What's growing in my wine and how do I remedy it?

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bowhunter32

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White grape peach strawberry. Stabilized a week ago backsweetened 2 days ago. Has this brown stuff growing on top today. What do I do??

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salcoco

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did you add sorbate after back sweetening? if not could be residue from re fermentation. I would rack add k-meta and observe some more. also add sorbate if you haven't done so earlier. wait about a week to make sure fermentation does not restart and then bottle. do a taste test along the way make sure wine is what you want it to be.
 

bowhunter32

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Yes I added k-sor and K-meta. Come to think of it, it wasn't until after I used a 2 part clarifier that it showed up..
 

Johnd

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It's a little difficult to tell from the pictures exactly what it is, but here are my thoughts.

Assuming that fermentation is complete, and you used sorbate and sulfite correctly, and they are not too old, you shouldn't have any contamination issues to worry about. Your wine perhaps still has some residual CO2 in it, which is coming out of solution and bringing proteins and miscellaneous sediments/films from your fruit to the surfaces as it attempts to clear.

Your vessel appears to be topped up sufficiently for this stage, which is good, but makes it hard to do any mechanical degassing, but a little vacuum degassing could help settle things if you have the means to do so. You'll need to top up more later in the game.

If you are sure that your sulfite is up to snuff, just keep it around 70-75F, and let it slowly degas, clear and settle down for a while, time has a way of making things right in your wine.
 

bowhunter32

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Sounds good, I did Degas the wine right before I used the clarifier so that would make sense.

Maybe this is for another thread, but how long after I sorbate and sulfite do I have to bottle before I have to add sulfites again? I don't have an s02 meter and I don't plan on paying for one lol
 

Johnd

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Sounds good, I did Degas the wine right before I used the clarifier so that would make sense.

Maybe this is for another thread, but how long after I sorbate and sulfite do I have to bottle before I have to add sulfites again? I don't have an s02 meter and I don't plan on paying for one lol
Since you don't have SO2 testing ability, you can follow a simple rule of thumb that most follow. Simply, use 1/4 tsp of sulfite powder per 6 gallon carboy, every 3 months. This will generally keep you in the safe zone unless you have an unusually high pH.

As far as bottling, you should wait as long as needed for your wine to be crystal clear, even it takes months to clear. Your clearing agents should move you through the clearing process pretty quickly, but do make sure it's perfectly clear before you bottle. Adjust your sulfite as needed, just before bottling.

Here is an example of what that means. If, in 1.5 months, your wine is perfectly clear, determine your sulfite dose. I normally put the sulfite into the target vessel, and would divide a 1/4 tsp of sulfite in half (because 1.5 months is half of 3 months), mix with a bit of water, and put it into the target carboy, and rack into it. You can use an accurate scale if you have one, it is easier than dividing 1/4 teaspoons into portions, or tablets if you have them.

Once you've racked into your target vessel with sulfite in it, and left all sediment behind, you can go straight to bottling. If you suck up any sediment in your racking, give it a few days to settle back down, rack again and bottle.
 

bowhunter32

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Thanks for the advice. I have over 40 gallons of wine going right now and I have been following the 3 month rule for sulfites. I will prorate at bottling time.
 

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