Since getting more serious with our ciders these past couple of years I’ve been thinking about ‘killing off’ the natural yeast (along with any nasties) and using an external beastie to do all the heavy lifting, but I’ve always shied away from adding sulphides at the start of a brew because I couldn’t get my head around how that might affect the subsequently added yeast.
Well, the clever chaps over at Vigo Presses reckon that it’s OK to add Sodium Metasulphite as long as you leave at least 24 hours before pitching your yeast, as that “allows time for the free sulphur dioxide to disappear before the yeast is added so as not to inhibit the yeast”.
Sounds like a plan to me. I’ve ordered a couple of packs of Mangrove Jacks M02 cider yeast which should be here in 2 days or so, and this morning I added 2 crushed Campden tablets to each 23 litre bucket, first dissolved in a little warm water. The change in colour was immediate and very apparent, generating a light coloured swirl in the dark apple juice. There shouldn’t be any fermentation now but I fitted airlocks just in case.