Added P.Meta Before End of Fermentation - What to Expect?

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B-dubya

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I am making 5 gallons of peach wine from peach concentrate purchased at CFF. I am experimenting with the results of their concentrates. My target ABV was approximately 11% so I sweetened the pre-fermentation juice to approx. 1.083 S.G. The yeast I used was Lalvin EC1118 . The fermentation temps were approx 69F to 71F at max fermentation. Over the course of a little over a week the fermentation slowed to a crawl so much that it started clearing out on the top 5" of the carboy. Measured the S.G. and it was 1.020. Waited two days and the S.G. was still at 1.020.

I thought I would send it to the secondary at this stage and may have made a critical error after doing so. I am a squirrel chaser (ADD) at times and my attention was side-tracked for 30 minutes or so. When I got back to my carboy I immediately threw 1/8 tsp of P. Meta in there - as I usually do in the secondary. BTW: I usually don't put wine in secondary until S.G. is at .99. After realizing what I did, I thought I'd better add sorbate to keep any live yeast from being able to multiply and digest any more sugars to perhaps protect from odor or taste issues. Not sure if that was the correct approach. I guess one could say that I panicked.

My question: Should I worry about what I did due to the fact that the S.G. didn't decrease closer to .99 from 1.020 in two days time? I thought I had read somewhere in a forum that if P. Meta is added before all of the yeast has completed their journey that it could ruin the wine due to taste and odor issues. Thanks in advance for your replies/assistance!

BTW: thank you to all who contribute to the forum. While I read as a passive member mostly because I am fairly new at this and enjoy everyone's experiences immensely. Also, I feel that I don't have much to contribute yet to add any value to a more seasoned member's replies on the forum. I am in awe though of the experience and knowledge on this one forum. I read on here a few years ago to take notes like a scientist and I have been ever since. Hope to contribute actual learned experiences some day.
 

Ohio Bob

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I’m surprised EC1118 gave up so soon. Did you give it a few stirs daily after pitching? The Kmeta probably would not kill the yeast but the sorbate was no help. I would make a fresh EC1118 starter, blend in some of the wine over a few hours, by hour 12-24 put it all in the must and stir daily until you see the SG start to decrease. Then you’re probably back on track.
 

sour_grapes

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Welcome to de-lurking! :)

I will give a shot at answering, but I hope someone with more direct knowledge will chime in.

First question: Are you okay with how this tastes now, i.e., is the sweetness level appropriate for your desires? Because that will help determine if you should try to finish the fermentation to a lower S.G., or whether you should try to stabilize it.

AFAIK, wine yeast don't so anything nasty with sulfites. It is true that yeast can metabolize other forms of sulfur and produce unwanted sulfides (rotten egg). But I don't think that they do that with sulfites (SO2). If I am wrong about that, maybe someone will correct me.

EDIT: I wrote this before seeing Ohio Bob's answer.
 
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@B-dubya, welcome to de-lurking

It's not gonna help today, but I'm going to hit you with the "P" word. The SG stopping above 1.000 is not typical, but it's also not unusual. One of my stories is having a wine stop at 1.000, and nothing I did (racking, nutrient, new starter) convinced it to restart. So I put it in a barrel, and 3 months later it restarted and blew the bung. [Wine was fine, still drinking it although it's mostly gone.]

If a wine stops for 3 to 5 days, I'd rack into into secondary and invoke the "P" word -- give the wine a month under airlock to see what it does.

Regarding today's problem, I can't add much to Bob's and Paul's advice. If it's too sweet, add an over-night starter and see if that kickstarts it. If, after 4 days, it doesn't ferment, rack into secondary under airlock and give it a month. If you like the wine "as is", rack to secondary.

Purchase a few gerbils and a habitrail, and when you think about touching the wine during that 4 weeks, watch your gerbils. It's better than squirrels 'cuz you don't have to run around the yard, and possibly get wet, burned, or frozen (depending where you live and the season). ;)
 

Raptor99

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I bulk age my wine, so after primary I rack into a carboy and age it under airlock for 5-6 months. If the fermentation has stopped, it has a chance to restart during that time. I actually don't bother checking the SG to be sure that it is done. After 5-6 months bulk aging, I can be 99% sure that the fermentation is finished.
 

B-dubya

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I’m surprised EC1118 gave up so soon. Did you give it a few stirs daily after pitching? The Kmeta probably would not kill the yeast but the sorbate was no help. I would make a fresh EC1118 starter, blend in some of the wine over a few hours, by hour 12-24 put it all in the must and stir daily until you see the SG start to decrease. Then you’re probably back on track.
Thanks for responding Ohio Bob! I did not stir during fermentation, I just let it ferment. I just pitched the yeast and let it saturate naturally. It did start very slowly but after a few days picked up the pace. I don't have more EC1118 so I may try a restart with champagne yeast tonight by removing about half a quart of wine adding a little sugar and some nutrient and allowing it to ferment for 24 hours before pitching.

Any thoughts on using champagne yeast to restart it. I read where champagne yeast would aggressively consume the remaining sugars more. Think I read it on Ed Kraus' old blogs.
 

B-dubya

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Welcome to de-lurking! :)

I will give a shot at answering, but I hope someone with more direct knowledge will chime in.

First question: Are you okay with how this tastes now, i.e., is the sweetness level appropriate for your desires? Because that will help determine if you should try to finish the fermentation to a lower S.G., or whether you should try to stabilize it.

AFAIK, wine yeast don't so anything nasty with sulfites. It is true that yeast can metabolize other forms of sulfur and produce unwanted sulfides (rotten egg). But I don't think that they do that with sulfites (SO2). If I am wrong about that, maybe someone will correct me.

EDIT: I wrote this before seeing Ohio Bob's answer.
Hi Sour_Grapes. I am never okay with the taste just after fermenting as I cannot get past the yeasty taste to taste the wine. I have a sensitive pallet. Having said that, I did taste it and had the same strong yeasty taste. Thanks for replying
 

B-dubya

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@B-dubya, welcome to de-lurking

It's not gonna help today, but I'm going to hit you with the "P" word. The SG stopping above 1.000 is not typical, but it's also not unusual. One of my stories is having a wine stop at 1.000, and nothing I did (racking, nutrient, new starter) convinced it to restart. So I put it in a barrel, and 3 months later it restarted and blew the bung. [Wine was fine, still drinking it although it's mostly gone.]

If a wine stops for 3 to 5 days, I'd rack into into secondary and invoke the "P" word -- give the wine a month under airlock to see what it does.

Regarding today's problem, I can't add much to Bob's and Paul's advice. If it's too sweet, add an over-night starter and see if that kickstarts it. If, after 4 days, it doesn't ferment, rack into secondary under airlock and give it a month. If you like the wine "as is", rack to secondary.

Purchase a few gerbils and a habitrail, and when you think about touching the wine during that 4 weeks, watch your gerbils. It's better than squirrels 'cuz you don't have to run around the yard, and possibly get wet, burned, or frozen (depending where you live and the season). ;)
Hilarious winemaker81! I wish I would've just thought about what I was doing instead of just doing it. I do that sometimes and it rarely turns out good.
 

B-dubya

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I bulk age my wine, so after primary I rack into a carboy and age it under airlock for 5-6 months. If the fermentation has stopped, it has a chance to restart during that time. I actually don't bother checking the SG to be sure that it is done. After 5-6 months bulk aging, I can be 99% sure that the fermentation is finished.
Hi Raptor99. I need to practice the patience that you have. Heck, some of my wines that I bulk age don't make it to a year without losing 1/2 of the 5 gallons it started at. My wine thief gets too much use no doubt. I have no patience.
 

sour_grapes

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Hi Sour_Grapes. I am never okay with the taste just after fermenting as I cannot get past the yeasty taste to taste the wine. I have a sensitive pallet. Having said that, I did taste it and had the same strong yeasty taste. Thanks for replying

I suppose I meant are you okay with the level of sweetness.
 

Raptor99

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Hi Raptor99. I need to practice the patience that you have. Heck, some of my wines that I bulk age don't make it to a year without losing 1/2 of the 5 gallons it started at. My wine thief gets too much use no doubt. I have no patience.
One you get your pipeline going you will have properly aged wine to drink while the new batch ages. The trick in the beginning is to make more than you will drink, so that some of it will be left to age for a while.
 

QuiQuog

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Thanks for responding Ohio Bob! I did not stir during fermentation, I just let it ferment. I just pitched the yeast and let it saturate naturally. It did start very slowly but after a few days picked up the pace. I don't have more EC1118 so I may try a restart with champagne yeast tonight by removing about half a quart of wine adding a little sugar and some nutrient and allowing it to ferment for 24 hours before pitching.

Any thoughts on using champagne yeast to restart it. I read where champagne yeast would aggressively consume the remaining sugars more. Think I read it on Ed Kraus' old blogs.

EC-1118 is also a champagne yeast, so I think you're going to be okay with that.
 

B-dubya

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One you get your pipeline going you will have properly aged wine to drink while the new batch ages. The trick in the beginning is to make more than you will drink, so that some of it will be left to age for a while.
I think if I quit giving so much of what I make away and keep an untouchable planned reserve, as you say I will be doing myself a huge favor.
 

B-dubya

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EC-1118 is also a champagne yeast, so I think you're going to be okay with that.
I didn't know that so thanks for the info. So what I did was steal 16oz of the batch into a quart jar, added water to about 2/3 quart, to that added 3 tbsp sugar and 1/4 tsp of yeast nutrient and mixed well. Temps were 72f so I pitched the chapagne yeast (yellow pkg) on top and let it sit for a night. Next day I stirred gently. That evening I wasn't seeing any yeast activity yet. Temp still at 72f. I gave gentle stir again and this morning still no yeast activity. I'd have thought that by now the champagne yeast would've created a nice big head of foam in that jar. Any thoughts?
 

Raptor99

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I have had better results rehydrating the yeast first at the temperature recommended by the manufacturer, which is usually printed on the package. Most of the time it is around 95-98 degrees F. It takes a warmer temp to get the yeast to wake up from the dormant, dry state in the package.
 

sour_grapes

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I didn't know that so thanks for the info. So what I did was steal 16oz of the batch into a quart jar, added water to about 2/3 quart, to that added 3 tbsp sugar and 1/4 tsp of yeast nutrient and mixed well. Temps were 72f so I pitched the chapagne yeast (yellow pkg) on top and let it sit for a night. Next day I stirred gently. That evening I wasn't seeing any yeast activity yet. Temp still at 72f. I gave gentle stir again and this morning still no yeast activity. I'd have thought that by now the champagne yeast would've created a nice big head of foam in that jar. Any thoughts?

In the case that you are dealing with, you do NOT want to use any of the batch for use as part of your starter. You are trying to build up a big colony of yeast to finish the fermentation. Nut your batch contains sorbate, which inhibits yeast from reproducing.
 

B-dubya

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In the case that you are dealing with, you do NOT want to use any of the batch for use as part of your starter. You are trying to build up a big colony of yeast to finish the fermentation. Nut your batch contains sorbate, which inhibits yeast from reproducing.
Too late - ha-ha. But you were spot on because it never fermented. I should've known that it wouldn't but once again I act before I think sometimes. I had another 32 oz bottle of peach concentrate in the freezer so I thawed it and made a 1.5 gallon batch that I sweetened to 12% potential ABV and pitched the champagne yeast into. It was fermenting nicely before I left for a business trip and I suspect that it'll be fermenting still when I return tomorrow night. My thought was to go a little high ABV so that when I blend it with the first batch I'll get about 9% - 10% ABV when all is said and done. Fingers crossed. Thanks for your advice.
 

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a week late but for future
potassium sorbate does not kill yeast, it stops them from reproducing, ie if the yeast is actively fermenting the existing population will continue fermenting.
* metabisulphite will kill yeast, commercial strains are more tolerant to free SO2 so some could be alive.
* stopping at 1.020 is sweet, wow. I have had a few high acid fermentations stop at 1.010 and that residual sugar balanced with the high acid so I lucked out. As a general rule high sugar will taste OK with high acid. ,,, When judging wine judges always have some acid blend to mix in the sample to check if the balance is better with more acid, ,,, ie You could fix high sweetness by adding acid.
 
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My thought was to go a little high ABV so that when I blend it with the first batch I'll get about 9% - 10% ABV when all is said and done. Fingers crossed.
Be cautious of wines with an ABV below 10%. That seems to be the dividing line -- wines with less than 10% do not preserve well and have a shorter shelf life.
 
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