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 I’m allergic to sulfites. Can I make wine without them?

I’m allergic to sulfites. Can I make wine without them?

The amount of sulfite in a homemade wine is roughly ⅙ to ⅛ of the amount compared to a store bought bottle of wine. Some people believe that they are allergic to sulfites, and want to leave them out of their kits. While this is their option, it’s a bad idea. True sulfite allergies are extremely rare, and if someone has a reaction to drinking wine, it’s almost always due to some other cause. Besides, yeast make sulfites themselves during fermentation, so no wine can ever be sulfite-free, no matter what.

Without the added sulfites, the kit will oxidize and spoil very rapidly. It will probably start to go bad in less than 4 weeks, and be undrinkable in less than three months. Also, if the sulfite is left out, but the sorbate is added, the wine could be attacked by malolactic bacteria, which will convert the sorbate into the compound hexadienol, which smells like rotting geraniums and dead fish.

The bottom line is this: if you do not add the sulfite to the kit, neither Midwest, nor RJS can guarantee the wine, so think carefully before you choose not to add it.

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