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All the guides say to use Apple Cider without preservatives because they will kill off the yeast. Preservative-free is obviously ideal, however I already bought cider with preservatives.

Is there any way to get around this, say by using extra yeast or sugar, or some way of filtering out preservatives like Potassium Sorbate?

Interested more out of curiosity rather than practicality.

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

You can pitch three times the rate and overcome the preservatives. Sorbates don't kill the yeasts, they just inhibit their action. So, overloading can help. I have used three packages of dry yeast in 5 gallons in the past and it worked fine. Also, use a champagne yeast like cotes de blanc or premier cuvee. They are more resistant to the action of sorbates.

The other thing is to mix what you have with non-preserved at a 1 to 1 rate and use two packages of dry yeast.

Allow it to sit in a cool environment for at least a week after fermentation stops before racking/bottling. This will allow a good settling and clearing, then when you rack it, be certain to avoid the stuff at the bottom.

What preservatives are in what you bought?

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It has potassium sorbate. Thanks I'll give that a try! – Derek Dahmer Sep 29 '11 at 20:04
A cheap source of non-preserved apple cider to ferment is musselmann's @ wallyworld. Pasteurized with no additives. I tend to use it as a base with fresh juiced apple cider to add more flavor. Since it just has potassium sorbate, you should be good to go with the overpitching trick. This often used for specialty juices like pomegranate to make unusual hard ciders, when the only source is the preserved stuff. – drj Sep 30 '11 at 3:56

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