Since you can’t measure your free and total SO₂, let’s do some numbers to see what kind of a potential problem you might be facing. First off, let’s talk about your bottle-rinsing
Thanks, Bob, for joining fellow columnists and me for our first ever virtual WineMaker Harvest Boot Camp this past September! This question didn’t get answered in my Q&A session held at the end of my “Top 5 Harvest Mistakes to Avoid” talk (there were a number of others that didn’t get answered either that I’ll
Good for you for investing in a way to track your free SO2 (FSO2) levels. It’s one of the most important ways we can keep our wines safe. You can buy something like a Vinmetrica kit or send out samples monthly to a local wine analysis lab (like ETS here in Napa County), which is
Despite popular lore in some diet-watching crowds, sulfite in wine is not only low compared to many foods, but it is key to limit oxidation of wine and to keep spoilage at bay. Learn how to test a wine’s sulfite level and when and why to use it properly for your wines.
For harvest purposes, when adding SO2 to grapes in order to knock down feral yeast and bacteria (with the goal of reducing VA and letting your yeast of choice get a foothold), I tend to add 35 ppm total SO2 (calculate based on 1 ton of grapes = 170 gallons wine/1 metric ton = 710
Sulfites get a bad rap in the world outside of true wine aficionados. Alex Russan takes readers on a journey through the world of sulfites and describes a couple schools of thought regarding its use throughout the winemaking process.
That’s a great question with a very simple answer. You should not add postassium metabisulfite (SO2, or sulfur dioxide) to your wine between primary and secondary fermentation. Because the SO2 will inhibit
Your nose (bruised apple/sweet smell) and your chemical analysis (loss of Free SO2) are telling me that you have an oxygen ingress problem and aldehydes and perhaps an increase in VA (volatile acidity) are the result. Please do your future wines a favor and always switch from fermentation “burper” bungs to hard bungs upon racking
I need help to prevent oxidation. I make about 40 gallons (151 L) from California grapes each year, usually finishing quite nice, but last year’s Sangiovese suffers from oxidation. After fermentation and pressing, the wine spends the next ten to eleven months in carboys fitted with airlocks. I rack at least three times throughout the
The short answer to your question: yes, if you dilute your wine sample before running a Ripper analysis for SO2, you then need to multiply your result by the dilution factor you used in order to get a correct result for the true batch of wine. It’s indeed common for winemakers to dilute red wine
You do an excellent job of outlining one of the major conundrums we all experience in the winemaking world. How much SO2 do we need to add to our wines to keep them safe? How much is too much? To be very honest, it’s something even commercial winemakers do “by feel.” While I wish we
It seems that you and Craig are going through many of the same issues (see this question and answer). Like I mentioned to Craig, it’s really impossible to add enough sulfur dioxide to retard a yeast fermentation because, contrary to popular belief, yeast just aren’t that sensitive to SO2. Unlike bacteria, yeast can still have
I’m not sure if in the above question you are referring to having over-added to grape juice or to finished wine. Regardless, adding 45 grams of potassium metabisulfite, which is about 58% sulfur dioxide (SO2), to 60 liters of wine will yield quite a bit of SO2 (to put it mildly). I calculate that’ll get
You bring up a very good question. For the compound you’re talking about, sulfur dioxide, you’ll probably come pretty close to what you would predict based on knowing the volume and the current free SO2. This is just like alcohol, residual sugar, or titratable acidity and can be predicted based on a simple volume to
The great thing about Campden tablets (a convenient form of dosing in sulfur dioxide for home winemakers) is that they will inhibit the yeast and bacteria you do not want (which are sensitive to sulfur dioxide) while allowing the yeast you do want to continue to power through the fermentation. The little packet of yeast
Learn the basics of what sulfur dioxide is, as well as when and how to use sulfite in your winemaking.
Introduction The Sulfite Calculator is a simple yet very useful tool to quickly calculate the amount of sulfite needed to adequately protect a wine. It calculates the amount of sulfite based on
There is no denying: Sulfur dioxide (SO2) can be a source of headaches for winemakers — even without drinking any wine. Why does SO2 continue to be such a perplexing and confusing topic? All too often I am asked to help out with problems that seem completely unrelated to sulfite additions, though these are at
In spite of their long history as wine preservatives dating to the days of the Romans, sulfites can receive a bad rap. Many suspect that sulfites cause headaches or believe that any preservative is harmful, and so, there is a strong push to eliminate — or at least reduce — the use of sulfites and
Certainly you can try to pasteurize (heat at a certain temperature for a certain amount of time) your wine if you like. Many foods and beverages (like milk) are so heat treated in order to kill any bacteria, yeast or other organisms. Louis Pasteur, the Frenchman who gave the process his name back in the
Managing oxygen is key in making reduced-sulfite or sulfite-free wines. A dissolved oxygen (DO) meter is a wise investment; you can buy a portable model for less than $300. Then you can ensure that your DO level at bottling is less than 2 mg/L to give you peace of mind that your wine will age
Inexperienced amateur winemakers are often misled thinking that making red wine is easier — or at least more foolproof — than making white wine because reds are better protected by polyphenols from the effects of oxidation. The result: Tired, orangey (and even brown) colored, lifeless reds. Making great red wine is indeed more challenging as
Sulfur dioxide, or SO2, has many benefits in winemaking and has been added to wine for centuries to act as a preservative. When you add SO2 to your wine, part of it will bind up with other wine components like acetaldehydes, polyphenols, and weakly, to sugars (contributing to “total SO2”) and some will remain free
Do you know the difference between organic, biodynamic, and natural wines? Learn what differentiates each term, plus ways to cut down on the chemicals in your winemaking process.
There’s the old saw about the sow’s ear and the silk purse. It reminds me of my old adage of “never blend a loser,” which admonishes readers against blending bad wine into good. It improves the bad wine at the detriment to the whole blend. That’s too bad your grapes were sub-optimal and absolutely you