When To Add Campden Tablets

Campden tablets are a commonly used additive in winemaking and . They are made from potassium metabisulfite, a compound that releases sulfur dioxide when dissolved in . This sulfur dioxide acts as a preservative and antimicrobial agent, helping to prevent spoilage and oxidation in the or .

One of the main reasons to use Campden tablets is to kill off any wild or bacteria that may be present in the must or wort before fermentation begins. This is especially important when making homemade wines or beers, as these unwanted microorganisms can cause off-flavors and spoilage.

When to add Campden tablets depends on the specific stage of fermentation or brewing process. Here are some general guidelines:

1. Pre-Fermentation: Before starting fermentation, it is recommended to add Campden tablets to the must or wort. The tablets should be crushed and stirred directly into the liquid. The dosage will depend on the volume of the must or wort, but a common ratio is 1 crushed tablet per gallon (3.8 liters) of liquid. This will help to inhibit the growth of unwanted microorganisms and prepare the liquid for fermentation.

2. Post-Fermentation: Once the primary fermentation is complete, it is advisable to add another dose of Campden tablets. This step helps to stabilize the wine or beer and prevent any residual fermentation from occurring. Before adding the tablets, it is essential to confirm that fermentation has indeed finished. This can be done by using a wine hydrometer to measure the specific gravity of the liquid. If the specific gravity remains constant over a few days, fermentation is likely complete, and it is safe to add the tablets.

3. Bottling: The final stage where Campden tablets are commonly used is right before bottling. This step is crucial for preventing any potential refermentation in the bottle, which can result in excessive carbonation or even bottle explosions. The dosage for this step is typically 1 crushed tablet per gallon (3.8 liters) of liquid.

It is important to note that Campden tablets should be used with caution, as excessive amounts can lead to off-flavors in the final product. It is always recommended to follow the dosage instructions provided with the tablets or consult a recipe or winemaking guide for specific guidelines.

Campden tablets are a valuable tool in winemaking and brewing. They help to ensure a clean and stable fermentation process by inhibiting the growth of unwanted microorganisms. By adding Campden tablets at the appropriate stages of the process, you can significantly improve the quality and longevity of your homemade wines and beers.

when to add campden tablets

What Temperature Do You Add Campden Tablets?

Campden tablets are commonly used in home brewing to treat water and eliminate chlorine or other potential contaminants. The temperature at which you add Campden tablets to your water is an important factor to consider.

Typically, it is recommended to add Campden tablets to your water when it is at a cool temperature, around 65°F (18°C). This is because the tablets work more effectively at lower temperatures. Adding them to colder water allows for better dispersion and dissolution of the tablets, ensuring that they can effectively treat the water.

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to add Campden tablets to your brewing water:

1. Fill your kettle with water the night before brewing. It is ideal to use cold tap water for this purpose.

2. Crush 1/4 to 1/2 of a Campden tablet for each kettle of water you plan to treat. You can use a mortar and pestle or any other suitable method to crush the tablet into a fine powder.

3. Sprinkle the crushed Campden tablet powder evenly over the water in the kettle.

4. Stir the water thoroughly to aid in the dissolution of the Campden tablet. Make sure the tablet is well dispersed throughout the water.

5. Let the water sit overnight, allowing the Campden tablet to fully dissolve and treat the water. This overnight resting period also allows any chlorine or other contaminants to dissipate.

6. When you start brewing, heat the water in the kettle as needed for your specific brewing process. The temperature will rise naturally during this heating process.

By adding the Campden tablets to the water the night before brewing and allowing them to dissolve overnight, you ensure that the water is properly treated and free from any unwanted chlorine or contaminants. This will contribute to the overall quality and taste of your homebrew.

How Do I Add Campden Tablets To Must?

To add Campden tablets to your must, you will first need to crush the tablets. This can be done using a glass mortar and pestle. Make sure to crush the tablet until it becomes a fine powder.

Once you have the crushed Campden tablet, you can stir it directly into the must. This will help to inhibit the growth of unwanted bacteria and yeast.

If you prefer to dissolve the Campden tablet before adding it to the must, you can do so by following these steps:

1. Crush the tablet into a fine powder using a glass mortar and pestle.
2. Take 1/3 cup of hot water and pour the crushed tablet powder into it.
3. Use a sanitized bamboo whip or a stainless steel fork to beat the powder into the hot water. This will help the powder dissolve more easily.
4. Once the tablet is fully dissolved in the hot water, you can add it to the must.

It is important to note that the Campden tablet is typically used in winemaking to stabilize the must and prevent spoilage. It is recommended to follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer and consult a winemaking guide for specific measurements and usage guidelines.

By properly adding Campden tablets to your must, you can help ensure a successful fermentation process and maintain the quality of your wine.


Campden tablets are a valuable tool in winemaking to ensure the success and quality of your wine. They serve multiple purposes throughout the fermentation and bottling process.

During the initial stages of winemaking, Campden tablets are used to sanitize the must and prevent the growth of unwanted bacteria and wild yeasts. This is crucial in maintaining a clean and healthy fermentation environment, allowing the desired wine yeast to thrive and produce the desired flavors and aromas.

After fermentation has completed, it is recommended to add another dose of Campden tablets to stabilize the wine and prevent any further fermentation or spoilage. This additional dose helps to ensure that the wine remains in a stable and consistent state, ready for bottling.

Before bottling, a final dose of Campden tablets is often added to further protect the wine from oxidation and microbial contamination. This step helps to extend the shelf life of the wine and maintain its freshness and quality over time.

If a fermentation issue arises, such as a stuck or sluggish fermentation, adding another packet of wine yeast can help to kickstart the fermentation process. This simple remedy can save a batch of wine and get it back on track towards completion.

To properly use Campden tablets, it is important to crush them before adding them to the wine must or hot water. This ensures that the active ingredients are released and distributed evenly throughout the wine, maximizing their effectiveness.

Campden tablets are a reliable and effective tool in winemaking, providing sanitization, stabilization, and protection to your precious wine. By following the recommended dosage and timing, you can confidently produce high-quality wines with consistent results.

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Thomas Ashford

Thomas Ashford is a highly educated brewer with years of experience in the industry. He has a Bachelor Degree in Chemistry and a Master Degree in Brewing Science. He is also BJCP Certified Beer Judge. Tom has worked hard to become one of the most experienced brewers in the industry. He has experience monitoring brewhouse and cellaring operations, coordinating brewhouse projects, and optimizing brewery operations for maximum efficiency. He is also familiar mixology and an experienced sommelier. Tom is an expert organizer of beer festivals, wine tastings, and brewery tours.