Forgot sulphide before bottling

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Well-Known Member
Aug 29, 2015
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Made 6 week wine kit, sulphites and sorbate added 4 weeks before bottling. Forgot to add more sulphites before bottling. Wine is at 16%. What timeline am I lookin at here before spoilage
If I had to guess? A few years. 16% is going to keep it from spoiling. The cork should keep it from oxidizing for quite awhile. Mind you I could be way off as none of mine has made it past 6 months yet.
Oxidation occurs within a day if the sulfite (not sulfide) level is depleted.
Oxidized wine isn't necessarily "spoiled", just different (and well, not in a good way in my opinion, but it's drinkable).

Corks let in plenty of oxygen. Artificial corks continuously let in oxygen, so those wines have a limited shelf life (1-3 years). Natural corks allow oxygen only for a limited time, which gives those wines a longer shelf life (10-20 years).

The ABV will keep most unwanted microbial activity to a minimum even without sulfite, but that's entirely unpredictable and depends on a combination of your sanitation practices and luck.
Bacteria in the presence of sorbate without sulfite can produce a geranium off-flavor.

You can just ride it out and it may be OK or you could open the bottles and add sulfite and cork again.
Agglomerated? Whatever the enclosure type, oxygen still gets in, so depending on the sulfite level the wine can oxidize or wild microbes can contribute oxygen-derived flavors. It's hard to predict the likelihood of those outcomes.
I have no issue getting to that abv. I double pitch yeast and give it nutrient then let it go...
How did you get 16%.

Most yeast will never get that high without a whole lot of work.
If you call staggering nutrients and daily degassing a lot of work then sure. Even though wyeast 1388 is advertised to go to 12%, I use the bomm protocol and my batches always finish out at 16% so I can have residual sugars without stabilizing with chemicals. That said, so far none of my batches have lasted very long once bottled, so I can’t say anything about shelf life.
also, don't forget that a less than 1.000 SG means higher alcohol. Mine usually finish .990, which is another 1.33% of ABV!