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I've got a batch of cider that I've kegged. I did so at about 1.011 (OG was 1.052 IIRC). While the yeast activity will decline as the keg chills, I'd like to stop it completely so that I can bottle some of this cider.

I've got some potassium metabisulfite, will this do the job? If so, how much should I use for 4.5 gallons?

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

K-meta alone will not. You need the one-two punch of Potassium Sorbate (to prevent the yeast from reproducing) and Potassium metabisulfite (to kill existing cells). Note that this will take a bit of time, so you should expect to see a bit more of a gravity drop in the mean time. Using cold to slow yeast growth at the same time is advised.

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Thanks, I'll obtain some Potassium Sorbate and give this a try. In the meantime, I'll assume this is the right answer :) – stephelton Oct 8 '12 at 16:03
I'm thinking about grabbing a large quantity of Potassium Sorbate. How long can I expect this to remain viable? – stephelton Oct 8 '12 at 17:34

Sulfites don't actually kill yeast. They only inhibit it for a while. The yeast will eventually recover. Sulfites are used in winemaking to knock out the wild yeasts long enough so that the cultured yeast added by the winemaker eats up most of the sugar. So, when the wild yeasts recover, most of the sugar is gone and they end up contributing little or no character to the wine.

I've never used sorbate, but I know it's used in a lot of soft drinks.

I think that jsled may be right about needing both, but I believe that he (she?) has the roles of the two chemicals reversed.

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Thanks for the info. If this is true, then Potassium Sorbate / Metabisulfite is probably not a good answer. If yeast ever "recover," there will be plenty of sugars left once I bottle to dry out the cider and/or overcarbonate it. – stephelton Oct 15 '12 at 18:27

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