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Old 10-25-2005, 07:43 PM   #1
mch2smw
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Default Potassium sorbate

Started my first cider in the fermenter this past weekend. I put 5 campden tablets in 5 gallons of cider for 24 hours then pitched my yeast. What I'm wondering now is when to use this potassium sorbate that I have. At kegging at transfer to secondary?

I guess what I'm asking is...what is potassium sorbate used for?

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Old 10-25-2005, 07:50 PM   #2
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google reveals:

Potassium Sorbate: Stable salt of sorbic acid derived from the berries of the mountain ash tree. Prevents renewed fermentation in sweet wines and inhibits reproduction of mould and yeast. Do not add until all fermentation is finished and the wine is clear and stable. Dissolve 1-1/2 teaspoons of Sorbate per 5-6 gallons of wine, in cool water and then stir in thoroughly. Must not be added until all fermentation has ceased. Sorbate present during malolactic fermentation will be converted to hexanedienol (geraniol), a compound with the strong odor of geraniums.

so.. i guess add it when you keg it.

-walker
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Old 10-26-2005, 04:04 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Walker
google reveals:
a compound with the strong odor of geraniums.

so.. i guess add it when you keg it.

-walker
But what if you like geraniums?!?!
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Old 11-08-2005, 01:03 PM   #4
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Ok I transferred my cider to a secondary lastnight and I came up with a few questions related to the potassium sorbate my homebrew store sold me.

1. If I'm going to add sugar for sweetening when I keg the cider, should I do it at the same time as when I add the potassium sorbate or should I add the potassium sorbate ahead of time and give it a day or so to shut the yeast down before adding more sugar? I don't want the sugar to ferment.

2. When I tasted the cider it was a bit more sour than I'd like (like concentrated granny smith sour). I want to sweeten it up just a hair. What is a good starting amount of sugar to add to a 5 gallon batch?

3. Is there a sugar that is better than another for sweetening? I have corn sugar and table sugar in stock right now.

4. When I add the sugar, should I pre-dissolve it in water or just dump it in?

Thanks.

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Old 11-08-2005, 08:59 PM   #5
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Hi mch2smw,

I've never used potassium sorbate, to my knowledge it's just another compound used to kill/inhibit bacteria and wild yeasts etc. I've been happy with Campden tablets alone and with the info Walker found i'd rather continue using them. I've heard about the 'geranium' odour before, something i wouldn't fancy in a cider.

When it comes to kegging your cider you haven't mentioned if you want it carbonated and the yeast you used to make the cider. That'll determine what you have to do next in regards preventing more fermentation/sweetness etc

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Old 11-08-2005, 09:12 PM   #6
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I want a carbonated cider but I won't be priming, I'll be carbonating with CO2 pressure so it's fine to shutdown or kill the remaining yeast.

As for the Campden...I used those in the cider before pitching...can I use them again to stop the yeast in place of potassium sorbate(same rate, 1 tablet/gal)? I'm a beer maker so I'm not familiar with the wine and cider chemicals and their uses and my homebrew supplier was less than helpful when I told him I was making cider.

Thanks for all the advice.

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Old 11-09-2005, 08:16 PM   #7
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You can kill yeast production by campden although it does have a chemical taste and it's best to add them early in your secondary to give it time to mellow out. What yeast have you used? Any hydrometer readings taken at OG and when you moved to secondary?

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Old 11-10-2005, 12:43 PM   #8
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1. I used a Lavin wine yeast but I didn't make note of the style. I pitched 2 packets in the 5 gallons.

2. Unfortunately I didnt get an initial gravity reading but it was 1.006 when I transferred to secondary. I was a bit suprised at that low number. Brewing beer, I'd assume that meant fermentation was pretty well finished but the air lock was still bubbling once every 10 seconds or so.

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Old 11-10-2005, 02:30 PM   #9
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Ciders & wines have almost no non-fermentable sugars, so they can actually end up under 1000. I've hit 995.

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Old 11-10-2005, 10:51 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mch2smw
1. I used a Lavin wine yeast but I didn't make note of the style. I pitched 2 packets in the 5 gallons.

2. Unfortunately I didnt get an initial gravity reading but it was 1.006 when I transferred to secondary. I was a bit suprised at that low number. Brewing beer, I'd assume that meant fermentation was pretty well finished but the air lock was still bubbling once every 10 seconds or so.
Quote:
Originally Posted by david_42
Ciders & wines have almost no non-fermentable sugars, so they can actually end up under 1000. I've hit 995.
As david_42 says fermentable sugars will go bone dry under the right yeast. I've had some amazing drops in gravity with making 'country' wine in just a week or two (1120 OG to 998 FG! - Note, that one is still aging and will for a few years yet!)

I'm very surprised though that it was bubbling every 10 seconds at that FG when moved to secondary - even for a wine yeast! Leave it in secondary for a few weeks to calm down - then take a reading/taste.
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