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Home Brew Forums > Wine, Mead, Cider, Sake & Soda > Cider Forum > Possible preservative issue
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Old 11-11-2009, 08:22 PM   #1
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Default Possible preservative issue

This will be a rant so continue reading if you would like.
On Saturday i had the day free. I wanted to make a holiday cider. I thought what better way to get fresh apple cider with no preservatives then to make my own apple cider from fresh apples.
This was my first mistake, i read online you can make it using a blender and cheese cloth. Nope not easy at all. had to hand slice up the apples small enough that i could run them through my food processor one at a time. I do not have a juicer. I bought 8 lbs apples and got 3/4 gallon of fresh cider!!! Took hours.

Mistake 2: Buying the first store bought cider i saw after my sodium metabisulphite was mixed in the fresh apples for 24 hrs. Need to go to the store to check to make sure the cider was preservative free.

Added 2 lbs brown sugar and finally hydrated some notty and pitched it.
I checked my date code on my notty to make sure it was not a bad batch, didn't seem to fall into the bad batch date code i got off here.

So my only guess is the cider i bought had potassium sorbate in it.

After doing much searching on here it is able to ferment it out with mega amounts of yeast, prolly wont bottle carb, and most lilkey will taste bad due to the preservatives.

i just needed to explain to some one my frustration of me being dumb and not checking for preservatives!!!

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Old 11-13-2009, 12:36 PM   #2
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What kind of preservatives are in it? Don't 'guess' it's potassium sorbate, find out for sure! How much of it did you buy and how much of a batch did you get total? 2 lbs of brown sugar should be OK for a 5 gallon batch.

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Old 11-13-2009, 03:28 PM   #3
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I made a similar mistake. I checked the label of a gallon jug and did not see any perservatives listed. But most of the jugs in this cooler were smooshed probably from being in a bottom box in an overloaded truck. So I saw a cooler opposite from the one I pulled this jug from. They had the same labels so I did not look for preservatives, instead I was looking for non smooshed jugs. I bought 4 gallons total. I made a 5 gallon batch of Brandon O's Graff pitched the yeast. In the morning I got up and there was no airlock activity. So I got parinoid and went to check the recycle bin. On 3 of the jugs I bought there was a small label on the back saying it had k-sorbate and sodium benzoate!!!! They had the same exact label as the jug I originally picked up so I can only assume that it too had preservatives in it.

So I went to work feeling all bummed and was thinking about stopping by the LHBS to get more ale yeast on the way home. I ended up not doing that and just giving it a chance to get going. I figured the 1 gallon of malt might dilute it enough to give it a chance to get going. I got home to find the airlock pushed up and it bubbling every 2 min and 30 seconds. I make mead also so I had some nutrients and energizer handy. I dumped some of that in the jug and by the next day it was bubbling every 40 seconds or so. 1 month later it is still going and I get a bubble every 14 seconds. In the mean time I started and am about ready to bottle another batch of Graff.

Moral of the story. Relax, dump some yeast nutrients/energizer in if you have some, and hope for the best. Next time buy only cider from a mill and call them before hand to see if they use preservatives. Calling ahead of time has saved me 2 car rides so far! Good luck with your batch, I think because you blended it you may have a fighting chance. It may not turn out as good as it could have, but it might not be a total waste either.

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Old 11-13-2009, 08:06 PM   #4
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I did go back to the store and checked the label. It does contain potassium sorbate. I used 2 lb brown sugar, 1/2 to 3/4 gallon home pressed cider, 1 gallon apple juice, 3 gallon cider (the three gallons have potassium sorbate added). 11g notty re hydrated.

I have a yeast cake i can pitch on to as well as all the yeast nutrient and energizers for mead making.

Do you suggest i use the yeast cake from a 5 gallon batch (American ale yeast) or should i rehydrate a bunch of dry yeast.

How much nutrient and energizer should i add and how often?

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Old 11-13-2009, 09:16 PM   #5
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I only had enough nutrient/energizer to give it what the instructions on package said. Mine has been a slow ferment, so you might want to try a staggered feeding like you do with a show mead.

The yeast cake would be your best bet to over power the k-sorb. At this point it is kind of an experiment. The goal is to try and get it to finnish out with out tasting bad. Mine still smells sweet. I think I am going to get some more nutrients/energizer to see if I can speed this thing up. I will post back with results.

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Old 11-14-2009, 02:01 AM   #6
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I've intentionally fermented sorbated cider twice and had good results. Both times with Nottingham yeast cakes from the primary of a 5 gallon ale. I've heard that it can cause flavor problems, but I've had none. You definitely have to pitch a significant population since the sorbate inhibits budding. Not really practical for anything but the smallest batches.

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Old 11-18-2009, 01:51 AM   #7
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I added a full dose of nutrients/energizer and repitched a packet of US-05 a few hours after that. Now I am getting a bubble every 4-5 seconds. I am going to let it run 2 more weeks and I will take a gravity reading.

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Old 11-18-2009, 05:12 AM   #8
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had made the same mistake with the first of the year fresh cider here, did many things and got fermentation going but slow, finally after a month and dismal brix readings i pitched it and used the carboy for ol bandons's graff, its great! im on my third now and bottled it saturday. so i guess im saying if your patient enough you will get results but according to my chemistry major brewing aquaintence the fermentation is not going to give the same chemical final product as a normal ferment because of the way chemistry changes at different times during the ferment and how the yeast adapt to those changes. he did say that the difference may turn out for the better who knows, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
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Old 11-18-2009, 09:22 AM   #9
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so i added the 5 gallons of cider to a yeast cake on sat morning November 14th. Checked the gravity today and it dropped 0.004. I added nutrient and energizer as well.
I think the cake had been sitting too long that it was not active enough. It had sat for over a month.

I am guessing it is going to go slow. Maybe i should dump it and just start over.

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Old 11-20-2009, 02:19 PM   #10
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I tried to ferment some cider that contained sorbate in it. After a month and a half it still was no where near where it needed to be. 1050 still for a gravity reading and it was getting all sorts of weird flavours. I finally just gave up and bought some new cider from an orgainc producer that was perservative free.

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