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Old 09-14-2007, 05:19 PM   #1
jo7hs2
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Default Overcoming Potassium Sorbate in Zeigler's Apple Cider

Hey folks,

I've been struggling for a while to find a source of decent cider/juice here. Apple juice is fine, but I personally prefer something more akin to sweet "cider" for brewing, and for drinking.

Unfortunately, the only source I have here (besides getting some shipped from family in NY, of which quanities are obviously limited) is Zeigler's Apple Cider. Even that is difficult to find most of the time.

**EDIT: There are two orchards about 2 hours away that may carry un-sorbed cider...investigating**

I did manage to find some Zeigler's today at a local Publix. Now, I already knew that there was Potassium Sorbate in their cider, hence why I was avoiding using it for brewing purposes. But, since they had it, I bought a bunch, because I like it regardless.

Anyway, I know that K-sorb doesn't kill yeast, it just inhibits their growth. My question is, does anybody have a fairly reliable method of overwhelming the k-sorb and getting fermentation going?

Should I let the yeast get fired up on some apple juice and nutrient the night before? Should I double dip on the yeast? Any advice?

I will probably brew with two of the following yeasts: WLP720 Sweet Mead/Wine Yeast, WLP775 English Cider Yeast, or Weihenstephan Weizen Wyeast W3068.

Keep in mind that I brew in 1-2 gallon batches.

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Primary: Josh's We Don't Need No Stinking Preservations Cider, As Yet Unnamed White Labs English Cider yeast + Georgia Cider Test
Secondary: Josh's Apples and Sweet Mead Yeast Cider, Josh's 1080 Cider, EdWorts Apfelwein


Last edited by jo7hs2; 10-04-2007 at 12:28 AM.
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Old 09-14-2007, 06:01 PM   #2
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Reading these...

"Potassium Sorbate does not kill the yeast at all, but rather it
makes the yeast sterile. In other words, it impairs the yeast's
ability to reproduce itself. But, it does not hinder the yeast's
ability to ferment sugar into alcohol.

Potassium Sorbate puts a coating on the cell wall of each
individual yeast in such a way that budding or multiplying is
next to impossible.

The idea here is that if you happen to have few cells of live
yeast remaining in your finished wine, they will be rendered
harmless if they are unable to regenerate themselves to great
enough numbers to invigorate a fermentation of any kind. This is
true even if more sugar is added to the finished wine."
- http://www.eckraus.com/wine-making-s...mentation.html

"Potassium sorbate does not interact with the residual sugar in any way. Sorbate prevents fermentation by acting on the yeast cells, but it does not kill the yeast. Sorbic acid passes through the cell membrane easily, and the yeast cell is prevented from generating a new bud when enough sorbic acid molecules have accumulated. In other words, sorbic acid prevents yeast cells from reproducing, but it does not stop yeast from fermenting sugar.

Sometimes potassium sorbate does not prevent fermentation from restarting because the wine contains too many viable yeast cells. When potassium sorbate and sugar are added to a wine containing many viable yeast cells, the sorbate prevents the yeast from reproducing, but enough yeast cells may be present all ready to ferment the additional sugar. Then, fermentation often occurs after the wine is bottled. The wine is spoiled, and the winemaker is unhappy."
- http://www.geocities.com/lumeisenman/chapt17.html


...suggest to me that there should be some point where the k-sorb is either all tied up inside yeast cells, or that it might be possible to keep adding active yeast from another fermentation. Hmm...

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Primary: Josh's We Don't Need No Stinking Preservations Cider, As Yet Unnamed White Labs English Cider yeast + Georgia Cider Test
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Last edited by jo7hs2; 09-14-2007 at 06:43 PM.
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Old 09-14-2007, 07:28 PM   #3
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Just noticed this is a previous thread on this very site...

"I did not read the lable and just went out and got 4 gal of Zeiglers Apple cider. It has potasium sorbate in it, but it was already in the carboy when I saw this. So I tought I'd dump it last Sunday, but it started. It is going slow and steady now.

5 - 6 days is a long time. Everything was well sanitized, so I'll let it go and see what it tastes like before I bottle it.

Has anyone else had success with cider with a preservative in it?"


- Sean

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/showthre...14860&page=121

Wonder how it turned out...

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Old 09-14-2007, 10:33 PM   #4
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I took 1.5 gallons of the Zeigler's cider, and placed it in my 3 gallon carboy. I racked the 1080 recipe that was in the 3-gallon, reserving the bottom inch or so for use as an active starter for the Zeigler's. The Sweet Mead Yeast from that batch was VERY successful, so hopefully it will stand a chance.

Worst case scenario, I drink a whole bunch of slightly alcoholic cider in a few days before it goes bad.

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Old 09-14-2007, 11:45 PM   #5
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Back in my earlier days before I'd found a local orchard, I was making cider with some decent success that originally had K-sorb in it.

Yeast starter/nutrient and maybe a little sugar was all I needed.

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Old 09-15-2007, 02:09 AM   #6
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OdinOneEye,

Good to hear.

The OG of the Zeiglers was in the 1.050 neighborhood, so I didn't add any sugar, but I did add a bunch of yeast nutrient. I've also reserved some extra still fermenting fluids from my last batch, just in case I need to give it a little kick with some extra active yeast.

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Old 09-15-2007, 03:15 PM   #7
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Well, there is certainly IMMEDIATE fermentation activity. About 6 bubbles per minute already, less than 12 hours after starting. Apparently moving active yeast over works VERY fast.

I see this ending one of three ways:
1) This is a game against time, with the challenge being that the yeast need to ferment enough of the sugar before they die off without producing heirs. My insurance policy against this is that I have a half gallon of still fermenting material from the bottom of my 1080 recipe that I am willing to sacrifice to keep fermentation going in this batch.
2) The yeast are present in large enough numbers that SOME of them are still able to reproduce, either by eventually overwhelming the k-sorb in the solution, or by having some resistance to it. Fermentation proceeds as normal.
3) The amount of k-sorb is simply not sufficient, and fermentation proceeds as normal.

OdinOneEye,

When you fermented with the Zeigler's, did you get a lot of top scum? There is about a 1/4" layer of aerated solids on the top of the liquid.

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Old 09-18-2007, 01:53 AM   #8
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Well, on the forth day I am still seeing around 20-30 blurps per minute, with considerable swirling for cider, imo. The crud settled to the bottom after the second day, and the color is a nice butterscotch. Seems like that Zeigler's will settle out some if you let it sit for a few days.

On the second day I dumped the remainder of the .5 gallon of fermenting 1080 recipe into the mix. That comes out to a total of around 1.5 gallons of Zeigler's, and .6 gallons of that 1080 mix, which was testing at a 1.015 and 9.x% abv. That should both give a kick to the yeast, and some alcohol to protect from infections while the little guys do their work.

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Old 09-18-2007, 02:19 AM   #9
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I didn't necessarily use your brand of cider, but yeah I did have some heavy kreusening from time to time. That's nothing to worry about.
It might go a little slower than normal, but from what you're saying, everything is going about normal.

I hope it turns out good!

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Old 09-18-2007, 10:51 PM   #10
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OdinOneEye,

For some reason my mind read "Zeigler's" into your comment, despite the fact that the word was not found in the post. Odd how the mind works sometimes!

This definately wasn't Krausen. It was an orange-brown clump of sludgy material under the surface. It sank after the second day, but it looked really nasty as the white-ish bubbles from the yeast were breaking through it. Looked like a chemical spill for the first 36 hours!

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