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TheSchultMeister
01-05-2011, 08:10 PM
Some one recommended to me that I could find honey for much cheaper at a local ethnic market. While looking for the honey, I came across pomegranate molasses and since it looked interesting and was relatively inexpensive, i decided to buy it. I was thinking about mixing this 12 oz bottle with 3lbs of honey and making a 1 gal batch. I did, however, notice that there is a preservative in it: sodium benzoate. Does this I mean it can't be fermented and it won't work? Any ideas on whether or not I should put this in there?

kudapucat
01-05-2011, 08:14 PM
Some one recommended to me that I could find honey for much cheaper at a local ethnic market. While looking for the honey, I came across pomegranate molasses and since it looked interesting and was relatively inexpensive, i decided to buy it. I was thinking about mixing this 12 oz bottle with 3lbs of honey and making a 1 gal batch. I did, however, notice that there is a preservative in it: sodium benzoate. Does this I mean it can't be fermented and it won't work? Any ideas on whether or not I should put this in there?

Google says No:
answers.yahoo.com (http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20100219173011AAt0FKo)
more answers.yahoo.com (http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20100120132125AAQ3V8p)
homebrewtalk.com (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f32/sodium-benzoate-juice-138725/)
foodbanter.com (http://www.foodbanter.com/winemaking/50932-sodium-benzoate.html)

So I'm thinking: No. Don't add it. Just drink it, or mix it with cheap vodka or something. ;)

wayneb
01-05-2011, 10:57 PM
Alternately, you could always ferment a honey-water only mead, and then add the pom molasses during secondary/aging.

BTW - in my experience, typical commercial preservative levels of benzoate in a fruit juice render it entirely incapable of supporting fermentation. However, if the source of benzoate is diluted enough in the total must (say if the benzoated - is that a word?? - juice is 10% or less of the total must volume), then it will ferment. SO... if you do add it in secondary, don't be surprised if fermentation activity re-starts for a while as the sugars in that addition are consumed by your yeast.

Chevette Girl
01-05-2011, 11:25 PM
From my quick glance at the answers so helpfully linked by kudapucat, it looks like sodium benzoate works similar to potassium sorbate, by hindering replication, so if there's already an established functioning yeast population, it should continue to ferment. So if you do like Wayneb suggests and add it after primary fermentation, you might get something going :)

It's also possible that because molasses is probably by its sugar content more stable than juice, it might have a lower concentration by the time it's diluted out to the same sugar concentration as juice so you may well be OK...

one way to find out, right? :)

akueck
01-06-2011, 01:17 AM
Pomegranate molasses was on a list of the Homebrew Chef's "cool things to add to your beer", so it can indeed be fermented if you don't add too much of it. Adding it after your yeast is up and running will give you the best shot of not stalling it out, but I think the dilution factor should save you as well, as Wayne mentioned.

TheSchultMeister
01-06-2011, 04:48 AM
Thanks guys, this is helpful. I think thats what I will do, add it to the secondary. Is there a way to keep track of my alcohol content when adding sugars to the secondary? Obviously that makes the starting gravity a moot point. Or can I check the gravity before and after the addition, and then add the difference to the SG?

kudapucat
01-06-2011, 09:01 AM
Thanks guys, this is helpful. I think thats what I will do, add it to the secondary. Is there a way to keep track of my alcohol content when adding sugars to the secondary? Obviously that makes the starting gravity a moot point. Or can I check the gravity before and after the addition, and then add the difference to the SG?

Take the OG of your must.
Take the volume of your must
Take the SG of your molasses
Take the volume of your molasses.

Add the volumes together to get the total volume.
Multiply the gravities by the volumes for the must then the molasses
Add these together to get the total weight.
Divide the total weight by the total volume. Voilla you have your OG.

ie:

2 Litres of must with SG = 1.110
0.5 litres of molasses with SG = 1.050

Total volume = 2 + 0.5 = 2.5 litres
weight of must = 2.220
weight of molasses = 0.525
Total weight = 2.745

OG for calculating ABV = 2.745/2.5 = 1.098
So maximum ABV is about 13.5% or so.

Hope this helps.

TheSchultMeister
01-08-2011, 01:51 AM
Thats incredible. Thanks Kudapucat.

kudapucat
01-08-2011, 03:15 AM
Thats incredible. Thanks Kudapucat.

;D

Some explanation:

It's all about available sugar before fermentation.
it doesn't matter when you add the sugar, it still gets added. (hence why fermentation can take of when backsweetening)

specific gravity has units of kilos per litre (for liquids)
heavy liquids are greater than 1k/l
light ones are less than 1k/l

ethanol (pure) = about 0.8
honey (pure) = about 1.4

because it's k/l if you multiply by litres you get kilos.
then you add them up to get total kilos.
now you have that, you can divide them by total volume to get the new gravity.

Hope this helps.