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Thread: Reduction/elimination of Potassium Sorbate

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
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    Dallas, TX
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    Reduction/elimination of Potassium Sorbate

    Well, the good news is that I found and bought enough Palm Sugar for and upcoming seasonal.
    The bad news is that some of the Palm Sugar has been treated with Potassium Sorbate. Being a mold and yeast growth inhibitor, the yeasties will probably not be too fond of this compound in any concentration, especially a beer that I target for around 9% ABV.
    Based on a bit of internet research it seems like boiling in an aqueous solution (wort, in my case) can reduce the concentration. But I'm having trouble finding out just how effective this method is.
    Does anyone out there have an easy solution to this? Or do I need to get out my old Chemistry texts?
    Fighting ignorance and apathy since 2004.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
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    Louisville, KY
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    Boil a small sample = to the dilution/gravity you'll be using, cool, pitch, see how it works. Treat like you would a forced wort test.
    Cheers & I'm out!
    David R. Pierce
    NABC & Bank Street Brewhouse
    POB 343
    New Albany, IN 47151

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Palau
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    1,609
    Also realize that Potassium Sorbate does NOT kill yeast, nor prevent yeast metabolism, it merely interferes with reproduction. It may be possible to overwhelm a small amount with dilution via grain sugars, boiling, and adequate pitching. But I've never done it in beer. Good luck!
    Phillip Kelm--Palau Brewing Company Manager--
    Worldwide Brewery Installations
    www.GitcheGumeeBreweryServices.com

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2003
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    Sparks, NV
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    17

    Potassium Sorbate

    It may be best to not collect yeast from a beer that has been exposed to potassium sorbate. You may try slightly over-pitching the yeast in the brews with potassium sorbate as it does affect yeast reproduction. My experience is that potassium sorbate will increase the FG of the beer, but the beers will be within acceptable style guidelines. Most of my beers over-attenuate but not with potassium sorbate present.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
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    Dallas, TX
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    I will likely need to repitch off of this yeast, unless I can arrange a miracle (only 3 FVs ), but it might be possible to get around this.

    I plan to run a test like beertje46 suggested. Also, I have to brew 3 times to fill a tank, so I can knock out the first two times only using the non treated palm sugar and let the wort ferment for a day or two, then knock out the last batch, with the K-sorbate treated sugar, once the yeast is strong.
    Fighting ignorance and apathy since 2004.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Louisville, KY
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    I'd do the test with the treated sugar now, you may not really have an issue. Your plan is sound though, using the treated last. I wouldn't wait over 36 hours from the first to the last batch.

    How much of each sugar do you have?
    Cheers & I'm out!
    David R. Pierce
    NABC & Bank Street Brewhouse
    POB 343
    New Albany, IN 47151

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Dallas, TX
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    Well, we decided to take the plunge this weekend. My assistant I banged out two 1.5bbl batches yesterday with a total of 20lbs of untreated palm sugar and hit gravities of 20.4P and 16.9P and the beer is bubbling away nicely in the FV.
    I'm boiling up the last one now, almost into hour #2, with 31lbs of the treated sugar in the boil and the gravity is right at 21P now and should be 22P by the end of the boil for an OG of 19.76.
    I also added 10g of servo in addition to my usual yeast nutrient routine.
    The beer was amazing last year, so hopefully this works!
    Fighting ignorance and apathy since 2004.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Dallas, TX
    Posts
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    Well, here we are 36-ish hours after the last knockout, and the beer is fermenting hard enough to have overflowed its blowoff bucket and go all over the floor. I'll take a gravity reading this evening and see how far along she is, but all signs are good so far.
    Fighting ignorance and apathy since 2004.

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