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-   -   D'oh, juice with preservatives, can I ferment it? (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f32/doh-juice-preservatives-can-i-ferment-89027/)

ColoradoXJ13 11-16-2008 07:58 PM

D'oh, juice with preservatives, can I ferment it?
I bought 5 gallons of apple cider that said pasteurized, and I didn't bother to check the label. Pitched a packet of nottingham on thursday, and nothing yet, no change in SG, no signs of fermentation. Checked the bottles, says is contains less than 1/10 of 1% (i.e. <0.1%) Potassium Sorbate and Sodium Benzoate.

Should I pitch a few more packages of Nottingham? Will it help or should I just drink it quickly before it spoils?

BarleyWater 11-16-2008 08:00 PM


Potassium sorbate is used to inhibit molds and yeasts in many foods, such as cheese, wine, yogurt, dried meats, apple cider and baked goods
It ain't gonna do a thing.

Yooper 11-16-2008 08:14 PM

Sorry to say, but sorbate is so effective as a preservative, I don't think you'd have any luck. If that's combined with benzoate, you've got a double whammy. I don't think that will ferment, no matter what you do.

conpewter 11-16-2008 08:24 PM

Hmm well at least you have some apple juice with the added health benefit of brewers yeast!

RugenBrau 11-17-2008 12:33 AM

I'd freeze it and save it for a party at Christmas that required a mulled cider

Pogo 11-17-2008 01:17 AM

The same thing happened to me once.

I finally overcame the preservatives by repitching yeast, with nutrients, every other day.

It finally took off, and turned out great, after the fourth repitch.

Good luck!


ColoradoXJ13 11-17-2008 03:08 AM

well, I pitched three more packages of nottingham today...I'll see what happens...if it doesn't start in a few days, I'll just keg it and drink carbed cider for the next few weeks...

Piazzon12 11-17-2008 04:32 PM

I've made that mistake now twice. I used champagne yeast, and both times it came out great. Takes a little longer to take off... and added extra nutrient... but in the end it worked

giligson 11-17-2008 06:00 PM

It's all a question of how much suicide yeast you will need.

Suicide yeast= eat up the sorbate die and fall out of solution.
After 3 packs worth of yeast you may want to rack off the juice to prevent the dead yeast autolysing and releasing their cargo of sorbate

as to sorbates mode of action:

Action:(from http://www.omri.org/Ksorbate_final.pdf)
The exact mechanism by which sorbic acid and its potassium salt inhibits microbial growth is not entirely understood. No
single mechanism appears to explain the range of toxicity to various spoilage organisms. Sorbic acid inhibits the transport
of carbohydrates into yeast cells, inhibits oxidative and fermentative assimilation, and uncouples oxidative phosphorylation
in a variety of bacteria (Dorko et al., 1997). Other mechanisms proposed appear to be related to the inability of molds to
metabolize sorbic acid (Lindsay, 1996).

drizzle 02-06-2013 07:48 PM

So did repitching the yeast work ?? Im have the same issue but I read the lables of my juice and saw no sorbate just vitamin c and malic acid Ive pitched it twice and think maybe I had bad yeast or killed the yeast (water may have been too hot). But I have no activity in the air lock any advice would be appreciated.

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