Campden powder (potassium metabisulfite)
₹82 – ₹1,200
Multi-purpose preservative used for:
- killing wild mold infection
- preventing oxidizing in bottles or during aging
- removing chlorine from brewing water
use 1/2gm powder instead of a tablet.
Potassium metabisulfite (KMBS) powder ideal for killing mold off fruits, stabilizing your brew, making dessert beverages, and as a general disinfecting of your apparatus, equipment and instruments. Please use it along with your pH scale and ppm charts of sulfites to use the correct amount.
This packet contains 25gm of powder which is equivalent to 50 tablets. So use sparingly. This is equivalent to tablets and can be used in the same ratio (but much cheaper). It is also used as a sanitizer.
One teaspoon (US dry measure) of potassium metabisulphite weighs approximately 1.4 grams. So, 0.44 grams (the contents of one Campden tablet) is0.44/1.4 = 0.314, or roughly 1/3 of a teaspoon.
Phenolic: Spicy (clove, pepper), smoky, plastic, plastic adhesive strip, and/or medicinal (chlorophenolic) like smells and flavors. German wheat beers and some English styles need these notes but often too much of a good thing is also bad. Another problem is that it can come from a variety of reasons, so debugging takes longer.
- Culprit to be root caused is the chlorinated water, which gives medical and bleach-like aromas.
- Second could be the yeast strains, try switching to a strain with a crispier finish. English stout yeasts are often attributed to clove flavors.
- Third is the sanitizer residue especially iodine and chlorine. Try switching to a rinse-free sanitizer.
- Fourth, mashing technique: Over sparging, using too hot water or even crushing the grain too much can introduce these notes.
- Fifth and the most obvious reason could be adding excessive spices. Spices lead to an increased warmth perception (higher perceived ABV) which is why some winemakers deliberately add excessive cloves and whole spices (garam masala) in their wine.
- Lastly, in wine, this is called ‘Brett’ wine because of the yeast Brettanomyces strains (contamination) that were introduced in the vat.
Fruits contain acetobacter (bacteria that oxidizes ethanol alcohol into vinegar acetic acid), mold forming fungus, and several strains on wild microbes on their skin. You need potassium metabisulfite or some form of sulfite to weaken or kill these bacteria before introducing the wine yeast. Another alternative is boiling the fruit before adding yeast. However, the application of heat often leads to loss of most aromatic natural flavors and colors. Hence most wine makers prefer 12-24 hours Campden rest of their fruits to sanitize them and make a sterile medium for the wine yeast to dominate.
Campden a.k.a. potassium metabisulfite is an antioxidant/ preservative, commonly called “sulfites”. Most commercial wine labels will have listed it as one of its ingredients. It inhibits the bacteria activity but does not impact the yeast so much.
Potassium sorbate on the other hand is a preservative designed specifically to inhibit yeast reproduction. It’s used in white wine, cider, and mead which we want to be sweetened. Sorbate will prevent the yeast from fermenting off these residual sugars and prevent the wine from becoming dry and too alcoholic.
We recommend you to add 0.05gm of Campden powder per liter to achieve 25ppm of SO2 in your wine. Campden is added in dry red wines to prevent oxidation (turning to vinegar) and color stability (red color turning into orange). I typically bottle wine at a pH of 3.5 and add about 25ppm of SO2 (from Campden) at the time of bottling. For other pH values you can refer to the table below to compute the recommended dosage.
Add about 0.1 gm of Campden powder to fresh grape or apple or fruit juice in order to inhibit the bacteria, mold, and wild microbial activity in it. Cover the juice and let it rest overnight for the Campden to dissipate before adding any yeast and nutrients to it. This way the wild fermentation is prevented and acetobacter which turns alcohol into vinegar is inhibited.
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