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Blueberry wine fermentation guidance

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I am new to winemaking. I have made wine once before, but it was from a kit. I recently began making blueberry wine from fresh blueberries. I am currently in the primary fermentation phase, or so I think. When I added my smashed blueberries and sugar, I got my specific gravity to 1.096 before adding the yeast. I attempted to rehydrate the yeast with water, but honestly don’t know how to tell if that was done correctly. The bag did not start floating to the top until approximately a day and a half to two days after adding the yeast. There were bubbles around the rim but not a lot. I am using a bung and airlock and there are very slow bubbles in the airlock. I have been pushing the bag down with a spoon twice a day. It has now been about 6 days since I first added the yeast and I took the specific gravity today and got 1.079. Has fermentation started for me?? If not, what can I do to fix it?
 

beano

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Are you fermenting in a bucket? If so take the lid and airlock off and cover with a towel or old tee shirt.
Stir it once or twice daily. Sounds like you are off to a good start but the yeast needs oxygen. Most do their primary fermentation minus airlock until SG hits 1.020 or 1.030, then transferring to a carboy for secondary fermentation with the airlock installed. Some do it differently, but thats always my game plan. Lets see if other, more experienced folks will chime in.
 

Johnd

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I am new to winemaking. I have made wine once before, but it was from a kit. I recently began making blueberry wine from fresh blueberries. I am currently in the primary fermentation phase, or so I think. When I added my smashed blueberries and sugar, I got my specific gravity to 1.096 before adding the yeast. I attempted to rehydrate the yeast with water, but honestly don’t know how to tell if that was done correctly. The bag did not start floating to the top until approximately a day and a half to two days after adding the yeast. There were bubbles around the rim but not a lot. I am using a bung and airlock and there are very slow bubbles in the airlock. I have been pushing the bag down with a spoon twice a day. It has now been about 6 days since I first added the yeast and I took the specific gravity today and got 1.079. Has fermentation started for me?? If not, what can I do to fix it?
Good job on the sugar additions, 1.096 is a good starting point. No worries about bubbles in the airlock, a small leak in the seal can let the CO2 out in other areas. If your specific gravity is continuing to drop, you are fermenting. You may need to add yeast nutrients to feed your yeast. How many pounds of blueberries are you using? How many gallons of water?
 

Scooter68

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If you followed a recipe could you post that here OR just list what you added to create your wine batch.

Plenty of help available and as Johnd mentions, you are off to a good start. The one thing that can affect a blueberry wine is the level of acidity. Blueberries are known to pretty acidic and once in a while that can create a problem. SOoooo if you took a pH or TA reading please post that.

Welcome to the hobby - beware, Once you get started it's easy to get hooked on making your very own wine.
 

tradowsk

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Non-kit fermentation can be a bit longer since everything is not so strictly controlled. I had a mead recently where primary took a whole month to get to 1.010.

One culprit could be temperature. Yeast usually like 65-72F in the must, so maybe check that. But if your SG is dropping then I wouldn't worry. Slower fermentation can actually help retain some floral and fruity flavors. Keep stirring twice daily and make sure the fruit stays hydrated so it doesn't rot.
 
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Good job on the sugar additions, 1.096 is a good starting point. No worries about bubbles in the airlock, a small leak in the seal can let the CO2 out in other areas. If your specific gravity is continuing to drop, you are fermenting. You may need to add yeast nutrients to feed your yeast. How many pounds of blueberries are you using? How many gallons of water?
Thanks for the help! I used about 3.5 lbs of blueberries, 2.5 lbs of sugar, and its approximately 1 gallon of wine so enough water to fill it! Also, I added yeast energizer but not nutrient. Here is what I did:

Added juice, sugar water, about 1/4 tsp metabisulfite. Waited about 48 hours stirring twice a day.

- went on vacation so wine had to sit for 2 days at this point

Added 1/4 tsp yeast energizer, 1/4 tsp tannin, 1/2 tsp pectin enzyme plus the juice from one organic lemon

Took specific gravity. Added water to lower. Added yeast that I attempted to rehydrate using heated water.

I wasn’t sure how long it would take for this part to be done and for me to be able to transfer to the other fermenter. It has been suggested to take the lid off and cover with a towel. What do you think? Just any clean towel? What about sanitizing the towel?

Thank you!!
 
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If you followed a recipe could you post that here OR just list what you added to create your wine batch.

Plenty of help available and as Johnd mentions, you are off to a good start. The one thing that can affect a blueberry wine is the level of acidity. Blueberries are known to pretty acidic and once in a while that can create a problem. SOoooo if you took a pH or TA reading please post that.

Welcome to the hobby - beware, Once you get started it's easy to get hooked on making your very own wine.

Thanks so much for the tips! I am excited to get lots of different wines under my belt!! =))

Here is what I did:

Juiced 3.5 lbs of blueberries in bag, added sugar water with about 2.5 lbs of sugar, added about 1/8 tsp potassium metabisulfite. Waited about 48 hours stirring twice a day.

- went on vacation so wine had to sit for 2 additional days at this point

Added 1/4 tsp yeast energizer, 1/4 tsp tannin, 1/2 tsp pectin enzyme plus the juice from one organic lemon

Took specific gravity. Added water to lower. Added yeast that I attempted to rehydrate using heated water.

I havent haven’t been taking the temperature regularly but it sits in a room that’s about 72-73.

I have not been taking the ph. Do you have suggestions for how to take this reading, what I am looking for, and how to adjust it?

Thank you!
 

Scooter68

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A safe number to shoot for with pH for fruit wine is between 3.4 and 3.6 Blueberries are normally going to be at the lower end of that range or even lower. As long as you are not down to 3.1 or below you shouldn't have any serious issue.

Only recommendation I would have would be to increase lbs of blueberries per gallon to between 5-7 lbs
 

Johnd

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Thanks for the help! I used about 3.5 lbs of blueberries, 2.5 lbs of sugar, and its approximately 1 gallon of wine so enough water to fill it! Also, I added yeast energizer but not nutrient. Here is what I did:

Added juice, sugar water, about 1/4 tsp metabisulfite. Waited about 48 hours stirring twice a day.

- went on vacation so wine had to sit for 2 days at this point

Added 1/4 tsp yeast energizer, 1/4 tsp tannin, 1/2 tsp pectin enzyme plus the juice from one organic lemon

Took specific gravity. Added water to lower. Added yeast that I attempted to rehydrate using heated water.

I wasn’t sure how long it would take for this part to be done and for me to be able to transfer to the other fermenter. It has been suggested to take the lid off and cover with a towel. What do you think? Just any clean towel? What about sanitizing the towel?

Thank you!!
I just use a towel during fermentation, just to keep anything from falling / fling into th must.
 

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