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jtmayo

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I got a 23 liter bucket of cab/merlot juice yesterday, it was refrigerated before it made the trip home and was around 65 degrees when I got it. The lid was bulging and when I removed the grommet, gas came out. Tonight it was up to 74 degrees and when I opened it to pitch it was very frothy and had signs of fermentation. I assume this is because of wild yeasts that were on the grapes when crushed and packaged.

I stirred it gently, per the instructions, and the frothy cap began to disappear. I assume this is common but am worried that the wild yeast may have imparted some funky flavors or may compete with the Llavin yeast I pitched. Do I have any problems here?

Thanks!
 

rawlus

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most likely was the wild yeast taking hold. may not be an issue as in the more established grape growing regions, the wild tend to be pretty predictable strains out of decades of spent lees being cultivated back into the vineyards - even in large commercial operations, the "wild" yeasts often are just the most used cultivated variety... regardless, if you pitched with a good cultured, chances are excellent it will smash out the wild strain in short order.

partial fermentation on wild yeasts is pretty common in boutique wineries, usually during cold soak or whatever until a cultured hardier strain can be pitched to take the fermentation through to completion.

i know at least one winery in napa that had harvested as many strains of wild yeast as they could around the vineyard, isolated them and ran trials to determine characteristics and then had a lab propagate their ideal wild candidate into their own wild cultured yeast.

wild yeasts on a home vineyard may be more unpredictable and inconsistent than that which comes from the large production vineyards in chile or elsewhere.
 

jtmayo

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Good Information

Thanks for the response. I also saw that a local winery uses wild yeast for primary fermentation, but I was a little nervous.

I also checked my wine an hour after pitch and the frothy cap was back. Not sure if this is from the wild or from the Llavin that I pitched, most likely the former, but it is cooking either way.

Thanks again.
 

Lurker

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I agree with Rawlus. There is a lot of talk about wild yeasts being harmful to your wine. My friends never use anything but the natural yeast. I put my cultured yeast on top of the wild yeast and as Rawlus said, the cultured yeast will be stronger and kill whatever other yeast is there. I'm certain that you have no problem.
 

jtmayo

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Update

Foamy cap on top today when I stirred per directions - gassy sound hissing forth, so I think all is good.

Thanks!
 

Chateau Joe

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What was your brix reading before you pitched your yeast?
 

Tom

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If fermenting in the bucket LAY the lid on top w/no airlock
 

jtmayo

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Brix

Not sure about Brix but SG was 1.085 - don't have a hydrometer handy.

Mayo
 

soslarry

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I've also measured the Sg but never the brix. How do you measure the brix?
 

Floandgary

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Most (but not all) bucket juices have been prepared and inoculated prior to shipping, hence must be refrigerated to prevent fermentation. When you pick up your bucket from your distributor, it begins to warm up and the jostling around will agitate the must. Juice bucket instructions tell you to allow the temperature of the contents to stabilize , then to stir a couple of times daily. My experience with the buckets has been that noticeable fermentation usually occurs within a day or two. I've not added any other yeasts tho others wishing a particular outcome have done so. At least 15 "bucket" wines to date and all drinkable thus far :dg
 

soslarry

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I let the juices warm up since sunday. I checked the temp and Sg on all 4 and they ranged from 1.096 to1.098. The must temp. Was around 62F to 64F with the room temp around 70 in basement. I made an temporary insulated enclosure from max insulation board to heat the area with the juices. Otherwise the temp. In the basement is only around 66F. After considerable reading, I decided to add pot. Meta ,to kill the wild yeast, to the juices( @.5 tsp. per 6 gal.) and left it uncovered. I checked on it this morning and 1 of the juices decided to ferment in spite of the meta.???

I plan to add yeast today around 2pm(24 hr. Period for k meta to dissipate),........BUT I am concerned about the yeast that I was sold by the juice retailer. He sold me all in ec-1118 for all 4. I am concerned about both alcohol tolerance of the yeast and it's temp. Range. My research leads me to believe that the yeast will not hold up to the alcohol. I found a formula online for alc. approximation and it comes out to about 14% when I plugged in my Sg along with the expected final Sg of .996.
In my last attempt with juices, I had a stalled fermentation in a Barolo and amarone. I suspect that the problem was the temp. as I monitored the starting temp. Of the must but only the room temp. Afterwards and I think the must got too hot for the yeast. This is all conjecture as I didn't realize until now that both temp. And alcohol tolerance play a role in the health of the yeast.I finally got the fermentation to restart but while the wine is drinkable , I am not sure if it is what it was supposed to be. In fact, they both taste very similar.
Therefore, I am trying to head off this situation,now,before it arises again. Anyone have any thoughts on the type of yeast for the Malbec,Syrah,Cabernet franc, and a Sauvignon blanc?
 

sour_grapes

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I am confused -- if you are concerned about alcohol tolerance, then ec-1118 is your weapon of choice. It is about as alcohol tolerant as a wine yeast gets.
 

dangerdave

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I am so impressed with these juice buckets! Last year was an award winning year for my Chilean wines. I got five this year, trying some grapes I have never had---Malbec, caremere, etc. One month in and just into clearing and they already taste awesome! Lovin' me some Malbec by the way. Tested all five reds and I am very pleased. Bravo para Chile!

Remind me next time not to taste test half a dozen wines before donor...diner...I mean dinner.


Sent from my iPhone using Wine Making
 

soslarry

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Sorry,you are correct. The confusion is on my part.Somehow I was thinking backwards about it.
 

soslarry

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Next fiasco

I checked my fermentation a few hours ago and it looks like everything is moving along smoothly......EXCEPT I noticed the sav. Blanc had not started to ferment. I had moved it too a cooler location and checked the must temp.,60 F .
Upon some checking, I found only 3 packets of yeast and decided that I had not put the yeast in the 4th juice and decided that I neglected to pitch the red star champagne yeast in the sav blanc......SO I pitched the yeast today.........BUT....IT GETS BETTER as upon further thought I realized that I did put the yeast in the sav blanc originally and as I was checking on everything ,I thought that I detected a foul smell from the sav blanc juice(similar to water that stayed too long in a flower vase)

So here is the situation
The sav blanc stinks ,has double the amount of yeast,and has not shown any signs of fermentation

The 3 reds are all fermenting and showing signs of a falling SG,BUT ONE DOES NOT CONTAIN ANY CULTURED YEAST.I think the cab franc


HELP!!!! Can the white be saved? Honestly, I wasn't doing any drinking through all of this. But the story keeps getting more and more crazy
 

sour_grapes

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The extra yeast won't hurt anything. I would try to move it to a warmer place. Red Star Yeast has an ideal temp. range that goes down to 59F on the low side, so it should be okay. However, I would want it to be a bit warmer since it hasn't taken off yet.
 

soslarry

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Thanks for the reply.
I moved it to a different area and have wrapped wrapped a brew belt around it for a short while. There is some evidence of fermentation(residue on top),but the SG is the same(actually a little higher) is it possible to be higher or did I take a bad reading originally?
 
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