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bsay 05-15-2009 07:42 PM

Stabilizing without Potassium Sorbate
Is there anything other than Potassium Sorbate I can add to stabilize a wine? I am looking at getting into some wine making, but my wife gets terrible headaches when she eats/drinks anything with Potassium Sorbate in it.


Saccharomyces 05-15-2009 08:06 PM

You could sterile filter it, 1 micron filtration followed by .5 micron.

Yooper 05-15-2009 11:58 PM

Well, does she like dry wines? You only need sorbate when you sweeten a wine, so if you're making a dry wine you wouldn't need the sorbate anyway.

Another thought is to make a sweet wine by overwhelming the yeast's alcohol tolerance. The problem with that is that you'll have sweet rocket fuel for a couple of years until it mellows.

bsay 05-18-2009 10:39 PM

Since I am stabilizing in order to sweeten, what are your thoughts on "wine conditioner"? I ran across such a product at Midwest Supplies....

Yooper 05-18-2009 11:00 PM


Originally Posted by bsay (Post 1331665)
Since I am stabilizing in order to sweeten, what are your thoughts on "wine conditioner"? I ran across such a product at Midwest Supplies....

Unfortunately, it's a mix of sorbate and sugar water. The sorbate stabilizes (works best with campden- maybe there is also potassium metabisulfite?) the wine, and the syrup is the sweetener. It's just in one convenient package.

Yooper 05-18-2009 11:02 PM

I just found this on Jack Keller's website:

Another stabilizer is sodium benzoate, sold as a chemical or as Stabilizing Tablets. Its action is much the same as potassium sorbate. One crushed tablet per gallon of wine, added in conjunction with one crushed Campden tablet per gallon, is usually sufficient to stop fermentation. It can be added to the wine at the same time as sweetener and just before bottling, although I recommend allowing the wine to sit for several days after stabilizing to allow any dead or dying yeast to settle out as lees. It is less obnoxious, in my opinion, than potassium sorbate, but it does contain sodium. Use your own judgment.

Finally, a product called Wine Conditioner can be used for simultaneously stabilizing and sweetening a wine. Wine Conditioner is a mixture of potassium metabisulfite, potassium sorbate and non-fermentable sugar. It comes with instuctions.

bsay 05-19-2009 01:12 AM

Thanks for the info. Midwest's conditioner doesn't say that it contains Potassium Sorbate, but in case it does, I will try out the sodium benzoate.

mmadmikes1 05-29-2009 12:31 AM

Everyone who drinks without headaches loves the filtered wine.It losses a small amount of color and flavor but if you filter out all the yeast it cant restart

malkore 05-29-2009 10:34 PM

i do know that the levels of sorbate and sulfite that home winemakers use is a lot lower than commercial wines.

but most people get headaches from the sulfites, not the sorbate, so it may not matter at all for your wife.

mmadmikes1 05-29-2009 10:53 PM

I sterile filter everything these days. I still add sulfates to the reds but much less. I hate the taste of sorbate and it doesn't seem to go away

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