View Full Version : Benzoate of Soda

04-19-2007, 02:32 PM
I started my cyser two days ago, and it is stuck.

15# wildflower
3 gallon cider
water to 5.75 gallons
Lalvin ICV-D47 10grams

The Cider I am using is from an local orchard. it is pasturized and contains Benzoate of Soda. Is this a problem for the yeast?

I can't think of what else is stoping fermentation.

04-19-2007, 02:59 PM
The Cider I am using is from an local orchard. it is pasturized and contains Benzoate of Soda. Is this a problem for the yeast?

'fraid so. Sodium benzoate is much like sorbate. It won't kill yeast outright, but it will inhibit yeast cells from budding (reproducing) and it will stress their metabolism, so they won't ferment nearly as efficiently as they would with no benzoate present. Even worse, sodium benzoate becomes benzoic acid when mixed with water, so it has the effect of lowering a must's pH. Still worse, ("But wait, there's more...") in the presence of ascorbic acid benzoates disassociate and recombine into benzene, a substance known to cause nasty things like stomach cancer.

You might want to start again with some cider that hasn't been treated with benzoates. Alternatively, you can get the benzoic acid concentration down to where it has minimal effect on the yeast by diluting with a honey/water mix, and then pitching another batch of yeast that has been grown in a benzoate free starter for a few days. That should introduce enough healthy yeast cells to re-start the stuck fermentation, if you're lucky....

04-19-2007, 09:06 PM
I should have checked first :sad5:

that's is some pretty scary info, but I'm going to try and keep it going. I made a starter with some D47, and I am going to remove a gallon of must, and dilute with some water. Right now the Gravity is 1.122. Hopefully this will bring the gravity down to 1.110, I don't want it too sweet.

I checked the PH, and it is around 4.5-4.8 Not too acid.
There was "less than 1/10th of 1% of Benzoate of Soda" in each gallon.
thanks for your quick response, I hope it works!

04-20-2007, 12:33 AM
You may also want to give my sorbated cyser restart approach here (http://www.gotmead.com/index.php?option=com_smf&Itemid=301&topic=4880.msg39877#msg39877) and scale it to your batch.



04-20-2007, 06:56 PM
Thanks Oskaar, I'll give it a try. I went and got some Ec1118 today.

I was thinking of making two starters, and splitting it into two batches. so as not to waste any.

I also want to bring the gravity down, so I will make this starter the same gravity of the new must, as you suggest there. I think the only non preserved AJ that I can find will be frozen...

04-21-2007, 09:28 AM
Ok, I made the starter yesterday. Not exactly to your directions though...
1.5 gal Knudsen AJ
2.5 gal H2O
5# honey

split to two carboys, 4 pkts EC-1118 per starter.

12 hours later, I racked onto these starters. Unfortunately, I forgot what I was doing, and filled one to 4 gallons, before I remembered that I was only supposed to add a gallon! :BangHead:
I added just a gallon to the other carboy!