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Add more robust yeast during secondary fermentation?

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GaVino

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Background: I’m making my first batch of muscadine wine. I followed a recipe on field and stream which called for bread yeast (poor decision I have since learned). The mash has ~ 4 gallons of muscadines, 6 gallons of spring water and 16 lbs of sugar. I’ve racked it to a 25L carboy and it is doing fine. I did primary for a week, its been in secondary for 3 days now.

As i’ve researched wine a bit more I’ve learned that bread yeast has a pretty low alcohol tolerance and therefore won’t use up all the sugar leaving me a way too sweet wine.

Question/Issue: Can I add champagne yeast during secondary? If I do this will it kick back off primary fermentation and end up w/ a mess? I’ve already started a batch of sugar water w/ champagne yeast. My plan is to let this go for a few days (essentially go thru primary) and then siphon 250ml from this once it clears to the batch in the carboy that is in secondary. My hope is that as the champagne yeast grows it will replace the bread yeast once it dies (10% to 12% alcohol) and continue on processing the remaining sugar till its gone.

Any experience doing this and will it work? Or am I better off letting the wine finish and just ending up with a sweet lower alcohol wine for this first batch?

Thoughts?
 

DoctorCAD

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Theres really no "primary vs secondary" with yeast. There's a vigerous fermentation and a slow fermentation.

If you just add better yeast, your wine will finish just fine.
 

Jal5

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What about doing a yeast now that will handle more alcohol like EC1118 which is a real workhorse and I think will go to 18% abv
Joe
 

GaVino

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Joe - that is exactly what I have cooking in sugar water primary (EC1118). I plan to put about 250ml of that into the carboy once it slows down and clarifies. I’ll post back as to how it goes.
 
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