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Old 03-30-2013, 06:33 PM   #1
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Default Sorbate question

If I stop fermentation using sorbate for a sweet still cider, is it at all necessary to refrigerate? Does alcohol content come in to play for microbe growth, etc?
Thanks guys! Loving this new hobby!

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Old 03-30-2013, 06:37 PM   #2
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If I stop fermentation using sorbate for a sweet still cider, is it at all necessary to refrigerate? Does alcohol content come in to play for microbe growth, etc?
Thanks guys! Loving this new hobby!
You don't have to refrigerate. But you can't "stop fermentation" with sorbate. It only works if fermentation is already stopped, and the cider is clear.

Sorbate doesn't kill yeast, but it inhibits yeast reproduction. In an active fermentation, the yeast doesn't need to reproduce so adding sorbate does nothing.

Once fermentation is done, and the cider is clear, it can be racked off the lees (spent yeast) and then sorbate is useful. After sorbate is added (along with campden/sulfites as sorbate works better in the presence of sulfites), then a few days later the cider can be sweetened to taste. A few days after that, if fermentation doesn't restart, the cider can be bottled. And stored at room temperature.
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Old 03-30-2013, 06:53 PM   #3
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Thanks for the reply! So is there a way to stop fermentation besides pasteurizing?

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Old 03-30-2013, 06:56 PM   #4
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Thanks for the reply! So is there a way to stop fermentation besides pasteurizing?
Stop fermentation? Well, you could try putting the fermenter in a fridge. That usually works for most yeast strains.

There are a couple of problems with stopping fermentation early. One is that it's like stopping a freight train, so it's not that easy. The other is flavor impact. Stressing the yeast enough to cause them to die off usually creates off-flavors in the final product.
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Old 03-30-2013, 06:59 PM   #5
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gotcha. I really want to stop the fermentation to preserve both the current alcohol content and the current sweetness. I guess my only real choice is pasteurizing. I really appreciate the replies - I was about to sorbate and call it good.

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Old 03-30-2013, 09:05 PM   #6
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So I decided to pasteurize in the gallon jugs the juice came in - everything worked fine (I think) - I left the lids off the jugs and the bottle contents DID come to temperature. I was getting a lot of fine bubbles foaming over from the jugs while they were in the stock pot. I am hoping these bubbles/overflow was not the alcohol evaporating from the liquid. Was it?

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Old 03-30-2013, 10:01 PM   #7
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So I decided to pasteurize in the gallon jugs the juice came in - everything worked fine (I think) - I left the lids off the jugs and the bottle contents DID come to temperature. I was getting a lot of fine bubbles foaming over from the jugs while they were in the stock pot. I am hoping these bubbles/overflow was not the alcohol evaporating from the liquid. Was it?
Maybe, if the liquid got over 170 degrees or so I think.
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Old 03-31-2013, 12:42 AM   #8
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If my thermometer was correct, it only got to 160 and I kept it there for several minutes. However, the bottom of the bottles were much closer to the heat source so it MIGHT have been hotter. I am at work now and just pulled them out before I left so I will test when I get home.

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Old 03-31-2013, 05:42 AM   #9
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So I was finally able to test the difference between the pasteurized and cold-crashed cider. The tastes are different but I am not able to really taste a difference in alcohol. Unfortunately I don't have a hydrometer yet - still extremely new. With the info above about the fine bubbles boiling out of the bottles @ around 160 degrees, does anyone think it could have been the alcohol evaporating? I know it's kind of a hard question to be answered but if anyone has any insight, it'd be awesome! Thanks!

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Old 03-31-2013, 01:07 PM   #10
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Don't think so, but it is possible. Just water alone will begin to form bubbles and steam around that temp during my beer brewing.

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