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Old 08-12-2007, 12:16 AM   #1
Phan71
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Default Campden Tablets

This is my first time trying Campden tablets to sterilize my "top off" water. How long does it take this little suckers to dissolve? I'm quickly chilling the wort, and it'll be ready to pour into the bucket soon. The little tablets are still sitting there at the bottom of the bucket, they don't seem to be dissolving at all I'm pretty sure I don't want to add the wort until they're completely dissolved. So, how long does it take?

Thanks.

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Old 08-12-2007, 12:50 AM   #2
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You need to crush it. I got a pill crusher from a pharmacy to do it.

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Old 08-12-2007, 12:55 AM   #3
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Yeah, I ended up sticking my "brew spoon" down in the water to crush them. Oh, well, I guess everything's a learning experience, right?

I have a follow up question, though: The directions on the bottle weren't specific, and at the LHBS they said 1 tablet per gallon, so I used two (for the two gallons of "top off" water). While searching through the threads it seems most people use 1/2 a tablet.

Did I use way too much? What's the possible downside of using that much? Will it kill my yeast?

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Old 08-12-2007, 01:20 AM   #4
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The one per gallon applies to winemaking to kill off wild yeasts. For water treatment (chlorine removal) you only need 1/4 tablet in 5 gallons. I use 1/2 tablet in my brew water since I usually start with around 8 gallons (all grain).

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Old 08-12-2007, 01:26 AM   #5
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So, does that mean my yeast is gonna be toast?

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Old 08-12-2007, 03:20 PM   #6
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you added the yeast and the campden tablets at the same time?

the reading I've done suggests you let the campden sit 24 hours prior to pitching...but I have no real experience in the matter.

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Old 08-12-2007, 03:46 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by malkore
you added the yeast and the campden tablets at the same time?

the reading I've done suggests you let the campden sit 24 hours prior to pitching...but I have no real experience in the matter.

No, I added the campden tabs to the water while the wort was still in ice bath. Then added the wort to the water and continued to let it cool (it was still around 100º F) for a couple of hours before pitching.

I've got fermentation this morning, so everything seems fine. Just another learning experience! I guess next time I'll stick to 1/2 a tab. (Although, I haven't had any problems with just straight tap water, so I may just go back to that.)
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Old 08-12-2007, 07:56 PM   #8
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Camden tablets are more for wine musts. They're supposed to kill or suppress bacteria, mold spores, and wild yeasts so your pitched yeasts have a chance to take over fermentation. They dissipate and lose effectiveness after 24 hours and leave sulfites behind, which is why you're supposed to wait that long after crushing up the tablets.

Personally, I would save the tablets for making wines and ciders, and just boil your topoff water.

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Old 08-12-2007, 09:01 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phan71
This is my first time trying Campden tablets to sterilize my "top off" water. How long does it take this little suckers to dissolve? I'm quickly chilling the wort, and it'll be ready to pour into the bucket soon. The little tablets are still sitting there at the bottom of the bucket, they don't seem to be dissolving at all I'm pretty sure I don't want to add the wort until they're completely dissolved. So, how long does it take?

Thanks.
Phan - If you are going to use the whole campden tables for "top off water" then I would stick to the whole 1/2 tablet per gallon, dissolve them well, and then let water sit for awhile before you add it to your cooled wort.

If'n it was me, I wouldn't add the tablets at all. I usually do a 2 gallon (or so) boil, cool the wort, put it in the bucket, and then add tap water until I get 5 gallons. I don't worry about any type of problems with my local tap water but yours might be different.

Lately I have been using gallon jugs of drinking water because I can put them in the fridge and get them cold. Then when I add them to the wort I can get my overall temp down to 60-64 or so for pitching and by the time my overall fermentation is over I have only raised bout 10 degrees. I live in the southern US and don't really have controlled temperature for fermenting.

I think over use of the campden would effect your yeast in your wort.. Just my thoughts.
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Old 08-12-2007, 09:10 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eviltwinofjoni
Camden tablets are more for wine musts. They're supposed to kill or suppress bacteria, mold spores, and wild yeasts so your pitched yeasts have a chance to take over fermentation. They dissipate and lose effectiveness after 24 hours and leave sulfites behind, which is why you're supposed to wait that long after crushing up the tablets.
Whoah, is this the reason you always see "Contains Sulfites" on the side of most wine bottles? I know the government makes winemakers put it on there, but that it's really not a big deal. Some winemakers try to appeal to organic/whole-foods type of people by advertising "No Sulfites" as a selling point. So that's what the deal really is. Thanks for the explanation!
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