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Old 11-19-2010, 04:18 AM   #41
MeadWitch's Avatar
Jul 2010
Just South of Weird, Texas
Posts: 312
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Dinnerstick - I rarely can find a sulfite free wine on the market, but never fear we have a company here in Texas called Water to Wine and they make several sulfite free wines in house. I don't do slimjims but instead I have beef jerky that a good friend of mine makes and sells. There are some things that bother me more than other, the worst being lillies. Yes, the flower. My whole throat starts to close up and my chest gets real tight. I know grapes from Chile have loads of pesticides maybe that is why your GF can't drink southern wines?

CidahMistah - no offense taken. Knowing that I react to injesting sulfites, I have never purchased any. I just figure that years ago, cider and mead were made under worse circumstances than my kitchen and nobody died, so going without it is more than doable.

Well, tomorrow night is pasturization night for my spiced winter cider. I like it but I love the Light Draft Style aka Cider House Rules cider. Hoping to get that batch started on Sunday.
Primary: Cider House Rules Cider

Tertiary: Sweet Dried Cherry/Vanilla Mead, Prickly Pear Mead, Jalapeno-Peach Sweet Mead

Bottled: Huajillo Honey Mead - 4 bottles only, first ever mead, Light Draft Style Cider, Raspberry Mead, Hibiscus Mead, JAOM, Peach Melba Mead, Limoncello, Kahlua, Spiced Winter Cider, Orange/Vanilla Mead

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Old 12-21-2010, 12:20 AM   #42
Apr 2009
Posts: 1,018
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Originally Posted by dinnerstick View Post
Sigma chemicals rates soduim metabisulfite as 'Harmful' and potassium metabisulfite as merely 'Irritant'. (The only warning for ethanol is 'Flammable' so drink up.)
My (limited) understanding is that the sulfite ions are the guys doing the heavy lifting in hindering bacteria etc., and the two parent compounds yield the same amount of sulfite ions per mole. so why would one (K) be preferred by many over the other (Na) and which one is in my campden powder (which remains unopened in my drawer)?
And with Na2S2O5 how much Na is released via SO2?? i gather there is no equivalent KO2 as this is a solid... out of my depth here
I don't particularly want to use the stuff but if i do i would like to know what i'm doing.
but for those of us who just put cider in a jug and wait for it to ferment, rack, wait, bottle, wait, drink, things seem to go perfectly well without sulfites. so i will continue on as a luddite. Very interesting thread though.
And meadwitch- do you get sulfite intolerance from wines? i hope not for your sake!
and how do you get by without sulfite-laden slim jims? (other disgusting processed meat products are available)
Hey, a bit late to this thread but thought I would answer some Qs about sulfite (so2). Potassium and sodium metabisulfite and both fine to use. There is a little more so2 in sodium meta but not enough to make much difference. The Na or K involved are not important at such low dosage levels eg 50ppm. Both metabisulfites are very poisonous in large doses and should be handled very carefully. Camden tablets are sodium meta.

so2 is used to help stabilise cider or wine for storage. Its not essential but reduces the risk of spoilage and oxidation. If you don't use so2 you should be very careful in handling your cider after primary fermentation.

Primary fermentation binds most so2 so it is not active anymore. After primary finishes your cider is unprotected.

One important aspect of so2 is to prevent malolactic fermentation (mlf). If you don't use sulfites you will probably get a wild mlf at some stage, which will take a lot of sharpness out of your cider. Whether this is good or bad depends on your preference.

Finally, use of so2 depends a lot on pH. At pH above 3.8 so2 is not very effective, best pH is around 3.4.

Hope that helps someone.

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