Batch not fermenting

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pilotdentist

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So I am trying a cranberry wine. Used 12 cans of frozen cranberry concentrate, water, 9.5 lbs granulated sugar, and red star premier cuvee yeast.
Temperature was 75 degs and SG 1.088
After a bit over 24 hours it is not fermenting. I added 2.5 tbsps of yeast nutrient. No activity still. Do I just need to give it more time to start? Did I pick a yeast that won’t do this sugar/cranberry mix? Did I pick the wrong cranberry mix or does this frozen one have something in it that stops fermentation?

let me know your thoughts. This is my first non-grape wine attempt.



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salcoco

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cranberry very hard to start as it is pretty acidic and may take up to 72 hours to start. monitor with hydrometer as activity will be light. if still difficult make a yeast starter to get yeast population large and then pitch. check the ph now might be to acidic.
 

pilotdentist

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cranberry very hard to start as it is pretty acidic and may take up to 72 hours to start. monitor with hydrometer as activity will be light. if still difficult make a yeast starter to get yeast population large and then pitch. check the ph now might be to acidic.
So I ordered some pH test strips but it will be two days before I get them.

If it doesn’t start fermenting soon, will it “go bad”in a certain amount of time? (Stagnant sugar without CO2 to protect it, maybe I should add campden tabs?)

also- if pH is low, I will need to raise it. I’ll have to look up how to do that. I have pH changers for the pool andwill have to see if they would work in small quantities for this...
 

salcoco

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calcium carbonate is the solution for reducing acid in pre-fermentation must. water can also be added but it will reduce the wine character. PH strips are not very accurate a ph meter is better. some economical ones on Amazon . try the yeast starter first after a few days .
 

Bossbaby

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my last batch of fresh cranberry was very slow to start, I tried to raise the ph after pitching the yeast when it wouldnt go after 4 days, found out my ph meter was not working when I started the batch. so I split the 6 gal in half watered down a bit and made a healthy yeast starter with EC1118 for a few hours. adjusted S.G. and pitched the yeast and it took off in a few hours and turned into a very nice wine that has been aging for 4 months now and should be great by next fall.
 

pilotdentist

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my last batch of fresh cranberry was very slow to start, I tried to raise the ph after pitching the yeast when it wouldnt go after 4 days, found out my ph meter was not working when I started the batch. so I split the 6 gal in half watered down a bit and made a healthy yeast starter with EC1118 for a few hours. adjusted S.G. and pitched the yeast and it took off in a few hours and turned into a very nice wine that has been aging for 4 months now and should be great by next fall.
Thanks for the input.

I just watched some videos on a yeast starter. it said to put about 1 tablespoon of sugar into a small amount of water near boiling. Stir it in. Let it cool to about 105 F then pitch yeast and stir. Put a cover on it and let it cultivate for about 24 hours to multiple, then put yeast starter into wine. Anything more to it than that?

also, I know calcium carbonate was mentioned to raise pH. Does sodium carbonate work as an alternative to that? ( I have sodium carbonate here at home)

thanks!
 

pilotdentist

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I checked again. 1.088 still with no airlock activity.
Alright, I switched to an S shaped airlock and can see that it is fermenting with CO2 venting... very slowly.

I think I just didn’t wait long enough.

But good tips everyone and I think I know how to do a yeast starter now. Every batch, I learn something new.
 

Bossbaby

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It helps to introduce a little bit of the cranberry must to the starter every 30 minutes or so to help the yeast acclimate to the temp and acidity, you could do it for 24 hrs but I've only ever done it for a few hours and it's always taken off.
 

Bossbaby

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You do not want to do your primary fermentation with an airlock, we usually do this part in an open bucket with a cloth covering the top to keep the yeast oxygenated. once fermentation is below 1.000 you then transfer to carboy and airlock , hope this helps..
 

Raptor99

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In your photo, you frozen juice says "juice cocktail," so it is probably not 100% cranberry juice. Check the ingredients to see what else in in there. In your case, that might be a good thing. Cranberry juice has a low pH, so if they added apple juice or something then the pH might not be as low.

+1 for primary fermentation in a brew bucket.
 

pilotdentist

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Looks like it is 12% juice with some being cranberry and some being grape. Is 12% low? This was the only frozen cranberry they had in stock. Looks like high fructose corn syrup is what makes up most of the sugar.

I put a cloth on top of big mouth bubbler and will put airlock on when the SG drops. SG was 1.08 this morning with lots more Bubbling, so it is definitely fermenting.

cheers.
image.jpg
 

Scooter68

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I know you said you ordered some pH test strips, but; those are not going to work well with any dark or red wines. Reading them accurately is pretty tough with even light colored liquids and with wines that are dark/red, you are guessing more than reading. That plus they are not going to give you that fine a reading either. Ballparking is about all you can expect at best.
A digital pH meter is well worth the investment. The only issue with them is that regardless of how much you spend, you still will need to calibrate it periodically (at least once a month). Despite that recurring effort to calibrate one, your result will still put you miles ahead of the guess work of getting even a ballpark reading from a test strip.
So if you intend on making more wine, I'd spend the f$25.00 - $60.00 to get a decent one and some calibrating powder/liquid. It's just so much easier and ACCURATE.
 
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winemaker81

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The good news is the ingredient list does not contain sorbate. If it did, getting fermentation to kick in is much harder.

Commercial drinking juices are not the best for winemaking. This doesn't mean you can't do it (heck, we can ferment almost anything!), but it has challenges natural fruit don't have.
 

pilotdentist

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The good news is the ingredient list does not contain sorbate. If it did, getting fermentation to kick in is much harder.

Commercial drinking juices are not the best for winemaking. This doesn't mean you can't do it (heck, we can ferment almost anything!), but it has challenges natural fruit don't have.
Thanks for input! Yea, I am curious how it will turn out. I will have to compare this low % juice vs 100% juice vs raw fruit in the future.
 

pilotdentist

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Finished this batch. Final product tastes great!

It was a very slow fermentation. Took about 2 months before it ended at .990 SG (started at 1.086 for about 13% final ABV)

I was worried it would taste like garbage since I used the grocery frozen concentrate that was mostly high fructose corn syrup and not much juice. Surprisingly, tastes like a decent wine cooler, which I am fine with.

I will do the same again, but try with 100% juice next time. Have a good one!
 
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