> I have read several places that itis acceptable to reuse your
> sanitizing solution for bottles, equipment, etc...
Yes, you can re-use your sanitizing solution IF you only use it on
clean equipment. So, you can rinse a clean bottle out, and put the
sanitizer back in its container. But, if you rinse out something that
is soiled or contaminated, it is not recommended to recycle that bit
> I have a food
> grade 5 gallon bucket with tight fitting, ***-grommet lid I wish to
> use to make about 3-4 gallons of sanitizer to use.
That's a lot of sanitizer to make at one time. You don't really want
that much headroom in the container, or the fumes will not be pleasant
when you open it. And it will lose strength EVERY time you open the
container. So, unless you are going to use that much in a very short
time, you should make less.
I make about 100 gallons of wine each year, and I sanitize everything:
work table surfaces, primaries, carboys, bottles, destemmer and
crusher. I keep a ONE-gallon container of sanitizing solution, and top
it up when it gets 1 or 2 cups low. That amount should be more than
sufficient for home use.
> How many campden tablets should go in to this per gallon? I am assuming it
> will take more than one, is 5 enough? Is more better? or is there a point
> where it is either too stong, or where adding more does nothing to
> improve it's effects?
There are different opinions as to how strong the santizing solution
should be. You would need somewhere between 50 and 150 tablets,
depending which one you adopted.
More is NOT necessarily better. At some stage the solution will be so
strong as to be dangerous, it will be ineffective for the purpose, and
it will leave large salt deposits on the surfaces to which it has been
Campden tablets are a convenient means of sulphiting the must with
small batches of wine. One tablet per gallon provides 50 ppm SO2. But
the tablets must be crushed thoroughly to disolve properly. And they
are considerably more expensive than the alternatives.
If you are doing any serious amount of winemaking, you should obtain
potassium or sodium metabisulphite powder or crystals, and make a 10%
solution (25 grams per 250 ml cup of water). Make up about a pint, and
put it in a tightly sealed DARK container (light will cause it to
deteriorate). Then you can use 1 tsp. of solution in place of one
For a sterilizer, use 1/2 tsp. metabisulphite + 1/2 tsp. citric acid
per 250 ml. "cup" of water. Another common formula is 2 oz. sodium
metabisulphite per gallon of water. The exact amount isn't important
in a sanitizer. As stated above, a gallon kept topped up, should be
more than enough.
Sodium metabisulphite is about half the price of potassium
metabisulpite, and perfectly adequate as a sanitizer. But it is
probably better to use potassium metabisulphite IN the wine.
Commercial wineries are not allowed to use the Sodium metabisulphite,
and it can leave a bitter taste in your wine even if sodium isn't the
evil susbtance current medical "science" claims).
It is MUCH cheaper to use metabisulfite powder or crystals than
Campden tablets. Grape&Granary sells Potassium Metabisulfite for $3.99
per pound, and Sodium Metabisulfite for $2.19.
And the thought of crushing 150 tablets ....