SO2 Before Bottling Question

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NCWC

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Previously when we bottled. We would siphon from the barrel to 5 gallon GOTT water container, we'd add 1/4 tsp Meta to each 5 gallons. Then bottle.

We didn't have SO2 testing equipment.

Now we do and the SO2 is correct in the barrel

My question is, if the SO2 is at 50 ppm and that is the correct amount.
Do I still need to add the 1/4 tsp of SO2?

The containers are sanitized before use.

I don't think we need to add anymore personally
 

Johnd

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No, you do not. If your SO2 is at the correct level based upon pH, bottle it. The old 1/4 tsp / carboy is a rule of thumb if you can't test for SO2.
 

Boatboy24

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I agree with @Johnd . But would add that you should test after siphoning to your GOTT container. Some SO2 may be lost in that transfer.
 

NorCal

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With SO2, more isn't always better. I do all my transfers, then test. If I do need to add, I'll try to really make sure the so2 gets dissolved in a container of wine, before adding it to the main container. I'll then try to wait until the next day to bottle, if possible.
 

NCWC

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I thought so about this. I am SO2 sensitive and can really pick it up
So I dont want anymore than necessary
 

Cellar Vader

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I know this is an older thread, but it looks like the one that is most relevant to my question. May I resurrect? (Thank you?)
Anyway, I'm still relatively new to this wonderful hobby, but what confuses me is this: It is always suggested that as we bulk-age we are to continue to add 1/4 tsp Kmeta to our 6-gal carboys each time we rack (at 3-month intervals) but then at bottling we don't concern ourselves with what the SO2 levels are as that wine ages in the bottle? Could someone provide some scientific backbone to why this is?
Incidentally, I have recently purchased a Vinmetrica SC-100 and have adjusted all of my 12 kits that I have going at this time, so I know right where they stand. I plan to put them at their targeted SO2 levels (based upon their respective pH values) prior to bottling time. Should I at least target the high-end of the recommended SO2 dose? As always...Thank you!
 

mainshipfred

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I think the 1/4 teaspoon theory is for those not fortunate enough to accurately test free SO2 and it is a safe threshold. I test the sulfite levels every 2-3 months in carboys and 1-2 months in barrels and add the appropriate amount of K-meta. In it's younger stage when I know it will aging for several months I keep the levels between 50 and 60 no matter the pH. When it gets close to bottling is when I match the sulfites to the pH and always go a little heavier than recommended.
 

Cellar Vader

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I think the 1/4 teaspoon theory is for those not fortunate enough to accurately test free SO2 and it is a safe threshold. I test the sulfite levels every 2-3 months in carboys and 1-2 months in barrels and add the appropriate amount of K-meta. In it's younger stage when I know it will aging for several months I keep the levels between 50 and 60 no matter the pH. When it gets close to bottling is when I match the sulfites to the pH and always go a little heavier than recommended.
Got it, thx!
It's just that if the targeted SO2 level is only good for 3 months at a time (while bulk-ageing) how is it sufficient when the wine then goes to bottle and stays there for a couple more years or so? That's what is stumping me.
 

cmason1957

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Got it, thx!
It's just that if the targeted SO2 level is only good for 3 months at a time (while bulk-ageing) how is it sufficient when the wine then goes to bottle and stays there for a couple more years or so? That's what is stumping me.
Once in the bottle there is very little additional oxygen coming into the bottle, so you don't have to protect from it as much. And the bit of micro-oxygenation you get through the cork is good for the wine.

Said another way, X amount of oxygen is in the headspace, that X won't increase (at least not very much) so that's all you have to protect your wine from.
 

Cellar Vader

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Once in the bottle there is very little additional oxygen coming into the bottle, so you don't have to protect from it as much. And the bit of micro-oxygenation you get through the cork is good for the wine.

Said another way, X amount of oxygen is in the headspace, that X won't increase (at least not very much) so that's all you have to protect your wine from.
Ok. Thank you!
 

mainshipfred

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Got it, thx!
It's just that if the targeted SO2 level is only good for 3 months at a time (while bulk-ageing) how is it sufficient when the wine then goes to bottle and stays there for a couple more years or so? That's what is stumping me.
What Craig said is true plus when using the 1/4 teaspoon in a carboy (not necessarily a barrel) your free SO2 levels will be much higher than the recommended, especially if it is aged for a year.
 

Johnd

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In a perfect world, you'd test your sulfite levels on a regular basis and keep them in the range dictated by your wine color and pH, frankly, having done this for a period of time, it's a pretty fair amount of work. Even with the capacity to test sulfite levels, I don't do it very often, but always right before bottling. The 1/4 tsp / 6 gallon rule of thumb, in my experience, is a bit heavy handed for wine sitting in a carboy that is properly stored with an airlock and opened very little, it any at all, but will keep you safe. I frequently let carboys sit 6 months unopened and find the sulfite levels still pretty good.
 

Cellar Vader

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In a perfect world, you'd test your sulfite levels on a regular basis and keep them in the range dictated by your wine color and pH, frankly, having done this for a period of time, it's a pretty fair amount of work. Even with the capacity to test sulfite levels, I don't do it very often, but always right before bottling. The 1/4 tsp / 6 gallon rule of thumb, in my experience, is a bit heavy handed for wine sitting in a carboy that is properly stored with an airlock and opened very little, it any at all, but will keep you safe. I frequently let carboys sit 6 months unopened and find the sulfite levels still pretty good.
Ok, thx. Once again, I will be able to sleep at night now! Thanks everyone.
And just for the sake of my own experimentation, I plan to test for SO2 as I uncork at 6-month intervals, just to see how it changes (if at all) over time. Not on ALL of my batches, but I'll target one. Maybe my Barbaresco or my Eclipse OVZ. I'm sure there will always be varying factors, but it will give me a rough idea of what's going on as it ages in the bottle.
 

mainshipfred

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Ok, thx. Once again, I will be able to sleep at night now! Thanks everyone.
And just for the sake of my own experimentation, I plan to test for SO2 as I uncork at 6-month intervals, just to see how it changes (if at all) over time. Not on ALL of my batches, but I'll target one. Maybe my Barbaresco or my Eclipse OVZ. I'm sure there will always be varying factors, but it will give me a rough idea of what's going on as it ages in the bottle.
Several folks have mentioned they would do that but I never saw any results. It would be nice to know, Thanks.
 

Boatboy24

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Ok, thx. Once again, I will be able to sleep at night now! Thanks everyone.
And just for the sake of my own experimentation, I plan to test for SO2 as I uncork at 6-month intervals, just to see how it changes (if at all) over time. Not on ALL of my batches, but I'll target one. Maybe my Barbaresco or my Eclipse OVZ. I'm sure there will always be varying factors, but it will give me a rough idea of what's going on as it ages in the bottle.
That would be good data to have - as well as changes in an airlocked carboy over time. Keep in mind that different corks may (probably will) allow for different rates of change on your sulfites.
 
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