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Potassium Metabisulfite

Potassium Metabisulfite

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Description

Potassium Metabisulfite, (often referred to as "SO2", "sulfites" "meta", or "meta-bi") has several uses in winemaking. At the crush, sulfites are generally used to help control the spoilage bacteria and indigenous yeast that may already be present both on the fruit and in the winery (i.e. on the picking bins, processing equipment, tanks, tubing, etc).


The amount generally used is enough to inhibit most of the unwanted organisms but not enough to hinder a cultured yeast, which has a higher tolerance to sulfites than most of the indigenous organisms do. This inhibition effectively "wipes the slate clean" for the cultured yeast to step in and rapidly colonize the must so that it can effectively dominate the subsequent fermentation.

In addition, sulfites also help to inhibit the enzymatic browning of both musts and finished wines so that all of their delicate complexities can be preserved. Later, during storage and in the bottle, sulfites at the proper levels will further protect a wine by continuing to inhibit spoilage organisms, as well as by scavenging oxygen.

Note that the exact amount needed to effectively do the job is determined by the pH of the wine. Refer to our MoreManuals! on Red or White Winemaking or one of the winemaking books that we offer for a complete explanation on how to properly manage sulfites.

In addition, it's important to keep in mind that free SO2 levels fall faster in wood cooperage than in glass or stainless, so if you are using a barrel you will most likely need to manage sulfite levels more closely.

The most common form of Metabisulfite is as a powder which is fixed with potassium or sodium. 1/4 tsp of Potassium Metabisulfite adds 50ppm to 5 gallons of must. Old Metabisulfite loses potency with time and should be replaced every year to assure that you are getting correct levels. You can use old Metabisulfite to make solutions for sanitizing equipment.

Community Q&A

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Browse 2 questions Browse 2 questions and 51 answers
Why did you choose this?
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Because I am a winemaker
Nathaniel R on Oct 22, 2022
to sanitize wine bottles
Riley G on Oct 18, 2022
Because I am a winemaker
Nathaniel R on Oct 22, 2022
Making cider
Ted H on Oct 19, 2022
to sanitize wine bottles
Riley G on Oct 18, 2022
Good price
Elizabeth G on Oct 17, 2022
Important for stabilizing wine
Alana L on Oct 12, 2022
Wine making and barrel care
Ludger S on Oct 11, 2022
Good product
Shawna M on Oct 11, 2022
Simply running low
Hildy V on Oct 11, 2022
my previous batch is old, need for stabilizing wine
Bruce W S on Sep 30, 2022
for apple cider
George T on Sep 27, 2022
Your "Guide to Red Winemaking"
Warren W on Sep 25, 2022
Smaller packets for treating wine and vat directly, not sanitizing.
Kevin M on Sep 21, 2022
You it constantly for many phases of wine making/sanitizing
Kevin M on Sep 21, 2022
Smart wine making
Philip H on Sep 11, 2022
Need this to store barrels
Douglas Z on Aug 30, 2022
Prevent Browning of mash
Jefferson C on Aug 25, 2022
Tablets don't dissolve completely, hope this does
eric h on Aug 18, 2022
Stabilizer
Chuck T on Aug 16, 2022
Good size
Karen F on Aug 10, 2022
All around sterilizer and wine stabilizer
Dean K on Aug 3, 2022
used before
george a on Jul 20, 2022
To help prevent oxidation of beer.
Kyle Heon on Jul 16, 2022
wine making
Darrien W on Jul 15, 2022
Wanna make mead
Tanner A on Jul 14, 2022
Mead making
Matthew S on Jun 23, 2022
need for winemaking,preservatives
David M on Jun 17, 2022
I'm starting to buy smaller quantities more frequently to keep it fresh
Connie D on Jun 14, 2022
Friend in his commercial winery uses this
Michael B on Jun 8, 2022
Can't do without it.
Gunnar B on May 13, 2022
Need more
Howard P on Apr 28, 2022
Need it to make wine and smaller quantity not available
Inez V on Apr 14, 2022
Stability
Jabe H on Mar 8, 2022
keep wine clean
John M on Feb 22, 2022
Great preservative and no salt like it's counterpart
Kyle L on Feb 3, 2022
after use I'll be using this to keep it steril
Valued C on Jan 22, 2022
Stabilize Beer
Ricky B on Jan 6, 2022
Need
christopher k on Jan 6, 2022
To stabilize wine for bottling
Guy J W on Jan 6, 2022
To preserve my wine
Paul M on Dec 22, 2021
I use for sulfite protection
Jimmy D on Dec 22, 2021
Recipe
Angela l on Dec 14, 2021
Cheapest available
Chelsey S on Dec 8, 2021
Need for wine making
Cheryl H on Dec 3, 2021
I use this for sanitizing equipment and to maintain proper levels of SO2 during long term storage of my wine.
Joseph A S on Nov 23, 2021
stop cider fermentation
Trevor Mack on Nov 17, 2021
I use it a lot for protecting my wines plus sanitizing
Charles H on Nov 16, 2021
This is what i normally use
Mike on Nov 12, 2021
Tax exempt
Jeffrey S on Nov 4, 2021
Stability.
Sharon B on Oct 30, 2021
works well and does not leave much residual SO2
Daniel B on Oct 12, 2021
Making cider
Ted H on Oct 19, 2022
Good price
Elizabeth G on Oct 17, 2022
I'm making red wine in 5 gallon carboys. Free SO2 declines over time, but what happens with the bound SO2? Does it just accumulate as bound SO2 as you add additional meta or does it also dissipate over time?
Peter M. Christie on Dec 14, 2021
BEST ANSWER: The Bound S02 does not dissipate per say, but some of it gets removed with each racking and during filtration if you filter, because it binds to any remaining yeast particles, bacteria, sugar, etc. I have never ended up with too much Bound S02, but I am careful to only use the minimum needed to protect the wine.
Reviews

4.0 / 5.0
4 Reviews
5 Stars
4 Stars
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1 Star
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1
Rated 5 out of 5
KMS at a good price
KMS (potassium metabisulfite) is great for mixing with citric acid and water to fill empty oak barrels until they're ready for use. I also use it to rinse my cleaned recycled wine bottles prior to bottling. I use small amounts for preserving wine in oak barrels and carboys. It comes in mylar bags so it doesn't lose it's efficacy once opened.
November 15, 2022
Purchased
3 weeks ago
Rated 1 out of 5
Dissatisfied
I was very disappointed with the potassium metabisulfite. It was extremely lumpy with hard clumps that I had to beat down to get into powder.
October 10, 2022
Purchased
1 month ago
Rated 5 out of 5
Will not brew without it
Tis is vital to keeping my brew from infection. I have been brewing 12 years, have used it from day one with 2 infections only. Nuff said for me.
November 13, 2021
Purchased
1 year ago
Rated 5 out of 5
Clean stuff
Nice clean material as described by vendor
July 30, 2021
Purchased
1 year ago