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questions about preserving and bottling

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schmidr12

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I've made some wine out of frozen grape juice. Taste very good. It's about 5-6 months old and have racked twice. I have a few questions about bottling and preserving. If I don't plan on back-sweetening do I have to add potasium sorbate before bottling? How often do I have to add K-meta? I've read every 2-3 months or after racking. Let's say I've added K-meta 2 weeks ago when racking and would like to bottle now. Do I have to add it again or should I wait a 2 months before bottling and add k-meta then? How long should a wine last before going bad on the shelf with just adding k-meta and k-sorbate-(if neccesary)?

Sorry for all the questions, but I was unable to find them searching.
Thank You in advance
Rob
 

Sacalait

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OK Rob I'll give it a shot. If you don't plan on back sweetening then you can omit the sorbate. K-meta is generally added at every other racking but if you added it just 2 weeks ago and plan to bottle now then you can skip any new addition. I've had wines on the shelf for 5 years that are still good, other than that statement I haven't any experience.
 

Wade E

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Im going to add that if your wine fermented to below 1.000 and you are not sweetening then you can omit the sorbate but if you dont meet either of these specs then I recommend adding it. Also, really dont know why you are so against it as it too is a good preservative.
 

schmidr12

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Wade, so your saying the sorbate will add to shelf life?

I believe the less chemicals you use without negatively effecting the quality of your wine, the better. Of course, all factors have to taken into consideration. If I was planning on storing some wine for say five years or more it would be better to add sorbate?

What microorganisms can have an adverse effect on your bottled wine if I have the following factors; alcohol is above 10%, added k-meta, little oxygen in the bottle, s.g. below 1?
 

Skyhawk

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I don't believe sorbate adds to shelf life, because if anything "bad" is going to happen in the bottle, it's more likely to happen in the first year rather than in year five. Sorbate in wine inhibits yeast reproduction, which is especially important as Wade mentioned with wines that have some residual or added sugar in them. Otherwise you might accidentally make sparkling wine, with blowing corks and a lot of messiness in your cellar. Yes, this has happened to me.

Sorbate should not be added to wine without adaquate free SO2 levels, since sorbate will not inhibit malolactic bacteria. If you get an MLF accidentally started, a chemical is produced in the presence of sorbate that will make your wine undrinkable. Sterile filtration is another alternative to using sorbate in wines with residual sugar.
 

Malkore

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Although I am still a newbie to wine making, I'll add that the level of sulfites we add to our wine is significantly lower than nearly all commercial wines.

I think you will find many of the veteran winemakers here avoid adding unnecessary additives. Some additives are definitely needed, and you should not be too concerned about their use.
 
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