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Old 01-22-2013, 01:13 PM   #1
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Default Bottling/Campden/Potassium Sorbate Help

I have been ready numerous posts about campden tablets and potassium sorbate. There seem to be a lot of differing opinions on which to add, when to add, some say to use both. I could use some help for my specific situation.

I have two five gallon batches of apple wine that are ready to bottle. They both have already survived stuck fermentations with successfuly restarts. I have not added any of campden tablets or potassium sorbate to this point. Current gravity is around .992. Starting gravity was around 1.1.

Which should I add or should I add both? Do I add it and then immiately bottle or should I give it some time before bottling? I am trying to avoid off tastes and bottle bombs.

I think I have a pretty good understanding of what Campden tablets and potassium sorbate do after reading several posts. I don't have a good understanding about when to add them to get maximum effectiveness without a seriously adversely affecting taste.

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Old 01-22-2013, 02:07 PM   #2
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Campden/k-meta and sorbate when added at appropriate dosage should have no impact on taste. If you plan to backsweeten your dry/finished fermenting wine with a fermentable sugar then you should add Campden/k-meta plus sorbate at the same time. They have a synergistic effect. You can immediately add you backsweetener if you want at that point. Wait 7-10 days to ensure ferment has not kicked back in, use hydrometer to check. Then rack one time and proceed to bulk age or bottle. The addition of the stabilizers plus fermentable typically result in another layer of superfine sediment, but if none is present no need to rack. If you bulk age just remember to dose with Campden every 90 days.
If you choose not to backsweeten then the stabilizer need only be Campden/k-meta. Sorbate is optional.
Typically people do not stabilize until wine is clear, degassed and free of sediment.

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Old 01-23-2013, 12:55 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by saramc View Post
Campden/k-meta and sorbate when added at appropriate dosage should have no impact on taste. If you plan to backsweeten your dry/finished fermenting wine with a fermentable sugar then you should add Campden/k-meta plus sorbate at the same time. They have a synergistic effect. You can immediately add you backsweetener if you want at that point. Wait 7-10 days to ensure ferment has not kicked back in, use hydrometer to check. Then rack one time and proceed to bulk age or bottle. The addition of the stabilizers plus fermentable typically result in another layer of superfine sediment, but if none is present no need to rack. If you bulk age just remember to dose with Campden every 90 days.
If you choose not to backsweeten then the stabilizer need only be Campden/k-meta. Sorbate is optional.
Typically people do not stabilize until wine is clear, degassed and free of sediment.
I totally agree with this information. Sorbate isn't needed at all, unless you are sweetening the wine.

I do use campden/k-meta at every other racking, and not for stabilization. Sulfites are typically used by winemakers as an antioxidant because when S04 binds with the wine, it prevents oxygen uptake. Since it dissipates with time, adding it at every other racking seems to keep the S02 levels at a minimal level but still protective. If you have an S02 meter, the goal is to keep the wine at about 50 ppm. For wines that may be aged a bit, a dosage of sulfite (campden) at bottling will help to preserve the wine and protect it from oxidation.
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Old 01-24-2013, 07:34 AM   #4
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Thank you both for your help. I didn't realize it dissipated over time. I just added the campden tablets to both batches of apple wine as well as a batch of mead that I am bulk aging. I've learned a lot on these first two batches of wine (largely due to advice received in this forum) and I think I will have far fewer mishaps in the future.

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Old 07-01-2013, 06:15 PM   #5
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Hey guys, would rather post here than start a new thread. I recently (3 days ago) added campden tablets to a 5 gallon batch of apple wine. I plan to backsweeten in the next week or so. Is it too late to go back and dose with potassium sorbate? Originally, I was planning to let it bulk age for longer but my plans have changed.

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Old 07-01-2013, 07:12 PM   #6
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Hey guys, would rather post here than start a new thread. I recently (3 days ago) added campden tablets to a 5 gallon batch of apple wine. I plan to backsweeten in the next week or so. Is it too late to go back and dose with potassium sorbate? Originally, I was planning to let it bulk age for longer but my plans have changed.
If it's totally clear, and no longer dropping lees, and you just used 5 campden tablets three days ago, it should be fine. If it's not clear, or dropping any lees, there is still too much yeast in the wine for sorbate to "work".
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Old 07-02-2013, 01:47 PM   #7
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Thanks. Taking it in the other direction (just for my understanding because this is something that has been confusing me for a while)--if I changed my mind and decided to bulk age for just another couple months...would I need to add campden tablets again right before bottling or not? I don't want to overdo it....and I got off track with this batch. Threw in some campden tablets when I got it all started but did not treat again until I racked for the first time 5 months in (the wine is fine). Ideally, I would like to bulk age a while longer and then bottle but I figured since I added campden this past weekend, and didn't want to treat much more, I should change my plans and go ahead and bottle.

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Old 07-02-2013, 08:00 PM   #8
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Thanks. Taking it in the other direction (just for my understanding because this is something that has been confusing me for a while)--if I changed my mind and decided to bulk age for just another couple months...would I need to add campden tablets again right before bottling or not? I don't want to overdo it....and I got off track with this batch. Threw in some campden tablets when I got it all started but did not treat again until I racked for the first time 5 months in (the wine is fine). Ideally, I would like to bulk age a while longer and then bottle but I figured since I added campden this past weekend, and didn't want to treat much more, I should change my plans and go ahead and bottle.
If you don't have an SO2 meter (I don't), it's probably easiest to guestimate having 50 ppm if you add 1 crushed campden (dissolved in some boiling water) per gallon at every other racking and at bottling. It's probably as close as you can get without a meter.
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