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Old 06-21-2006, 04:57 AM   #1
magno
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Default Sodium Metabisulfite

I am about to bottle my mead. When I picked up the bottles from the LHBS they said to sanitize with sodium metabisulfite to kill the yeast and prevent carbonation.

The instructions on the pack dont mention contact time. Would it be ok to just squirt the sanitizer in the bottles with one of these, or do they need to soak?

Any input is appreciated.

- magno



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Old 06-21-2006, 12:28 PM   #2
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Soak bottles in non-scented bleach for about 15 minutes diluted in hot water. Rinse bottles out really well and get rid of all traces of bleach. Do this no more than a couple hours before bottling or run the risk of germs reintroducing themselves to your bottles.

To kill yeast and help to further protect your mead from microbes, you can add sodium metabisulfite, but I am not sure how much. Probably a very little bit, but I wouldn't do it based on that. The standard practice I believe is simply adding a campden tablet to your brew. Yes sodium metabisulfite can be used to sterilize your bottles in a strong solution, but cleaning bottles is cleaning bottles and that just prevents adding any nasty things to your mead when you bottle it. This will not kill any yeast or other microbes already present in the mead. Bleach is cheap and effective anyways, so that's what I use for all my sanatizing.

Honey is a natural antioxidant, and the alcohol content of your average mead is a deterrent to microbial growth. Couple this with sanitized bottles and siphoning equipment and proper corking, your mead should be quite safe from spoilage.

You can also add something to increase acidity as well to help prevent microbial growth, but that will effect the taste.



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Old 06-21-2006, 08:54 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by magno
I am about to bottle my mead. When I picked up the bottles from the LHBS they said to sanitize with sodium metabisulfite to kill the yeast and prevent carbonation.

The instructions on the pack dont mention contact time. Would it be ok to just squirt the sanitizer in the bottles with one of these, or do they need to soak?

Any input is appreciated.

- magno
They actually mean add a small amount of sodium metabisulfite (aka Campden Tablets) directly into your mead when you rack it prior to bottling.
It's a really useful chemical used to repress wild yeast prior to the adding of a cultured yeast in a new (with unpasterised fruit juice/flesh/skin) brew or used in further racking to help clear the the last remaining yeast cells from a fermented brew that requires no carbonation.
Sterilize your bottles separately.
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Old 06-21-2006, 11:49 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Caplan
They actually mean add a small amount of sodium metabisulfite (aka Campden Tablets) directly into your mead when you rack it prior to bottling.
It's a really useful chemical used to repress wild yeast prior to the adding of a cultured yeast in a new (with unpasterised fruit juice/flesh/skin) brew or used in further racking to help clear the the last remaining yeast cells from a fermented brew that requires no carbonation.
Sterilize your bottles separately.

Thats more along the lines of what I was expecting going into the store. He specifically said to sanitize bottles with it. The directions on the pack lists three diffrent dilutions: sanitizer (2 oz in 1 gallon), antioxidant/ bactericide (2/3 tsp in 5 gal), and 75 ppm (1/4 tsp in 5 gal).

I wound up using the injector to sanitize the bottles.

should be ok... right?

- magno
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Old 06-22-2006, 02:21 AM   #5
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You will be fine, metabisulfite is a very good sanitizer for bottles and equipment. If you add some citric acid (its cheap) or any acid blend for use as a equipment sanitizer solution it will increase the availability of so2. Just watch out and dont breath the fumes from it. No need to rinse bottles out when metabisulfite is used before bottling

As far as adding to the wine for aging and killing wild yeast stick with pottasium metabisulite, doent add a sodium ion to wine.

1/4 tsp of metabisulite will add around 50 ppm in 6 gallons depending on ph level of the wine.



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