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Old 11-03-2009, 08:23 PM   #1
Dr Malt
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Default Too Much Metabisulfite

I have a neighbor who is making cider. He put too much metabisufite in his apple juice and wants to know how to remove some of it (heat, aerate, etc). He contacted me because I am a home brewer, but I am not familiar with using metabisulfite. Anyone have an experience with this problem and a solution??

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Old 11-03-2009, 08:27 PM   #2
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How much juice does he have and how much metabisulfite did he use?

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Old 11-03-2009, 09:54 PM   #3
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No practical way. Just wait longer before adding the yeast. If he doubled the dose, I'd wait twice as long.

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Old 11-03-2009, 09:58 PM   #4
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Couldn't he double the juice?

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Old 11-03-2009, 10:20 PM   #5
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Waiting longer is not going to help him. Doubling the juice might, depending on how much juice he has and how much k-meta he added.

K-meta creates free S02 which acts as an anti-microbial or preservative, depending on when it is added. 1/4tsp in 5 gallons provides 45ppm of S02. With fresh juice, some of the S02 gets bound up with the juice, the rest is available as free S02.

Research by wine makers has determined that as a rule of thumb 20ppm gets bound up with the juice, so you get 25ppm of free S02 from the first pitching of k-meta (the actual amount is dependant on pH), which is where the standard "1/4tsp in 5 gallons" dose comes from. However this is for grape must, which has a totally different chemistry than fresh apple juice. For fresh apple juice, 1/8 tsp in 5 gallons is more than enough to kill any wild yeast.

So if your friend added too much k-meta, he now has way too much free S02 in his must and it will kill just about anything. Time will not help him (unless he wants to wait for months), he needs something else for it to bind with, such as more fresh juice.

He might be able to aerate it out. Something like a drywall mixer or big spoon on the end of an electric drill would probably work, but would take some time.

Best bet is to cut it with more juice so that the k-meta is in the right proportion. Sweet juice (high pH) will soak up more of the k-meta.

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Old 11-03-2009, 10:35 PM   #6
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You have to know how much he put in, but a few drops of hydrogen peroxide will get rid of some sulphite. Stirring will also help, or diluting. Its easy to put way too mush camden in so it becomes unhealthy.

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Old 11-04-2009, 12:11 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CvilleKevin View Post
He might be able to aerate it out. Something like a drywall mixer or big spoon on the end of an electric drill would probably work, but would take some time.

Best bet is to cut it with more juice so that the k-meta is in the right proportion. Sweet juice (high pH) will soak up more of the k-meta.
I'd try both areation & cutting with more juice, wait 24 hrs & pitch a yeast starter. I'd also make sure to add yeast nutrient/energizer. Regards, GF.
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Old 11-04-2009, 04:56 PM   #8
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Thanks for the excellent advice. I don't know how much meta he put in, I will find out this weekend when I see him. It was enough to prevent his added yeast from growing. I will suggest the aeration and dilution approach. I can't really help him much as I am allergic to the sulfite/SO2.

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Old 12-21-2010, 12:37 AM   #9
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Default Too much Metabisulphate

I, too, have put too much Pot Met in my must... I received an incorrect recipe from a winemaker... Must have been a typo... Anyway, I put in 5 Tbsp pot met in 6 gallons pomegranate must when I should have used 1/4 tsp... I believe I have made 6 gallons of drain cleaner... The winemaker who gave me the bad info/typo says it might be salvagable... What do you think? If it is salvageable, how long should I wait to add yeast? I have attempted to make a yeast starter from 1/2 gal of the stuff... Only did this an hour ago... Should I hang it up and dump the mess?

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Old 12-21-2010, 01:01 AM   #10
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Hydrogen peroxide (H2o2) is the way to get rid of metabisulphite. Since you have added so much, diluting won't help. Add peroxide one drop at a time, stirring well between additions. I know a professional winemaker who had to do this, it is the only way.
Forget the starter it will have killed the yeast.

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