Sorbate Shelf Life
Posted 31 August 2009 - 10:30 AM
I have searched this topic and found maybe's but haven't found a definitive answer. If it does expire when dry, it should also expire in solution which makes me wonder if my sweetened wines are ticking timebombs for refermentation - once the sorbate has expired. Anybody?
Posted 31 August 2009 - 07:16 PM
However, in solution the autoxidation is much more rapid. A study in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemicals , Nov. 1980 pgs.1246-1249 states 90% of sorbic acid is decomposes in solution within a year. One decomposition product is caproic acid - the very same lipid that gives goats their gamey aroma - yuck. This same article claims that sorbic acid decomposes very little in dry form. Perhaps the manufacturer is giving a best by date vs. an actual expiration date. There are a number of chemical factors that prolong the life of sorbate in solution - namely absence of Oxygen. Have any of you experienced spontaneous refermentation after a year or so in your sweetened wines? Personally my early drinking wines rarely last that long in storage. V
Posted 31 August 2009 - 09:35 PM
Vitruviano, you're not thinking about this correctly. Potassium sorbate, which produces sorbic acid in wine, effectively neuters any yeast in the wine, leaving them incapable of reproducing. Within a month or two, they simply die of old age. Even if they somehow manage to outlive the half-life of the sorbic acid, they are physiologically incapable of reproducing and kindling a wholesale refermentation. If you use appropriate doses of potassium sorbate in conjunction with potassium metabisulfite, your wine will become biologically stable and you can sleep well.
Posted 01 September 2009 - 03:31 AM
That's what I needed to hear! Thank you for your enowisdom. I suppose if sorbate were just a microbe-stat there would be corks popping annually. Thanks - V
Posted 01 September 2009 - 04:47 AM
A clear, thorough, and concise explanation as usual; I was also intrigued by your word usage (kindling)...I got a very cool visual.
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