Brewing Ingredients – Additives and Preservatives

Jun 26, 2012 by

Brewing Ingredients – Additives and Preservatives to avoid

The importance of your brewing ingredients. When home brewing with Pat Mack’s Home brewing Caps you want to keep things as simple as possible. After all that was the purpose of creating the caps to begin with. It should really take no more than 10 minutes to prepare your brewing ingredients for fermentation. And then you should be able to simply forget about your brew for a few days by which time fermentation has completed and your drink is ready to enjoy.

When you are brewing from juice, whether it be a wine or a cider, you want to make sure the brewing process goes as smoothly as possible. An important thing to look out for are the many nasty chemicals hidden in your brewing ingredients. Alongside your sugar and brewer’s yeast you will need to select an appropriate juice as the base for the home brew. The problem is that some juices contain unwanted, troublesome brewing ingredients that can slow down fermentation or even stop it completely. In general you want to avoid brewing with any juices that contain a long list of various preservatives and additives. A few key negative brewing ingredients to look out for on the juice’s ingredients label are:

  1. Potassium Sorbate
  2. Sorbic acid (not to be confused with Asorbic acid which is Vitamin C)
  3. Sodium Sorbate
  4. Calcium Sorbate
  5. Sodium Metabisulphite

There may be even more additives and preservatives in your brewing ingredients that you need to look out for but these are the key trouble makers.

In general, if you see a long list of chemicals in the juice and you don’t know what those chemicals are then you’re probably better off picking a different juice to home brew with. Any unknown brewing ingredients can cause unpredictable issues for your brewers yeast that can lead to a variety of problems such as off-flavours, stuck fermentations or even no fermentation at all. It is therefore a sensible idea to keep an eye out for these nasty additives and preservatives when selecting your juice at the start of the brewing process.

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