Potassium Metabisulfite

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Trigger200

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I buy K-Meta from the local juice supplier; they sell all materials and equipment to make homemade wine. The label on the container says "use 1/4 tsp per gallon of water to sterilize equipment". From what I've read in other posts this dosage is considerably lower than what others use to sterilize equipment. I'm surprised the dosage is so far apart or that this company would recommend something that doesn't work. Maybe I'm missing something but does K-meta come in different strengths? Just trying to figure out the right thing to do. Any advice is greatly appreciated.
 

Rice_Guy

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K meta is a chemical, as with all chemicals there will be minor impurities, ie ignore variation.

My standard sanitizer is 21.5 grams K meta and 1.5 grams citric acid mixed in 3 pints of water and stored in glass. This is overkill since it is a sanitizer intended to last for a few weeks. If it ever loses the SO2 burn when smelled it is tossed. If it developes solid floaters/ dirt rinsed out of bottles it is tossed. I could see a use and toss recipe which is at a lower concentration.
 
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AFAIK, there's only one strength of K-meta marketed for the home winemaking market. Why their dosage is so low strength? Sadly, as wonderful as the internet is, there's more junk advice than good advice available. That's why the consensus on this forum is to be very careful of using YouTube videos for winemaking advice, as there are a large percentage whose advice is demonstrably wrong/bad.

The typical mix for sanitizing is 2 to 3 Tbsp K-meta and 1 Tbsp tartaric acid per gallon of water.

In case you're wondering why you should listen to this forum over anyone else? We spot check each other and discuss alternatives, and you'll find references to vendor information and technical papers. We have a fair number of current or retired food service folks (like @Rice_Guy) who provide industry standard information. I learn something new every week.
 
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I GO HEAVY AS WELL,,,,,, then make new the next time i am in my wine room
Open the jug, take a really deep sniff -- if you're still alive, the mixture needs replacing. 😂

All beginners -- this is serious -- when sniffing K-meta, sniff VERY gently. A big sniff will, at best, leave you coughing. It's caustic. Run a fan in a well ventilated environment when working with K-meta.
 

hounddawg

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Open the jug, take a really deep sniff -- if you're still alive, the mixture needs replacing. 😂

All beginners -- this is serious -- when sniffing K-meta, sniff VERY gently. A big sniff will, at best, leave you coughing. It's caustic. Run a fan in a well ventilated environment when working with K-meta.
ole no,,, :rolleyes: i guess you've never took a whiff of that thru a tracheostomy tube,, dang @winemaker81 ;),, i do tend to forget that others can take what takes me down,, lolo_O
Dawg
 
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ole no,,, :rolleyes: i guess you've never took a whiff of that thru a tracheostomy tube,, dang @winemaker81 ;),, i do tend to forget that others can take what takes me down,, lolo_O
Richard, NO ONE can take much K-meta!

I took a big whiff decades ago -- my lungs still hurt! (metaphorically speaking). It's ugly stuff.
 

Rice_Guy

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SO2 gas is toxic to all life, which is why it kills bacteria, ,,, and like the posts above I have inhaled enough starting siphons to cough for a half hour, ,,, and SO2 is why I started using vacuum equipment.
:rolleyes: i guess you've never took a whiff of that thru a tracheostomy tube,, dang ;),, i do tend to forget that others can take what takes me down,,
 

hounddawg

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SO2 gas is toxic to all life, which is why it kills bacteria, ,,, and like the posts above I have inhaled enough starting siphons to cough for a half hour, ,,, and SO2 is why I started using vacuum equipment.
y
,beings the old timers never used it, I'd never been around it, till i joined up here, i wanted to stick to the old ways, but be more consenstic from year to year, sorta marry the old ways to the modern era , of course then i learnt that not only could i learn to make my wines not only keep close, year to year, but i learnt how to make things easier, PH/SG/VACUUMPUMP ECT, but since i'd never sniffed K-meta, but with treach and i bent over a basin in the sink full of solution, and wham it nailed me big time, it just didn't click that it would hit the noise the same as bad as me too, in the growing season driving i can taste thru my tube mary jane plots while driving, the police should buy me a collar and give me a vest saying K-9 UNIT,, LOL, so i wrongly, took it for granted, but things like sliding under a car,or water and many more things now i must worry about, i at times have nightmares of being under a car and dirt falling into my treach, it is a adjustment in my thinking, so i had never thought about the bigger picture, do you fear crawling under a car and dirt falling straight into your bronchial tubes... my treah is different then most, since all of my trachea is closed off by scare tissue, so mine is sowed to the front of my neck, so my tracheostomy goes from my neck straight down to my bronchial right where they split for each lung, now any doctors will say that , that is impossible because with no air to my vocal cords and it would be impossible for me to talk, feel free to PM me and i'll have my doc to give you access to all my medical records ,,, but be ready for a very long read, every time a big time doc is at my doc or hospital, always ask to meet the miracle man, i correct them , i am not a miracle man, God is the miracle man,not I,,, i swear i must stop posting when i'm drink, lol
Dawg
 

Cap Puncher

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My homewinemaking book from Steven Anderson has one ounce per gallon (no acid). I have added acid and the lower pH does brings out the SO2 gas way more.
 
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i'll be doggone, i figured it was due to my treach,,, see again you have learnt me something new,
Lungs are lungs. You simply have a more direct route to the lungs than most of us!

I'd never been around it, till i joined up here, i wanted to stick to the old ways, but be more consenstic from year to year, sorta marry the old ways to the modern era
This is me. I taught myself to make wine using recipes from the newspaper, using a beerball as a fermenter. No hydrometer, racking tube, K-meta -- just an expended beerball, measuring cups & spoons, and screwcap whiskey bottles to bottle in. Three years later I found a LHBS and was introduced to hydrometers, racking tubes, racking canes, filler tubes, carboys, and K-meta. A bit later I met a diverse group of Italian heritage (Utica/Rome NY had a large Italian immigrant base), who taught me a lot of things, some good, some not-so-good.

A few years after that I bought in as partner in the LHBS, and we moved it from my partner's cellar to a storefront. We quit after a couple of years, as it was a lot of work (this was a sideline, so we had 40+ hour/week jobs), and we were not making enough money to justify the hours. However, during that time I learned amazing things, both positive and negative.

Among the critically important things I learned was to sniff a wine before tasting it! Especially if it's brown and murky! 😄

I learn something new each week on this forum. Dawg ain't the only old dog learning new tricks.

@Trigger200, we have successfully tangented your thread! Hopefully we've answered your questions.
 
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Not that it's right or wrong nor do I have any reasoning for doing it but I use 2 tbsp K-meta to 3 citric per gallon.
Any memory of where you got that formula from?

For decades, the formula I used was 1 Tbsp K-meta in 1 US gallon water. Then it bumped to 2 Tbsp. A year or 2 ago someone (@Johnd I think) suggested adding tartaric as the lower pH makes the SO2 more effective.

This illustrates that there is usually more than 1 valid answer, and that the answers may change over time with new research.
 
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Any memory of where you got that formula from?

For decades, the formula I used was 1 Tbsp K-meta in 1 US gallon water. Then it bumped to 2 Tbsp. A year or 2 ago someone (@Johnd I think) suggested adding tartaric as the lower pH makes the SO2 more effective.

This illustrates that there is usually more than 1 valid answer, and that the answers may change over time with new research.
Not a clue where I got it from. I can say that when I put a splash in a cleaned carboy and cover it with a baggie and rubber band I still have to be careful smelling it after several months.
 

DaveMcC

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Open the jug, take a really deep sniff -- if you're still alive, the mixture needs replacing. 😂

All beginners -- this is serious -- when sniffing K-meta, sniff VERY gently. A big sniff will, at best, leave you coughing. It's caustic. Run a fan in a well ventilated environment when working with K-meta.
I learned in middle school science class to never directly sniff a container of any chemical. Proper lab technique is to open and then, holding the container about a foot away from your nose, use your hand to fan the vapor towards your nose, that way you will not pass out, damage sensitive mucous membranes or burn anything you might want to use later in life.
 

Trigger200

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AFAIK, there's only one strength of K-meta marketed for the home winemaking market. Why their dosage is so low strength? Sadly, as wonderful as the internet is, there's more junk advice than good advice available. That's why the consensus on this forum is to be very careful of using YouTube videos for winemaking advice, as there are a large percentage whose advice is demonstrably wrong/bad.

The typical mix for sanitizing is 2 to 3 Tbsp K-meta and 1 Tbsp tartaric acid per gallon of water.

In case you're wondering why you should listen to this forum over anyone else? We spot check each other and discuss alternatives, and you'll find references to vendor information and technical papers. We have a fair number of current or retired food service folks (like @Rice_Guy) who provide industry standard information. I learn something new every week.

Thank you for the advice! I will start using the formula you recommend. I can say I've never smelled the K-meta once it was in the water..... I am disappointed that the very popular local juice supplier is giving out bad instructions.....
 
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I can say I've never smelled the K-meta once it was in the water
Read @DaveMcC's last post before you make a batch. Please trust me -- he's spot on in how to sniff anything chemical.

Just because someone is in retail, doesn't mean they understand how to use the product. This is a very sad fact.

Fortunately, there are dozens of folks who frequent this forum who have proven repeatedly they know winemaking. As a group we know winemaking across the numerous types, and are willing to try new concepts that are backed by facts and proven experience. I wish I had this when I started out.
 

ChuckD

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I was just in the cellar adding a little k-meta sanitizer to the air locks and just pouring out that tiny bit had me coughing! I’m so sensitive to it I actually had to abandon the kitchen and open windows the first time I disinfected equipment. I now disinfect with One Step and only use the K-meta for air locks.
 
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I was just in the cellar adding a little k-meta sanitizer to the air locks and just pouring out that tiny bit had me coughing! I’m so sensitive to it I actually had to abandon the kitchen and open windows the first time I disinfected equipment. I now disinfect with One Step and only use the K-meta for air locks.
You can choose to not use K-meta for disinfection of any sort. I use water in airlocks. K-meta loses its efficacy with air exposure, so you need to replace the liquid regardless of what it is.

Also, run a fan when using K-meta in any form.
 

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