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Potassium Metabisulfite

Potassium Metabisulfite

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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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Why did you choose this?
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i'm tired of crushing campden tablets
Hobson H on Dec 10, 2018
I used this product at the UC
Luciano M on Nov 25, 2018
i'm tired of crushing campden tablets
Hobson H on Dec 10, 2018
Need to make a barrel storage solution.
Michael Hoccom on Dec 5, 2018
I used this product at the UC
Luciano M on Nov 25, 2018
For hard cider
scott s on Nov 17, 2018
Sulfites for mead
Jonathan L. on Nov 17, 2018
decrease spoilage
Steve W on Oct 26, 2018
For use when racking
John B on Oct 25, 2018
For Cider
Adam R F on Oct 25, 2018
Wine Barrel Storage
Zachary B on Oct 18, 2018
Sanitation must
Valued C on Oct 3, 2018
Protects the wine, and good for cleaning solution
David Y on Oct 2, 2018
The 1lb packages work better than the larger 5lb for us
Stephen K on Oct 2, 2018
Can measure and should be all we need Don't want it to go stale.
Lannie S on Sep 25, 2018
1lb is economical
Stewart B on Sep 24, 2018
Steve C on Sep 22, 2018
Valued C on Sep 22, 2018
Prefer larger packets for cleaning wine equipment
Theresa G on Sep 19, 2018
Prefer small packets for freshness when adding to wine
Theresa G on Sep 19, 2018
I replace my SO2 each Fall.
Karyl N on Sep 11, 2018
Have 7000 lbs of grapes to pick.
Steven M. B on Sep 11, 2018
wine additive / bottle sterilizer
Michael H on Sep 11, 2018
cleaning barrels
christine f on Sep 10, 2018
for sanitation
Peter D on Sep 5, 2018
I use this in place of salt.
francis e on Aug 31, 2018
gotta have it!
Bernard L on Aug 31, 2018
Used to treat must
Kirk Taylor on Aug 29, 2018
use during fermentation - only source offering it in 5lb bottles
Joe K on Aug 29, 2018
always buy the big bag...
Jonathan S on Aug 24, 2018
Storage solution for wine barrels
Zachary B on Aug 15, 2018
Using this during racking of wine.
Vincent A. N on Aug 7, 2018
Need for additions
Paul D on Jul 25, 2018
simple to use
Dennis H on Jul 23, 2018
Tired of crushing tablets
Chris C on Jul 19, 2018
Proverbs 31 Winery L on Jul 17, 2018
i am out
Lisa C on Jul 12, 2018
safety/palatability of final wine.
Dean T on Jul 11, 2018
wine making
Richard M on Jul 6, 2018
Donald R on Jul 3, 2018
i need it
micole m on Jun 26, 2018
need for cleaning or disinfacting
paskel m on Jun 26, 2018
For finishing mead
Catherine J on Jun 12, 2018
Rebecca P on Jun 8, 2018
A necessity in winemaking.
Brian F on Jun 7, 2018
To make wine.
Catherine E on Jun 2, 2018
Good price, large volume.
Jimmy L on May 30, 2018
My sulfite is geting old
Karyl N on May 28, 2018
This is the best format I have found for getting potent chemicals. It would be even better if the pouches came with a filled on date and a use by date.
Greg P on May 28, 2018
For making cider
Kevin J on May 16, 2018
Have been using this product for years as a sanitiser.
R. Allen T on May 11, 2018
Mauricio M on May 5, 2018
Need to make a barrel storage solution.
Michael Hoccom on Dec 5, 2018
For hard cider
scott s on Nov 17, 2018

4.8 / 5.0
8 Reviews
5 Stars
4 Stars
3 Stars
2 Stars
1 Star
Everything as stated
October 6, 2018
11 months ago
very fast shipping
Very fast shipping, Excellent response and communication to my question, excellent product
May 25, 2018
7 months ago
This was accidentally left off my shipment and MoreBeer quickly rectified the issue! Great customer service!
April 2, 2018
9 months ago
Potassium MB
if you buy a bag of potassium MB get a designated plastic sealable container to store it in. Open it away from your face because the fumes are strong.
February 10, 2018
11 months ago
Meta use
What can I say, it's one of the backbones of winemaking. I'd rather have the K ions than the Na ions, and sure is easier working with than the old fashioned campden tablets. Also use it for cleaning and sterilizing as well as the occasional red wine stain which it removes completely.
January 27, 2018
11 months ago
Longer shelf life
Great to add to the wine kits to allow a longer bottle aging.
May 31, 2013
Works as advertised
Used it to stabilize my mead after fermentation had completed. After a year my mead tastes as good if not better than before. Price is good with free shipping it can't be beat.
May 21, 2013
probably my fault
I made a mead for my wife and after the fermentation was done (2 weeks with no gravity change, then another month for good measure) I added the recommended levels of this in conjunction with what I believe were the proper levels of Sorbistat K. I then split the batch and bottled half of the mead straight up and added apple cider in the other half of the bottles. I was under the impression that this would prevent any residual yeast from going after the new sugars I added post fermentation. The plain mead bottles taste just the same months later but the yeast went to town on the cyzer bottles so they aren't as sweet as I wanted. It could be I got some measurements wrong but I'm fairly certain I did it right. Perhaps I'm misunderstanding what these chemicals together were supposed to do. Either way adding this and the Sorbistat K didn't prevent another fermentation with added sugars as I was hoping.
May 16, 2013