Sulfate additions

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brewbush

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I am currently doing both kit wines and a couple 3 gallon wines made from a fruit base.

I am just curious on how and when to add Kmeta for the wines.

For my merlot, it is a kit, I am at the point of ready to bottle according to the directions. So for this one I added the extra if I am "planning to age wine for more then 6 months". However some people let the wine in the carboy for much longer. For the fruit base wine, the instructions are less clear as to when to add certain amounts.

Is there a certain rule for when to add any additional kmeta based on how long it is in the carboy? Is there a certain amount per gallon to use for 3, 5, and 6 gallon batches?

Should I invest in the $300 SO4 testing kit? Is that necessary?
 

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I don't have an S02 testing kit, and don't plan to buy one. I've been making lots of wines for many, many years.

The way I do it is to "guestimate" the amount of S02 by simply using one campden tablet per gallon of wine in the very beginning (or the equivalent amount of powdered K-meta). Then, use the same amount at every other racking and at bottling.

This is supposed to approximately 50 ppm of sulfite, but it's just a guess and an attempt to keep the sulfites effective without overdoing them.

The sulfites work as an antioxidant, as they bind to the wine so oxygen can't. That's why I use them. They also work as a preservative for the wine.

I've aged some wines more than five years with my technique, and the wines have all been without oxidation and without infection.
 
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brewbush

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I don't have an S02 testing kit, and don't plan to buy one. I've been making lots of wines for many, many years.

The way I do it is to "guestimate" the amount of S02 by simply using one campden tablet per gallon of wine in the very beginning (or the equivalent amount of powdered K-meta). Then, use the same amount at every other racking and at bottling.

This is supposed to approximately 50 ppm of sulfite, but it's just a guess and an attempt to keep the sulfites effective without overdoing them.

The sulfites work as an antioxidant, as they bind to the wine so oxygen can't. That's why I use them. They also work as a preservative for the wine.

I've aged some wines more than five years with my technique, and the wines have all been without oxidation and without infection.

How often are you racking? If I rack every 1-2 months do you still suggest you add extra, or only if you let it sit for 5-6 months?

When you add it at bottling, do you just mix it in before putting into bottles?
Does this change if I am doing kit wines since they come premeasured with Kmeta packets?
 

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How often are you racking? If I rack every 1-2 months do you still suggest you add extra, or only if you let it sit for 5-6 months?

When you add it at bottling, do you just mix it in before putting into bottles?
Does this change if I am doing kit wines since they come premeasured with Kmeta packets?
For kits, following the directions is the best way to go. You can add more sulfites (campden tablets) at bottling. You just dissolve the k-meta in a little boiling water (I use the microwave), pour that into the bottling bucket, and rack into that and bottle.

For your own wines, I rack every 45-60 days, whenever there are lees present, or when there are lees more than 1/4" present. That's usually about three times total depending on the type of wine.
 
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brewbush

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Another question regarding this.

I did the kit instructions for the merlot and added the extra 1/4tsp to bulk age. From that time (day28) to a week ago (day 60) I racked again to degass one more time and plan to let it sit for 2 more months until I get back from vacation. During this rack I added an additional 1/4 tsp Kmeta.

When I do bottle at day 120....would you add more or did I add enough?
 

saramc

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Personally, I would dose with k-meta prior to bottling, especially since your last addition is noted as 60 days earlier.

No reason to spend $300-400 on system to test for SO4, because that will not help you with k-meta dosing. 'SO4' is sulfate.

The tail you should be chasing is SO2, sulfur dioxide. It is 'free SO2' which is commonly tested for, along with the pH, when one wants to determine how much k-meta to dose a wine with. You can consider an Accuvin Free SO2 Test Kit for $30'ish, or perhaps the Economy Aeration Oxidization Free SO2 Test Kit for $100'ish, or at the high end of the spectrum, the Vinmetrica SC-100.

Many of us never test for free SO2 but rather rely upon dosing with k-meta on a quarterly (every 90 days, give or take) basis while wine is bulk aging; and of course, prior to bottling is recommended.

You mention you plan to degas again...please, please, please, do not rush to bottle, especially if wine is gassy. Kit wines are notorious for being gassy buggers, so if you need to allow this to bulk age, while it degasses-continues to drop sediment-and clears, do not hesitate to do so. The last thing you want is a gassy, sediment laden bottle of wine. What is the brand and name of your kit, if you do not mind sharing? Is this wine still dropping sediment? Is the wine clear?
 
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brewbush

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Sorry it took me so long to post.

It is the Eclipse Stags Leap kit with skins. There may have been a scant amount of sediment and it seemed clear to me.

There was just a slight hint of gas to it so my last transfer I did a vaccum splash rack. Hopefully that plus the vaccum will be enough when I check it again in 60days
 
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