Quantcast

Wanting to transition from FOP to home - questions! (sulphites, degassing, aging)

Wine Making Talk

Help Support Wine Making Talk:

femki

Junior
Joined
Feb 25, 2010
Messages
23
Reaction score
0
Well here I am with post #2. I'm currently using the space and equipment of a local ferment-on-premises shop where I recently made some wedding wine. Those were my first two batches and I was pretty hands off (pitched yeast and bottled).

However as I delve further into the discussions here and other websites I've been digging up I'm running into contradictory "knowledge". This shop has been around for a long long time and I trust what the shopkeeper has to say and the methods he uses, however the technique of adding sulphites to wine you plan to age for a long time is what I'm confused about. Everywhere I read that you need to add 1/8 to 1/4 tsp to the carboy prior to bottling. When I got into a conversation with this shop about wanting to long-term bottle age and asked about adding metabisulphite, he said that this wasn't necessary. After mulling this over, I'm wondering if the metabisulphite used during bottle sterilization is enough of an addition to stop my wine from oxidizing over a 4 - 7 year period in the bottle? Could this be why he says it's not necessary, or am I being led down the garden path? My next batches of reds are higher quality than my wedding wine and I am planning on reserving 10 - 14 bottles for longer term aging, I don't want these to spoil in the bottle. Should I insist that he add some sulphites to the mix prior to bottling?

All this talk about degassing! If I'm bulk aging past 6-12 months, do I need to degas or will the CO2 naturally leave the wine? Our first two batches were pretty good, although the red wasn't fizzy it felt "light" on our tongues and would leave bubbles in our glass after being poured. Is this because it was still too young (6 months) or did it need to be degassed prior to bottling? Will the CO2 come out of suspension when long term bottle aging?

When bulk aging will the wine clear on it's own after racking 2 - 3 times? I have a small space under my basement stairs that I've converted to a cold-room and have limited space for bottles (80 - 120) and would like to bulk age so as to avoid temptation. I like the idea of just letting it sit there under air-lock and covered. Some of the kits I'm considering (18L) seem like they need a good amount of time (18 - 24 months) on them prior to drinking.

I eventually want to get away from the FOP and start some wines at home, but want to have some sound advice to work with before I do this. To others that have made this transition, please chime in with other tips/traps that would help me.

Thank you.
 

Wade E

Premium
Joined
Jul 3, 2006
Messages
33,224
Reaction score
268
Okay, as far as adding ore sulfites before bottling we need to know how long it was before you were bottling it, I wouldnt go adding another 1/4 tsp of sulfites to my batch if I were following the instructions to a "T" as that would be a lots of sulfites in a bottled wine, yes it does dissipate over time but. A basic rule f thumb is after the initial sulfiting when fermentation is done usually along with the sorbate is to wait 3-4 months to add another dose of sulfite. Now over time if I were bulk aging that say a year you wouldnt want to keep adding that amount of sulfites because at a certain point you wont really need to be racking anymore as it will clear on its own most of the time (which answers another 1 of your questions). If long term aging you really should get a S02 test kit, they are cheap and will prevent you from adding too much sulfites or from your wine going south due to not adding enough. The batch f wine you had that had bubbles most likely could have used just a little more degassing. As far as the gas coming out during long term aging it really depends on the temps it is subjected to over that time span. In my basement the temps usually stay around 60-65* and those temps really dont let C02 escape from your wine. If your aging in 70 -75* temps then I'd say that your wines will degas themselves but if cooler then most likely not an Ive had a few that have a few that have aged in my cellar for around a year and were still loaded with gas and this is why I always degas when its done fermenting now.
 

NSwiner

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 23, 2009
Messages
672
Reaction score
3
I have never done the FOP so I'm curious do they just tell you what to do or do they let you see instructions ? I know when you get kits to make at home it tells you when to do the stages and when to degas . I don't know how many places do this but when we made our first kit we went to the store and he showed us how to properly clean everything and we mixed up the first batch except adding the yeast we that when we got home . Then i found this great place where I could get answers 24/7 even if it's let to know you're on the right track . Yes i would insist he adds them or get him to let you know when it's time and you will add it yourself .As far as your other questions I'm leaving those to the more experienced folks around here .
 

femki

Junior
Joined
Feb 25, 2010
Messages
23
Reaction score
0
The only thing I've had to do at the FOP was select the kit, pitch the yeast, and come back to bottle. What happens in between is up to the proprietor to take care of.. which is why I want to start doing this at home. It's not that I don't trust him or think I can do a better job, I just want to do it all myself!
 

Wade E

Premium
Joined
Jul 3, 2006
Messages
33,224
Reaction score
268
The proprietor has already added the sulfite that came with the kit and thats why I was asking how long its been since the kit was finished.
 

BobF

Banned
Joined
Aug 13, 2009
Messages
2,250
Reaction score
78
I read through the FoP rules in the stautes for MO. Here, the rules are very explicit that the FoP operator is to NEVER do anything with the customers wine. They can advise, and IIRC taste a small sample for evaluation, but they are to advise only.

If at any point the FoP person makes an addition, or physically does anything else, they become a commerical unlicensed winemaker.

I'm kicking the idea around about doing an FoP. How would folks here feel about doing wine at a totally hands off (YOU do everything yourself) FoP?
 

Tom

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 6, 2006
Messages
11,356
Reaction score
95
We have those in NJ BUT, you will be making wine in Barrels not kits. Cost is over 2K+. Here you need to do everything.
In NJ there is also a Homebrew FOP and there you must do everything.
 

Wade E

Premium
Joined
Jul 3, 2006
Messages
33,224
Reaction score
268
I like the idea as long as no one is soaking a person. I cant see how someone would pay $300 to make ma $65 dollar kit!
 

surlees

Senior Member
Joined
May 26, 2009
Messages
246
Reaction score
3
femki,
It sounds likely the FOP has only added the kmeta packet that comes with the kit. This is usually good for about 3-6 months, more or less. IMO, the best advice is do what Wade said and get yourself an Accuvin SO2 test kit (about US$30/10 tests) so you can know at any point in time what your SO2 actually is without having to guess.

Fred
 

Tom

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 6, 2006
Messages
11,356
Reaction score
95
So, Who has the best prices for this Accuvin SO2 test kit
 

Wade E

Premium
Joined
Jul 3, 2006
Messages
33,224
Reaction score
268
I dont shop around for these small items. If I cant get tem locally then I get them from finevines unless Im placing an order for some grains or something else that George may not have.
 
Top