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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > Will too much Potassium Metabisulphite leave a harsh flavor?
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Old 09-28-2012, 05:25 PM   #1
brew-ATX
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Default Will too much Potassium Metabisulphite leave a harsh flavor?

I just made the switch to AG brewing and have been using tap water. I used Campden tablets in the last batch (saison) and just figured out I used WAY too much.....let's just say it was around the amount needed for making wine. The beer has a noticeably harsh flavor and I'm assuming it's because of that. Will too much of it leave a harsh, somewhat chemical flavor?? Are there any techniques to stabilize the beer? Thanks for any feedback!

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Old 09-28-2012, 07:10 PM   #2
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How much did you use, exactly? Sulfites will gas out over time. But, they can inhibit yeast action in high enough concentrations. Brewing yeast is less sensitive to it than wild yeasts...but, everything has a limit.

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Old 09-29-2012, 03:05 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tom_hampton
How much did you use, exactly? Sulfites will gas out over time. But, they can inhibit yeast action in high enough concentrations. Brewing yeast is less sensitive to it than wild yeasts...but, everything has a limit.
I used 1 tab per gallon so about 9 tabs total which included strike water and sparge water. The packaging indicated to use that amount but my LHBS didn't tell me that was the amount for making wine. 1 tab is supposed to treat 20 gals.
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Old 09-29-2012, 03:31 PM   #4
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You could check the effect of adding that much Kmeta by adding it in proportion into a glass of water. Sure, you added too much, but the effect on the ionic content is relatively minor. I doubt that the harshness came from the Kmeta.

I would not be surprised that the harshness comes from excess alkalinity in your brewing water. That results in the wort pH being too high and there are several chemical results that can produce a harsh perception in the finished beer. Have you found out what the chemistry of your local water is? Finding out what you brew with is the first step to figuring out if there are some adjustments you should be making for your brewing water.

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Old 09-29-2012, 03:52 PM   #5
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Do you know if these are Potassium or Sodium Metabisulfite? If they are sodium, I think your dosage will add about 30 ppm of sodium to your water.

Ok. Yes, that's the standard dosage for winemaking, which gives you about 75 ppm of Sulfite in the water. It kills off bacteria, and "stuns" wild yeast. But, the cultured yeasts can survive and grow at that dosage. The SO2 gas that is formed will slowly outgas over the next couple of weeks. Your ferment could be slowed down somewhat until the sulfites and so2 dissipate.

But, it should not cause anything permanent. Time should take care of it, as long as you let it outgas. Leave it in primary or secondary until it has subsided. The recommendation in the article below is to rack back and forth between two containers to allow the SO2 to outgas. The theory being that the sulfite will protect the liquid from O2. You could always purge with CO2 before racking for more protection from O2.

http://winemakermag.com/stories/arti...sulfite-puzzle

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Old 09-29-2012, 07:52 PM   #6
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A rule of thumb is 1/2 tablet is good for 10 gallons of water.

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