Order of using pectic enzyme and campden tablets

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aidan

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I'm making plum wine. The process I've followed so far is mash the fruit, treat with campden tablets and wait 8 hours, add pectic enzyme and wait for 12-24 hours, then extract the juice by squeezing small batches through a muslin bag, then pitch yeast.

All of the information I've read online and in this forum suggests treating fruit with campden tablets before adding pectic enzyme - is a reason for doing it in that order? It would seem more logical to me to put the pectic enzyme to work on the fruit first then extract the juice from the fruit and treat the resulting juice with campden tablets because of potential for contamination during the hands on squeezing process. Would that way work better or is there a reason for treating with sulphites first? Or do the sulphites keep protecting the must 24 hours later throughout the extraction process?
 

freqflyer

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The fruit is treated with Camden tablets immediately to kill any unwanted yeast/bacteria on the fruit that could cause it to spoil. Wash your hands and you won't contaminate anything.
 

aidan

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The fruit is treated with Camden tablets immediately to kill any unwanted yeast/bacteria on the fruit that could cause it to spoil. Wash your hands and you won't contaminate anything.
Thanks for that. Do the sulphites continue to protect the must for some considerable time?
 

Turock

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aidan--the reason for it is because the campden tabs--SO2-- will inactivate the pectic enzyme. That's why timing of the addition of the two is important. Also, tannin, bentonite can inactivate any enzyme you might be using. So you should add something like these after the enzyme has done its job.

Before you put your hands into the vat, you can wash them in a solution of SO2--if you choose to.

You have to treat the must with SO2 to control native flora that is usually present on fruit and grapes because you don't want bacteria to be in competition with the yeast for nutrient.
 

Runningwolf

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Thanks for that. Do the sulphites continue to protect the must for some considerable time?
Hey Aidan do yourself a favor and never buy campden tablets again. Buy fresh k-meta powder. Dilute it in a ounce of water and stir it in. It will be easier to mix into the wine ensuring you're protecting the entire batch.

As to your question, if the wine requires 35ppm of S02 I always add an extra 20% of meta. A percentage of your free S02 will become bound but you won't know exactly how much without testing it again in about 3-5 days. Remember each time you rack, filter or bottle your wine you'll lose more free S02.
 

aidan

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Thanks for the responses guys. I've gathered the sulphites will continue to protect the must/wine against oxidation for a considerable time but does it also continue to protect it from micro-organisms?
 

Turock

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As Runningwolf was saying to you----the SO2 binds up with a number of components in the wine and the bound SO2 does not offer protection. Only FREE SO2 offers protection. So depending on the PH of the wine, you add SO2 to bring it up to the level you need. The best way to know how much SO2 you have is to test your wine at the first racking of debris, as most of the SO2 you used before the ferment is now bound. The Vinmetrica 100 is a very good tester for this. Don't over-rack your wine. One or two rackings is usually enough to be free of heavy debris. Some people rack their wines way too much.
 

Ernest T Bass

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A old wine maker at a winery told me to never add two things at the same time, add one and the next day add another, what's the hurry.
 

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