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PaulyD333

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hi there,

another novice here. Have just racked my first harvest into a demijohn after its first ferment in open container (covered with cloth). It fermented for 3 weeks there, with starting SG of 1.0052 and now its 1.0000. The airlock on demijohn isn't moving - what should I do? I know that malolactic fermentation should occur, but then is that possible if SG has reached 1?

thanks
 

NorCal

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Did you inoculate with MLB? If so, it's a slow worker, you won't see the activity like a yeast fermentation.
 

PaulyD333

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thanks NorCal,

no I didn't do that, so maybe I'll give it a day or two and if no action, give that a go. Funny thing is that when I first racked it into demijohn, there was a bit of action for an hour or two.
 

mennyg19

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Are you sure those numbers are correct? 1.0052 seems very low. And though not unheard of, 3 weeks in the primary is a bit long for it to get down to 1.000
 

Johny99

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thanks NorCal,

no I didn't do that, so maybe I'll give it a day or two and if no action, give that a go. Funny thing is that when I first racked it into demijohn, there was a bit of action for an hour or two.
Likely that was just CO2 released by the racking. Mlf can start on its own, but much more certain if you innoculate. Don't add meta and double check your pH and keep it warm, 65 or so.
 

Julie

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I"m asking the same question that Menny has asked. Are you sure that was your starting hydrometer reading? That is way too low. Also, never watch an airlock to see if you have an active fermentation going, you need to trust your hydrometer.
 

heatherd

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hi there,

another novice here. Have just racked my first harvest into a demijohn after its first ferment in open container (covered with cloth). It fermented for 3 weeks there, with starting SG of 1.0052 and now its 1.0000. The airlock on demijohn isn't moving - what should I do? I know that malolactic fermentation should occur, but then is that possible if SG has reached 1?

thanks
@PaulyD333

It's great that you took a starting SG reading, as most folks forget. It seems low, though. Maybe it was 1.0520? Even so, your target starting SG should be in the range of 1.070 to 1.100. Folks add sugar to the must to adjust SG upward to get in that range.

Ending SG will be 1.000 to 0.990.

If we assume that your wine started at 1.052 and finished at 1.000, then your ABV would be 6.83% based on the calculator here (http://www.brewersfriend.com/abv-calculator/). My suggestion would be to add more sugar to the must to get it to finish closer to 12-14%. Not knowing the size of your batch, you could add sugar to get it back up to 1.052 to end up with a final ABV of 13.66%. (Forum members be sure to check my math!!)

Movement in the airllock is not an indication of fermentation - only your hydrometer readings.

If you wish to do Malolactic Fermentation, you'll need to add the malolactic bacteria. I typically use VP41. If you plan to do so, be sure to omit potassium metabisulfite until MLF is complete.
 

PaulyD333

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thanks folks for all your great advice - I really appreciate it. Yes, I did make a mistake with that SG reading - must have been 1.052. I do need to do a bit more reading because I had thought that the SG limit that the wine could get to was 1.000, so therefore confused as to how MF could occur at this level, or how the alcohol content could get any higher without adding sugar. Was also a bit worried about adding sugar to a high quality grape and not wanting to spoil a potentially good drop - now know better.
 

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