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Old 10-25-2010, 01:28 PM   #1
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Default Cider not fermenting

I added yeast to my cider yesterday and it does not appear to be fermenting., The cider jug said it had less than 1/10 of 1% potassium sorbate for freshness and I suspect that might be the reason. What can I do to get it going? Or is this batch ruined?

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Old 10-25-2010, 02:33 PM   #2
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Potassium sorbate prevents yeast from multiplying. Existing yeast will still do their job, but fermentation will take a long time. You can try adding a couple packets of dry wine yeast to boost the cell count.

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Old 10-25-2010, 03:32 PM   #3
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I, alas, made the same mistake. Pitched 4 packets of Red Star Champagne on top of my initial pitch. Seems to be alive, but just barely.

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Old 10-25-2010, 03:45 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whino View Post
I added yeast to my cider yesterday and it does not appear to be fermenting., The cider jug said it had less than 1/10 of 1% potassium sorbate for freshness and I suspect that might be the reason. What can I do to get it going? Or is this batch ruined?
1/10 of 1% is still 1000ppm solution. P Sorbate is effective in much smaller quantities.
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Old 10-25-2010, 03:50 PM   #5
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Make a Starter.

1. Get a fresh apple or two and put it in a food processer or juicer and make a fresh juice.
2. Put the juice in a quart jar, half gallon jug or something that is foodgrade.
3. Add a table spoon of regular sugar and then your yeast package with warm water. (this does need a airlock of some form, a simple quart jar with a loose lid will work fine for a air lock.)
4. Let it sit for a day or so untill you can tell the obvious signs active yeast. (can take up to several days.)
5. Pour into fermenter. (it is fine to have larger chunks of pulp ferment, they can be filtered out later.)

So once the yeast is put into the primary, they wont reproduce anymore (because of the potassium sorbate,) but making the starter will allow them to reproduce enough to get the job done with juice that has potassium sorbate.

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Old 10-25-2010, 03:58 PM   #6
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If you haven't invested a lot, I'd just start over. Get some juice without any sorbate or preservatives, it's very easy to find. They add those to keep the juice from doing what you are trying to get it to do. You can overcome it, but with uncertain and mixed results. For example, if the yeast do get going, they will probably be stressed and might produce off flavors that will require longer aging. Just my two cents, of course.

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Old 10-26-2010, 02:08 PM   #7
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Can I do anything to jump start it?

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Old 10-26-2010, 04:29 PM   #8
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Can I do anything to jump start it?
Yes you can. Read my post above. That will make it work. The starter will produce enough yeast cells to get the job done. Give it a shot.
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Old 10-12-2011, 05:51 PM   #9
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Hey guys....not to restart an old thread, but this one saved the day for me. I've been trying to create a nice cyser, and thought I had found the most delicious apple cider to do it with. Well, after a few weeks of trying different things, I had only gotten a small bit of fermentation.

Never in a million years would I have thought to look for potassium sorbate. In all the recipes I found, nobody ever mentioned to look out for it. In fact, the cider I used was loaded with it. But now I know, and as we all know, knowing is half the battle.

Anyway, I just wanted to thank everyone on this site for the great info! I'm so glad I found it!

-chazlink

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