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Carbonating after Potassium Sorbate

So, I mistakenly added potassium sorbate to my recent batch of beer (kids were helping me and added potassium sorbate instead of pectic enzyme to the cherries I had set). It was added in the secondary, so primary fermentation is already good to go. The problem is I need to bottle this batch, and I am wondering if the potassium sorbate will eliminate the effects of a priming solution.

Any help or ideas are appreciated!

Yeah, your yeast is donezo. I’m not sure how well you will be able to carb this batch at all. How much potassium sorbate did you add?

The yeast were still able to ferment the cherries after adding it? Not sure if it will affect a new inoculation of yeast but you could try to add a new pack of rehydrated dry yeast before bottling. There should be enough yeast in one pack to do the carbonation without multiplying. If they do multiply you will just have more yeast sediment in your bottles.

There was no fermentation in the secondary after the cherries were added. About a tsp of potassium sorbate went into a 5 gallon batch.

I thought about adding a second dose of yeast, but I was concerned about bottle bombs. Alcohol content is right around 5.2%, so maybe a super low tolerance yeast?

As I understand it, sorbate only prevents yeast from reproducing, it doesn’t kill them off. If you’d add a good amount of fresh yeast it might finish secondary, then you can prime and bottle.

When you added cherries, you added sugar so the pot.sorbate killed off the yeast and they didn’t ferment that sugar. You will have to keep adding yeast if you want this to ferment the rest of the way. And you’ll have to add more when you bottle. You may also rack the beer again possibly leaving some of the potassium sorbate behind. Not sure any of this will work but it’s worth a try. That or drink flat, sweet beer.

This is true. Add lots of fresh, healthy yeast. They will take the sorbate into their cells and only ferment so much, but then rack the beer off the sediment (that includes yeast that has taken up the sorbate into themselves and thus removed it from the beer) and add more yeast. If you keep doing this till you reach dryness, then you can feel safe about bottling.

But if you have the ability to keg and then bottle from that, it is much easier.

Thanks folks, I’ll give racking and reintroducing new yeast a shot!

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