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Old 06-29-2007, 12:27 PM   #1
homebrewer_99
 
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Can anyone give me the lowdown on the differences between sodium metabisulphite and potassium metabisulphite?

When and for what are they used?

Thanks.
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Old 06-29-2007, 12:43 PM   #2
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Well, Bill, to state the obvious- potassium meta (K-meta) has potassium and sodium meta has sodium. That's the only difference. People who are sensitive to salt and sodium in general should buy the k-meta.

It's used for two basic things in winemaking- for sulfiting the wine to preserve it and to inhibit oxidation- particularly for wines that will be aged more than a year or two. This is done at about 50 ppm (I don't have an so2 tester, so I just do the "every other racking" and at bottling additions) which is undetectable at that concentration. When you bottle, you can add it (along with k-sorbate) to help ensure that refermentation doesn't start if you are sweetening the wine. This is usually referred to as stabilization.

The other thing it's used for is sanitation. I usually use one-step for my equipment, but some just wash the equipment with a wine making cleanser and then sulfite for the sanitizing step.
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Old 06-29-2007, 12:49 PM   #3
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Thanks Lorena. Nice and simple. I appreciate it.

Don't forget to celebrate the 4th with a 5th!!
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Old 06-29-2007, 03:06 PM   #4
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K-meta (campden) can also be used to remove chlorine and chloromines from your brewing water. One tablet in 20 gallons will reduce both to insignificant levels of sulphate and chloride ions within minutes.
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Old 06-29-2007, 03:34 PM   #5
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Thanks johnsma22.
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Old 07-03-2007, 05:49 AM   #6
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We use Sodium BiSulfite to treat our waste water from our cooling towers at work. We Keep a small amount of bleach(Chlorine) in our cooling towers to keep the bugs and algea from growing, then the blow down water is pumped to a canal down the road and treated with sodium Bisulfite to remove chlorine.

 
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Old 07-03-2007, 12:46 PM   #7
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Uh, OK?!
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Old 08-20-2008, 02:44 AM   #8
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Hi,

I'm super new, and had this question too. I bought both. Both say Campden tablets. All the recipes I've read say campden tablets. Is this just a diet coke / diet pepsi difference? I don't like sodium, but I don't know if I like potassium..

Seriously, are they interchangeable?

Why would one choose one over the other?

Thanks-
E

 
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Old 08-20-2008, 03:07 AM   #9
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Just go with the potassium. The potassium in powder form is twice as strong as the sodium but not double the price. Potassium is better for the body than sodium. No choice really. Most everyone prefers the potassium so the sodium on the LHBS shelf will be older and not as potent.

Forrest

 
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Old 02-28-2010, 10:59 PM   #10
malagabeer
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Can anyone explain me the diferences between sodium bisulfite NaHSO3 and sodium metabisulfite, Na2S2O5.? Besides, which of these should I use in order to prolong the shelf life of my wine as well as avoiding oxidation?

 
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