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Sodium Metabisulphite Sterilising Powder

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Wax

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Has any one used sodium metabisulphite sterilising powder? It's only $7.50 for 1kg from ibrew about the same price as I pay for iodophor but 1kg sounds like it may go a bit further.

Is it any good?
 

wedge

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there's that can of worms again!
 

wardy

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i've been warned against it Wax, but i'm sure there's a dozen good reasons why you can use it. but i think the main reason not to, is it doesn't have the oxidising strength of chlorine based products etc to properly sanitise.
 

crackers

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gday wax,
i believe im one of very few brewers who still use it.
i have had no trouble with any infected bottles, so i contunie to use it.
my local heath food shop (hb stockist) only sells this so its more convienient for me.
i fill the bath tub up with hot water and the sod met (a little more than directed).
using a jug fill each bottle up with the solution,
and let soak over night.
drian and store away in boxes till needed.
of course i look at each bottle before bottling, any suspect ones (very rare)
i put aside to wash again.

hope this helps.

cheers
crackers
 

Wax

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Cheers Crackers,

You said you drain and then store it... No need to rinse with boiled water or anything?
 

crackers

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wax,
i dont rinse, and have had no trouble.

cheers
crackers
 

JasonY

The Imperial Metric Brewery
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Yep seems like 95% of brewers are against it, but I have used nothing else and have had no problems. I rinse everything after use and then before I fill agian give a rinse or soak in sodium met followed by a quick rinse of water. Hasn't let me down yet.

One trick that the local HBS guy told me was to put about 1 inch of sodium met solution in the botton of your fermenter when not in use. Guarenteed that everyhting in there is dead (just dont open and sniff :eek: ). Apparently it can make plastic go brittle but I figure its going to take a long time for that.

Anyway I use it with no probs whatsoever.
 

dicko

Boston Bay Brewery
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Hi to all!
If the decision on what you use for sanitizing is based on price alone as in Wax's firt post, then I recon you cant go past a bottle of uncented bleach from Bi - Lo or similar for a couple of bucks.
One capful in a few litres of water and youve got cheap sterilizer for plastic fermenters and glass bottles.
I would check its suitability on other metals before use.
I use this to leave in my fermenter till next use and it works fine.
Dont mix it with Phosphoric Acid!
Cheers
 

PostModern

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Sodium Met is a bacterial inhibitor, not a sterilising agent. ie, it will prevent bacteria from growing but it does not kill all spores. Use in conjunction with something else.
 

Goat

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Excuse my ignorance, but is that the pink powder stuff sodium met. that smells and feels like bleach?
 

sosman

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Sodium met is a white, stinky powder. Can cause serious asthma attacks in some people (including non-asthmatics). As someone pointed out, it is a bacteriostatic. I think home brew stores sell it because it is used somehow in winemaking.

I have heard that people use it in mashing to combat odixation so I imagine not-rinsing is unlikely to be a big issue.

I used to use it until I did my own research. To be honest though I never had an infection with it.

Brewiki: cleaning and sanitation

I exclusively use a phosphoric acid based sanitiser now. No rinse required.
 

Jazman

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i reckon sodium meb be a good toilet cleaner
 

Gout

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sod met will kill your fermentor, i have to yellow yucky stinky ones to prove it. Bleach cleaned them somewhat but still i hate the stuff. Makes me cough also

bahhh
go the phos. acid
 

wee stu

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If it's all you've ever used, and you're happy - then so be it.

Almost any other HB cleaner and sanitiser, including the good old bi-lo bleach, is a lot more user friendly (ie doesn't make you cough and splutter, stink out the brewhouse, leave an awful aftertase in the mouth).

Try orthophosphoric acid (Grumpys one shot), or even Brewiser Brew-shield (hydrogen peroxide based), Both have high dilution rates, which make them a lot more cost effective then first purchase suggests and they are a lot more user friendly (don't even need rinsing).

For my comfort levels, even good old neo pink (chlorine based?) is a better option - and not that much more expensive than SMB.
 

sosman

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FWIW orthophosphoric acid == phosphoric acid.
 

wee stu

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sosman - cheers, that's a lot easier to type (and say)!
 
J

Jovial_Monk

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I sell it as Terminater for $5.95

Jovial Monk
 

sosman

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wardy said:
it doesn't have the oxidising strength of chlorine based products etc to properly sanitise.
In fact it is apparently used to prevent oxidation by adding small amounts to the mash.
 

Pat Casey

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Sodium met is a bacterial inhibitor rather than a bacteriocide. It works on fumes rather than contact. It does not need to be rinsed. It is also an anti-oxidant.

The pink stuff aka Neo-Pink, Pink Stain Remover is chlorinated trisodium phosphate. It is a combined cleanser and sanitiser. Because of the chlorine it does need to be rinsed, and rinsed well, especially if there is any grain about.

Apart from Iodophor, there is also the silver ions in 3% hydrogen peroxide sold as either 'Brewshield' or 'Sanitize' - it is used at 30 mls per litre. It is very effective but also expensive. Both of these are contact sanitisers and can be used in a mist sprayer.

But of course the critical factor in sanitation iis what you do rather than the chemicals you use. If you have any respiratory problems give sodium met a miss. The reason it is so commonly used is a hang-over from amateur wine making where it is used for both its anti-oxidiant and as well as its bacterial inhibiting properties - amateur brewers could not really get anything else except bleach.

Pat
 

sosman

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Pat Casey said:
But of course the critical factor in sanitation iis what you do rather than the chemicals you use. If you have any respiratory problems give sodium met a miss. The reason it is so commonly used is a hang-over from amateur wine making where it is used for both its anti-oxidiant and as well as its bacterial inhibiting properties - amateur brewers could not really get anything else except bleach.
I would say that both the right medicine and good technique are important. You can't brew coffee with sawdust. Also the chemicals influence your technique, eg to rinse or not to rinse. With bleach you have no choice, with Iodophor and phos acid based stuff its your choice.

I understand that people without a previous history of asthma can be affected by sodium met.

I agree on the wine making bit, unfortunately it is common for home brew stores to promote it to new brewers as a sanitiser (my personal experience). This is very unfortunate.

The bottom line for me is I can see absolutely no justification for using sodium met. for sanitation, it dips out on: performance, economics and safety.
 
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