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Blueberry Wine - Fermentation

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DavidB

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Hey guys/gals. I started a gallon of Blueberry wine Saturday and it hasn't started fermentation yet. Should I be worried and what can I or should I do at this point?

I know the yeast was good because I also started another gallon of Strawberry with the same pack and it is going strong.

Here's what I did with the Blueberry.

About 3 Quarts of fresh blueberries. Crushed (well actually processed with a juicer)
Bentonite
Meta
about 1 quart water, maybe less.

Everything was poured into a one gallon jug with yeast and applied air lock.

This is the same process (give or take) that I have used with everything I've started so far. All are bubbling real good through the air lock but this one hasn't bubbled once. What do you think?
 

DavidB

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Forgot to mention. Added sugar for a SG of about 1.095 +. The bag slipped.
 

deboard

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You might try adding some yeast nutrient. I know that blueberry can be hard to get started. I recently started some blueberry pomegranate and it had a hard time as well. I had to try another yeast, and that time I made a starter, and it did better.

Did you check the acid content? The acid level needs to be within a certain range to ferment (0.55 to 0.85 is what my Wine Maker's Handbook says).
 
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DavidB

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Did not check the acid level. Not that advanced in my skills and don't have anything to check with. I was told that if the acid level was too high, you just add water. Was wondering if maybe I needed to add a little since I used so little when I made this.

Is there a substute for yeast nutrient that I may have in my kitchen? Haven't purchased this yet and will have to buy on line and have shipped to me. No wine making shops near by.
 

deboard

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Looks like for yeast nutrient you might substitute a crushed up multivitamin, or add some banana, according to this post:

http://www.winemakingtalk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=3782&highlight=yeast+nutrient+substitute


As far as acid goes, without testing theres not an easy way to see what you need, but for my 1 gallon batch I used all juice, and it was actually very close to what I needed acid-wise, I did not adjust by much, I had to add 1/10th tsp. So given that you added water I would guess you are low instead of high. I know you could probably use lemon juice to raise it, but I wouldn't know how much. Again, there's no sure way to tell short of testing. There will probably be someone with a better idea about some acid come by shortly!

I know you mentioned you can't get any equipment/chems by mail fast enough for this batch, but I would recommend for future batches you at least get some of the pH test strips, which will give you an idea of where you stand on acid.
 

djrockinsteve

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Did you add the bentonite and the k mea at the same time as your yeast???????
 

DavidB

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Yes. They were both added at the same time. I think I remember pouring them into the jug before adding the Blueberries.

As a follow up. I mashed up two bananas and added that to the jug last night. This morning, I had a major mess on the kitchen table / floor where it expanded over the night. Cleaned up everything and devided it into two gallon jugs so it won't do it again. At face value, it appears that the Banana trick worked. But will see.

Thanks for all responses.
 

deboard

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Good to hear, except for the mess anyways. Next time, add the yeast about 24 hours after everything else. The k-meta is added to kill any wild yeast that might be in the juice, and it will dissipate enough in 24 hours to allow your yeast to take over and do it's job.
 

Wade E

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Bananas are a good way to kick start a fermentation but you really need to keep both nutrient and energizer on hand and add it to every wine, most fruits lack in the needed food that yeast need to get started much less finish doing the job without stressing out thus causing an H2S problem (sulfur smell).
 

DavidB

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Thanks for the information....Ordering both today for my next batches.

I hate to admit it, but it seems I have been bitten by the obsession bug. Currently have 5 gallons of peach going, two gallons of Blueberry and Two gallons of Strawberry. Have been eyeing some fresh lemons my wife bought Saturday for maybe some Skeeters pee and placed an order today for 10 more air locks. The Kitchen is quickly becoming cluttered with all sorts of wine making materials.

Making wine is FUN!
 
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