Originally Posted by Inner10
If you let it ferment out dry then you don't need sorbate, you only need that if you want to kill the yeast and sweeten.
I think one of the most common misnomers floating about on every winemaking forum I have visited is the one about sorbate killing yeast.
Sorbate will not kill yeast. It prevents yeast from reproducing, but will not kill them. So, let's say your wine is not yet dry and the yeast are chomping away on sugar kicking out CO2 + alcohol, and you dose with sorbate; the yeast will eat away at that residual sugar until it is gone or until the yeast die off on their own. We all wish it were as simple as adding sorbate at that magic moment and killing off the yeast, but it just does not work that way.
So, if you plan to backsweeten with a fermentable sugar after your ferment is complete you definitely want to use sorbate plus k-meta/Campden. This is because the sorbate performs better in the presence of Campden/k-meta. Typically you do not add sorbate to a wine you do not backsweeten but many times sorbate is added to a wine that has been fined and just has issues staying clear. I do not understand the science behind using sorbate for clarity sake but it does work. Jack Keller's website has a great glossary and he also shares a wealth of info for millions of visitors, check it out...you will likely visit many times. http://winemaking.jackkeller.net/glossary.asp
Oh, and do not add sorbate to a wine you want to bottle carb. You can add if you plan to force carbonate though.
Welcome to the forum! And have fun in your future fermenting endeavors.