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cuz

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I spoke to a vendor who sells fresh juice and grapes. he told me when I use fresh juice instead of pasteurized, there is no need to add potassium metasulfite. He said wine making is a natural process and he advises not to add sulfite. Everything I am reading here and elsewhere talks about when to add sulfite, how to measure SO2 etc.

Does everyone add sulfites to their wine?
 

pip

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I've made loads of wine without using sulphates. If you dont mind straining the bottle's contents through a cloth in order to remove the mold, it should be fine, though that wont get rid of the taste. Either that or drink it after a month or two, at most.

Does the person you spoke to actually make their own wine?

I think sulfates are pretty important for home wine makers, but you could always try a small batch without it and see how it goes? Perhaps experiment with a sulphate free batch against one with?
 

Johnd

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I'm speculating that your vendor may be referring to adding sulfite prior to AF to stun the wild yeast / microbes prior to pitching your selected yeast strain. If that is your question, most folks do that, but not everyone. I am one of the latter, although all of the grape wine that I do is from frozen must, and my yeast is pitched while the must is warming and quickly takes over the fermentation as temps get in range.

If you are questioning the use of sulfites as a microbial inhibitor and oxidation protectant in finished wine, then @pip is on track, though a bit dramatic (LOL). AF naturally produces nome sulfites, but in much lower concentrations needed for protection. There are winemakers who introduce no additional sulfites, sanitation practices must be perfect, and the wine typically should be consumed much earlier. Personally, I would never advise anyone to do this, but it is certainly your choice as the winemaker.
 

mainshipfred

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Im the process of building a small wine cellar that will hold 10 carboys and about 400 bottles. I plan on keeping it a 55*. My main wine is dry reds 13+ ABV. I would really like to keep my sulfites down to 30 or less ppm. Question, in an ideal controlled environment how low can I go?
 

Johnd

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Im the process of building a small wine cellar that will hold 10 carboys and about 400 bottles. I plan on keeping it a 55*. My main wine is dry reds 13+ ABV. I would really like to keep my sulfites down to 30 or less ppm. Question, in an ideal controlled environment how low can I go?
The answer is: it depends. It depends mostly upon the pH of your wine. I've attached a handy dandy little chart to help you manage your sulfite, use the red wine curve, match it up with the pH of each wine, and read the recommended minimum concentration. Personally, that's what I shoot for at bottling time.

IMG_0804.jpg
 

skeenatron

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Sulfur is a dream element for winemakers. Without it there would be very little ultra premium wine. It protects from microbes, oxygen, kills your yeast and bacteria when you want it, and binds acetaldehyde, all at zero sensorial cost in the right concentrations. Glorious!
 

NorCal

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Im the process of building a small wine cellar that will hold 10 carboys and about 400 bottles. I plan on keeping it a 55*. My main wine is dry reds 13+ ABV. I would really like to keep my sulfites down to 30 or less ppm. Question, in an ideal controlled environment how low can I go?
If your pH was 3.5 or lower and you kept it at 55 degrees, with a top of the line cork, I bet you could get double digit years.
 

Johnd

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If your pH was 3.5 or lower and you kept it at 55 degrees, with a top of the line cork, I bet you could get double digit years.
The OP has not yet clarified whether he meant pre or post AF sulfite....sure would like to know what the vendor was referring to.

Any rate, those are indeed pretty safe wine parameters, throw in ABV 14% +, improve your odds even more. Still, in my opinion, it's just not worth the risk.
 

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