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Old 10-12-2012, 01:00 AM   #1
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Default Sanitizing Apfelwein ingredients?

I just made my first batch of Apfelwein and I followed the recipe exactly except I added about 1 tsp of yeast energizer and I re hydrated the yeast before pitching. Since I was using corn sugar from an unopened 4lb bag I had to measure out 2lbs for the recipe wich means the sugar came in contact with a bowl for weighing purposes. I am sure everything will be fine but for the next batch I was wondering if anyone has any ideas on sanitizing the corn sugar and yeast energizer? Here are some possible options:

1) I could boil them in a half gallon of apple juice but I wasn't sure if that would add a pectin haze or cause any other problems...

2) I could add everything to the fermenter and add some campden tablets and let sit 24 hrs before pitching the yeast.

3) Follow Ed's recipe exactly and leave out the yeast energizer and use 2 closed 1lb bags of corn sugar (and assume the corn sugar is sterile in the bags).

Any thoughts ???

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Old 10-12-2012, 12:00 PM   #2
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You are overthinking.

The wine yeast is strong enough to overcome any wild yeasts and the alcohol and sugar are natural anti-bacterial agents.

People have been doing this for thousands of years.

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Old 10-12-2012, 05:07 PM   #3
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if you absolutely feel the need to sanitize this stuff, mix it together, add a 1 camden tablet per gallon and pitch the yeast 12-24 hours later.

but its really an unneeded step.

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Old 10-14-2012, 01:04 AM   #4
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I just noticed some possible pathways to infection and I would like to minimize those as much as possible. I'm sure you at least sanitize your equipment and ingredients for that reason, which is why every piece of information on brewing beer or wine stresses the sanitizing of equipment and ingredients. Since wine is not boiled, most batches start out with a dose of potassium metabisulfate for 24 hrs to avoid off flavors and/or infection from rouge organisms and then the yeast is added. It's not so much the wild yeasts I'm even worried about, it's the bacteria which lives on EVERYTHING and use sugars as a food source. I'm sure alcohol will be produced either way if the right amount of yeast is added, but I would like to have the organism I added as the only thing influencing flavor, as well as making sure my effort, time, and money has not been wasted if the batch turns sour. I know wine yeast is strong and my batch is bubbling away fine but down here in FL it pays to be careful with all the nasties we have!

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Old 10-14-2012, 01:12 AM   #5
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Pretty sure bacteria can't live on very high concentrations of sugar... Like strait corn sugar. Not certain about that but I thought I read it somewhere.

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Old 10-14-2012, 11:13 AM   #6
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You could boil the sugar in a few cups of water to sterilize it if you have doubts... I don't remember if boiling yeast energizer will destroy it or not.

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Old 12-16-2012, 06:08 AM   #7
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Sugar does carry bacteria, but the concentration of the sugar does not allow them to grow (bacteriostatic vs. bacteriocidal). After dilution, these bacteria can cause an infection, but by pitching the yeast right away, the number of cells is overwhelmingly in favor of the yeast. With plenty of sugar to go around, both will grow, but the yeast have a tendency to create a bad environment for most bacteria. That being said, there still is a chance of infection if you get some robust fast growing bacteria in there with enough time. It really depends on how long the sugar is available for, as bacteria will catch up if given the chance.

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Old 12-21-2012, 05:56 PM   #8
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Good info, thanks Vigo!

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