Tartaric Acid Improves Potency!
Sorry guy's this doesn't pertain to your love life. One of the best kept secrets in winemaking is that your SO2, Campden tablets or Sulphite crystals, lose potency in a high pH solutions. A standard solution for sanitizing your winemaking equipment and bottles is 2 ounces of sulfite crystals per 1 US gallon of water. Use cool or cold water when you make your sanitizer (heat degrades its effectiveness), and keep your solution in a tightly closed glass container. That jug of sulphite solution you winemakers keep on hand to sanitize your equipment might need a boost. As little as 1/16 tsp. per gallon of tartaric acid, or acid blend if you don't have tartaric acid, could increase the killing power of your sanitizing solution, sulphite, by as much as tenfold.
To use this sanitizer, simply swoosh it around in or pour it all over the already cleaned equipment that you're planning to use, then pour it back into its container. As long as it smells strongly of sulfur, it's still good. Heat and oxygen can degrade the effectiveness of this solution, so check it often, and if it seems to be losing strength, throw it out and make a fresh batch. Kept tightly sealed, and under normal conditions, this solution will typically last several months.
Brewers, this same trick can improve the killing power of your Iodophor. Yes, if the pH of your water is above 8.5 your Iodophor is more of a breeding ground for bacteria than a killing field. Just a little dab of tartaric acid, that's maybe 1/8 tsp. per five to ten gallons of water will insure that the Iodophor does what you bought it to do. It's important to adjust the pH of the water in which you're mixing the Iodophor rather than just adding more Iodophor to achieve the orange tint to the water. Increasing the amount of Iodophor in the water to achieve the color will impart an iodine flavor in your beer while still breeding bacteria.