Racking and Campden tablets

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BlueStimulator

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When bulk aging and racking every three months. What is the least amount of campden tabs per gallon you use. My wife has some red wine issues and we think it may be the higher amounts of sulfides in commercial wines. I know some don't use any but I am such a newbie at this I want a little protection against oxidation and spoilage. Let me know your thoughts.
 

skeenatron

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Your aging vessel and environmental temp/humidity will play a big part in how much free SO2 you are binding up while aging. With french oak we see a good 10-20 ppm free so2 lost over a 3 month period if not more. It also varies from barrel to barrel, which would indicate all the variables involved play a role. This is why we test our free SO2 before we make any additions. It doesn't take a lot of money to rig up a good aspiration/titration lab analysis setup. That way you can be sure where your levels are and have the ability to fine tune them the way you want. I like aging in the 40-45 ppm free range.

If you aren't going to test your sulfur levels, you can't be certain where you are so you have to pretty much have to wing it. Glass carboy aging would require a good deal less SO2 than aging in oak I would assume, since glass doesn't let in oxygen except for at the bung. So in my estimation, I would think maybe 5-10 ppm free SO2 would be needed to maintain good sulfur levels every 3 months, maybe bump it up to 15 ppm if you are going to rack it? 100 gallons of wine at 15 ppm free would be 9.86 grams of kmeta.
 
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It doesn't take a lot of money to rig up a good aspiration/titration lab analysis setup. That way you can be sure where your levels are and have the ability to fine tune them the way you want. I like aging in the 40-45 ppm free range.
What do you recommend for testing equipment? Vinmetrica or something else? I already have an inexpensive PH meter and an equally inexpensive TA kit. I was looking into the Vinmetrica SO2 kit, but the chemicals are pretty expensive and don't last very long.

Right now, I'm small scale only doing 200-300lbs of grapes a year, but plan on upping this in the next few years as I learn more so I'm hesitant to spend that much, but I do want good quality wine.

Thanks for your time!
 

skeenatron

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I have a very straight forward, easy to use aeration/oxidation lab setup at work. I'll take a picture of it when I get there today (was there until 1am last night forklifting a 1500 gallon stainless tank from one winery to ours, booya!). We have another setup for testing bound SO2 to calculate total but it takes a lot more stuff and we never use it.
 
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That would be awesome! No rush though!!!

1500 gallons of wine sounds way too delicious.

Thanks!
 

skeenatron

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So basically with this setup you fill the bottom bubbler with 20 mL of wine, and 10 mL of phosphoric acid (25% solution). The upper bubbler gets 10 mL of 0.3% hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) solution and a couple drops of a green indicator solution.

We use an aquarium air pump that's been dialed in to 1 liter of air per minute to bubble air from the bottom flask to the upper for 15 minutes.

You have a burette filled with 0.01N NaOH and we record the starting volume. Let's say its 3.0 mL.

After the 15 minutes of bubbling, you pull out all your stoppers and turn off the pump. Grab the now purple H2O2 solution in the upper flask.

Titrate the purple H2O2 solution with the 0.01N NaOH from the burette while swirling until you get it to turn back to a bright green color, and make sure it actually stays that color. If it goes gray, give it another drop.

Then measure your volume of NaOH in your burette, lets say it 5.5 mL.

Take your initial reading and subtract it from your final reading. 3.0 - 5.5 = 2.5.

Multiple this number by 16. So 2.5 x 16 = 40

You have 40 ppm free SO2 in your wine. Obviously the more precise you are with your measurements and how well you keep your reagents, the more accurate your results will be.

I buy local from a store called All World Scientific which sells this setup. We replaced a few things like the pump and graduated cylinders but everything you would need is in their package deal. You will need to dilute the 30% hydrogen peroxide by 100 which can be tough without the right measuring equipment. We use single channel pipettors for all that stuff but you don't need to. I don't know what other kits are out there but once you do this a few times it's a piece of cake, and you have full control. I have been using this same set of glassware for over a decade and just have to reload on reagents. Here is a link to All World's package deal.


http://www.wine-testing-supplies.com/Item/assembly4

20170331_111316.jpg
 
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@skeenatron - This is awesome Thank you so much for the time you took to write it up & for the picture.

While the initial cost is a bit more than the Vinmetrica set up, the yearly cost on the reagents will be so much cheaper that this will be way less expensive in the long run!

Just one dumb question: Does this work well for both reds and whites or is better for one of them?

I'm going to see what I can get locally and get working on making this.

Once again, thank you!!!
 

skeenatron

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Hey no problem hope you can get some of the components on the cheap. It works the same for red and white wine, and I would assume the same for any fruit wines as well.
 
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Hey no problem hope you can get some of the components on the cheap. It works the same for red and white wine, and I would assume the same for any fruit wines as well.

Thanks for the quick reply. What I really like about this set up is that I won't be relying on an expensive electronic device that could have issues years down the road.
 
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