Using Lemon Juice with preservatives - Home Brew Forums
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Old 06-28-2009, 12:30 AM   #1
evhershey
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May 2009
Denver, CO
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I just made some small test batches (3 quarts each) and, to one of them, I added 1 qt. of lemon juice. The lemon juice contained preservatives (Sodium Bisulphate and Sodium Benzoate). I know this was a risk and that's why I am doing test batces but I still thought I would get some fermentation. I assumed the preservatives would slow fermentation or prevent the lemon from fermenting completely but I have nothing happening with my apple and lemon batch

I made 3 test batches all started form the same Montrachet yeast starter and 2 of them are bubbling quite steadily while my batch with the preservative laden lemon juice is just dead.

Is there anything that can be done to rescue this? Any way to boost it or remove the preservatives next time?

 
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Old 06-30-2009, 12:48 AM   #2
PAC762
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Dec 2008
Wilmington, DE
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I've heard that heating the juice can help remove preservatives.

 
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Old 06-30-2009, 01:23 AM   #3
etp777
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Apr 2008
Chicago
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Sodium Benzoate, like potassium sorbate, keeps yeast from reproducing. So you need to make a giant starter if you want to get it going. THis gives enough yeast from start (hopefully) to ferment out sugar. I will be doing same thing here it looks like, since lemon juice I got to try Jack Keller's skeeter pee recipe turns out to have sodium benzoate in it.

 
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Old 06-30-2009, 05:13 AM   #4
petes
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Feb 2008
Northland, New Zealand
Posts: 95

On another forum I've seen frequent references to boiling (for 15 minutes or so) whatever has preservative contained, cool then use.
I've tried it, no problem.

What puzzles me is I don't ever recall seeing the process advocated here?

 
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Old 07-13-2009, 09:45 PM   #5
babbott
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May 2008
greenbelt
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i just bottled a gall9on of Arizona green tea that i fermented from 1.070 to 1.005. I added a tsp of lemon with the same preservatives, when i backsweenened. i never boiled the lemon juice. will the remaining sugars be fermented further or will the preservatives stop the fermentation

 
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Old 07-16-2009, 03:53 AM   #6
JoeSponge
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Nov 2008
Belly of the beast, DC, Torment
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Heyyyy Babbott!
Hm... never heard of that. Whatever possessed you to do that? What's it taste like?

I came across a recipe called "Skeeter Pee" that I'm going to try. The original is made w/ 3 or so bottles of "Real Lemon" lemon juice, w/ water and sugar added. I found some organic lemonade at Whole Foods for $4/gallon (on par w/ the apple juice I try), and I'm going to try to make SP w/ that.
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Old 07-24-2009, 04:05 AM   #7
babbott
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May 2008
greenbelt
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so i tried the fermented Arizona iced tea concoction. there was good carbonation, but the tea flavor was just about gone. tasted like a hard lemonade not a bad drink after a hot day

 
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Old 07-24-2009, 07:24 AM   #8
Emyrs
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Jul 2009
San Diego
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Quote:
Originally Posted by petes View Post
On another forum I've seen frequent references to boiling (for 15 minutes or so) whatever has preservative contained, cool then use.
I've tried it, no problem.

What puzzles me is I don't ever recall seeing the process advocated here?
Boiling lemon juice can produce bad flavors.. ask any chef... instead of a fresh lemon taste you get a cooked out mellow flavor... something about the way the juice breaks down with heat...

If your planning on trying a boil... try a small bit first.. like a cup or two... boil it and see if its taste is still to your liking...

me personally.. ive never really liked cooked lemon.. unless it were in a cake
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Old 10-30-2010, 12:14 AM   #9
Captive
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Oct 2010
Saint James, MN US, MN
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You can use the bottled lemon juice, preservatives and all. It does take some special steps though. You can find all the details where the recipe is posted. http://www.skeeterpee.com

 
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Old 10-30-2010, 12:37 AM   #10

Or squeeze some fresh lemons?

I have to admit that I'm puzzled by the desire (here and in other threads) to somehow try overcome preservatives, which are added precisely to stop what we're trying to do. There are things you can do, but the results will be spotty at best - you will almost surely have stressed yeast and all that comes with that. Using juice without preservatives is just so much easier and better.

 
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