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Old 06-25-2013, 01:13 AM   #1
FarFromBilly
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Default nt being able to bottle condition with sodium benzoate?

I was researching root/birch beers I found one that had high reviews,but noted that it "must be force carbonated"

I'm confused because I just brewed a batch of birch beer, which had sodium benzonate. The batch turned out just fine, nice carbonation, and good taste. Can anyone help explain this apparent conflict for me?

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Old 06-25-2013, 02:31 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by FarFromBilly View Post
I was researching root/birch beers I found one that had high reviews,but noted that it "must be force carbonated"

I'm confused because I just brewed a batch of birch beer, which had sodium benzonate. The batch turned out just fine, nice carbonation, and good taste. Can anyone help explain this apparent conflict for me?
Maybe it has a higher level of preservatives than the one you used?
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Old 06-27-2013, 09:03 PM   #3
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Was it an extract you used like the Rainbow ones commonly found at your LHBS or a syrup like Sprecher?

The effective usage level is likely the close to the same, but 0.xx percent in 2 oz of extract dilutes further in 4 or 5 gallons of soda (1:320 dilution ratio) than does 0.xx percent in 1 gal of syrup meant for 5 gallons of soda (1:5 dilution ratio).

Sodium benzoate, as it dissociates to benzoic acid, is absorbed into the yeast cells and changes the pH inside the cell which prevents the cell from metabolizing (fermenting) glucose. If there is an excess of yeast such that it overwhelms the buffer system (sodium benzoate/benzoic acid together), then you'll likely get yeast growth and fermentation, it will just be slower than usual.

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Old 06-28-2013, 02:17 AM   #4
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Old 06-30-2013, 07:47 PM   #5
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Many times a product may list sodium benzoate on ingredient list and you may be able to successfully bottle condition, and sometimes not. While there is an industry standard, not every level of benzoate is the same so it may simply be a case of trial and error as you encounter different brands. I personally avoid products with benzoate on board when I am fermenting.

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