SO2 In Reds

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Tnuscan

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Last nite I set down to read the new threads/posts. Before I did I popped the cork on one of my favorites, a local 2009 Cynthiania dry red . I poured a glass and was letting it breathe. I was reading one of Johnd's posts and was in the process of posting a reply. I decided to take a sip and I swirled the glass to pull in a whiff, before tasting,...???? I detect a strange aroma, it is the smell of a Band-Aid. : ( So I jump up and pull the pH and the TA.... pH 3.75 ....TA 6g/l. The wine had a brown tint, I expected a little from aging in the barrel but this was a little darker. I am going to test the so2 ,and I feel it's going to come up really low. My thoughts are brett. I thought I detected a very faint taste of something in a bottle last year but I couldn't put my finger on it, I just knew something was a little-bit different. I also noticed a light antiseptic taste lingering in my throat. That's when I decided to make this Thread.

I have read many posts, and noticed while making wine from grapes all the different pH and TA measures, across the different wines. Most of the wines I'm making came in with pH's around 3.2 to 3.4 but after fermentation and mlf they were every where. Because this was my first crush I decided to leave these where they were. I followed the norm of 1/4 tsp of K-meta @ each racking after finishing mlf to where I am now.

What I didn't realize was the importance of the different amounts of SO2 needed for all the different pH levels. One wine had a pH of 3.1 while another wine had a pH of 4.08. And that the 1/4 tsp on the more acidic pH would be fine , I didn't catch how the less acidic 4.08 might be in danger. Because the wine with the 4.08 needed more So2 , and wasn't getting it, it was loosing protection. I noticed the aroma was starting to change (smelling a little off).

I then realized I was going to have to throw more K-meta to the wine with 4.08 pH, than the wine with 3.1 pH. While being in the process of adjusting the pH levels into the ranges I like them. I realized the importance of a way to check the SO2 level so I could give the wines what they each needed instead of hitting them with a little excess and hoping for the better. Which is fine, but for me I really want to "dial it in."

So I'm hoping this thread helps some us to realize how important it is to stay on top of the SO2 levels that are needed for different pH levels.
 
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Tnuscan

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When having a pH of 3.6 or 3.7, assuming tannin was used or allowed for by the skins or stems, and was oaked, and proper SO2 is maintained is it possible to age a wine 10+ years, or is it a 5 year or less wine?
 

Johnd

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When having a pH of 3.6 or 3.7, assuming tannin was used or allowed for by the skins or stems, and was oaked, and proper SO2 is maintained is it possible to age a wine 10+ years, or is it a 5 year or less wine?
Grape wines do it all of the time, but only the better ones improve through that time period and beyond.

I assume you are asking about kits though, in which case, a well made higher end kit, good tannins and acids, I would think, could do five years and beyond, but I'd suspect that would peak and be on the downside by then. Cellaring methods would be a factor as well.

Many of our members have posted about 5 + year wines that were still really nice, so don't be afraid to try....
 

Tnuscan

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Grape wines do it all of the time, but only the better ones improve through that time period and beyond.

I assume you are asking about kits though, in which case, a well made higher end kit, good tannins and acids, I would think, could do five years and beyond, but I'd suspect that would peak and be on the downside by then. Cellaring methods would be a factor as well.

Many of our members have posted about 5 + year wines that were still really nice, so don't be afraid to try....
No, I was speaking of grape wines, I had to move past the kits because of the smell/taste issue I have with them.
 

Johnd

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No, I was speaking of grape wines, I had to move past the kits because of the smell/taste issue I have with them.
Then you already know the answer there, get good stuff, make it well, use quality corks, store it properly........
 

Tnuscan

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How many use .5 molecular SO2 for reds, and .8 molecular for whites?

Or do you just use a Standard Free SO2 level, if so , what is it?
 
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Johnd

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How many use .5 molecular SO2 for reds, and .8 molecular for whites?

Or do you just use a Standard Free SO2 level, if so , what is it?
Below is the chart I use, for both reds and whites............... I don't get too worried about overshooting a little here or there, but try to get the SO2 dead on at bottling time.....

so2_chart.jpg
 

Tnuscan

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Oops! I should of said when sulfiting after fermentation, Mlf or while aging in barrels or carboys, when racking over.
 

Tnuscan

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Below is the chart I use, for both reds and whites............... I don't get too worried about overshooting a little here or there, but try to get the SO2 dead on at bottling time.....
You da man, Johnd! :h
 

Tnuscan

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@Johnd on average, between regular rackings, from carboy to carboy while aging and no additions of anything but so2, what ppm are you usually at (free so2).

Don't go to any trouble to check. I was hoping you might remember.
 

Johnd

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@Johnd on average, between regular rackings, from carboy to carboy while aging and no additions of anything but so2, what ppm are you usually at (free so2).

Don't go to any trouble to check. I was hoping you might remember.
Three months in carboy, no rackings, degassing, or messing with the wine, and it's not the first sulfite addition, guessing maybe 15-20 ppm. Haven't ever really measured to see just that, but seem to be adding in that range before bottling, so that's my best guess.
 

Tnuscan

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Three months in carboy, no rackings, degassing, or messing with the wine, and it's not the first sulfite addition, guessing maybe 15-20 ppm. Haven't ever really measured to see just that, but seem to be adding in that range before bottling, so that's my best guess.
About the same here, Thanks John.
 

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