Am I stuck?

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ChuckD

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This is only me fifth attempt at wine and I'm wondering if I have a stuck fermentation. It's 6 gallons of wild grape. here is what I have done so far:

Afternoon 11/28
24 lbs of wild grapes crushed and in straining bags
9 lbs -12 oz sugar boiled in water
water to make 5 gallons

SG was 1.062 so I consulted the SG Table in Kellers book and figured I should add 5 lbs of sugar boiled in a gallon of water to bring it up to 1.00. I overshot and hit 1.114 (15% ABV).

1.2g K-meta

morning 11/29
22g calcium bicarb to bring pH to 3.15
6t pectic enzyme

night 11/29
Lalvin 71B

So now, 72 hours after pitching the yeast, the SG and it is still at 1.11. I went over my notes and realized I had not added the yeast nutrient (6t) so I just added it. The fermentation activity is very light with just a little fizzing. For comparison, I started a batch of Elderberry the next day and its fizzing and foaming like crazy tonight.

Any suggestions? Did I do something wrong? I busted my butt picking and cleaning 30lbs of wild grapes and I don't want to screw this up.

Chuck
 

Rice_Guy

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You will find that patience is one of the main ingredients in good wine.

From what you have said, it is at 72 hours and just starting to show signs of fermentation. Yeast will go through three phases 1) wake up/ acclimate to the fermentation media, normal is for two days. 2) active reproduction in which their population will exponentially increase, the consume lots of nutrients and oxygen and we have the risk for foaming over, with lots of CO2 . 3) senescence where reproduction has stopped, toxic byproducts are building up, the live population is going down, most of the sugar is used up and very little CO2 is produced. I might add another 4) lurking waiting for some nutrients or toxins (alcohol) to decrease. Usually by nine or twelve months they are dead and not lurking.

A fix for lack of patience is to do a yeast starter. Lallemand/ our supplier has a good video on starting yeast. ,,,,,, NOTE ,,, you are probably OK as is.
This post is eight “BOOK REVIEWs” on YouTube webinars related to fermentation microbiology. This is intended to let you know the good info is out there whether you just read summaries or watch as you need the vendor's answer. ~MY OPINIONs~ are in italic followed by the link to the webinar and the authors description. Warning!, some folks (me for example) may start binge watching YouTube since there are other pretty good webinars industrial suppliers have given about their wine making supplies.

In pre-pandemic time Scott Labs, (a US supplier) put on four hour long customer seminars. They were intended introduce important concepts to help folks make quality wines and familiarize us on which Scott Labs product would help. Suppliers have started creating webinars which are available on YouTube. The list in this post are a few fermentation topics that I like. They tend to be about an hour, and are college level information. Scott is by no means the only place for good technical info so I start with Lallemand and end with Bucher Vaslin (French supplier).
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An easy to follow, low tech guide for using dry yeast, 36 minutes
* Everything you need to know about dry yeast, Brittney Berg, Sales Manager for Lallemand answers many frequently asked questions about dry yeast ranging from production, rehydration to repitching. Questions that were covered: What is A.D.Y. (active dry yeast)? How is it made? What is Trehalose? Why are there not as many dry strains available compared to liquid? Do I need to rehydrate dried yeast? How do I go about doing that? How do I store dry yeast? and how once I have opened a packet? Do I need to aerate? Can I repitch another ferment with this yeast? What if I ignore the best by date?
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When you get down to it yeast are very hardy. This short video shows what a microbiology lab looks like and “sterile” technique in farming yeast, drying yeast. 4 minutes
* Virtual Tour: Lallemand Bio-Ingredients Salutaguse, Estonia plant
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Basic concepts one gets in a microbiology course as competitive cell populations going into a fermentation, plus practical details as nutrition/ pH as a fence/ use of metabisulphite/ sorbate/ filtration/ infection vectors/ microbial spoilage/ weaknesses of spoilage organisms/ always mix your yeast to prevent pockets of infection/ what if we dose with less than recomended yeast. (1) 1 hour; 12 minutes and (2) 1 hour, 19 minutes

Part 1: https://youtu.be/bFouHaECa94 * Budding Geniuses: Yeast Management & Selection to Maximize Wine Quality & Drive Wine Style, Scott Labs loves yeast! Yeast have a huge impact and yeast selection is an important tool for driving wine style. Proper nutrition and fermentation practices combined with strain selection are important to achieve a desired outcome. Join us for Part 2 of an exciting two-part episode of our webinar series where host Darren Michaels and guest speaker Dr. Nichola Hall explore the world of yeast, yeast selection, and fermentation outcomes. Budding Geniuses Part 2: Good Fermentation Practices - The Importance of Proper Yeast Rehydration - Nutritional Management - How to Use Nutrients to Drive Aromas
Part 2: * Budding Geniuses: Yeast Management & Selection to Maximize Wine Quality & Drive Wine Style: Scott Labs loves yeast! Yeast have a huge impact and yeast selection is an important tool for driving wine style. Proper nutrition and fermentation practices combined with strain selection are important to achieve a desired outcome. Join us August 6th for Part 1 of an exciting two-part episode of our webinar series where host Darren Michaels and guest speaker Dr. Nichola Hall explore the world of yeast, yeast selection, and fermentation outcomes. Budding Geniuses Part 1: Yeast Physiology and Selection - Basic Yeast Physiology and Growth Cycles - Yeast Nutritional Requirements - Selecting Yeast Using Our 2020 Winemaking Handbook
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Extra microbiology course info related to farming with yeast, as how to choose conditions where yeast out compete or what does sulfur dioxide do to bacterial cells. 1 hour, 24 minutes
* Taming the Beasts Within Your Wine: New & Old Ways to Prevent Microbial Spoilage: We are excited to announce a new Scott Labs Winemaking webinar series, hosted by our very own Darren Michaels. Join us for a short presentation and Q&A with Dr. Nichola Hall, where we discuss the following: - Wine hygiene theory - Methods to prevent and treat microbial spoilage - Low-to-no SO2 microbial control options1
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A microbiologist talks about requirements for growing yeast. Of note she is good at “off the cuff” answers of what is happening and fixes in the question session. 1 hour, 16 minutes
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S_Majzto54Q * Snap Out of It: Restarting a Stuck Fermentation: a quick review and live Q&A with Dr. Nichola Hall and Darren Michaels, where we will be discussing stuck wine treatments and how to get a restart going towards the best possible outcome. Topics Include: - Brief procedure overview - Critical control steps in building a successful starter - Treatment of toxins and competitive species - Optimal yeast and nutrient options.
... To be continued as I binge watch
 

ChuckD

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Thanks, just a little edgy over this one. My other attempts (apple, elderberry and beet) all showed vigorous fermentation by this point. It's fizzing a little more this morning but still not going great guns. Your risk of foaming over got me thinking though... I'm about two inches from the top of the primary and one of my straining bags has a very fine weave and keeps filling with gas. I am afraid it might foam over when it gets cooking, so I set it in the bathtub!

Also too... why didn't anyone tell me about the stick green sap that gets all over the equipment when making elderberry wine?:oops: That freakout was averted when Dr. Google gave me the answer... cleanup for that one is going to be fun.
 

Rice_Guy

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all of us who have done elderberry deal with green goo and there are several WMT threads with tips, example:
... why didn't anyone tell me about the stick green sap that gets all over the equipment when making elderberry wine?:oops: That freakout was averted when Dr. Google gave me the answer... cleanup for that one is going to be fun.
My best way to clean goo is to spray with Pam (store brand) anti stick cooking spray. This family of product has lecithin in it which is a natural bipolar molecule, , is like soap. It solubilizes the goo well and is easy to get off the carboy with soap water.
tubing gets replaced after use on elderberry.
 

ChuckD

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Thanks. I did find the green goo answer on this site. Odd that none of the four wine making books I have mentioned it! I tried rubbing alcohol on the stirring spoon. I'll try the Pam on the carboy. Does it continue to be a problem after you rack the wine off of the lees?

And the grape wine is starting to fizz a lot now too. I'll take readings of both in a day or two.
 

ChuckD

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I tried the Pam which worked OK when there was just a little but the spoon I used for stirring for three days was caked with it and rubbing alcohol worked best.

I hope the wine is worth it!
 

ChuckD

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Update:

Patience was the key! The must is bubbling like crazy now. I did however need to transfer the crushed grapes into a bag with larger mesh because the original one kept blowing up like a balloon and displacing so much must that it caused an overflow... luckily the primary was sitting in the bathtub!
 

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