When racking [siphoning wine] I’d like to add 1/4 teaspoon of sulfites. What is the best method to do this? Should I add and mix the sulfites in the carboy before transferring it to the empty one to protect it from the oxygen exposure, or put the sulfites in the empty carboy so the wine will mix with it when being received?
Name: Roger C.
I don’t know as it’s too critical either way. The important thing is that the the sodium metabisulfite gets dissolved complete and blended thoroughly throughout the wine.
The way I like to add winemaking ingredients such as the sodium metabisulfite, yeast nutrient, acid blend, etc., is to take a quart or so of the wine or wine must and dissolve the winemaking ingredient into it. Then blend the quart back into the rest of the wine batch.
It is easier to determine when the particular ingredient has dissolve completely in a smaller sample. Secondly, it is quicker to get something like sodium metabisulfite to dissolve in a quart than it is 5 gallons. In a quart you can be assured that when you agitate it in any way, that all the winemaking ingredient is responding by dissolving. In 5 gallons when you stir the batch you are usually only affecting some of the dose. It takes more effort and more time to do it this way.
Once I know if that the sodium metabisulfite or whatever has completely dissolve in the quart sample, I then blend it back into the rest of the batch. You don’t have to worry about dissolving any more. You are just worried about getting the quart sample evenly blended through out the wine.
Having said this, to answer your question more directly, you could take a quart of the wine while it’s siphoning and dissolve the sodium metabisulfite. Then pour it into the new carboy. You could do all of this while five gallons of wine is still siphoning.
Another blog post that is somewhat related to this subject is When Do I Add Campden Tablets To My Homemade Wine. I goes over a little bit about know how much sulfite to add to a wine throughout the wine making process.
Ed Kraus is a 3rd generation home brewer/winemaker and has been an owner of E. C. Kraus since 1999. He has been helping individuals make better wine and beer for over 25 years.