Any way of salvaging my wine?

NorseNorse Member Posts: 3
I mistakenly added Sulfate and sorbate along with yeast and bentonite to my 23 litres of sugar/dried fruit. Is there any way of salvaging it with a yeast starter?


  • HBO_StaffHBO_Staff Administrator Posts: 2,115
    edited June 2019
    Hi Norse, Potassium Sorbate is used to stop fermentations and if Sodium Metabisulphate has been added this can stop the yeast too, it is hard to say for sure but the best thing to do is to try to salvage it - after 24 hours or so try adding a new yeast and keeping it at a good room temperature - around 20 degrees C or so. Hopefully the new yeast will get it fermenting, it is worth a try, then take a hydrometer reading in another day or so (if you have one and it as not started showing signs of fermentation such as frothing or bubbling etc). A re-start yeast may be the best option
  • NorseNorse Member Posts: 3
    Hi HBO, thanks for the advice. I'll give a little write up here on what's happening in case anyone ever makes this mistake - although it is not out of the woods yet, things are looking up.

    So after adding the stabiliser pack by mistake with the yeast and benonite and giving it a good stir for good measure before realising my mistake, I ran down to the local brewery shop to get a quick fix of nutrient, wine yeast and some fresh apple juice (no preservatives) before the mix got infected.

    Heated a pint of apple juice to room temperature and added 2 tsps of sugar, 1/4 tsp of nutrient and the 8g pack of wine yeast - I have read this is not the way to do it, but I was in a rush. Within an hour it was foaming up and I think looked OK.

    Left it overnight, and 12 hours after starting it added to the juice. I've read elsewhere as well as from HBO now that you should leave it for 24 hours before introducing - but again I was in a rush. It began bubbling the airlock every 30 seconds or so within an hour, but smelled like sulfur.

    Read that this could be caused by a lack of nutrients, and read that I should have added 1 tsp per gallon - so I think I destroyed the original nutrients that came as a part of the kit as well as my original yeast. So I added 4 tsp of nutrient (although I'm brewing 5 gallons).

    After about 4 hours, there was definite life and could hear the bubbling away with my ear against the fermentation tank. It blobbed out a few bubbles now which definitely are not sulphur smelling.

    Things are slow currently, hopefully will pick up overnight.
  • NorseNorse Member Posts: 3
    Luckily, the airlock started going crazy before I turned in last night, a constant stream of bubbles. Removed airlock, covered and secured a clean cloth over air lock hole. Hydrometer reading this morning 1.046 from an OG of 1.076, so looks like this has been saved :)
  • HBO_StaffHBO_Staff Administrator Posts: 2,115
    Hi Norse, that is excellent news, it shows not to panic and don't throw away as it is always worth a try. You do sometimes find that cider can give off a sulphur smell, a guide on sulphur smells on beer is part of this blog post too if of any interest:

    Keep us posted on your brew....
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