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Can I Use Campden To Sterilize Equipment?


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#1 enchantedbrewer

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Posted 03 August 2008 - 06:12 PM

Hello,

I am about to put my must into secondary fermentation for the first time ever! Yikes! What I am wondering is, can I use a campden tablet to sterilize my equipment? And should I be adding one to my wine now that it is going into the airlock? Also, I didnt use a hydometer and haven't been able to get a hold of one yet. Is 6 days too soon to take it out of primary fermentation?
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Cheers

Jaz
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#2 alanr

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Posted 03 August 2008 - 06:26 PM

Yes you can use campden to sanitize (not sterilize) your equipment. The recommended dosage is around 15 tablets disolved in one gallon of water. Campden tablets are basically potassium metabisulfite (Kmeta) in tablet form. If you can get your hands on the powder form of kmeta you'll find it much easier to use - those campden tablets are hard to crush and disolve.

There's really no way to answer your second question without an hydrometer reading - you really need to get one. If it's absolutely impossible for you to get one, I would say you should transfer anyway as you need to start being concerned about exposure to oxygen due to the falling level of C02 from your wine. Some wines finish fermentation in as little as four days so it is possible that you're done and need to transfer but there's no way to know for sure without an hydrometer.



#3 Wade's Wines

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Posted 04 August 2008 - 05:37 AM

Jaz,
How much is it bubbling? If the bubbling has slowed, go ahead and syphon it into your carboy and put an airlock on the carboy. Leave it at least a few inches air space below the airlock or it will probably blow the airlock off and make a mess.
Make sure everything is clean and sanitized. You can add a campden tablet to the airlock, but don't add campden tablets to the wine until it stops fermenting or you'll stall the fermentation and it may not re-start.
As Alanr said, there is no sure way to know when to transfer without taking measurements before and after with a hydrometer. I bought my first hydrometer in a drug store, but go on line and get one before your next batch of wine. It takes all the gamble out (well, most of it) of winemaking.
Also, what Alanr is referring to, using campden to sanitize, is making a solution of 15 tabs in a gallon of water, then using that solution to wipe down, rinse and sanitize equipment. Don't put that concentration in your wine. If you were trying to prevent re-fermentation when transferring you'd use one tablet per gallon in the wine.
Also, find a fruit tree near home and pick enough fresh fruit for your next batch! It's easy to come up with free fruit this time of year. Of course, ask the owner of the tree as they might have plans for the fruit! smile.gif
Good luck! Keep us posted.
Wade
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#4 Luc Volders

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Posted 05 August 2008 - 11:29 AM

QUOTE (enchantedbrewer @ Aug 4 2008, 02:44 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Is 6 days too soon to take it out of primary fermentation?


Depends on the kind of fruit you made the wine with....
If it is elderberries it should already be pressed and put in secondary.

Not only the SG is a major factor, the amount of tannin is
crucial for the decision making. So tasting can help decide
if the wine should be transferred.

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#5 enchantedbrewer

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Posted 07 August 2008 - 05:29 PM

QUOTE (Wade's Wines @ Aug 4 2008, 06:09 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Jaz,
How much is it bubbling? If the bubbling has slowed, go ahead and syphon it into your carboy and put an airlock on the carboy. Leave it at least a few inches air space below the airlock or it will probably blow the airlock off and make a mess.
Make sure everything is clean and sanitized. You can add a campden tablet to the airlock, but don't add campden tablets to the wine until it stops fermenting or you'll stall the fermentation and it may not re-start.
As Alanr said, there is no sure way to know when to transfer without taking measurements before and after with a hydrometer. I bought my first hydrometer in a drug store, but go on line and get one before your next batch of wine. It takes all the gamble out (well, most of it) of winemaking.
Also, what Alanr is referring to, using campden to sanitize, is making a solution of 15 tabs in a gallon of water, then using that solution to wipe down, rinse and sanitize equipment. Don't put that concentration in your wine. If you were trying to prevent re-fermentation when transferring you'd use one tablet per gallon in the wine.
Also, find a fruit tree near home and pick enough fresh fruit for your next batch! It's easy to come up with free fruit this time of year. Of course, ask the owner of the tree as they might have plans for the fruit! smile.gif
Good luck! Keep us posted.
Wade


No worries I didnt put it anywhere near my wine. biggrin.gif And I think everything is going well. I would love to make a fruit wine but I am in New Zealand and it is winter here. Err well spring now. In the summer there will be plenty of fruit (tonnes of kiwis) and I most deifinatly plan on making fruit wines. For now I decided to try the rice and raisin because it was fast and all year round. And just seemed easy for my first wine. When I am back in Canada I am already planing a Cherry Melomel. I am so excited. roflmao.gif

I read on some other forums about rice and raisin wine being really bad smelling, but I tell you this wine smells sooo good. Very fruity and almost tropical! luxhello.gif I made a second batch off of the pulp and plan on experimenting with spices. Cinnamon and anise are the two I heard. Should I add them in Secondary or Primary?

Cheers
Enchanted Grape Home Wines


#6 Wade's Wines

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Posted 08 August 2008 - 08:06 AM

Jaz,
Add them in the primary so they'll develop the flavor well... if you think they'll get too strong, put them in a tied cloth or cloth sack that you can pull out easily. Home improvement and paint stores sell straining bags that work great for this. You can actually put all the fruit (or rice and raisins) in the bag and easily remove it when you think it's no longer making the wine better. The wine will clear easier if you do it this way too, less fine residual pulp left behind.
Have you contacted any other home winemakers in NZ? Is there a winemaking supply store near you?
Do you live in both NZ and Canada?
Wade
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#7 enchantedbrewer

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Posted 08 August 2008 - 04:02 PM

I will added them to the primary today, so they dont get too strong. I like the idea of the mesh bag I will make sure to do that. I am currently living in New Zealand with my Kiwi fiance and we will be going back to Canada here in about 2 years. The town we live in is very small and doesnt have a home brewing store but there are two shops that sell the basics. I am thinking about an apple wine here shortly. Local apples for $1/kg! As for other home wine makers in NZ I only know one and he no long makes wine but has given me free reign over his equipment! ohmy.gif biggrin.gif So I am going to look at it today. luxhello.gif

I am looking into taking a viticulture and winemaking course possible in February, but I am not sure if I want to do this as more then just a personal hobby. Do you just make wines from home for yourself or do have something more established?
Cheers
Enchanted Grape Home Wines


#8 Wade's Wines

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Posted 08 August 2008 - 05:23 PM

Just at home. It's fun! I have 360 grapevines, 24 varieties, and growing. Lots of fruit trees too. All the vines and trees are young, hoping for big crops in a few years! I'll sell my surplus at a local Amish Produce Auction, where I'm the Auctioneer.
It's lucky that you've found someone with equipment to let you use!
Have a good one!
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