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Kurt Swanson
01-10-2016, 12:20 PM
Is there a standard guideline for the amount of sulfite to use to stabilize mead? And is possible to just use sorbate? If so, how much? Any advise is greatly appreciated.

pwizard
01-10-2016, 12:40 PM
Generally, it is 1 campden tablet and 1/2- 2/3 tsp sorbate per gallon. You must use both or your mead can go bad if malolactic bacteria gets in; it will eat the sorbate and produce a flavor like wet cardboard or geraniums. The sulfite keeps that from happening, and it also protects against oxidation. If your mead is completely dry and you didn't backsweeten, you don't need sorbate and should just add the sulfites as needed.

The tricky thing about sulfite is part of the sulfur dioxide gas fades out over time through outgassing and the rest chemically bonds with the mead. The bonded portion doesn't offer any protection yet it still affects flavor. That's why you need to be careful about adding too much sulfite, or your mead will have a sulfurous taste. There are ways to fix that if it happens but it's easier not to overdose in the first place.

zpeckler
01-10-2016, 01:03 PM
It seems like if you ask 10 meadmakers their thoughts on sulfite you'll get back 15 different opinions! There really doesn't seem to be a standard method for adding sulfite and sorbate, but pwizard's dosing recommendations are probably the most common.

My thoughts on the matter can be found here:
http://www.gotmead.com/forum/showthread.php/25303-How-much-k-meta-and-k-sorbate-to-add