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Old 02-11-2009, 11:52 PM   #1
pizzaman
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Default Potassium Sorbate Substitution

I'm in the process of making a batch of Joe's Quick Grape Mead(Pyment). This is meant to be a quick mead, ready in five weeks (just in time for a party we're hosting) unfortunately it calls for potassium sorbate, which I don't have on hand. I do have the campden tablets, but my lhbs doesn't carry the sorbate.

After searching this and the gotmead forums, I understand what potassium sorbate does, and how it works with the campden tablets to cease fermentation to allow for back-sweetening without creating bottle bombs. I have also found that some juices have potassium sorbate in them, which can't be used in must as it will inhibit yeast activity.

My question is, can I use a juice concentrate that has potassium sorbate in it, along with the campden tablets to do the same thing? Has anyone ever tried this or does anyone know if the amount of potassium sorbate found in typical juice concentrates would be enough to do this?

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Old 02-12-2009, 02:05 AM   #2
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If this is required, and it doesn't need to be ready for 5 weeks why don't you order it online today and you should have it in time. Adding juice concentrate with sorbate and campden tabs all at once wouldn't be enough to stop the yeast from attacking the sugar in the juice concentrate. Normally you would stabilize and then sweeten a few days later.



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Old 02-12-2009, 02:11 AM   #3
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I can't say for sure if your idea will work, but I expect that it won't. The amount of sorbate used in the juices is roughly that which would be required to inhibit the yeast for that concentration. Adding it to mead would dilute the sorbate, and at that point, all bets are off.

You might get by with doubling the amount of sulfite that you add, and skipping the sorbate. That recipe was put together by Joe M. when he was still not used to using sulfite and sorbate, so he added the sorbate along with sulfite based on the information commonly published at the time, essentially to "be sure." If you use enough sulfite to be certain that all the yeast in your mead are dead, then the sorbate isn't absolutely necessary. Especially if you plan on this being consumed relatively quickly (and not put on the shelf for months to years), you might be OK with sulfite alone, especially if you allow it to completely clear and carefully rack it off of the yeast lees before the sulfite addition.

The trouble is, this recipe uses EC-1118, which is one of the most sulfite tolerant strains of yeast on the planet. There are no guarantees that a simple doubling of the sulfite will do the trick. Instead of living this far out on the edge, why don't you order some potassium sorbate from one of the online brewing suppliers? They all ship quickly, and sorbate is a pretty easy thing to find online.

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Old 02-12-2009, 02:23 AM   #4
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I agree with Wayne's analysis, and for the reasons he's mentioned. It would be best if you bought some sorbate, and used it in combination with KMETA.

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Old 02-12-2009, 02:31 AM   #5
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Thanks for the responses.

wayneb, do you know how tolerant K1V-1116 is to sulfite? I ended up using this because I had a multitude on hand and didn't feel like driving to lhbs for one yeast packet.

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Old 02-12-2009, 02:59 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pizzaman View Post
Thanks for the responses.

wayneb, do you know how tolerant K1V-1116 is to sulfite?...
Let me answer this by saying another name for K1V-1116 is "killer strain". Performance-wise, it is quite similar to EC-11118, and has the same 18% EtOH tolerance.
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Old 02-12-2009, 01:54 PM   #7
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Thanks for everyone's help.

I've decided to drive a bit out of my way to the other lhbs to pick up the potassium sorbate, rather than trying to save a buck on that and a few bucks on gas. Whilst I'll be traveling all that way, I'm reminded of numerous mead recipes calling for EC-1118; does this strain really differ from K1V-1116 that much?

From what I've read:
*They're both high alcohol yeasts
*They both work in a wide temperature range
*They're both good for restarting stuck fermentation
*Both have low acidity, H2S, and foam production

**K1V-1116 can survive low nutrient and high sugar conditions
**K1V-1116 meads/wines retain their natural fruit aroma longer
**EC-1118 results in compact lees and a neutral aroma

Thanks for any further input.


[EDIT]I've also found that lalvin rates its K1V-1116 with a "fast" fermentation speed, while it rates EC-1118 with a "very fast" speed. Perhaps this is the reason the 1118 is used in most quick mead recipes I've found? Would fast vs. very fast be that much of a difference really? I've seen 1116 ferment out a gallon of juice in a week flat from 1.080 to 1.000.[/EDIT]

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Old 02-12-2009, 03:11 PM   #8
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I think that it all comes down to your personal preference, based on experience with both strains. 1116 is not a "champagne" yeast, although it is pretty aggressive in itself, but it tends to slightly more fruity ester production than 1118 (1118 is extremely neutral tasting, and as it autolyzes - decomposes - it doesn't add any "off" flavors in the beverage), so 1116 is not customarily used for secondary fermentation in the bottle during "methode champagnoise" bottle carbonation.

I use 1118 when I want the closest to no identifiable yeast character in my finished result, and when I have really high starting gravities, since I've found that it takes off in a super high grav. must a little better than 1116. However 1118 can ferment so fast that it "scrubs" volatile aromatics from the must -- leaving you with a less aromatic and flavorful result. I have used 1116 with success in "light" fruit high grav. melomels, where I want more of that fruit character to remain, and be enhanced, by the yeast.

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Old 02-12-2009, 07:59 PM   #9
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pizzaman: You might find this useful: Winemaking: Strains of Wine Yeast regards, GF.



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