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View Full Version : Naturally Occurring Sulphites--Calling all Scientists



Wolfie
11-17-2006, 04:58 PM
Calling all GM scientists! :notworthy:

So I know now that all fermented wines have some degree of naturally occurring sulphites as a product of fermentation, and that the US is (as far as I know) the only place where sulphites must be listed on wine labels if occurring in concentrations of 10 ppm or more (thank you Oskaar).

My new question: Is anyone aware of any method to test concentration of sulphites? I see some wines that advertise “no sulphites” does that just mean no sulphites added (and under 10 ppm) or did they strip them out somehow?

Thanks in advance.
~Z

Oskaar
11-17-2006, 07:18 PM
Most of those organic wines you see will have elemental sulphur that has been dusted onto the grapevines. This is perfectly normal, by the way for organic grape growers as elemental sulphur does not have to be listed on the label. If you see "no sulphites" it generally means no sulphites added. You can minimize sulphite production in your mead by dosing with nutrient and oxygenating, otherwise you'll generally produce more than 10 PPM and should label your mead. Most people don't know this and will swear up and down that there are no sulphites in their mead. But, they really don't know until they have it professionally tested, and are arguing out of ignorance in my opinion. It's better to be safe than sorry, and especially if all of your friends are "allergic" to sulphites.

It's also a good idea to urge your friends who are allergic to sulphites to have an allergy panel done to see if that is really the case. Most of the people we tested when I was working as a Lab Technologist were sensitive to tannins, which manifests very similar to sulphite allergy. In the five years of clinical work I did, I only saw one true sulphite reaction and it was bad.

I don't know of any "stripping" methods that are used througout the wine industry as sulphites are a tried and true way of preventing browning, oxidation, maintaining freshness and color in the wine industry.

Sulphite titrettes are the way to test your wine/mead for concentration of sulphites. See them here (http://morewinemaking.com/product.html?product_id=19506) and read up on them if you want to check your sulfite levels.

Hope that helps,

Oskaar

Cargirl
11-18-2006, 04:21 PM
...Sulphite titrettes are the way to test your wine/mead for concentration of sulphites. See them here (http://morewinemaking.com/product.html?product_id=19506) and read up on them if you want to check your sulfite levels.

Hope that helps,

Oskaar



Thank you! Ordering this right now. :toothy10:

Rhianni
11-30-2006, 06:51 PM
"Used to determine the level of SO2 in your wine. Contains 10 tests in the form of glass titrets. They can be used by themselves or you can purchase W510B which is a titret holder. Please keep in mind that due to some chemical interference, this kit is only accurate to within +/- 30ppm when used to test red wines"

Does that chemical interfernce also apply to meads? What is it in red wines that mess up this device?

Oskaar
11-30-2006, 09:23 PM
"Used to determine the level of SO2 in your wine. Contains 10 tests in the form of glass titrets. They can be used by themselves or you can purchase W510B which is a titret holder. Please keep in mind that due to some chemical interference, this kit is only accurate to within +/- 30ppm when used to test red wines"

Does that chemical interfernce also apply to meads? What is it in red wines that mess up this device?


This is because of the Ascorbic acid and Tannin usually associated with red wines, and if there has been oak treatment, tannin treatment or acid treatment in white wines as well. These substances will interefere with the titration. Honey itself can also be a problem in some cases when using acidic titration to measure levels of total acid. Again, it's safe to estimate that your sulfite production will be over 10 ppm and courtesy labeling for whoever will be drinking the mead is warranted.

The main reason being is that sulfites have been identified as causative agents in certain allergic reactions suffered by asthmatics. As a result, the FDA and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (now the TTF) mandated that sulfites in foods and beverages, at levels of 10 ppm or higher, be identified on the label.

Hope that helps,

Oskaar