I am an avid brewer but have just finished fermenting my 1st muscadine wine. It has been fermenting for 6 months and has been racked once. Even though it's really clear I just added sparkaloid along with campden and potassium sorbate. I am planning to bottle within 2 weeks. Will the sparkaloid affect the campden and potassium sorbate? I added them to deactivate the yeast for back sweetening. I am hoping it won't cause the two to precipitate out.

  • The use of "Back sweeten" is a nonsensical term that you will never find in a brewing or winemaking textbook. Just say you want to sweeten or add sweetness. – farmersteve Nov 29 '17 at 23:25

Sparkaloid, acording to the SDS, is composed of, "natural diatomaceous earth - amorphous silica (CAS number 1344-95-2) , alginates". None of these really interact with sodium metabisulphite or potossium sorbate. There is some potential reaction between sodium bisulfite and alginates (but requiring presence of nitrites). Bisulfites can react with aldehydes in the wine and form a precipitate but the amount would not be very noticeable. As both campden tablets and sorbates are reasonably soluble in water/wine and are only present in small quantities there would seem to be little chance of them precipitating because of the Sparkaloid addition.

One might wonder why, if the wine was really clear, Sparkaloid was used.

  • Used it because I had some that is the only reason. – SimpleTun Nov 29 '17 at 20:37
  • Just make sure you store your wine somewhere like a garage because it will turn into grenades on you and they will explode unless you drink them right away. – farmersteve Nov 30 '17 at 23:23
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    I disagree with farmersteve on this point. Bottle bombs are always a possibility but are not at all probable if bisulphite and sorbate are used to inactivate the yeast. – barking.pete Dec 1 '17 at 12:55

The only way to truly "deactivate" the yeast is to sterile filter the wine to .45u (microns). That's right about 1/2 of a Micron. Otherwise, you will likely end up with a sparkling wine or a grenade that will explode when it gets warm outside. You can kill yeast using Mutage (a french word) by adding enough alcohol or heating up the wine to kill the yeast. Either is not preferable.

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    From everything I read using both Campden and potassium sorbate together will halt further fermentation. Have you had a batch kick back off after using both of these? Doesn't seem to be a problem for most. – SimpleTun Dec 1 '17 at 1:06
  • I'll just say that professional winemakers hate using sorbate. It changes the flavor substantially. Plus if you don't get the dosages just right all it takes is one viable yeast cell to kick off. Then there is also the problem of bacteria, which sorbate does nothing against. MLF could kick off in the bottle, producing a fair amount of CO2 and changing the flavors substantially. Then sorbate only works for so long before it breaks down and no longer is effective. So drink up quickly! – farmersteve Dec 1 '17 at 16:22
  • I found this good article on the subject. I never used sorbate in 20 years of winemaking. winemakersacademy.com/potassium-sorbate-wine-making – farmersteve Dec 1 '17 at 16:27

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