Need help after adding campden tablets

Winemaking Talk - Winemaking Forum

Help Support Winemaking Talk - Winemaking Forum:

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.


Oct 18, 2009
Reaction score
Hi everyone, I'm new here =]

This is the first time we're making wine and we got a batch of frozen Colorado Syrah grapes (about 96lb). After it thawed, we dumped it into a 10 gallon plastic primary fermenter. The temperature was still very low but not frozen anymore so we crushed 12 campden tablets per "From vines to Wines" book information on ph levels.

The question we have is did we screw up with campden tablets? After we added the crushed powdery tablets and mixed the must, the juice turned into a milky pink color. We're scared about this result and are wondering if this is normal or do we have to do something ASAP about it?
I am one of the newbies here but I will try and help. Are you worried about the milkly color?? If that is your concern do not be worried at all your wine will clear with time but not while in the primary. It will be a very murky color for some time. Just keep following the instructions but you will probably need to get the tempature up very soon. Around 68-74, if you dont have a heat belt I used a heating pad and blankets my first couple times around. You will need to get the temp up before adding any yeast in 24 hours
yea sounds high. It can take 24-36 hours from a frozen grape to room temp. Make sure the temp is "normal" room temps before adding any yeast.
Whats the Brix?
Are these grapes crushed? They should be! Thats a little too much sulfite so give it a good stir and make a goo yeasts starter by hydratin the yeast with some orange juice or grape juice and some nutrient and get it going good and then add it to your must that should be around 75* to get it going really well. I prefer a little warmer then room temp at least until its got going well.
The others have already mentioned the overdose of campden. But dont think its a lost cause yet. Try and splash the must back and forth between a couple of buckets to reduce the SO2 some.That will also get a little oxygen into the must too which isnt a bad thing at this point. I think you wont have a problem getting the yeast to work on the must at the levels you have right now. But it could very well hold on to too much SO2 and make it hard for you to get MLF to go on the wine if it doesn't lose enough of the SO2 early on in the primary fermentation.
Thank you for the replies.

I just finished pushing down the must and it seems to clear up a little bit at the top and it's no longer the light milk color. Now it's dark purple, however it's still cloudy. The must still feels very cold. I'll try to push this down as much as possible to oxidize it.

I'm thinking of warming up the 10 gallon bucket somehow. I noticed few people mentioned a heating belt. I went to Lowes today and they had no idea what it was. I was wondering where could I get it?
This unit is from a Home Wine abd Brew supply store like but Im not sure it will work well to get that amount warmed up as its really intened for smaller batches like 6 gallons and really to keep temp not for heating up to temp. Maybe you can put this tub into a bath tub with hot water in there to get it up to temp.
Thank you for the link. I'll check out few stores locally to see if they have it. If not, I'll order it online. On a big batch like mine, maybe I'll get two.

Looks like everything is going ok for now. The must has turned into dark red/purple color. It's still little cloudy. I called the place where I ordered the grapes and they told me this cloudyness will disolve after a while. I just gotta keep pushing the must down.

As far as stats on initial grape quality: Colorado Syrah:
brix: 24
Ph: 3.6
TA: 6.5

Can't wait on the final result later next year =]
Wine is always cloudy when its fermenting and wont clear until its done fermenting and is free from most of its trapped C02.
Hey guys. Could you clarify (no pun intended) why that was too much campden? I thought it was one tablet per gallon and they had 10. Then you can adjust for acidity which it sounds like they did. How many should they have used?
96#'s is not a 10 gallon batch Just a 10 gallon fermenter you put it in. You put 12 in
Ahhh, I see. Thanks Tom! Wow, that is rather alot of campden isn't it?
Yep. So do as suggested. Rack and splash alot
Everything looks normal. The yeast is working hard. I can already smell the alcohol from it. I'm pushing down on the must several times a day.

Not sure if I added too many tablets. When I spoke with the folks at the local brew equipment shop, they said what I experienced was normal.

Latest posts