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Old 10-23-2008, 12:36 PM   #1
Elfmaze
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Default trying to understand k-met a bit better

Reading thru the sticky made me realize that i don't understand Campden tablets as much as i should. What i understood was that it is a steralizer that renders itself innactive after 24 hours as i'm able to add my yeast then.

I know there is alot more to it than i have been led.

How does K-meta effect the taste as used before pitching the yeast as compared to any other wild yeast killers?

Why does it only last in solution for 24 hours? what happens to it after?

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Old 10-23-2008, 03:06 PM   #2
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I believe it dissolves into a gas (Sulpher dioxide) and escapes.

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Old 10-23-2008, 04:03 PM   #3
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Campden (potassium metabisulfite) doesn't sterilize, and it doesn't go away in 24 hours.

From Jack Keller's website:
Unless we use boiling water or direct heat for flavor extraction, or unless we use pasteurized juice or frozen concentrate, it is important that the must be protected against bacteria and mold from the earliest moment, and against oxidation. We do this by adding sulfites to the must in the form of crushed and thoroughly dissolved Campden tablets or powdered potassium metabisulfite. This does not sterilize the must, but brings it to an aseptic level of protection against microscopic organisms that can do terrible things to wine. Just as importantly, the addition of sulfites creates both bound and unbound (free) sulfur in the must. The later occurs most notably as sulfur dioxide gas, which tends to fill the spaces between molecules of solid and liquid matter in the must. This is real important, because those spaces are normally filled with oxygen atoms and they react with other molecules in the wine to eventually reduce it to something undrinkable. Oxidation is the death-blow for all wine, so getting rid of that oxygen and replacing it with sulfur dioxide helps protect and prolong the life of the wine. But it also retards the tendency of all white wines to turn brown and red wines to turn brickish (reddish-brown). Finally, they also inhibit the early growth of most wild yeasts that find their way into musts (on the skins of grapes, fruits, berries, flowers, leaves, and other natural ingredients), while cultured wine yeasts are largely sulfite tolerant. This allows the cultured yeasts to grow quickly without competition and dominate the must. So, even if the recipe doesn't say to add sulfites, add them as early in the process as practicable. They can even be added to warm (but not hot) must. The normal dose is one crushed and dissolved Campden tablet to each gallon of must, or 1/4 teaspoon of potassium metabisulfite to each 5 gallons of must. Do not add more than this, as too much is in some cases worse than not enough.

After 24 hours, though, enough of it has disapated to not stun the wine/cider/ale yeast that you've added. It actually doesn't just magically disappear after 24 hours, though.

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Old 10-24-2008, 10:29 PM   #4
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most wine yeasts are quite tolerant of SO2--usually up to the 200 ppm range, so if you're going with EC1118 or something, the yeast will be fine.

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Old 10-25-2008, 06:39 PM   #5
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I have heard that K-meta'd ciders need to age a bit longer than pasturized versions. Durring an aging process does the residual So2 disolve out of the solution?

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Old 10-25-2008, 07:37 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elfmaze View Post
I have heard that K-meta'd ciders need to age a bit longer than pasturized versions. Durring an aging process does the residual So2 disolve out of the solution?
It's not my experience that sulfited wines or ciders need to age a bit longer- why would that be? That wouldn't make sense. Aging is aging. If you're sulfiting at 50 ppm, that is below a taste threshold, so it's not like it would be discernible to someone drinking it.

SO2 does disapate with time, that's why I re-sulfite at every other racking.
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Old 10-25-2008, 08:24 PM   #7
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that came from the sticky at the top of the page. its in the mix while discussing yeasts. there is a discussion of The k-meta vs non

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Old 10-25-2008, 09:47 PM   #8
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that came from the sticky at the top of the page. its in the mix while discussing yeasts. there is a discussion of The k-meta vs non
No, there is no scientific evidence to support that at all. Maybe one person is giving their perceptions, but it's not at all accepted to be true.
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Old 10-26-2008, 01:02 PM   #9
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About the aging. I think cider that has not been carefully and attentively racked in time may need more aging . In some instances the poor taste that may or may not disappear could possibly be from sitting on the lees too long.

Cider should be drinkable and taste pretty good from start to finish. If you get heavy SO2 smells during fermentation you may just need to add nitrogen or yeast nutrients. You may read that some people like to let the cider work those smells out for themselves but I think a cider maker is best off avoiding them if they can.


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I have heard that K-meta'd ciders need to age a bit longer than pasturized versions. Durring an aging process does the residual So2 disolve out of the solution?
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Old 10-26-2008, 06:01 PM   #10
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You say it should not sit on the lees for very long. I have been told that once the cider has finished primary let it sit a few more days to clean up. Or should i just crash and rack it as soon as the gravity gets down around 1?

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