yesterday I checked it again hoping it was time to bottle. It still has the same amount of fizzle and it seems like I detect a noticeable pectin enzyme flavor now. The sweet was still evident and the flavor not so much. My questions are;

    #1) Is it necessary to add both?

    #2) Is there any corrective action possible or necessary or did I shoot myself in the foot?

    #3) Is it time for an emergency batch of Skeeter Pee and Dragon's Blood? :)

    Thanks in advance
     
  2. Jul 22, 2019 #2

    Stressbaby

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    Not sure what you mean by "they do the same thing." Are you talking about glycerin and KMS? Glycerin and potassium metabisulfite are very different.
     
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  3. Jul 22, 2019 #3

    Johnd

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    First, Potassium Metabisulfite and Glycerin are not the same, and do different things. Pot Meta is used to protect your wine from microbial actions, as well as from oxidation. Glycerin is used to increase the perception of body and sweetness in wine.

    Second, if your wine still has some "fizz" to it, it's still pretty young and needs time to degas, as well as some time for the taste to develop. Wine continues to undergo chemical changes after fermentation and goes through different stages during aging, sometimes tasting fruity and delicious, and the next time you'll wonder where all of the fruit went, so just give it some time in the carboys to go through some of these processes. You shouldn't be overly concerned at this time. Do you know what the current SG and pH of your wine is? Has your wine cleared completely? It should be crystal clear before you even consider bottling it unless you want to have cloudy wine or get a bunch of sediment deposits in your bottles.

    Nothing wrong with whipping up a batch of DB or SP as quick drinkers while you're waiting for some of your other stuff to mature a bit......
     
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  4. Jul 22, 2019 #4

    John Miller

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    You most likely are confusing potassium sorbate with glycerin.
     
  5. Jul 22, 2019 #5

    Johnd

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    Perhaps, but they’re not the same either, Pot Sorbate prevents yeast from multiplying.....
     
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  6. Jul 22, 2019 #6

    gsf77

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    First and foremost - thanks all for the replies. I was going off of some notes from a wine making friend. This is my second attempt at making some wine. btw, the first attempt was educational and successful. You know what they say "Ain't nuthin like education, and education ain't free!" After the bottles quit exploding and the carboys stopped spewing, (according to my taste buds) One carboy was off the chart excellent, one carboy was pretty good, one was okay, the fourth was okay but the bottles had a tendency to explode. I gave them away quickly with a warning. I gave some of all away and told folks to be brutally honest with me, everyone was very pleased with the wine they received.

    So back to the topic at hand. I have 3 carboys I'm watching, this is toward the end of month three. I shoot for a SG of 1.160-1.170. (that's what's in my notes to do) I don't have the means to do a PH test, not sure how to do one or the reason behind it. Again, just pleading ignorance here. As of right now the SG is 1.060, 1.062, & 1.065. The temp is average 67 degrees Fahrenheit.

    My understanding (right or wrong) is that the pot meta and glycerin are used to stop the yeast from multiplying and isinglass was for clarity. As of now the wine isn't clear. I'm not sure what KMS is.

    I'm continuing to read up and learn. I love forum boards like this one where you can read questions, see mistakes, and learn different methods. In retrospect one of my mistakes is not taking notes and thinking I will remember. I can see the advantage of notes, they are like a recipe. Everyone please feel free to critique and correct me. I may be absent from the board tomorrow and a couple of days after due to having my gallbladder removed. I will be back and thank you again.
     
  7. Jul 23, 2019 #7

    Stressbaby

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    KMS is potassium metabisulfite. Glycerin does not have the effect you describe, I suspect you are talking about sorbate.
     
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  8. Jul 23, 2019 #8

    cmason1957

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    I think you may need to reconsider your starting sg. If you start at 1.160 and can ferment down to 1.000, you would have about 23% abv. That sounds taste like rocket fuel, but I don't think there are many hats that can produce that much alcohol. With a start of 1.160 and many wine yeasts, you will end up at about an sg of 1.060. Most ferments of wine are done in about 14 days, more or less. I think your yeast has mostly died off, due to alcohol poisoning.

    What I do for note taking is put a sheet of paper into a sheet protector, everything I do gets written down, with a date. I suffer from CRS (Can't Remember Stuff).
     
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  9. Jul 23, 2019 #9

    montanarick

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    I think you may have fried your wine if the starting values of specific gravity are correct. 1.160-1.170 equates to an ABV of about 23% which is way higher than most any yeast can tolerate. based on the difference in specific gravity, it looks like your wine has stopped fermentation at around 13-14% ABV. At this point, I'd clarify and call it a day - you'll have some significant sweetness. You may also want to add sorbate, as a safeguard, but I don't think fermentation will restart. On the other hand, you can try restarting fermentation with Lalvin EC-1118 which can tolerate ABV's as much as 18% but it might be a stretch. p.s. - what yeast did you start with?
     
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  10. Jul 23, 2019 #10

    tjgaul

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    Let's recap the 3 players and their roles:
    - Potassium Metabisulphite (aka KMS or K-meta) - preservative - inhibits oxidation and microbial activity - should be always be used at the end of fermentation and at each racking.
    - Potassium Sorbate - ferment inhibitor - stops yeast from multiplying, but doesn't stop active yeast from working.
    - Glycerin - flavor enhancer - adds mild body, sweetness and mouthfeel, but has no impact on fermentation or preservation.

    If you have exploding bottles that is a good indicator that fermentation is still going on after you bottle. That's most likely a side effect of starting with such a high SG. I like wine, but I'm not so big on bottle bombs. If you prefer high octane wine with a fair amount of sweetness then I would suggest you add an appropriate dose of Potassium Sorbate at the last racking and then let the carboy sit a month before bottling to ensure that the yeast have quit making babies and that the active cells have totally pooped out. That way you'll get the highest level of alcohol that the yeast can handle, plus a lot of residual sugar without creating potential explosions in the cellar. The standard method is to start with an SG of 1.075 - 1.100, ferment down to .998 or lower and then back sweeten to taste after adding Sorbate. Fewer bombs, moderate alcohol and more control over the level of sweetness.
     
  11. Jul 23, 2019 #11

    Chuck E

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    Yeast produce alcohol and carbon dioxide. If your wine is exploding bottles, then you have not gotten rid of the CO2. Use Champagne bottles if you like it gassy. Or let the wine degas on its own by letting it settle for several months.
     
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  12. Jul 24, 2019 #12

    Scooter68

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    Yeah, I agree with tigual - Treat at least a couple of days before bottling or backsweetening - let that sorbate/K-meta combo get fully effective before that next step.
     
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  13. Jul 25, 2019 #13

    gsf77

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    (cmason1957)"That sounds taste like rocket fuel" lol - At least I have an idea what to name it :) I went back and looked at the instructions again to see if I got it wrong - but that was what was on the instructions. Remember I'm breaking ground on this wine making thing. That was the instructions I followed on my last wine. None the less, I will definitely drop the SG on my next batch and experiment.

    (montanarick) I started with Lalvin EC 1118. This has got me interested even more. I've bought some Apple wine and some Prickly Pear Cactus wine that was 20-22%. You're right about the sweetness. You mentioned I may have fried my wine, Is that coming from your personal taste in wine or is it a lost cause? I'm still going to tinker with it as you suggested.

    What about the temperature of my carboys, it's still around the 67 degree mark. What is the desired temperature for primary fermentation and secondary?

    Tigaul & Scooter68 Thanks for the tip. I don't want to have to go through that again.

    Chuck E, I didn't care for the gassy wine, I much rather taste the fruit flavor if I can get it.

    John D, thanks for the encouraging words about the taste coming and going. I was pretty worried about that.

    Thanks everyone for your comments. I'm still off my game from the operation but I'll get back!
     
  14. Jul 26, 2019 #14

    Chuck E

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    I think you should start with a better recipe or a kit. Notes from an experienced wine maker may be leaving out details that a beginner would need to know. You started with Welch's grape juice so you're not gonna get a "fine" wine. None the less, most store bought wine will be in the 10-15% alcohol range. With your reported starting S.G. you are going to end up with alcohol over that range. Most folks around here would call it "rocket fuel" or "boozy."

    67F is an OK temperature to ferment in. Most of us ferment in loosely covered buckets or drums. Normal fermentations usually last a week or two. If you get a lot of foam, the bucket has a lot of room for it to dissipate. When you are sure the fermentation is nearly finished (S.G < 1.000), we rack it (by siphon or pump) to the carboy. This way you should not get the overflows in your airlocks. After a few weeks, we rack again to leave the yeast debris behind, adding Potassium meta BiSuphite (K meta or KMS) as a preservative. At this point the wine will probably still have dissolved CO2 in it (gassy). There are ways to get the gas out or you can leave it sit and let time do it. You really want the fizz out so you are not making bottle bombs. If you add Potassium Sorbate before bottling it will make any residual yeast stop fermenting (making gas and alcohol). You need to add these chemicals in a way that is sized to your batch. More is not better...

    The higher alcohol is going to overwhelm the fruit flavor. I think that is what @montanarick was hinting by saying you may have "fried" your batch.

    Hope this helps,
    Chuck E.


     
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  15. Jul 29, 2019 #15

    gsf77

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    I started to get ready to add the P. Metabisulfate and the P. Sorbate to my carboys. But lo and behold, I don't have any P Sorbate. At this point I'm thinking I need to stop and order the P.Sorbate or face some possible bottle bombs. I do have some isinglass and glycerin but I don't think they'll have the desired results. Btw, I'm not going to back sweeten. Any advice?
     
  16. Jul 29, 2019 #16

    Chuck E

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    Unless you're in a hurry, I would let Time be your friend. Isinglass is a clarifying agent. It will probably clear the clouds out of your wine. Glycerin gives wine some additional body or "legs" in the glass along with apparent sweetness. A little glycerin goes a long way, so I recommend bench testing. I use 1 or 2 drops per ounce. Sorbate is like birth control for yeast. Some of us let time age the yeast and CO2 gas out of our wines and do not use sorbate. If you are in a rush you should use it, to prevent making bombs. Even if you use sorbate you'll need to get the gas out. The dose of sorbate is also important. If you use too much, some folks will be able to taste it.
     
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  17. Jul 30, 2019 #17

    sour_grapes

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    I have never used potassium sorbate on a dry wine. You can skip it if you have no residual sugar.
     
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