View Full Version : Is everything ruined?

12-27-2014, 07:58 PM
How I could have made such a mistake, I'll never know. All my apple and apple blend wines (six 3-gal carboys) are finally in the bulk-aging stage after having difficulty starting fermentation with each of them. My cyster never did ferment. Now I know why. I over-dosed them all w/ the potassium meta-- 1 tsp per gallon is what I added to the must-- don't ask. I feel stupid enough as it is.

My question is this -- will time cure the overdose, or will there be permanent damage to my apple wines? Will more racking help? Filtering? Fining? Samples from all don't taste bad, but I'm concerned about the level of sulfites in my wine when it is ready to consume.

Your help is appreciated.

12-28-2014, 06:01 AM
Sulphites do a couple of things. They stun moulds/fungi etc, a.k.a. yeast.

They also act as an anti-oxidant - there's likely a good chemistry type explanation, just that I can't remember it and am too lazy to look it up.

Now, one of the bonuses, is that sulphites will pass out of a must, slowly if the must is left alone, but quicker if it's stirred/agitated regularly.

There's no set rule as to what regularly means.

If you've over done it, it depends where your brew has got to. If you've pitched the yeast, then repeatedly stirring a couple of times a day can help dissipate the sulphites quicker and after enough time and aeration, the yeast will recover and the extra air/O2 will help it's development.

A bucket and airlock helps here as you can get more air in quicker (some draught/breeze helps clear any gas blanketing), and when the lid/lock is in place you have an easy visual prompt as to whether fermentation is going on (precise checks can be made with a hydrometer).

Oh, and of course, if the yeast is one of the less competitive ones then you can look up something more appropriate to restarts and pitch that........

12-28-2014, 11:38 AM
So once the gas dissipates and fermentation is complete, as in this case (all my wines are now bulk-aging), there should be no residual sulfites? That's what concerns me most -- drinking toxic levels of sulfites.

Medsen Fey
12-28-2014, 11:43 AM
A tsp per gallon is a pretty large amount. You can buy kits to measure the free SO2 level, and in this case, I'd suggest that. A large overdose of SO2 can be reversed with hydrogen peroxide, but you need to know how much SO2 is in there to add the proper amount so that you don't damage the must with the peroxide.

Though they may give your yeast a very difficult time, the sulfites aren't going to harm you, and will be lower than the amounts you get with many dried fruits.

12-28-2014, 08:39 PM
Would testing for free S02 apply here, since all my wines are past the fermentation stage and are now aging? How does the remaining "bound" sulfite affect the wine?

Medsen Fey
12-28-2014, 10:08 PM
Yes, testing for free SO2 is what you need to do to determine if you need to take any action. You don't really have to worry too much about the bound SO2 with mead.