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Old 02-19-2014, 07:26 PM   #1
The13th
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Default Oops, potassium sorbate. What next?

Rather than going to an orchard for cider, like I normally do, I decided to make a new batch using some apple cider I found in my local health food store. I used Zeigler's brand apple cider. The label said "no preservatives" so I thought I was fine, bought 2 gallons of it, and started a new batch this afternoon. As I was rinsing out the empty containers, I happened to read on the label that there was some potassium in it. A visit to the Zeigler's website confirmed my fear that they had added potassium sorbate to the cider as a preservative.

So now my cider has been sitting in the carboy for about 2 hours already and I'm worried that it's not going to ferment. Is there anything I can do?

In addition to 2 gallons of cider, I also used a cup of brown sugar, and a pack of Lalvin D47 yeast. My OG, if it matters, was about 1.05.

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Old 02-19-2014, 10:42 PM   #2
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You can make a very large starter to try and overcome the sorbate. Sorbate prevents reproduction.

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Old 02-20-2014, 04:24 PM   #3
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Thanks. When I woke up this morning, I could see that some fermentation is going on. Would it be better to add a starter now or wait until whatever fermentation I currently have comes to a stop?

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Old 02-20-2014, 06:13 PM   #4
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I may be wrong, but I've heard heat can breakdown the sorbate, but if you have already pitched, that would kill your yeast too.


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Old 02-21-2014, 05:02 AM   #5
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I've done that. If you have activity, you are probably G2G.

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Old 02-21-2014, 05:55 AM   #6
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And email Zeigler and the health food store how unhappy you are about their bogus "no preservatives" labeling.

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Old 02-21-2014, 10:27 AM   #7
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Honestly, I would dump it and try again with something else.

There is no point in wasting all that time for a cider that either wont turn out, or will turn out very bad.

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Old 02-21-2014, 01:23 PM   #8
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Mopar, if he is like me, he hasn't had all of his fermentors full in over a year. It doesn't cost him anything to let this one ride. He might want to consider starting another to run at the same time though.

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Old 02-21-2014, 08:27 PM   #9
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Thanks for all of the comments. I'm actually getting the same amount of activity with this batch now as I've gotten with some other batches I made in the past, so I'm going to let this one ride out and see how it goes. I'm guessing because I'm making such a small batch, there was enough yeast to overcome the sorbate at least in the beginning.

If it works out, great. If it doesn't, I'm out 12 bucks and a few weeks of waiting. At any rate, I've learned to read the labels more closely from now on.

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