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Old 11-02-2011, 12:57 PM   #1
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Default Do I have to stabilize and fine?

I have a cheap wine kit (Vintners Reserve Coastal White) that did not come with an F-pack. The must has sat in secondary for approximately 6 weeks and is crystal clear. There is still a little CO2 in suspension, as well as a very slight sulfur smell (my wife doesnt think its bad at all) so I am wondering the best way of getting rid of that.

My question is do I need to use the Sorbate, Metasulphite (sp?), and Isinglass that came with the kit if I am not planning on backsweetening and am happy with the taste? I was going to actually save the packets for a cider experiment I want to do. I’ve heard that the Meta helps to avoid oxygenation. I am giving these bottles away for Christmas so I dunno how long they will sit on people’s shelves before using them.

Thanks in advance from a wine newb.

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Old 11-02-2011, 01:57 PM   #2
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Sorbate and campden to kill fermentation, yes

Finings only help clear it out, and "looking" clear is not a good indicator.

Time in the primary after sorbate and campden will drop the last of the yeast out in time or much quicker with the finings.

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Old 11-02-2011, 03:39 PM   #3
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If it has already been 7 plus weeks, and the gravity has held steady (at 0.996) hasnt fermentation stopped?

Will the alcohol content (around 9.5%) be enough to stave off wild yeast and bacteria for around a year? I don't think anyone will be storing this longer than that before drinking it.

And if I can see directly through the entire depth of the carboy, down to the lees, is that not clear enough? When it is poured into a glass you could compare it to any commercial wine in terms of clarity.

I guess I am too much of a beer guy. Are there processes/things going on in wine that I am not thinking about?

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Old 11-02-2011, 03:57 PM   #4
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Wine will continue to ferment until the yeast is removed (or stabilized) or the alcohol becomes too high for the yeast to live. That is somewhere around 13% or higher. The 9.5% you recorded simply isn't high enough.

Wine will continue to drop lees for several months.

Oh, and the alcohol will not prevent oxidation, the main point of adding campden at this point.

Follow the directions included in the kit and it will be fine.

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Old 11-02-2011, 04:01 PM   #5
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Thanks DoctorCAD, I will just follow the directions and stabilize and fine.

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Old 11-03-2011, 02:22 PM   #6
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Wine will continue to ferment until the yeast is removed (or stabilized) or the alcohol becomes too high for the yeast to live. That is somewhere around 13% or higher. The 9.5% you recorded simply isn't high enough.
Isn't the other parameter sugar? If it's gone dry and there's nothing for the yeast to eat, why would wine continue to ferment, even if it's only 9.5% ABV?
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Old 11-03-2011, 04:10 PM   #7
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Isn't the other parameter sugar? If it's gone dry and there's nothing for the yeast to eat, why would wine continue to ferment, even if it's only 9.5% ABV?
How did it "get" dry?
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Old 11-03-2011, 04:58 PM   #8
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Isn't the other parameter sugar? If it's gone dry and there's nothing for the yeast to eat, why would wine continue to ferment, even if it's only 9.5% ABV?
Exactly! That's what I was thinking as well. If I don't mind the wine being in its dryest state, why do I need to stop fermentation?
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Old 11-04-2011, 12:57 AM   #9
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Exactly! That's what I was thinking as well. If I don't mind the wine being in its dryest state, why do I need to stop fermentation?
Mostly to get the yeast cells out of suspension and down to the lees. They will ALWAYS be in the wine, they may just be inactive.

P.S. Hello to a fellow Pittsburgher! Grew up in Irwin and spent 15 years in the Cranberry Twp. area before getting transferred south. I miss Pittsburgh, especially during Steeler season...
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Old 11-04-2011, 01:11 AM   #10
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Exactly! That's what I was thinking as well. If I don't mind the wine being in its dryest state, why do I need to stop fermentation?
You are correct- there is absolutely no reason to add sorbate if you're not sweetening, and I never do. Sorbate does impart a taste, and I will not use it unless I am sweetening a wine.

The metabisulfite you may want to use. A 9.5%ish wine will NOT age well, and the sulfites will help prevent oxidation as well a preserve the wine a bit.

As far as finings, most of the time I'm inclined to leave them out. If the wine is clear and not dropping lees anymore, I'd not use the finings. I prefer my wine to be vegetarian friendly, and I don't want to have any shellfish/beef products in my wine.
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