Potassium Sorbate, aka "stabiliser," prevents renewed fermentation in wine, cider, mead or hard seltzer that is to be bottled and/or sweetened. Potassium sorbate is the potassium salt of sorbic acid. Its primary use is as a preservative, and can be used to retard re-fermentation.
When added to wine, potassium sorbate produces sorbic acid, serving two purposes:
- At the point when active fermentation has ceased and the wine is racked for the final time after clearing, potassium sorbate will render any surviving yeast incapable of multiplying.
- Yeast living at that moment will be permitted to continue fermenting any residual sugar into CO2 and alcohol, but when they die no new yeast will be present to cause future fermentation.
When a wine is sweetened before bottling, potassium sorbate is used to prevent refermentation when used in conjunction with potassium metabisulfite.
Potassium Sorbate, ensures against renewed fermentation in wine when residual sugar is added post the initial ferment. Potassium sorbate should not be used if the wine underwent an ML fermentation because sorbic acid (in the potassium sorbate) will react with lactic bacteria to produce a "geranium" smelling off-flavor.
NB: This product will not stop an active fermentation.
- Use 1/2 teaspoon per gallon (4 Litres)
- Use 1 teaspoon per 8-10 litres of wine or cider or hard seltzer.
- Add at the rate of .5 to .75 grams per gallon (125-200ppm) in conjunction with .3 grams of meta-bisulphite (50ppm) per gallon. Use the higher end of the range (200 ppm) as the wine's pH approaches or exceeds 3.5 or when the alcohol conent of the wine is below 10%.
- A rough approximate of weight is 1 tsp = 2.3 grams. We highly recommend using a scale to weigh the product for an accurate dose. We do not recommend relying on these rough conversions for accurate dosage rates.
Specific Uses for Potassium Sorbate:
When dissolved in water, potassium sorbate ionizes to form sorbic acid which is effective against yeasts, molds, and select bacteria, and is widely used at 250 ppm to 1000 ppm levels in cheeses, dips, yogurt, sour cream, bread, cakes, pies and fillings, baking mixes, doughs, icings, fudges, toppings, beverages, margarine, salads, fermented and acidified vegetables, olives, fruit products, dressings, smoked and salted fish, confections and mayonnaise. In many food products, sorbate and sodium benzoate are used together to provide greater protection against a wider variety of microorganisms (synergism).”10 “Although theminimum inhibatory concentration for many fungi and bacteria is approx. 100 ppm, common usage levels range from 0.5 - 1.0%.” 11 “Sorbic acid is widely used to inhibit yeast and mould growth in a variety of
foods including cheese, baked products and wine.
References and futher Reading: