When Do I Add Campden Tablets To My Homemade Wine?

I was wondering if you can straighten me out on something. I have heard that you should add campden tablets before you add the wine yeast. I should also add campden tablets after every time I rack the wine. Then add them before I bottle the wine. That seems like a lot to me.
Hi Gary,
Thanks for such an interesting question.
You do need to use Campden tablets or some other form of sulfite such as sodium metabisulfite, or the wine could eventually spoil or turn to vinegar. But how much you should add is another issue all together.
If you’re making wine from fresh fruit, we recommend that you add one Campden tablet per gallon before the fermentation. This is the standard dose. If you are making wine from a packaged juice, this step is not necessary.
Be sure that you wait 24 hours before adding the wine yeast, or the Campden tablets may kill the wine yeast. Also during this 24 hour waiting period, be sure the fermenter is not sealed. Leave the fermenter open to the air. If you like, you can cover it with a very thin towel or netting to keep bugs and fallout from getting to it. The sulfur dioxide from the Campden tablets need the opportunity to dissipate into the air during this time.
Shop Campden TabletsWe also recommend that you add another dose of Campden tablets as soon as the fermentation has completed. You should confirm with a wine hydrometer that the fermentation has actually completed before adding them.
The only other dose of Campden tablets we recommend is right before bottling. This last dose is what will keep the wine from spoiling or turning to vinegar.
The reason we recommend only adding Campden tablets at these three times is because it is possible to add too much. By sticking with these three times “too much” is not possible. These three times assumes that you will keep the fermenter topped-up and that long-term bulk aging is not in the plans — 1 months or more.
This reason for this is that while sulfites from these Campden tablets do dissipate into the air during rackings, a large percentage of the sulfites bond to the wine. As you add more doses, the bonded sulfites build up in the wine. This build up of bound sulfite does nothing to protect the wine, but if built into a high enough concentration, it can eventually affect the wine’s flavor.
Shop Sulfite TesterHaving said all this, it is possible to add more Campden tablets after rackings, but you shouldn’t do this blindly. You need to test the sulfites that are currently in the wine before adding more. This can be done with Titrets Test Vials and the Titrettor Hand Tool. Shoot for a range of 25 PPM (Parts Per Million) for red wines to 35 PPM for whites. If you do not want to go through the testing, don’t add more than what’s recommended above.
I hope this answers your question and concerns about the use of Campden tablets in your homemade wine. I wanted to point out that this recommendation applies regardless of what form of sulfite you are adding, the three main ones being: Campden tablets, sodium metabisulfite and potassium metabisulfite. If you follow each one’s directions for the dosage you will be adding the same amount of sulfites in each case.
Happy Wine Making,
Ed Kraus
Ed Kraus is a 3rd generation home brewer/winemaker and has been an owner of E. C. Kraus since 1999. He has been helping individuals make better wine and beer for over 25 years.

152 thoughts on “When Do I Add Campden Tablets To My Homemade Wine?

  1. Can you explain what you mean by "Before Fermentation". Does that mean after crushing the grapes. I don’t add yeast so It’s important for me to know.

    • Yes to crushed grapes before pitching yeast. This kills all wild yeast and bacteria so you start with a clean slate. If you don’t use yeast, this will not work very well for you.

    • I added wine yeast after 20 hours of mixing sodium metabisulfite in my pineapple fruit pulp . will yeast
      Start ferment or yeast will die?
      When i added metabisulfite in pineapple pulp i close the jar with its lid and tie cotton cloth . is it ok?

      • I think that may have been too soon. I added a Campden tablet around 11pm then the yeast around the noon the following day, and it never took off. It was too soon. That said, I crushed up 2 more Campden tablets then waited 24 hours before adding more yeast (Lalvin EC-1118). Now my fermentation has taken off. So, if you add the Campden tablet before the yeast, be sure to wait the full 24hrs.

  2. Mike, if you do not add wine yeast to your wine musts, then you never want to add any kind of sulfite to the wine, including Campden Tablets, before fermentation. This will kill the feral yeast that you are relying on.

  3. So i’m confused. Should I use Campden Tablets when I rack the wine? Unless I’m mistaken, according to what I’ve read Campden Tablets should be used for each racking to avoid oxidenation to the wine. I should rack 2 to 3 times.

  4. MIke, we recommend adding Campden Tablets only at the first racking you do after the fermentation has stopped. This is in addition to a dose before fermentation and another before bottling. You can add more Campden Tablets at other racking, but we recommend doing so only after you have tested the wine with a Titret test kit to confirm that more sulfites are needed.

  5. You say to add Campden tablets when you bottle the wine–how do I do this in order to get the new sulfites mixed into the wine in the carboy? I assume that it would be a final racking before the actual bottling.

  6. Harry, you should always rack your wine before bottling to get rid of the sediment in the fermenter. After you do this, crush up the correct amount of Campden Tablets and dissolve them in a small amount of wine. Once dissolved, mix in with the rest of the batch. Mix thoroughly and then bottle.

    • #1: How many tabs/gallon? #2: dissolve, mix, and stir directly before bottling? thanx. Sweet Carl.

      • Carl, the dosage is one campden tablet for each gallon of wine. It is best to dissolve the tablets in a little water before adding to the wine right at bottling time.

        • Hi Ed Kraus,
          When my wine is ready to be bottled, I add the campden tablet to the fermenter and mix well. It has to be left alone for 24hrs before being bottled or consumed. I was advised by staff in a store. There are instructions for use on the container, too.

  7. It is a great service you provide, answering home wine making questions, I read them all with great anticipation and learn so much. Bill

  8. For people with sulfite allergies, what is recommended to use in place of Campden tablets

  9. Sylvia, if you do not intend to use sulfites in your wine, it is important that you keep everything very clean. Use sanitizers when clean your equipment or anything the wine comes into contact with. After you get the wine into the bottle, shelf-life will always be in question. Your best option is to store the wine bottles under refrigeration until consumed.

  10. i made a mistake and added waaaaay too many campden tabs to a 5 gallon batch of peach wine i made in september and was racking off the sediment, i dont plan on bottling until march or april, have i ruined this wine or will the sulphur eventually dissipate? i will not make this mistake again however i also read you should add campden with each racking but i was distracted by my toddler and added 1 campden per bottle not per gallon that the carboy holds, oops, the other smaller 1 gal carboys i added one per bottle also will be bottling in march, will my wine have an off taste or will the so2 eventually disappear? please help its a lot of wine to waste

    • If you added too much sulfite and need to get rid of it, use a couple of drops of hydrogen peroxide. The 3% hydrogen that you buy in the pharmacy is perfect. What it does i force oxidized the sulfite. It is clean and safe since it breaks down to hydrogen (gases off) and the oxygen combines with the sulfite to form sulfate. This is the same reaction that occurs if you wait for the sulfite to oxidize by air. You should test residual sulfite to make sure that you are at 25-35ppm level.

  11. Mocha, you can get all of the "free" SO2 out of the wine by splashing. You can allow the wine to splatter out of a siphon hose while transferring it to another container. You may need to do this more than once. This will only help the aroma of the wine. A portion of the sulfites have bonded with the wine. There is no practical way to get this out of the wine. This "bound" sulfites are there for good. The bound sulfites have no aroma, but they may effect the flavor of the wine. How much it will affect the flavor varies from one situation to the next. The only way to tell is to taste it and make a judgement on your own.

  12. thanks for your quick response, i racked and splashed i guess time will tell and ill be sure to follow your suggestions and only add campden the three times i should. Should i still add the campden tabs before bottling with this batch or will all this extra sulfite action be enough at bottling time?

  13. Mocha, unfortunately the bound sulfites will do nothing to help protect it. So yes, you do need to add a dose of sulfites before bottling.

  14. i did not add camden tablets before the fermentation process, could i add the tabs when i rack the wine.

  15. Jim, at the earliest, you do not want to add Campden tablets until after the fermentation is done. It is important that your verify with a hydrometer that this is true before adding the tablets. You will also want to add them again right before bottling the wine.

  16. As you explained above "The only other dose of Campden Tablets we recommend is right before bottling." a couple questios: Do I use the same measurement system of campden as you explained for each racking? When I do add the final campden tablets before bottling what is the time period I should wait before I bottle or can I wait until it dissolves and then just go ahead a bottle? Since this last add of campden tables will be in a carboy – should I leave the stop out of it or is it ok to cap it for whatever time period you answer to the second question?

    Thanks in advance!

  17. CaptMorgan, when you add the final does before bottling, you want to have a reading of 45 to 55 ppm. The higher level is to allow for loss during aging. Do not wait. Bottle the wine immediately after adding the sulfites.

  18. Thanks for getting back to me so quick!
    One more question and I wasnt sure if you all could help.

    What is the best brand for fruit and wine press to look for? I am at the point where I can be more cost effective if I start crushing my own fruit for pure juice. Of course I have to be within a budget so I am more interested in the smaller 5 gallon sized ones.

  19. CaptMorgan, when it comes to home winemaking you really don’t have that much selection. There are just not that many producers in such a small market. You basically have presses coming from Italy, which are all equal in quality, any of them will last for generations, and then you have Chinese knock-offs that have recently started to coming into the U.S. Of the Chinese ones I’ve see, they are inferior to the Italian models and what I would call "toy" quality.

  20. Hello – I thought a teaspoon of powdered metabisulphate was the equivalent to ONE Campden tablet – Article on Wikipedia says:

    "Campden tablets typically weigh 0.44 g each and 10 of these are equivalent to one level teaspoon of sodium metabisulfite"

    Confused now as to how much metabisulphate I should use – Can you put me straight please?!

    Thank you!!

  21. Biker Bloke, sorry to say that a Campden tablet has never equaled one teaspoon of sodium metabisulfite. What you have quoted above is correct: 10 tablets = 1 teaspoon.

  22. I’m making wine from my back yard concord gapes
    I’ve crushed the gapes added one crushed Camden tablet sprinkled on top didn’t mix in. SP reading 60 @ 70 deg.
    Question 1 when do I add the sugar
    Question 2 should I stir the crushed Camden in? (its been 20 hours )

  23. Great article, although all the comments have left me a tad confused. If working with a wine kit, the only time I need to add Campden Tablets is: Firstly when I am racking after the original fermentation (i.e. when I am adding the included stabilizer and finings) and Secondly after the wine has cleared and I am ready to bottle?


  24. Jack, when you are dealing with wine kits, it is important to follow the directions that are provided. The above article assumes that the wine will take 8 weeks to 6 months before bottling. With most wine ingredient kits they are done in 4 weeks — sometimes 6. This shorter amount of time requires less instances of adding sulfites.

    • so when making wine from juice we dont need to add campden tables only right before bottling RIGHT?

      • Sissy, when making wine from wine concentrates you do not need to add sulfites prior to fermentation. If you are making wine from a juice that has not already been treated with sulfites, I would recommend adding them.

  25. Hey. So I have a quick question. I added four campden tablets to my five gallon batch of black berry wine. I guess I made a mistake and covered the bucket with a lid/air lock for 24 hours prior to adding my yeast. Did I add too many campden tablets and will my wine be strange without leaving the container open for the gasses to escape during those first 24 hours? thanks for all the advise.

    • Kip, you did not add too many campden tablets. The dosage is one per gallon of wine so 4 tablets in 5-gallons is fine. Leaving the lid on will not cause any flavor issues with the wine. However, leaving the lid on after adding the campden tablets and trapping the gasses inside probably killed the yeast and will need to add another packet. Below I have provided the link to an article that discusses this in more detail.
      Closing Up The Fermenter After Adding Sulfites

  26. Hi there. My 5 gallons of wine is ready for bottling but I need to stabilize and sweeten to taste first. I was wondering what the best way Is to go about it. Would I thief out about a cup and dissolve 5 campdens into it and then re-add to stabilize, then after 14 hours or so add boiled dissolved sugar to taste, then bottle right off?
    When adding campden right before bottling, can I just stir the dissolved tablets into the carboy using a long stirring tool or is there a preferred method (like racking yet again to help stir it up)?
    Thanks for you time!

    • Zapp, first let me clear up something that you may be confused about. Campden tablets do not stabilize against re-fermentation when you back-sweeten your wine. Campden tablets will prevent the wine from spoiling. Potassium sorbate is the the stabilizer you need to add to prevent re-fermentation. You can add the potassium sorbate at any time after fermentation is complete and the wine is clear, then bottle when you are ready. When the campden tablets are added you will bottle the wine immediately. When dissolving the sugar in warm water be sure to let it cool before adding it to the wine. To answer your original question, it is best to dissolve the campden tablets before adding to the wine so they will mix thoroughly. You can dissolve them in a little water or in a little bit of wine as you suggested. As long as the was already racked off any sediment, there is no need to rack it again. Using a long stirring spoon or paddle is fine. Just add them to the wine and bottle immediately.

  27. Hello I have a question I added yeast nutrient to my primary fermenter eith other ingredients when it’s time to add the wine yeast will it be ok the make a yeast starter with juice from my wine, yeast nutrient, water and yeast or should I just add yeast

  28. How long after bottling should the wine sit before drinking? 3 months? 6 months? There is no minimum time? How long does it take the sulfites to dissipate from the bottled wine?
    Thank you – these forums are so helpful to me.

    • Juliet, if you are asking how long after adding the sulfites you need to wait before consuming the wine, the answer is that you do not need to wait. You can drink the wine right away. Because the wine is bottled and sealed after adding the last dose of sulfites, they do not dissipate like they would during racking. You want the sulfites to stay in the bottles to protect the wine. I hope this answers your questions.

  29. hi,after the fiirst ferment,then transfering for the first rack adding the tablets do you still need to leave the top off if it has a air lock

    • Costie, after the primary stage of fermentation which is normally 5-7 days when you rack the wine the first time, you need to put the wine under the airlock for the remainder of the time.

  30. How soon do I have to add camden tablets after pressing my cider? I do not have any left and have three 3 gallon carboys of cider sitting outside.
    Todd Graham

    • Todd, you can add the campden tablets to kill off the wild yeast and bacteria anytime at least 24 hours before adding the yeast.

  31. hi
    i have just bottled my first batch of rhubarb wine, the recipe said use no campden tablets as this would spoil the delicate flavor of the rhubarb. the wine seems fine but will it keep ?
    fantastic forum by the way

    • Mick, how long the wine will keep is a big question. The wine could spoil in a couple of weeks, or a couple of years, or not at all. The likelihood of spoilage is not only based on whether or not you used Campden tablets. Other factors, such as: how clean are you as a winemaker; how much alcohol is in the wine… come into play as well. The best thing you can do now is to store the wine in a cool place. In the corner of a basement or cellar is nice. If you do notice a vinegar character start to come over the wine, then you may even want to store it in the refrigerator.

  32. When I add the crushed Camden tablets at the start to kill wild yeast in (my own grapes or elderberries) Intuit seem to have trouble getting the yeast to start the fermenting after 24 hours. Sometimes after 48 hours I end up adding another yeast packet. Also have tried starting the yeast first and still have issues. What am I doing wrong?

  33. I am not using a wine kit, I am using Welch’s Grape juice to make my first batch of wine. I understand that I do not need to use the campden tablets before fermentation, but I do use them at the first racking and before bottling. Is this correct?

    • Kelly, when using Welch’s Grape Juice to make wine you do not need to add campden tablets prior to fermentation. You will not add campden tablets until the fermentation is complete because they can damage the yeast and inhibit the fermentation process. Below is an article that discusses when you should use campdent tablets.
      When Do I Add Campden Tablets

        • Sissy, if making wine from fresh fruit, you will want to add campden tablets 24 hours prior to fermentation. With any wine that you make we recommend also adding campden tablets after the fermentation completes and again at bottling time. For more information, please take a look at the article link posted below.
          When To Add Campden Tablets

  34. In your answer to Biker Bloke 10 campdens equal 1 teaspoon. Now I am confused, I have a 1/16 teaspoon measure that I thought was supposed to be the same as 1 campden tablet, so is it 10 per teaspoon or 16? I have been using my 1/16 measure for years as equal to a campden tablet. Thanks for all the great info

    • Bill, you are correct. One campden tablet is 1/16 teaspoon so it takes 16 tablets to make one-teaspoon.

  35. Hello – I am currently in day 5 of primary fermentation and will be adding yeast for MLF. After pressing and adding to carboy, do I still add the Campden tablets (or will this kill the MLF)? Thank you!

  36. Thank you Ed! Just for clarification, is yeast fermentation completed once primary fermentation is complete and the juice pressed and xfr’d to carboys, or is yeast fermentation the whole process (including secondary fermentation)? If yeast fermentation is the whole process, after primary fermentation and transferring to carboys, should I still add 1 crushed campden tablet per gallon?
    Thanks again!

    • Gary, the yeast fermentation is complete once the specific gravity reading on the hydrometer reads .998 or less. You do not want to add any campden tablets before adding the malolactic culture as it can damage the culture.

  37. After adding the potassium metabolisophite when can I start to drink the wine? Right after or so I have to wait?

    • Bill, it is not necessary to wait after adding the potassium metabisulfite before you consume the wine.

      • Hello bill.I just started making wine using the100% fruit juice.(peach).do I still need to use the tablets?

        • Rick, if you talking about fruit juice that you can buy at the grocery store, you do not need to add campden tablets prior to fermentation. If you were making wine from fresh juice or fresh fruit, you would need to add them.

  38. So I’m a chemist and I also love making wine. The simplest way to kill wild yeast is when adding the fruit and sugar use boiling water, then add the tablets to the primary immediately after and leave the lid off. For multiple reasons I won’t get into the SO4- gasses off very fast this way. I add yeast 2 or so hours later and the fermentation never stalls. My wine keeps for years, I’m obsessively sterile throughout.

  39. I made a BIG mistake and added the Potassium Sorbate (stabilizer) to my wine 7 day after fermenting, when my kit instructions told me to syphon wine from the primary to the secondary glass one gallon jug. Do I have to throw it all away and start over because I jump the gun on the instructions manual? I’m trying to make a sweet blueberry wine. Any help is greatly appreciated.

  40. I am making guava wine and it is a bit cloudy – I am at the second stage and straining off the fruit would campden help clear my wine it still has 21 days before bottling I was also recommended wine stabiliser (potassium sorbate) to use after campden tablets — need help cynthia

    • Cynthia, first let me say that campden tablets do nothing to help clear a wine. Your wine could be cloudy because it is still fermenting. You do not want to add campden or potassium sorbate until you verify with a hydrometer that the fermentation is complete. If the fermentation is complete and the wine is not clearing, the following article will go over other reasons the wine is cloudy.
      Cloudy Wine

  41. I have already started my wine and never added any campton tablets. Should I just add them after the first rack? And since you said the tablets need to be exposed to air does that mean I take the wine out of the container with the bubbler, strain it, put in a bucket and add the campton?
    Then after a few days put back in bottle with bubbler?

    • Stephanie, if you have already started the fermentation process by adding the yeast, you do not want to add any campden tablets until the fermentation is complete. The campden tablets can destroy the yeast.

  42. Hi, I would like to know do campden tablets and potassium sorbate have an expiration date? I am asking because some how the expiration date rubbed off.
    Thank you

    • Earlene, for campden tablets and potassium sorbate we would recommend using them within about 2 years.

  43. What happens if you are bulk ageing? Does this require more/less sulfites? If I’m leaving my wine in a demijohn for a few months, when should I be adding Campdens?

  44. Hi Ed. Your website is very appreciated. I’ve just racked off my white wine after secondary fermentation and added my campden. Should I degas the wine now before it clarifies or after it clarifies and racked it once more?

    • Brenda, if you are steaming the fruit, you do not need to add sulfites in the beginning of fermentation.

    • Chuck, you will need to cover the fermenter with a towel, wait 24 hours to allow the sulfites to dissipate and add a new packet of yeast.

  45. Hello, making Pinot noir for the first time, picked up grapes from wine grape distributor in my city a few weeks ago. fermented the crushed/destemmed grapes for a few weeks with NO added yeast. pressed grapes myself, transferred to 5gal carboy with airlock and rubber stopper. Haven’t used any campden yet, can I add some at next racking and before bottling? Hoping not too late
    Appreciate the advice, excellent forum

    • Jason, if you add campden tablets while it is still fermenting, you will likely destroy the yeast. If you have a packet of wine yeast, you can wait 24 hours and then sprinkle it on top. If you do not have any extra yeast, you will need to wait until the fermentation completes and then add campden. You will also add another dose at bottling time.

    • Hello. I have had my four 6 gal carboys sitting since this time last year and were a product of juice buckets. I have not added any campden tabs during the waiting process after fermentation but am beginning to see some white stringy cloud like material on the very top of the wine. Through this forum i believe i have too much head space left at the end of my first rack. My intentions were to bottle in the coming weeks and the wine tasted great 6 weeks ago at racking. What are my options here? If i add campden tabs i understand its one tab per gallon but was looking for clarification on when to bottle after adding the tabs or if i should rack again, add a tab and add something additional to consume the airspace. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

      • Brad, it does sound like bacteria is forming on your wine. As long as it is not all throughout the wine, you can treat it with 1.5 campden table for each gallon of wine and bottle immediately. If it is throughout the wine, there is nothing you can do to save it. Bacteria can form from excess head space, improper sanitation or from not treating the finished wine with campden tablets even when bulk aging. The article posted below will discuss this further.
        White Scum On Wine

  46. my vender told me to double my Campden to get longevity to my wine, so this time i did as they said. this year I have 18 gallons of wine that the yeast won’t work!!!
    Help!!! please email me

  47. I accidentally added a half campden tablet to one gallon of chokecherry wine after the first racking with only 6 days of fermenting… my question is should I make a yeast starter right away then pitch it in a day or two or do you think fermentation will continue even though I added the campden tablet?

    • Blake, what I would do is keep track of the fermentation progress with your hydrometer. If you do see that the fermentation is progressing along then I would add the yeast starter.

  48. Fresh fruit juiced.
    Campden tablets added.
    24 hours with lid off of fermenter.
    Yeast added.
    Primary fermentation coomplete.
    Campden tablets added.
    Question do we leave the lid off for another 24 hours?

  49. To add campden tablets , crush them in a little warm juice or water and add to the juice in the fermenter . After 24 hours add a cultured cider yeast or a cultured wine yeast , and prime the airlock.

  50. Hi, I made a batch of wine just 2 days ago and I have extra grapes I want to add in. Can I add the new grape must to the old batch?

    • Kris, if you just start the batch 2 days ago, you can go ahead and add the additional grapes. I would recommend testing the acid once the fermentation is complete to make sure it is still within the appropriate range.

  51. I filter my wine at the bottling time. Would filtering make an effect on just added campden tablets or sulfite bonded on molecular level?
    Thank you.

    • Sergey, you always want to bottle the wine immediately after adding the campden tablets, so you want to filter the wine and then add the sulfites.

  52. Hi — I’m making parsnip wine (for the first time). After the first ferment for 7 days, I’ve racked into a demijohn, however I think I have jumped the gun by stupidly added a campden tablet to the demijohn.
    Any idea if I have killed off any more fermtation? Shall I add more yeast to the mix?
    Thoughts much welcomed………………….

    • Ben, it is possible that by adding the campden tablets before the fermentation completes you have damaged the yeast. If your hydrometer indicates the fermentation is stuck, you will need to add new yeast.

  53. I just drik the wine while it red or white. I do not use these tablets because I don’t know what is its benefit? Why use and I am seeing these tablets fist time.

    • Alfred, campden tablets are commonly used in wine making. They will kill of any bacteria from the produce used and when added at bottling time, they help prevent spoilage of the wine.

  54. In the book “True Brews”, they recommend adding appropriate Campden tablets 24 hours before bottling whereas your forum says you should bottle immediately after adding Campden. I was under the impression that the latter approach would lead to a buildup of significant hydrogen sulfide in the bottle. The Cellar Craft wine kit recommended adding potassium metabisulfite and potassium sorbate 3 weeks before bottling. Would you please clarify? I just added Campden tablets to some elderberry wine 12 hours ago and could bottle now or wait the full 24 hours… Also, would you recommend using potassium sorbate for wines I plan to age at least a year, maybe 3? Thank you! This forum is FANTASTIC!

    • Andrea, the Cellar Craft wine kit does instruct you to add the sulfites several weeks before bottling if you are bulk aging the wine. They also instruct you to use a solid stopper during this time which will trap the sulfites in the wine. If you use an airlock at this time, some of the sulfites will escape so we would recommend adding more at bottling time.
      Using potassium sorbate is always a good idea.

  55. John, just be clear, you should be adding one Campden tablet per each gallon of crushed fruit. And yes, the Campden tablet should be crushed first. You should stir in the crushed Campden tablets right away. There should be no delay at all in the process. Crush the Campden tablets; add them to the the crushed grapes; and stir them in. Any needed sugar should be added right away as well. Be sure that it is completely dissolved into the juice. You may want to liquify it into a syrup before adding. Add all the ingredients called for right away, EXCEPT for the yeast. This you will add 24 hours later. Hope this clears things up for you.

  56. If I add campden to the wine after primary fermentation (first rack) how can secondary fermentation begin?

    • Mike, we do not recommend adding campden tablets to the wine at the first rack because they can damage the yeast. You do not want to add campden tablets again until the fermentation completes and then again at bottling time.

  57. Hi Ed,
    Hope I am posting in the correct place .
    I am new at the wine making and made my first 5 gal out of 10 cans of frozen juice concentrate, 4lb of sugar and levin 7B yeast along with 4 tsp of yeast nutrients. My starting SG 1.086 with the PH 3.46.
    After 8 days my SG was 0.994 but then I was stuck with what to do next looked everywhere for next step but no real answer so I went ahead and added super Klee and potassium sorbate. My question is, should I wait for it to clear and for how long can I wait before I bottle, do I add campden tablets now or before I bottle or both. By the way I am using grape concentrate with a fast fermenter. I wish I could find a step by step procedure on how to make wine with concentrate but so far no luck.

    • Dave, yes you do need to wait for the wine to clear before bottling the wine. You can bottle the wine immediately after it clears. The recipe listed below will provide step by step directions. We recommend adding campden tablets after the fermentation completes and then again at bottling time.
      Frozen Concentrate Recipe

    • Ogwal, you want to add 1/2 teaspoon of the potassium sorbate for each gallon of wine. You will need one campden tablet for each gallon of wine. You will need to convert the liters to gallons to find out the correct dosage.

  58. I have a question. So I have been making fruit wine from our home grown cherries and grapes. I have always added campden tablets when I do the initial mixing of fruit,sugar etc. I sterilize everything and clean everything I use with metabisulphite. I’ve never added cambden tablets when racking or final bottling and my wine has always turned out excellent. So am I just fortunate or should I change what I’m doing.

    • Tanya, we are glad that you have not had any issues with your wine. To avoid the possibility of it spoiling, we always recommend adding sulfites at bottling time.

  59. Recent Apple wine instructions lacking. How to extract the juce?
    How to prepare whole apples for wine. Thinking of removing seeds and core, any blemishes, and putting slices into meat grinder. Skin and all. A wine press will work. How about checking brix, add sugar as needed, ferment all of the ground up pulp. Freezing??

    • I simply juice whole apples, or sliced up large ones, in my Jack LeLanne juicer (upgraded to Breville). Just rinse them off first and remove labels. The skin, stems, and seeds end up in the pulp bin and you get good juice for fermentation. I always add honey or sugar or both to achieve a high sweetness level, just by taste. With honey it is technically a cyser, not a cider. I like my cider hard and fairly sweet; most of the sweet is consumed and converted to CO2 and alcohol.
      I leave it in the fermentation bucket for several months, then rack into a carboy. It sits in the carboy for almost a year and sometimes I rack once more to another carboy depending upon the sediment level. I am very patient. I do not use any sulfites during the entire process. I monitor the airlock and when I have not seen any gasses bubble for a month, I rack into bottles. I use reusable flip top bottles and my cider can be a bit fizzy, but not always.
      I keep everything meticulously clean! I use One Step No Rinse Cleaner liberally. I make a one gallon batch in a reused water bottle. I always recapture it and reuse many times. I try to use it on already fairly clean stuff. I only throw it out when its looking really cloudy. Whenever anything is going to be close to my cider, I One Step it first. So far these methods have worked for me.
      One secret is that my cider is pretty high in alcohol when bottled. It kills the yeast almost completely off, so no sulfites are required. Also I use a special mead yeast from Denmark, Chr.Hansen is the manufacturer. It is initially so aggressive that any wild yeast cannot compete.
      BTW, I use Campden tabs or another sulfite initially to kill off wild yeast when making wine, not at racking or bottling. Clean clean clean is the name of the game.

  60. Hi.
    so we should add campden after complete fermentation and before bottling . like before fermentation I should Leave the container open to the air . is it correct?

    • Arshia, unlike when adding sulfites prior to fermentation you do not want them to leave the wine so once added seal the fermenter airtight. You want them trapped in the wine to protect the wine from spoilage.

  61. I have a question. I am trying wine making for the first time as a neighbour of mine had loads of grapes going. I had to get going on it as the grapes were beginning to go over, but still completely fine at that point. So I ordered Campden tablets from Amazon on Wednesday for next day delivery, made the yeast starter on Thursday and then, crushed the grapes and got them in the bucket with some sugar on Friday night. Unfortunately, the tablets never turned up from Amazon! On Sunday I started ringing around trying to get some and failed. The yeast was going mad and the grapes were still sitting in the bucket, waiting. So on sunday night I chucked the yeast starter in the bucket and now it is fermenting like mad but I haven’t put any Campden tablets in. Do you think this is really bad?!! The bloke who gave me the grapes said it will be ok cos the yeast is fermenting the grapes furiously. I am still getting my campden tablets. Can I add some before I put the wine into the demi-Johns in a few days? What do you think? I am so worried about wasting my neighbour’s grapes.

    • Catherine, if you add the campden tablets now after adding the yeast, you will destroy the yeast and will need to add more yeast to complete the fermentation. When you add Campden tablets to a wine must prior to fermentation, it is to add SO2, or sulfur dioxide, to sanitize it. All the wild mold and bacteria are destroyed by the SO2’s presence. I definitely would not give up on the wine. For more information, please see the article posted below.
      I Forgot To Add Campden Tablets

    • Catherine, if you add the campden tablets now after adding the yeast, you will destroy the yeast and will need to add more yeast to complete the fermentation. When you add Campden tablets to a wine must prior to fermentation, it is to add SO2, or sulfur dioxide, to sanitize it. All the wild mold and bacteria are destroyed by the SO2’s presence. I definitely would not give up on the wine. For more information, please see the article posted below.
      I Forgot To Add Campden Tablets

  62. Hi, I added the 1 Camden tablet per gallon for my muscadine wine before fermentation. I now have a very nice red wine almost ready to bottle.
    For the last batch of red, I added another tablet per gallon before bottling. When I did that last, I lost all color in my red. It turned light orange plus it had an off flavor. I tested another pint of this current batch and it killed my color again (and that was with a 1/4 of a dose)
    Could I possibly have too much sulfide when I dose it a second time?
    I tried adjusting the pH on the “bleached” bottled wine but there is no color change. I’m probably pouring out that batch.
    Can I skip the sulfide and bottle it as long as I add sorbate?

      • John, on occasion the addition of sulfites can cause a temporary color change in the wine. This color change should only last a few hours.

  63. We’re making blackberry/bramble wine, and all the fruit has been frozen for at least a few weeks (some since last year).
    Will the freezing process have been sufficient to kill the natural yeasts or should we still add campden tabs?

    • Karen, we recommend giving the fruit a sulfite bath before freezing so if you did not do that, we recommend adding sulfites before use.

  64. Hello- I’ve been making wild fruit wine for sometime, and never used Camden tablets as I try to avoid chemicals. However, after some very odd elderflower champaign problems this summer, I’ve added Camden tablets to both rhubarb and elderberry before fermentation. In both case, it bleached most of the colour out. I had to add food colouring to the rhubarb as it looked like old washing-up water.
    I have never read of this being an effect of the tablets- surely it can’t be normal? I don’t use them now, preferring the slight risk of spoiling to having limp-coloured wines.

  65. Hello,
    Do I need to use campden tablets when storing my wine ( My wine is made from bottled grape juice)
    If yes how many campden tablets for 1 liter bottle

    • Elie, anytime you bottle wine no matter how it is made, we recommend adding campden tablets at bottling. They are added to keep the wine fresh and to prevent spoilage. The recommended dosage is one tablet for each gallon of wine.

  66. We added Campden tablets to our must, and when it came time to add yeast 24 hours later, we realized we had lost the packet. It will be close to a week now before we’re able to get more yeast and add it. Should we add another tablet 24 hours before adding yeast to kill any natural yeasts that might’ve infiltrated? Thank you so much!

    • William, if you have the fermenter sealed up it should be fine without adding more campden.

  67. I could really use some advice. My Red wine has a Ph of 3.65 its free SO2 is 28ppm. My question is this …..from all that I have read my free SO2 level is directly related to my PH. If I understand the chart for free SO2 goals my free SO2 level should be at about 42-45ppm. Is this over doing it. If not then how do I go from 28ppm to 42-45 ppm using campden tablets? This would be my last rack before I bottle in 6 months from now. I will be introducing oak wine spirals for the last 6 months of ageing. I appreciate any advice that you might offer.

    • Al, pH has very little effect on the SO2. It may vary about 5 percent. So if you have a pH reading that is in the appropriate range, you can simply follow the product directions and it be within the correct range.

  68. Since my muscadines already have wild yeast on them, why must I kill that yeast before adding domestic yeast? Is it because there is bacteria in there besides the wild yeast? Could I not just add some domestic yeast to the wild yeast already in there? I haven’t seen this addressed and just wondered what the results would be. I do read a lot of articles were the winemakers only use the wild yeast already in their fruit.

  69. Hi there, I’m just ready to rack my gorse wine and the hydrometer reading says that the wine is medium. Is there any way to make the wine dry? Thanks so much.

    • Louise, if the hydrometer reading still shows sugar in the juice, the fermentation is not complete. When the specific gravity reading is .998 or less, the fermentation is complete and the wine will be dry. If you try to bottle it before it completes, it could cause the corks to pop or even worse, the bottle could explode from the pressure. You need to let the fermentation complete before bottling. If the fermentation is stuck on the same reading, you might want to take a look at the article link posted below on the most common reasons for fermentation failure.
      Top Reasons For Fermentation Failure

  70. Trying my first wack at home wine making from fresh fruit. I wanted to do a 4 day cold soak should my campden tablet be added right at the beginning of my cold soak? And add yeast 4 days later? Or should another dose be added 24 hours before yeast?

    • Dan, the purpose of adding the sulfites before you add the yeast is to destroy the wild yeast and bacteria, so you do not need to add any additional sulfites before adding the yeast.

  71. Hi,
    I’ve just started my batch of blackberry wine for this year made with fresh blackberries.
    I’ve just added the first dose of Campden before I add the yeast in 24 hours.
    I intend to barrel age this wine in French Oak 50l cask for about 6 months and also fortify it with apple auqua vitae up to about 18 percent.
    Do you have any advice on the use of Campden or other additions to make sure the wine does not spoil in the cask before bottling?
    Many thanks.

    • Stephen, while bulk aging in any type of fermenter, you want to add one campden tablet for each gallon of wine to prevent spoilage. If aging longer that 6 months, we suggest replenishing them after 6 months.

      • Ed, Thanks for this great article. (This my first go at winemaking)

        I added 3 tablets into my 3 Gal carboy of white wine after the last racking (back in Oct 2020). It has now aged 6 months. I tasted it the other day and it is quite drinkable and pleasant. I want to go ahead and bottle. However, to ensure I fully understand the campden thing, I have a few questions:

        1. Do I still need to give it that last dose into the carboy before bottling?
        2. If yes, Do I need to stir it after adding? (I’m afraid to stir due to sediment collected at the bottom of carboy.)
        3. Do I use the airlock or completely plug it after adding?
        3. How long after adding do I wait before I bottle?

        I appreciate all the energy you give to winemaking advice for us rookies.
        Thank you!

  72. Immediately after adding the Potassium Metabisulphite, I realized I had misread the recipe. I had just crushed the fruit, added yeast nutrient, and sugar. In 12 hrs I am suppose to add the Pectic enzyme. After research on this site, it says to use the “splashing” method to remove excess so fermentation can occur. In the recipe I am using, I still have 12 more hours after pectic enzyme before adding the yeast. Should I start the splashing method now before I add the yeast or wait until after I add the yeast to see what happens. (Yes, I added 1/4 tsp for each of my 6 gallons instead of the 1/4 tsp for the entire batch). Bet I won’t do that again!!! Dang it.

    • Monica, because the sulfites damage yeast, you want to try to get rid of the sulfites before adding the yeast.

  73. I have prepared wine only using pear and sugar and left it to ferment. Now can I add campden tablet to it?

    • Logan, Yes, you can add campden tablets to the wine at this time. However, it sounds like you did not add any wine yeast. If the fermentation did not complete with the wild yeast, you will need to wait 24 hours after adding the campden tablets and add wine yeast to complete the fermentation.

  74. I am making wine from homegrown grapes and failed to add Campden tablets before adding the yeast. Is there anything I can do to remedy this?

    • Carolyn, You can add the campden tablets now but you will need to wait 24 hours and then add more yeast.

  75. If using yeast nutrient, Pectic enzyme, acid blend and wine tannin should those be added before or after adding campden tablets? (I’ve already gathered that you want to add both juice and sugar before using campden tablets.)
    Great resource, thanks!

    • Nick, all of the ingredients called for in the recipe can be added at the same time except the yeast. If you add the ingredients before , after or at the same time you add the campden tablets it does not matter.

    • Andrew, Yes you can. Just let it sit 24 hours without an airlock and covered only with a towel and then add the new yeast.

  76. Ed, I posted this under one of your responses to another fan’s question above but realized you may not see it so I’m reposting as a new question.
    First off, thanks for this great article. (This my first go at winemaking)

    I added 3 tablets into my 3 Gal carboy of white wine after the last racking (back in Oct 2020). It has now aged 6 months. I tasted it the other day and it is quite drinkable and pleasant. I want to go ahead and bottle. However, to ensure I fully understand the campden thing, I have a few questions:

    1. Do I still need to give it that last dose into the carboy before bottling?
    2. If yes, Do I need to stir it after adding? (I’m afraid to stir due to sediment collected at the bottom of carboy.)
    3. Do I use the airlock or completely plug it after adding?
    3. How long after adding do I wait before I bottle?

    I appreciate all the time and energy you devote to winemaking advice for us rookies.
    Thank you!

  77. Hi I’ve made a mistake by adding 5camden tablets to the beginning of my fruit juice wine and it’s killed the yeast is there anyway I ca revive it or do I just bin the lot 5 gallons started at 1 40

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