Citric Acid and SO2 Method for Cleaning Barrels

Household Measurements

Follow these steps using the amounts listed in the Table below.

  1. Rinse the barrel with cold water several times with the barrel about 1/4 full of water rolling both sideways and end for end.
  2. Fill half-way with water.
  3. Add sodium bisulphate solution from the table below. Normally, sodium metabisulfite is used for cleaning barrels while potassium metabisulfite is used for addition to musts or wine.
  4. Add citric acid solution from the table below.
  5. Mix by rolling, fill completely with cold water, replace bung and place into storage. If sterilizing for wine use, let stand for 48 hours and then rinse several times with cold water before using.
  6. If storing the barrel, check the level in the barrel every month and add cold water to keep barrel full. For an active and fresh solution, change the water and refill the citric acid and sulfite solution every 2-3 months.
Household Measurements
Gallons of Wine Sodium Bisulfate Citric Acid
1 2 teaspoons in 1/2 cup water 1 teaspoon in 1/2 cup water
2 4 teaspoons in 1/2 cup water 2 teaspoons in 1/2 cup water
5 3 tablespoons in 1 pint water 1-1/2 tablespoons in 1 pint water
10 1/3 cup in 1 pint water 3 tablespoons in 1 pint water
15 1/2 cup in 1 pint water 5 tablespoons in 1 pint water
25 3/4 cup in 1 quart water 1/2 cup in 1 quart water
50 1-1/2 cup in 1 gallon water 1 cup in 1 gallon water

Metric Equivalents

Follow these steps using the amounts listed in the Table below.

  1. Rinse the barrel with cold water several times with the barrel about 1/4 full of water rolling both sideways and end for end.
  2. Fill half-way with water.
  3. Add sodium bisulfite solution from the table below. Normally, sodium metabisulfite is used for cleaning barrels while potassium metabisulfite is used for addition to musts or wine.
  4. Add citric acid solution from the table below.
  5. Mix by rolling, fill completely with cold water, replace bung and place into storage. If sterilizing for wine use, let stand for 48 hours and then rinse several times with cold water before using.
  6. If storing the barrel, check the level in the barrel every month and add cold water to keep barrel full. For an active and fresh solution, change the water and refill the citric acid and sulfite solution every 2-3 months.
Metric Equivalents
Gallons of Wine Sodium Bisulfate Citric Acid
1 9 grams in 240 ml water 5 grams1 in 240 ml water
2 18 grams in 240 ml water 9 grams in 240 ml water
5 46 grams in 480 ml water 23 grams in 480 ml water
10 92 grams1 in 480 ml water 46 grams in 480 ml water
15 140 grams in 480 ml water 70 grams in 480 ml water
25 230 grams in 950 ml water 115 grams in 950 ml water
50 460 grams in 3.8 liters water 230 grams in 3.8 liters water

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