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Old 10-10-2009, 04:57 PM   #1
mcmunro
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Default Campden tablet quantities?

I've read a whole bunch on making cider and am about to make my first batch. I know there are various opinions on using Campden tablets and potassium metabisulphite in general, but assuming I'm deadset on using it, my question is simply on quantities:
> A lot of sources say use one 12-grain tablet per gallon of must to kill yeast, bacteria etc., which should give 50ppm SO2. Now, the LD Carlson brand Campden tablets I have say they contatin 550 mg potassium metabisulphite, which is really 8.5 grains. And other sources say that it should be 0.44 grams, which is 440 mg and 6.8 grains. Further, the label says it'll give 150ppm SO2. In simple math this means that these pills are either 40% stronger or 300% stronger than what my books are telling me a Campden tablet should be.

LD Carlson seems to be a common brand that would comform to whatever standard the industry had agreed upon.

Can anyone help clear this up?

(Then of course you get into funny business depending on your pH level, but I'll deal with that later.)

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Old 10-10-2009, 05:02 PM   #2
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If you are deadset on using it, I would go by taste. The recommended quantities for adding campden were worked out for wine grapes which are chemically very different than cider apples.

Pour out a little bit of fresh cider in a glass. Then crush and add the tablets one at a time. When you can taste the difference stop

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Old 10-10-2009, 05:47 PM   #3
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for your first batch you may want to skip the "extra' steps that you don't really need to do. Infact my local brew shop thought I was crazy when I asked for Campden tabs for cider. The owner practically yelled at me saying the natural yeasts are what gives a cider its complexity.

For a first batch I would just put the juice in the carboy add some yeast and let the natural stuff and added stuff fight it out. You can add some sugar if needed too.

My first batch is currently going strong you can read a little about it http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f32/welp...othing-140679/

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Old 10-10-2009, 06:31 PM   #4
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Another question on quantities: I am doing a recipe that calls for 1/4 tsp of Na-meta (or K-meta.) Would that be roughly equal to (2) campden tabs? That's what I figured, but I'm not sure if my formula is correct.
Thanks.

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Old 10-10-2009, 08:39 PM   #5
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50ppm is the usual amount. Remember that you only get 60% active ingredient SO2 from camden tablets. I have no idea what a grain is so can't check your math, but I usually just follow the instructions on the label. If you are concerned get some powdered sodium meta and accurate scales and work it out yourself.

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Old 10-11-2009, 05:05 PM   #6
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Thank you, all.

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Old 10-21-2009, 07:58 PM   #7
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Mcmunro,

I believe I have the same LD Carlson Campden tablets as you.
I've been using 1 tab per gallon to sterilize my cider must.
Did you decide that this ratio was the correct amount?

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Old 10-22-2009, 03:52 AM   #8
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Yeah, the general agreement seems to be one Campden tablet per gallon.

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Old 10-27-2009, 12:16 PM   #9
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One other question about campden.
I've been using at 1 tablet per gallon to sterilize cider, then adding yeast 24 hrs later.
I've noticed using this method that several batches seem to have a more sulfur like odor
even several weeks into ferment. Does the SO2 from the campden last this long, or is this just normal for hard cider?

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Old 10-27-2009, 12:30 PM   #10
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In my experience there are two things that will make a cider smell sulfury during the ferment: using campden/k-meta and a ferment that is going too fast.

yes, the SO2 will last quite a while, especially with a full dose. I can notice the taste a few months after the ferment, particularly with a tart cider. It isnt as noticeable in a bland cider. After a few months it fades.

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