Sulphite-free wine (and cider)? - Home Brew Forums

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Old 01-29-2008, 07:05 PM   #1
Jan 2008
Posts: 120

Hi all, new member here. I've just gotten into homebrewing. I've got 5 gallons of Irish style stout fermemting on my kitchen table right now actually.

I'd like to make for my next batch, either hard cider or some country wine. I'm not sure if you're aware but sulphites can cause asthmatic reactions in some people and because I have a fair number of those reactions I'd like to make sulphite-free wine. Personally I'd like to not add any chemicals to my wine once it's fermented. I know this is possible, because there are plenty of old timers around who remember making wine as kids and I'm sure they didn't add anything. Maybe I'm a bit of a chemical phobe, but I like the natural approach.

Does anyone have any advice on how to go about this? I know I could get bottle grenades if it's still fermenting in the bottole, so what FG would be safe to bottle at? Any pointers?

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Old 01-29-2008, 07:25 PM   #2
Jun 2006
South River, NJ
Posts: 2,587
Liked 21 Times on 17 Posts

FYI, all wine contains at least some sulfites. In the US there is a required label for sulfites, or no-sulfites. Abroad there are no label requirements, but most all have them added in. I do know wine can spoil very easily if sulfites are not added. If you are curious about your reaction to wine just go get a commercial bottle and see what happens. If you don't have a reaction then I would just add them.
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Old 01-31-2008, 01:54 PM   #3
Ale's What Cures You!
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Jun 2006
UP of Michigan, Winter Texan
Posts: 69,554
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You can make your wine sulfite free if you want. You'd make it the "regular" way, and just leave out the sulfite. Not a problem with bottle bombs either way if you ferment the wine to dry before bottling (which is standard winemaking procedure anyway).

Just be aware that you would only want to use pasteurized fruit, then, and boil any water you add to your fruit since you're not using anything to kill bacteria or wild yeast. Make sure your sanitization (spoons, hydrometer, racking tubing, etc) is absolutely pristine. I don't know what you'd want to use as a sanitizer if you're not using sulfites- I santize my wine gear wtih sulfite.

Still, it's doable. Even so, it'll probably spoil much faster than a typical wine.
Broken Leg Brewery
Giving beer a leg to stand on since 2006

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Old 02-03-2008, 06:24 PM   #4
Feb 2008
Oliver, B.C. Canada
Posts: 1

We have been making with no sulfite and we never had a problem. As long has you sanitize all you equipement and make sure that you use boiled water you should be ok. We do not let the fruits sit in the water for 12 hours like most recipes ask for; we put everything in including the yeast nutrient and yeast. It takes about 24 hours for the fermentation to kick in.

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