Sulphur has been used in winemaking for many centuries. In fact, from the Middle Ages until well into this century, barrels for storing wine were disinfected by burning a sulphur stick inside them. Today more controllable methods are used, but the end result is the same; and despite concerns about the use of “sulphite” (which is actually a partial term for one of the more convenient sulphur-containing chemicals in wide use), it is unlikely that we will see the elimination of sulphur from winemaking anytime soon. The reason is that no other method offers the range of desirable effects that sulphur provides, with its convenience of use, measurability, and low cost. It is an antioxidant, preserving the fresh flavour of the wine and preventing browning. It is a sterilant; and what is more interesting about this is that its effects are far more pronounced with wild yeasts and bacteria than it is with cultured wine yeasts, which have a fair tolerance for it. In other words, it’s selective in its actions and favours the organisms that we wish to favour.
By inhibiting new budding of the yeast it enhances clearing of the wine. Potassium Metabisulphite, especially for people making a reasonable quantity of wine is probably the most convenient and favoured form of sulphite. Sodium Metabisulphite has fallen into disfavour, in part because it leaves Sodium in the wine, a concern for people with high blood pressure, but also because Potassium Metabisulphite assists in the deposition of Potassium Tartrate crystals, while the Sodium salt does not.
Campden tablets, pre-measured doses of Potassium Metabisulphite, have the convenience of being precise doses, but with the drawback of the bother of crushing them up before using them
Recommended Use -Dissolve your 50gms into 500mls of cold water to make a 10% Stock Solution (can be stored in a glass bottle). Use 1ml of stock per litre of wine or must. 1 teaspoon (or 5mls) is equivalent to 1 crushed campden tablet. By using in liquid form rather than powder we will avoid over-dosing which will ruin the wine. This 500ml solution will does 500 Litres of wine in total. NB: We can provide a 1kg pack but allow this is enough for 10,000 Litres of wine and is really not suitable for small home winemakers.