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Citric Acid + KMETA for sanitizing

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Vinoors

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I came across the following sanitizing solution in the Winemakers Answer Book "3 grams of KMETA + 12 grams of Citric Acid or Tartaric Acid" and then "Rinse with clean water after applying to equipment"

A few questions:

1) This is the first time I've ever seen instruction stating that I should rinse afterwards, would you agree?

2) Doesn't Citric Acid cause VA? Is there an increased risk of VA if using this to make the solution more effective?
 

Ajmassa

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There's more than a few people on here who use citric in their K-meta. I've been meaning to start doing this as well since it increases the effectiveness.
But not once have I ever heard to rinse after. Seems counterproductive.
And No clue about the VA though.
 

Boatboy24

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VA is caused by bacteria that create acetic acid, not by using citric acid. Many commercial wineries use citric, along with their KMeta.
 

salcoco

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have been doing it this way for years without any ill affect. if worried use tartaric acid instead of citric. the idea is to lower ph of water and make the K=meta more effective. tartaric acid would also work. no rinsing required. I put it in a spray bottle and spray anything that will touch the wine.
 

dralarms

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I use a 1 tablespoon kmeta to 1 tablespoon citric acid to a gallon of water for sanitizing and storing in my cleaned bottles.
 

dralarms

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I've never seen a recommendation for only 1 Tbls. K-Meta/gallon water for sanitizing.
I’ve stored them over 6 months with no issues and when opening it will still take your breath away
 

balatonwine

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1) This is the first time I've ever seen instruction stating that I should rinse afterwards, would you agree?
For sanitation before storage of unused equipment, no, don't rinse.

For immediate use with large equipment such as press, crusher, etc, rinse or not, IMHO, will depend on what you are doing. For example, pressing white grapes -- IMHO, rinse or not is fine, the must is not going to be very sterile anyway, and post press k-meta must addition is more important. Personally, I rise with normal house hold water pressure my wood press before pressing my white grapes. Pressing red grapes after fermenting, I would not rise the press after sanitizing.

2) Doesn't Citric Acid cause VA? Is there an increased risk of VA if using this to make the solution more effective?
I think the amount of citric acid left on large equipment after draining is too small in relation to the volume of must to worry about.

But for bottling, personally, I do a double wash and sanitizing. Once is a full wash with citric acid and k-meta solution (this I treat more as a cleaner). Then a high pressure water rinse, then a final k-meta only in water internal sanitize (I use the Ferrari Avvinator) which is then left to drain and dry just before bottling. But that is just me.
 
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cmason1957

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I forgot. Is it sodium or potassium sulphite to use for bottling.
I no longer can buy sodium MetaBiSulphite. So I only use potassium MetaBiSulpite for everything. (Also, it keeps me from having to think). Back when I used it, I never added the sodium type directly to my wine, it was only used for sanitation purposes.
 

sawineguy

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I'd recommend using tartaric acid instead of citric acid as citric acid can be metabolised and spoil your wine, whereas the tartaric acid will not be.
 

Johnd

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I'd recommend using tartaric acid instead of citric acid as citric acid can be metabolised and spoil your wine, whereas the tartaric acid will not be.
Oldish thread, but I’ll bite. It has been my observation / experience that tartaric will also not last as long, and turns the solution cloudy in a short period of time. Wine already has citric acid in it, the minuscule amount added from proper sanitation is immaterial. I love me some tartaric, just not for this.
 

bstnh1

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Oldish thread, but I’ll bite. It has been my observation / experience that tartaric will also not last as long, and turns the solution cloudy in a short period of time. Wine already has citric acid in it, the minuscule amount added from proper sanitation is immaterial. I love me some tartaric, just not for this.
I noticed the cloudiness with tartaric too. I have since switched over to citric acid and have had no issues.
 

sawineguy

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The cloudiness is no issue and does not inhibit the SO2’s activity. Barrels where citric acid has been used and not tartaric acid have been shown to have a much higher chance of microbial activity. Of course the chances are slim but citric acid can be metabolised and tartaric acid cannot be which is why no wine professional will use citric acid in their saus solution.
 

stickman

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@sawineguy Are you talking about spoilage with barrels being stored empty? The metabolism of citric acid by various lactic acid bacteria has been well known and documented for many years, but at the same time for many years citric acid has been used during the wine making process for neutralizing and sanitizing solutions. As already pointed out, the amount of citric acid contamination resulting from properly rinsing equipment would be very small. Just about every barrel handling guide I've seen suggests using citric acid at some point in the cleaning and preparation process. Even an old interview with Russ Rosner, previous production enologist at Robert Mondavi, said "all barrels are washed before filling. We have a barrel washer that looks like a ride out of Disneyland. The barrels get 3-4 minutes of 180 degree water with soda ash. Then they get a cold-water rinse and a minute or two of citric, followed by a cold-water rinse. I would like to eliminate the use of chemicals, as I think that hot water may be enough."

If you have some new information document specifically suggesting not to use citric acid in neutralizing or sanitizing solutions, then please provide it as it wouldn't be the first time old information was superseded.
 

sawineguy

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Lactic acid metabolism of citric acid is fine, it's acetobacter where the problem lies as this bacteria can convert your citric acid solution into a vinegar solution. I have sourced this information from various lecturers at Adelaide University who study wine microbiology. Yes it is not extremely strong but the bacteria which grow will embed themselves into the grain of the oak and it can only be effectively killed with 15 minutes of steaming. At TWE where I have worked we have a research team constantly developing better methods and that is what they recommend for barrel storage. Where I have worked we hot wash with 90 degree water and then cold rinse, with no soda ash or citric used in the barrel.
 
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