Black Muscadine must will not ferment

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1stfinger

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I put EC118 yeast to my must at 3:00 PM and at 5:00 PM I could see no fermentation action so I rehydrated another packet of yeast for 15 min. at 106 degrees and added that second packet of the same yeast. When I look at it now I see a very small amount of bubbles on top of the must. I used a PH meter and the PH was 5.5. I do not know if my meter is correct. Does the PH have an effect on fermentation?
Another affecting factor may be the way In processed the Muscadines. I froze them for a few weeks, then thawed them in a water bath. Next I chopped them up seeds, skins and all in a blender to the consistency of preserves and added Tannen, Campden tablets, and yeast nutrient. After 14 hours, I added Pectic enzyme. After 27 hours, I added the first packet of EC1118 yeast.
Please tell me what you think.
 
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olusteebus

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It takes time for the fermentation to start. You should see ferment going well on the second day. I would not worry about it.
 

1stfinger

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It is now 23hours after adding yeast and there is no sign of fermentation.
What is the ideal PH for Muscadine fermentation? I read that fermentation works better as the PH is lower. Mine was at 5.5.
 

garymc

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I had a must that was doing nothing at 44 hours. I had to go somewhere and was going to have to re-pitch when I got back. When I got back home it was 48 hours and foam was starting to form. So, you never know. If you saw some bubbles earlier, it's probably getting underway. I'd go a day (24 hours) after pitching before I started to get concerned.
 

menerdari

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Depending on conditions fermentation can take a couple of days to get going, a couple of hours you are unlikely to see any action at all.
 

Julie

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5.5 is awfully high, PH should be around 3.4 - 3.65 and muscadines are usually a little lower than that.
 

1stfinger

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It has been 4 days and there is still no sign of fermentation. I tried to lower the PH with lemon juice. I didn't think about the preservatives in the lemon juice. I think I ruined it for sure.
Is there any way to counter those preservatives, or should I just dump the whole 5 gallons?
If hindsight was foresight, I'd be a winemaker. Maybe next year on the muscadines.
Thanks to everyone for your comments.
 

Ernest T Bass

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Agree with all of the above. I would check pH meter, sounds a lot too high.
Semper Fi
 

1stfinger

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On day five, fermentation started.

The mistake I made was putting the lid on the fermenter with an airlock too soon.
My thanks to everyone for your help.
 

1stfinger

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On day five, fermentation started.

The mistake I made was putting the lid on the fermenter with an airlock too soon.
My thanks to everyone for your help.
:hug
 

hdsae60

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My first batch of Muscadine worked good but I gently smashed the berries by hand with a glass and colander then added yeast nutrient, calcium carbonate and pectic enzyme 24hrs before pitching yeast.
 

garymc

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Now on to the next item. People recommend against breaking the seeds or chopping up the skins, especially with muscadines. All you have to do is break the skins open. I'm told you can get some harsh flavors from the seeds and skins contributing too much to the wine. Some of this could be overcome by aging, but I'd rather drink in 1 year than 2 or 3.
 

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