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Home Brew Forums > Wine, Mead, Cider, Sake & Soda > Cider Forum > So... how bad ARE preservatives, exactly?
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Old 02-10-2011, 11:33 PM   #1
brew78
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Default So... how bad ARE preservatives, exactly?

'Ello again

My first batch of cider turned out pretty good, but its about gone and its time to be making more.

I picked up some cider at the store a few days back. I'd read the label and saw "Pasteurized" and "100% Juice" on the jugs so figured it was ok.

Dumped em into the carboy (with 2 lbs of honey), added the 1/4 tsp of pectic enzyme, let it sit overnight.. marveled at the large sludgy layer at the bottom of the carboy the next day, took a gravity reading, and added some yeast.

Its been a couple days, and it hasn't really started to bubble yet. I took a closer look at the jugs and I now see in black print (against the dark background, almost everything else was white print) that there's some potassium sorbate added to preserve freshness.

Is this batch of cider doomed? Should I add some more yeast and hope for the best? Dump it since its been out for a few days and there's probably bacteria growing? Or is it perfectly ok and I just need to be more patient?

The room that the carboy is in isn't exactly toasty, either.. maybe low-mid 60's, if that's a factor.

Thanks for any info!

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Old 02-11-2011, 12:43 AM   #2
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Ah, bummer- potassium sorbate inhibits the reproduction of yeast, so I'm sorry to inform you that this batch is a bust. I did the same thing with my first attempted batch of cider. I'd suggest looking for apple juice or cider that just uses ascorbic acid (vitamin C) as a preservative.

Graham

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Old 02-11-2011, 01:02 AM   #3
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poopsticks.

Its just a bad time of year, I guess. I live in an area with many apple orchards, and the cider I used to make my initial batch was bought at a farm stand, fresh pressed. I think some of the character was from natural bacteria, its really mellowed out as its aged.

Is there anything specifically toxic about the bacteria that might be potassium sorbate resistant, or would this batch just not taste very good?

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Old 02-11-2011, 01:39 AM   #4
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heh, in a weird coincidence, it just had its first bubble. I can see some tiny bubbles seeping up from the sludge layer at the bottom, too. Maybe its not over yet

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Old 02-11-2011, 02:34 AM   #5
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Don't get your hopes up.

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Old 02-11-2011, 02:50 AM   #6
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I've done batches of cider containing potassium sorbate on numerous occasions without any problems. With enough yeast, it should be fine. Sodium benzoate, on the other hand, will prevent fermentation outright.

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Old 02-11-2011, 06:35 AM   #7
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I havent had expiriance but I have read that with a healthey yeast pitch you should be fine

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Old 02-11-2011, 12:50 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by CDbrews View Post
I havent had expiriance but I have read that with a healthey yeast pitch you should be fine
+1 I think repitching with a BIG starter is really the only way to go in this case. Sorbate inhibits reproduction but NOT activity; so pitch in enough active yeast & it should ferment well enough, though you might add a dose of yeast nutrient/energizer to help 'em out. Regards, GF.
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Old 02-11-2011, 03:04 PM   #9
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Gratus/others - I agree - repitch yeast starter or two hydrated dry yeast packs. Sorbate can be overcome, but you need a lot of yeast in there. Don't toss it, learn form it and try to fix it. Dry yeast is cheap.

IMO

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Old 02-11-2011, 03:13 PM   #10
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Good info, thanks! I stopped at the brew store earlier in the week to get some yeast for the cider, as well as some to have on hand. I like the convenience of the already-sterile nutrition packs of the Wyeast, but apparently they don't make Nottingham. I pitched the cider with American Ale yeast since its similar, but I do also have a pack of dry Nottingham and a pack of Red Star champagne yeast.

Is it important to have the same yeast strain? I don't see why it would be.. Do you think there would be an issue if I were to brew up a yeast culture of the Nottingham and dump it in there with the American Ale?

And what would be the best method of doing so, actually? I'd guess boiled water, sugar of some kind, letting it cool, adding the yeast, covering, letting it do its thing for awhile. How big of a culture should I make? Its 4 gallons of cider with the honey; I'd planned on topping off with a 5th gallon when it was done to prime/sweeten, then pasteurize the bottles so they don't detonate a week or two later.

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