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Bubbling but not fermenting.

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pip

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I'm a bit stumped and i'd really appreciate any help and information regarding this problem i'm having.

I have a batch of Blackberry wine that went into a 5 liter demijohn for its secondary fermentation at 1.068 SG. (The original SG was 1.085 roughly). This was a way higher reading than normal for me but the must had been sitting there for 5 days and i just wanted to get it under an airlock.

The air lock started bubbling away nicely and consistently for 3 weeks so i was happy. Then i tested the SG and...1.068! WTF? No change. I tasted it and it is incredibly sweet. So in 3 weeks there has been zero fermentation, but why was it producing gas?

My assumption is that it is somehow infected with a bacteria that is making the gas and that the yeast is dead.

I decided to restart the fermentation by nuking it with campden tablets and then re-pitching the yeast and yeast nutrient the next day. I left it in a cloth covered bucket for 48 hours and then airlocked it in a demijohn.

3 days later, after consistent airlock activity, the SG is still 1.068!

Can anyone enlighten me?

Should i ditch this batch? It's only 5 liters so its not really a big deal although i'd like to know what has gone wrong.

Thanks in advance.
 

Boatboy24

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Your wine has CO2 in it from the little fermentation you did get. What you're seeing in the airlock is probably just the degassing of that CO2.

You're right in that 1.068 is WAY early to go to secondary. 5 days is not too long to be in an open fermenter. What kind of yeast were you using? How many campden tablets did you add? At this point, you may have too much sulfite to be able to restart fermentation.
 

AZMDTed

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I agree with Jim. Your phrase of 'nuking' it with campden tablets could be the key to the latest problem. What's the temperature you're trying to ferment at? Here are my suggestions:

1. Stir it well to remove some of the Kmeta/SO2 from the campden tablets.
2. Make sure the must is above 68 degrees, preferably about 72
3. Pitch in some EC-1118 yeast

If that doesn't get it going then I'm not sure what else to suggest.
 

Floandgary

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Properly mix and add the nutrient. Next day properly hydrate yeast then add to must. Do not be shy about using a brew-belt or other warming device. Temps in the 80's will not hurt anything.. G'luck!!
 

pip

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Thanks for the response. To answer the questions - I use Lalvin EC-1118 for all my fruit wine and just the one campden tablet, its just 5 litres.The area i brew in is consistently warm. Ranging from 70F at night to 80F in the day. Normally, my primary goes from 1.100 to 1.010 in 2 to 3 days for this seasons Blackberry - i can barely keep up its so fast, so i dont think the temperature is an issue and i always re-hydrate yeast.

Hmmm, i'll swish it around and test for a few days, see what happens. Thanks for the thoughts.
 

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