Sodium Metabisulfite In my brew? please help!

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bcross

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I've only recently started brewing beer I'm just on my 2nd batch now, and my friend gave me a bag full of sodium metabisulfite to use as sanitizer. He told me to mix it up and put it in a spray bottle to spray and sanitize everything and anything I'm about to use to brew and to rinse after. He also told me to use the sodium metabisulfite water in the airlock. So i am wondering do you really need to rinse after wipeing anything down with this? Some say yes and some say no. Also what would happen if you accidentally got a small drop into your brew? I worry with having it in the air lock it might somehow bubble into the brew or like earlier when i pulled the airlock off (to top up the sanatizer water in it because it was low somehow) some of it may have splashed out of the airlock and into the hole on the top of my fermenting bucket (I think a small amount have gotten into my brew for sure). Any answers would be greatly appreciated!
 
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Metabisulphite(usually potassium, but also sodium) is commonly used as a sanitizer in wines and meads. No rinse needed. The active ingredient reacts with oxygen to produce Sulfur dioxide which is the sanitizer and degasses quickly.
But because it degasses quickly, it's not the best to use in an airlock bubbler. I agree with Kent88- use a cheap vodka.
 
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bcross

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Okay guys thanks for your opinions I really appreciate it! How about just regular tap water have you ever tried that would it work the same?
 

IslandLizard

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Okay guys thanks for your opinions I really appreciate it! How about just regular tap water have you ever tried that would it work the same?
You can use plain tap water in the airlock, but without anything in it to keep it sanitary it may get scummy after a few days. To prevent that, you could add a drop of bleach to the airlock water. In either case (using plain water that got dirty, or chlorinated water), prevent the airlock water being sucked back into your fermenter. There are better alternatives, cheap 70 proof vodka or using Starsan (a sanitizer).

Are you brewing beer, or making wine?
Most brewers will use StarSan (or an Iodine based) sanitizer, it's easier. Then use a little of your Starsan working solution in the airlock.
Metabisulfite is more often used by wine, cider, and mead makers.
 

ncbrewer

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The sodium metabisulfite is good if you're brewing beer using chlorinated water. It prevents the chlorine/chloramine from making chlorophenols, which taste bad. But I don't know the weight needed - most brewers use the tablet form. You would need to google that.
 

IslandLizard

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The sodium metabisulfite is good if you're brewing beer using chlorinated water. It prevents the chlorine/chloramine from making chlorophenols, which taste bad. But I don't know the weight needed - most brewers use the tablet form. You would need to google that.
All municipal water is chlorinated (or chloramine-ated) to keep it sanitary during distribution to your faucets.
The chlorine/chloramines indeed need to be removed before brewing with that water or else...

Dosage:
You'd use 1/4 crushed Campden tablet per 5 gallons of brewing water, to neutralize the chlorine/chloramines it contains.

If you use "meta" powder (instead of a cut-up tablet) the equivalent would be 1/16 of a teaspoon, or for easier eyeballing, 1/4 of a 1/4-teaspoon. The amount is not critical as long as you use at least the minimum amount. Even an over-dosage of 4x the recommended amount won't be noticeable. So there is some decent leeway, don't skip, don't skimp.
 
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