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Old 11-04-2012, 10:47 PM   #11
airving
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I've also heard of the 'add sugar slowly until the yeast can't take anymore' method, but being inexperienced personally, I would be fearful that the yeast were still processing slowly - perhaps too slowly for me to see. Isn't there risk of bottle bombs from gradual pressure increase after corking? Better living through chemistry, I say - add the sorbate and sulfite.

Or from another perspective, I just had a port kit chew through a total gravity point change of .147 before I stabilized it and added sweetener (1.132 -> 1.010 + .015 after extra sugar, down to 1.000 ). Just how much alcohol are you willing to have in your final product to make it sweet? In this case the kit was designed for that, but another wine might not be drinkable.

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Old 11-07-2012, 12:15 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by airving
I've also heard of the 'add sugar slowly until the yeast can't take anymore' method, but being inexperienced personally, I would be fearful that the yeast were still processing slowly - perhaps too slowly for me to see. Isn't there risk of bottle bombs from gradual pressure increase after corking? Better living through chemistry, I say - add the sorbate and sulfite.
This is why you use a hydrometer, track the chaptalization and have patience. If there are any live yeast when you bottle, sorbate and k-meta will not prevent them from eventually utilizing any residual sugar. You may think all is well and months down the road you have corks pop...a classic reason to bulk age...IMHO
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Old 11-07-2012, 05:10 AM   #13
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I thought that was the purpose of adding k-meta and sorbate: to stop any live yeast from starting further fermentation. Note that I'm not suggesting trying to stop an active fermentation: everything I've read says to add those prior to back-sweetening and you should be safe. Is that not your experience?

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Old 11-07-2012, 05:42 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by airving
I thought that was the purpose of adding k-meta and sorbate: to stop any live yeast from starting further fermentation. Note that I'm not suggesting trying to stop an active fermentation: everything I've read says to add those prior to back-sweetening and you should be safe. Is that not your experience?
It is safe as long as your ferment is complete. It is a fine line. If you have live yeast in the wine, and fermentable sugar...they will use the sugar and then die off in the presence of k-meta plus sorbate. K-meta and sorbate does not kill the yeast, just stop them from reproducing. Hence the recommendation of fermenting dry, racking, then allowing to clear, degas, stabilize with k-meta and sorbate, backsweetening and monitoring with hydrometer checks to confirm it is stabilized. Or if you chaptalize you can aim for a planned for residual sugar plus yeast die off due to alcohol toxicity..it works once you get the hang of it.

I actually had an entire case of commercial wine bottle ferment six months after I bought it. Turns out it was not dry when stabilized and backsweetened. The cool storage temp kept things at bay, but when I grabbed one bottle and it warmed up in transport...well let me just say my car trunk needed major cleaning. Lost the rest of it for same reasons. It was sparkling when opened cold but nasty stuff. Refund given.
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Old 11-08-2012, 01:16 AM   #15
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How long will yeast live under normal circumstances? If you are simply preventing them from reproducing then they will eventually die without replicating.

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Old 11-08-2012, 02:53 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by sashurlow
How long will yeast live under normal circumstances? If you are simply preventing them from reproducing then they will eventually die without replicating.
The yeast will be active as long as there is sugar or live until it reaches its alcohol limit.

One the sugar is used up, the cells will die off. At this point you can add k-meta and sorbate, then back sweeten.
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Old 11-08-2012, 01:29 PM   #17
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When back sweetening do you need to use both campden and sorbate? Or just one?

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Old 11-08-2012, 02:05 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Nwa-brewing
When back sweetening do you need to use both campden and sorbate? Or just one?
They need to both be used together because they do different things, but it has been found by many that if you add sorbate without the presence of adequate campden/k-meta then the wine may start to referment. They complement each other.
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