Do I need both potassium sorbate and potassium sulfite?

HomeBrewTalk.com - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Community.

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

davekippen

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 28, 2011
Messages
1,256
Reaction score
170
Location
Grand Ledge
I tried to search this but could not find a definitive answer - if you can point me to an existing thread please do, otherwise give me an answer!

I am making a simple hard cider (apple juice, apple concentrate, sugar, water, yeast). When it is done, I want to back sweeten with a simple sugar/cinnamon syrup and bottle it. I do not want carbonation so that is not a problem. I just dont want bottle bombs :rockin:

LHBS guy sold me potassium sorbate, said it would stop the yeast from eating the back sweetener. Thats what I want. While searching around, I saw many posts that said you also need potassium sulfite.

So for this brew, do I need both?
 

Yooper

Ale's What Cures You!
Staff member
Admin
Mod
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Jun 4, 2006
Messages
74,633
Reaction score
12,245
Location
UP/Snowbird in Florida
In general, you don't really "need" the sulfite. But sorbate does work better in the presence of sulfites.

The biggest reason I'd use sulfite with sorbate in an apple cider or wine is because of the risk of MLF (because apples are very high in malic acid). MLF is not an issue in and of itself, and some people put their fresh ciders through MLF on purpose. But what happens if a cider spontaneously undergoes MLF after sorbate is added, it gets a terrible "geranium" smell that is just awful. Using the proper amount of sulfite prohibits MLF, as well as helps the sorbate work better, so it's really important to use it.

I hope that helps!
 
OP
davekippen

davekippen

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 28, 2011
Messages
1,256
Reaction score
170
Location
Grand Ledge
OK. I just bought the Campden tablets to go along with the P Sorbate. The PS has instructions for what quantity to use per gallon, but the tablets do not? Any advice on how many to use?
 
OP
davekippen

davekippen

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 28, 2011
Messages
1,256
Reaction score
170
Location
Grand Ledge
Yeah that PH link is way above my head. Never made a wine, this is my first cider!
 
Top