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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Bottling/Kegging > If you are kegging, why not add sodium metabisulphite?

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Old 04-10-2010, 04:17 AM   #1
TheCookieMonster
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Default If you are kegging, why not add sodium metabisulphite?

Hi!

If you are kegging, then why not add sodium metabisuphite to your keg when filling? It will ensure you don't get a slow infection right?

The wine people do it.

Why don't you guys do it?

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Old 04-10-2010, 04:23 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheCookieMonster View Post
Hi!

If you are kegging, then why not add sodium metabisuphite to your keg when filling? It will ensure you don't get a slow infection right?

The wine people do it.

Why don't you guys do it?
I think the winemakers do this to avoid oxidation during degassing. Or to stop the wine a few points above terminal gravity to retain residual sweetness. If you sanitize properly there is usually no need to worry about keg infection.
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Old 04-10-2010, 01:01 PM   #3
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Sodium Meta is not so good for you (salt). Commercial wineries are prohibited from using it in their wine. It does the same for less $$$ as Potassium Meta. Potassium Meta. is used to protect wine from oxidation and to preserve it when stored long term. Using it to stop fermentation early is questionable. Potassium Sorbate would be more suitable for inhibiting further fermentation or future fermentation.

Once the ABV gets high enough most nasties are kept at bay. Beer under CO2 pressure should be safe unless the beer had an infection prior to being kegged or the bottles or keg were not properly sanitized

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Old 04-10-2010, 01:17 PM   #4
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There are also alot of people who are allergic to sulfites. I being one of them. It causes a headache, and sometimes small skin irritations. I love wine, but this keeps me from drinking it.

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Old 04-10-2010, 02:42 PM   #5
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Don't forget asthma attacks. If you have asthma and you are sensitive to sulfates, it will trigger a severe reaction every time. I have to be careful which red wines I drink and how much I drink so I don't have problems.

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Old 04-10-2010, 02:57 PM   #6
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Once the ABV gets high enough most nasties are kept at bay.
Jamil disagrees with that. He says that one spec of dust getting in can be enough to start off an infection.

I bottle myself so cannot ues sulphates directly in my wort (it will kill the carbination process with the priming sugar).

But you guys keg so you guys do have the luxury of doing this practice.

Jamil went on about 'bottle infection' and started talking about hard it was to get bottles clean. He said that infections can slowely creep up after bottling.

That made sense to me as I had beers seem to start out fine at first, then over time develope the off flavors. I have that problem right now. I've had this stuff bottled for about 1.5 months and it seems most of my stuff has off flavors when it did not 1 week into bottling. 1 week into bottling it had this bubblegum flavor and then went away. Now it has a sour apple homebrew flavor.. I dont know what happened.

If I just would have had some sulphates in there, this probably wouldn't have happened as whatever bugs got in there would have been killed.
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Old 04-10-2010, 03:46 PM   #7
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FWIW, very few people are allergic to sulfites. headaches and such are usually reactions to other compounds in grapes, mostly compounds from grapeskins. there are a ton of things that have sulfites in them and the quantities in wine are often much lower than their use in other products. unless you have confirmation from an allergist MD that you have a sulfite allergy, i would not be too quick to draw a connection. also, if you DO have a sulfite allergy, it will not present itself as a headache - sulfite allergic reactions will be typical of allergic reactions, respiratory affectnedness being primary.
about 5% of asthma sufferers will evidence a sulfite reaction as well.

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Old 04-10-2010, 04:07 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheCookieMonster View Post
Jamil disagrees with that. He says that one spec of dust getting in can be enough to start off an infection
.....
That made sense to me as I had beers seem to start out fine at first, then over time develope the off flavors. I have that problem right now. I've had this stuff bottled for about 1.5 months and it seems most of my stuff has off flavors when it did not 1 week into bottling. 1 week into bottling it had this bubblegum flavor and then went away. Now it has a sour apple homebrew flavor.. I dont know what happened.
You are taking statements made on the BrewStrong podcasts out of context.

The flavors you describe are not infection:
Bubblegum - Probably high fermentation temperatures throwing a ton of undesireable esters. Consistent with your other thread discussing ferm temps.

Sour Apple - Acetaldehyde a product of incomplete fermentation which will settle with proper aging.
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Old 04-11-2010, 05:02 PM   #9
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If you are getting off flavors 1.5 months after bottling, you need to start looking hard at your process. My first guess would be that your caps aren't sealing.

A couple of my beers are going on 2 years with out problems.

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Old 04-11-2010, 05:15 PM   #10
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I agree. If you are getting off flavors so quickly there is probably something else going on, probably not an infection.

And, even if you ARE getting an infection, you shouldn't be, or at least, nothing you'd detect within such a short time frame, if you are following good sanitation practices throughout your whole process. I have beers that have been in bottle for years that still taste great.

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