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Old 09-11-2010, 02:01 AM   #1
JoshBrew
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Default Yet Another Potassium Sorbate Thread

So recently a few friends of mine and I got the idea that we being poor college students it would be a good idea to try and ferment our own hard cider.

Anyways as you can probably tell we ended up buying commercial cider which contained the preservative potassium sorbate. My question is if it is at all possible, how would one go about fermenting a cider that contains this.

I have done some research online and have gotten some conflicting answers. I know that it doesn't kill the yeast but just inhibits its growth. I have also read that adding bread yeast to the mix can "soak up" the potassium sorbate before adding the correct brewing yeast. Does anyone know if this method is viable at all?

Also I have heard that it is possible to create a starter using apples, honey and sugar to create a yeast colony that will be big enough to ferment the entire batch. Is this the best bet when trying to ferment cider containing potassium sorbate?


Thanks
Josh


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Old 09-14-2010, 11:52 PM   #2
Fletch78
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Yes, just make a starter with another yeast and add it. Potassium Sorbate only inhibits the yeast from reproducing. If the yeast (your separate starter, not using the sorbated juice) has already reproduced into a large population of hungry organisms, the sorbate won't affect the fermentation.

If you want to get better answers, ask the question backwards: "Can I use p. sorbate to kill the yeast so I can bottle it before it's done fermenting?" The answer will be a resounding "no".

When making a starter, don't waste your time with honey. Honey is expensive and the ph isn't friendly to yeast. I'm not an expert on starters, I prefer not using them, but in your case, you'll have to. Do more research on making starters. Sugar and juice alone aren't enough to create a healthy big population, but it will work. They need oxygen, nutrients, nitrogen, etc.
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Old 09-15-2010, 02:14 PM   #3
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There are better ways to do it, but since you are cheap:

Bring 2 cups water to a boil and add 3 packets of bread yeast to kill it and break it down. Add two tablespoons of sugar.
Cover and cool to room temp.
Later that day...
Using a funnel, transfer it to a large water bottle or soda bottle so it's about half full. Shake it aggressively for several minutes to get some oxygen dissolved into the water.
Then add your brewing yeast and don't tighten the cap down, just lightly cover it so air can escape.
When your bottle looks like it just isn't big enough anymore, pour it into the juice and you are done.
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