Finer Wine Kit Should I add metabisulphate.

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windseafire

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I started three Finer Wine red wine kits last year. Two have been in secondary for six months and one for nine months. Should I try to add metabisulphate before bottling and risk letting oxygen in or just bottle as is?
 
The short answer is "yes". K-meta is an antioxidant and preservative, and wines made without it generally have shorter shelf life.

Unless you are making wine in a total vacuum or with an insert gas, your wine has already been exposed to air and will be exposed to more during bottling.

I responded to a similar question recently:

https://www.winemakingtalk.com/threads/backsweetening.78954/post-890085
 
It's generally recommended to add it every 3 months wile bulk aging, and again at bottling. I would add it. I'll leave more experienced minds to say whether or not to increase the dose, given that you haven't followed that schedule. There's no danger of introducing too much oxygen to that volume, I'm assuming 6 gallon carboys, if it's gently stirred in.
 
Just saying...I've been making wine for five years and add nothing. Nothing. The grapes get picked and immediately put through the de-stemmer/crusher...and straight into fermentation vessels. Fermenting starts spontaneously the same day and takes around a week to get below 1.000.
The snap is of a 250 litre (66 US gallon) clay tinaja...lined with resin...imparts neither taste nor smell. The tinaja has a stainless steel lid which clamps on...and a large airlock fits into a hole in the centre of the lid when needed.
 

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Just saying...I've been making wine for five years and add nothing. Nothing. The grapes get picked and immediately put through the de-stemmer/crusher...and straight into fermentation vessels. Fermenting starts spontaneously the same day and takes around a week to get below 1.000.
The snap is of a 250 litre (66 US gallon) clay tinaja...lined with resin...imparts neither taste nor smell. The tinaja has a stainless steel lid which clamps on...and a large airlock fits into a hole in the centre of the lid when needed.
Clay is interesting. I was just reading this article regarding the growing use of clay vessels. I'd like to hear more about your process. Do you also have skin contact for an extended period like this article suggests below?

Foradori cites control and cleanliness as important factors in her winemaking style, and she keeps her unlined clay vessels aboveground to maximize these aspects. The vessels allow for a long skin contact of seven to nine months, she says, which gives her a practical advantage: “We don’t use sulfites because of the protection from the grape skins.”

I'd also be interested is a wider view of your shop, if possible.
 
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Some folks actually like oxidized wine. I'm not a fan and any competition that I know of will call it a fault.

It is highly recommended to add a k-meta before bottling to help the wine protect itself during transfer and while aging in bottle.
 
I only add if I rack close to bottling usually a couple weeks before to ensure clear wine in bottling and never had an issue.

Just leave minimal headspace in carboy with an air lock
 
I only add if I rack close to bottling usually a couple weeks before to ensure clear wine in bottling and never had an issue.

Just leave minimal headspace in carboy with an air lock
Thanks, that makes sense. What would you sugest as the safest way of introducing the meta now before I bottle. I presume I can't stir it into the existing secondary because of the sediment.
 
I also follow the recommended every 3 months or so dose of kmeta. If I am not racking at that time, I just stir it in. If I am racking, I add it during the racking process to let the wine mix it as it gets moved from one container to the other.

The amount of time the wine is exposed to air during the stirring or racking process isn't enough to oxidize, especially with the kmeta being added at that time.
 
Clay is interesting. I was just reading this article regarding the growing use of clay vessels. I'd like to hear more about your process. Do you also have skin contact for an extended period like this article suggests below?

Foradori cites control and cleanliness as important factors in her winemaking style, and she keeps her unlined clay vessels aboveground to maximize these aspects. The vessels allow for a long skin contact of seven to nine months, she says, which gives her a practical advantage: “We don’t use sulfites because of the protection from the grape skins.”

I'd also be interested is a wider view of your shop, if possible.
I let the must (Syrah & Cab) ferment dry...takes a week or so...punching down a couple of times a day...and then press into clean tinajas, filling to the brim, then put the lid on with a large airlock. Malolactic conversion takes place over the following weeks...again naturally, without any addition of anything. After a couple of months I mix them all up in 3 000 litre (800 US gallon) tanks to homogenize because of the variation between tinajas...the grapes having been picked over two or three weeks of different ripeness and from different patches of ground...and then pump the mix back into tinajas and leave them for six months. Consensus is that clay tinajas impart a mineral element...very clean and sort of flinty.
The whites (Viognier & Pedro Ximinez) are a different story...leave them on the skins for an hour or so, then press into stainless steel. I am doing everything on a shoe string so haven't got any jacketed tanks. I have a commercial draught beer cooler connected to "serpentines"...helical coolers...which I put in the tanks...drop the temp to around 12C (54F)...and they take about a month to ferment dry. A few years ago I made a bone dry PX with very ripe grapes 29/30 Brix that had an ABV of >18%...so the natural yeast is capable of handling high alcohol.
I've never had any problem with oxidation. Though I suppose that the whites might live longer with addition of sulphites. I am by no means a natural wine evangelist.
I took these pix for you a few minutes ago...a sort of garage set up.
 

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Thanks, that makes sense. What would you sugest as the safest way of introducing the meta now before I bottle. I presume I can't stir it into the existing secondary because of the sediment.
if I add metabisulfite, I will add about 2 weeks before I bottle. This is done when I rack the wine to remove any sediment (large amount) that has settled in the carboy fill the carboy about 1/4 to 1/3rd and add the metabisulfite (liquid I have made from about 1/2 a pack that the wine supplier provides) and then fill the carboy with the remaining wine.
The only other time I will add metabisulfite is when I rack initially from fermentor to carboy. again same procedure.
Typically I will rack 1 to 2 times while in the carboy (6-10months), all depends on sediment.

As I mentioned I have never had an issue with O2 etc. Wine tastes great and really do not know what o2 taste but I do know what so3 taste is.

I should mentioned that bottles are washed then flushed with a strong metabisulfite solution, then left to dry on drying rack. Will bottle next day.
 
I also follow the recommended every 3 months or so dose of kmeta. If I am not racking at that time, I just stir it in. If I am racking, I add it during the racking process to let the wine mix it as it gets moved from one container to the other.

The amount of time the wine is exposed to air during the stirring or racking process isn't enough to oxidize, especially with the kmeta being added at that time.
A that explains what I am missng, I have not been racking every 3 months so I have some sediment. I guess I can just rack now, stir in the kmeta then bottle.
 
A that explains what I am missng, I have not been racking every 3 months so I have some sediment. I guess I can just rack now, stir in the kmeta then bottle.
There is no need to rack every 3 months.

Gross lees (fruit solids) supposedly drops within 24-72 hours of the end of fermentation. I typically rack off the gross lees 1 to 3 weeks after pressing (fruit) or moving juice under airlock. After that I don't normally rack again until bottling time, which is 3-6 months for whites and 12+ months for barreled wines.

The lees that drop during bulk aging are fine lees (yeast hulls) which are harmless, and can be beneficial. Search on "sur lie" and "battonage" for information regarding using fine lees to develop aroma, flavor, and complexity.
 
There is no need to rack every 3 months.

Gross lees (fruit solids) supposedly drops within 24-72 hours of the end of fermentation. I typically rack off the gross lees 1 to 3 weeks after pressing (fruit) or moving juice under airlock. After that I don't normally rack again until bottling time, which is 3-6 months for whites and 12+ months for barreled wines.

The lees that drop during bulk aging are fine lees (yeast hulls) which are harmless, and can be beneficial. Search on "sur lie" and "battonage" for information regarding using fine lees to develop aroma, flavor, and complexity.
OK, but back to my original question about adding kmeta before bottling. Do you rack to a new fermenter whilst adding kmeta then bottle straight away?
 
OK, but back to my original question about adding kmeta before bottling. Do you rack to a new fermenter whilst adding kmeta then bottle straight away?
Normally, yes. I start the siphon, add K-meta to the receiving container, stir a few times during the rack, and again when done to ensure the K-meta is distributed. Then bottle.
 
All my wines are from grapes. Once I rack off the gross lees, about 2-4 weeks, after fermentation is complete it goes through MLF for 3-4 months. After that racking and sulfiting the wine doesn't get racked until right before filtering and bottling which is anywhere from 12 to 16 months total. I do a heavy initial sulfite of about 70 ppm once MLF is complete. If it's in glass I may add sulfites (without racking) at a 6 or so month interval. In barrels I do check the sulfite levels every month or 2 and only add enough to get the levels to 40 - 50 ppm.
 

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