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for Friday, August 17, 2018

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Sulfite calculators  

recommended levels
these recommendations are made assuming a ph of 3.2 - 3.6


sulfite info - advanced so2 calculator - make a 10% solution - too much so2?

Free SO2

20 - 30 ppm level to control harmful microorganisms in fresh musts for red wine from clean, sound fruit pre-fermentation w/o inhibiting MLF
30 - 50 ppm level to control browning in white musts, harmful microorganisms in fresh juice from clean sound fruit
70 - 100 ppm level to control browning in white musts, harmful microorganisms in fresh juice from fruit showing signs of spoilage or rot

20 - 40 ppm

level desired for bottling


sulfite info - advanced so2 calculator - make a 10% solution - too much so2?

advanced sulfite calculator  top


  enter the type of wine

  enter the ph level of your wine or juice 
if the ph is unknown this calculator will assume 3.2 for sweet wine, 3.4 for white wines and 3.6 for reds.
  enter your quantity of must or juice 

liters or gallons

  enter the current quantity of free sulfites in your must, juice or wine

in parts per million (mg/L)
if you don't know or haven't added any yet 10 is a good bet

 enter the desired quantity of free sulfites in your must, juice or wine

If you know what you need enter the amount here:

  in parts per million (mg/L)

Are we encouraging ML fermentation?


your answers are here

sulfite info - advanced so2 calculator - make a 10% solution - too much so2? - top


sulfite info skip

A minimum free SO2 concentration should always be present to effectively protect wine, but without exceeding prescribed nominal levels. You should have enough sulfite to protect the wine from microbial spoilage but not so much that it can be detected when drinking it. The taste or smell of sulfite is considered a serious wine fault. Before adding sulfite to must or wine, you have to determine the current free SO2 concentration. Recipes often instruct to add, for example, 50 mg/L of sulfite. This can lead to problems if the level of free SO2 in the wine is already high. You really only need to add the incremental amount of sulfite, if any, to obtain the desired free SO2 concentration. Note that free SO2 may already be present in juice ó producers add sulfite prior to shipping to deter spoilage ó and concentrates as well as juice from freshly crushed or pressed grapes.

As a rule of thumb, always maintain the free SO2 concentration between 25 and 50 mg/L throughout the winemaking process, including bottling. The amount depends on how much sulfite you want and on the quality of the grapes. When making wine from grapes, target a level of 50 mg/L at crushing, or up to 100 mg/L if you suspect any problem, such as moldy grapes.

Determine ahead of time what type of wine you want to make and the methods you will be using, and then plan your sulfite additions accordingly. Pick a so2 tolerant yeast and avoid stuck fermentations due to high SO2. Will you be making a bottle-fermented sparkling wine? Are you planning a malolactic (ML) fermentation to convert the harsher malic acid into the more supple lactic acid? The success in achieving desired results is highly dependent on careful free SO2 management. Exceedingly high levels of free SO2 can cause a sluggish or stuck fermentation.

Remember to always add sulfite to wine before the racking operation to protect the wine from aeration. Alternatively, rack the wine into another vessel containing the required amount of sulfite solution. Stir the wine thoroughly after each sulfite addition. Never add sulfite powder directly to wine ó it will not dissolve properly.


A wineís pH affects the free SO2 concentration and must therefore be accounted for when adding sulfite. Specifically, at high pH (low acidity), SO2 effectiveness is greatly reduced and the wine is therefore not as well protected against oxidative effects or microbial organisms which could spoil the wine. To compensate for the high pH, as a rule of thumb, you should target a free SO2 concentration of approximately 25 percent higher for every 0.1 pH increase above 3.2 (for sweet wines), 3.4 (for white wines) and 3.6 (for red wines). For example, if a free SO2 concentration of 50 mg/L is desired when sulfiting a dry white wine with a pH of 3.8, add sulfite to achieve a free SO2 concentration of 100 mg/L: (3.8-3.4)x10x25%=100% more. Remember to compensate for any free SO2 already present.


Ascorbic acid (vitamin C) has anti-oxidative properties that make it a good preservative, specifically in preserving color in white wines. However, it should strictly be used in conjunction with sulfite to increase the effectiveness of the sulfite solution. Effectiveness is increased since ascorbic acid decreases the pH of the sulfite solution. Ascorbic acid should never be used without sulfite or without the recommended minimum level of free SO2, otherwise, it will actually favor oxidation. Ascorbic acid crystals are added at a rate of 2 to 3 g/hL of must or wine when adding sulfite by first dissolving the crystals in water. Dosage should never exceed 10 g/hL to avoid imparting an off-taste to the wine.


Sulfite is effective in storing used oak barrels for an extended period of time. A sulfur-citric holding solution prepared from 2 g of potassium metabisulfite and 1 g of citric acid for each liter of barrel volume will promote sterility and keep the barrel smelling sweet.

First fill the barrel two-thirds with cool water. Prepare the holding solution by dissolving the sulfite and citric acid in warm water in a small glass container. Add it to the barrel, top it up with cool water and bung it for storage. Remember to top up the barrel with fresh water or more holding solution every month. Rinse the barrel several times with fresh water and drain it completely before adding new wine.

The use of a holding solution is not recommended for new barrels or barrels less than one year old as the oak extract will be stripped in the process. Sulfur strips or a sulfur candle can be used in a new barrel to produce sulfur dioxide gas; this will prevent any bacteria or mold from forming.


The purpose of sanitizing winemaking equipment is to eradicate microorganisms and prevent microbial spoilage in wines. The need for sanitization cannot be over-emphasized. It is cumbersome at first, but if you establish a routine, this procedure becomes second nature.

To prepare a sulfite solution for sanitizing winemaking equipment, dissolve 3 Tbsp. of sulfite powder in approximately 1 liter (1/4 gallon) of warm water. Stopper the container and shake it vigorously to completely dissolve the powder. Once dissolved, the container should be topped up to 4 liters (1 gallon) with cool water for a very effective sulfite solution. The container should be kept well-stoppered and the sulfite solution should be used within a few months. Sulfite solution which has been stored for too long (more than one year) will lose its effectiveness. An equal amount of citric acid (3 Tbsp.) can be added to the sulfite solution to increase its effectiveness. Any equipment which will come into contact with must or wine should be thoroughly sanitized with a sulfite solution. The entire surface of the equipment needs to be in contact with the solution for several minutes for proper sanitization. A thorough water rinse should follow.

Sulfite should not be used for sanitizing stainless steel tanks as it has a tendency to spot these types of containers. A mild cleaner specifically designed for stainless steel should be used.
Be sure to work in a well-ventilated area when working with sulfite. The strong smell can become overpowering and can irritate the nose and throat.

If you prefer to add sulfite powder or Campden tablets instead of using a 10 percent solution, you will need 40 mg/L x 19L / 1000mg/g / 0.57 = 1.3 g of powder or three 0.44-g Campden tablets. Be sure to dissolve the powder or tablets in water before adding to the wine. If you bottle your wine within a year, chances are that the free SO2 level will be very close to the level of the last sulfite addition unless the wine has been subjected to many rackings and over-exposure to air. This is why itís important to check your free SO2 concentration; otherwise you might be adding 50 mg/L of free SO2 to wine that already contains that much.

sulfite info - advanced so2 calculator - make a 10% solution - too much so2? - top

the 10% solution  top

How to make a 10% SO2 solution.
The simplest and most effective way of adding sulfite to must and wine is to make a 10 percent solution and then add the required incremental amount according to the table below. The 10 percent solution is prepared by dissolving 10 g of potassium metabisulfite in a little warm water ó it does not dissolve well in cold water ó and then topping up with cool water to the 100 mL level. Use a small, inexpensive scale to measure the amount of sulfite powder required. Otherwise, you can use measuring spoons since 1 mL of powder weighs roughly 1 g, and thatís good enough for home winemaking. One tablespoon (15 mL) would then weigh approximately 15 g. This yields a 10 percent error which is further compounded by inaccuracies of measuring spoons. Do invest in a scale if you want to measure quantities accurately.

Enter the amount of 10% solution you want to make   

You will need:

grams or teaspoons of potassium metabisulphite to make of 10% SO2 solution.

sulfite info - advanced so2 calculator - make a 10% solution - too much so2? - top

sulfite additions  top

To achieve your desired level of free sulfites, the recommended amount of a 10% solution of potassium metabisulfite to be added to your must, juice or wine is milliliters or teaspoons at a pH of

To achieve your desired level of free sulfites, the recommended amount of potassium metabisulfite powder to be added to your must, juice or wine is grams or ounces which is approximately  milliliters or teaspoons.

The addition of campden tablets will also bring your must, juice or wine to the free sulfite level you specified.

What if you have too much free SO2 in your wine; in other words, you can smell it? First, donít be tempted to just bottle the wine ó the free SO2 concentration can be lowered. Target for a free SO2 concentration below 50 mg/L. Proceed to rack the wine vigorously from one vessel to another several times to aerate the wine; let it splash at the bottom of the receiving vessel. This is fine since the wine is very well protected, and the aeration will cause some free SO2 to dissipate. Take a free SO2 reading after 2 or 3 rackings, and repeat until the free SO2 concentration reaches the desired level. Let the wine settle for a couple of months before bottling.