What is it?
Sodium Metabisulphite has many uses, both in winemaking and in the food industry. In winemaking, it has a dual purpose, as a sanitiser and as a preservative.
Why you need it.
If you are making country wines, you need to store them for at least 6 months to 1 year to mature. During this time the wine changes completely in bouquet and taste. The addition of sulphite will preserve the wine during this time. The most common form is now a tablet called Campden, which is a compressed sodium metabisulphite tablet form making it easier to dose and use.
How do you use it?
For sanitising, you need to add 1 teaspoon per pint of water, make sure that this comes in contact with all the equipment and tip away. Do not swill out as this removes the sulphite protection. The popularity of sodium metabisulphite as a sanitiser has declined over the years as the fumes given off are extremely strong and can cause health problems.
For preserving, add a maximum of 1/4 teaspoon per gallon of wine if Campden is not used.
As a sanitiser, we recommend Suresan. Suresan is easier to handle, stronger and most important, does not have the irritating vapours that sodium metabisulphite has.
For preserving, we strongly recommend Campden tablets over sodium metabisulphite.
When in a solution, sodium metabisulphite breaks down to bisulphite and then to sulphur dioxide gas.
Use is a well-ventilated room.
Do not use if you have breathing difficulties.
Can be used as a sterilising agent to clean equipment, also can be used to suppress unwanted bacteria and 'wild' yeasts before a fermentation, and also to preserve a wine after fermentation has completed.