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Old 10-10-2012, 01:25 AM   #1
Sep 2012
Albuquerque, NM
Posts: 201
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So I keep hearing about sodium metabisulfite "dissipating" in cider. Could someone explain exactly how it inhibits the growth of wild yeasts and bacteria temporarily, but allows the growth of whatever yeast strain you put in it only 24 hours later? Does the sulfite stay in the cider, or just evaporate out after a day? If it stays, why doesn't it inhibit the growth of my wine yeast, like potassium sorbate would do? Just curious as to how this stuff works.

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Old 10-10-2012, 02:26 AM   #2
Feb 2012
Wichita, Kansas
Posts: 111
Liked 6 Times on 5 Posts

I use Campdens for chloramine removal.My understanding is that it dissipates in 24 hours.

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Old 10-10-2012, 02:30 AM   #3
Ale's What Cures You!
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Jun 2006
UP of Michigan, Winter Texan
Posts: 69,548
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We're talking about different things here.

In brewing water, the sulfite reacts with the chlorine/chloramines, and the chlorine disappears as does the sulfite- that's a chemical reaction.

In adding sulfites to cider/wine/mead, they don't react and off-gas. Instead, they very very slowly dissipate. Winemakers will typically try to keep the sulfites at 50 ppm, and so adding sulfites at every other racking is a guestimate as to that level.

Sulfite works as an antioxidant and preservative in wine, although it is also beneficial in sanitizing must and killing wild yeast and bacteria. Wine yeast is very tolerant of sulfites, so it doesn't kill wine yeast. That's why winemakers use sulfites successfully.
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