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Texas Jim

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I bought a packet of DADY yeast to learn with. I started with a 96 ounce bottle of Welch's grape juice in a gallon glass jug. Two cups of sugar syrup, two grams of DADY and an air lock. Ran great for 11 days, got up to 16% and stopped. I made a small batch of ambient temp bottled water, a table spoon of white sugar and a gram of DADY. Nothin'. No activity at all in over an hour.

What happened to my yeast?
 

sour_grapes

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Help me understand your question:

I think you describe two fermentations. The first, with grape juice, seems to have worked perfectly, right?

The second is water and sugar only, and is an hour old? You don't always see activity right away. I don't see any reason to think you are having any trouble.
 

vinny

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Probably not your yeast.
Help me understand your question:

I think you describe two fermentations. The first, with grape juice, seems to have worked perfectly, right?

The second is water and sugar only, and is an hour old? You don't always see activity right away. I don't see any reason to think you are having any trouble.
Way less food, nutrient, etc. in the second ferment, too. What are you trying to accomplish with the second experiment?
 

Texas Jim

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Probably not your yeast.

Way less food, nutrient, etc. in the second ferment, too. What are you trying to accomplish with the second experiment?
Two things: 1- to see if the yeast has gone bad and 2- if it has not, use it to restart the grape juice batch.
 
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What is the SG of the Welches? If it's 1.000 or lower, the wine may be done -- not all the sugars in Welches are necessarily fermentable.

Another problem is the yeast -- what is the alcohol tolerance? If it's 16% or so, the yeast is done. It has poisoned its own environment. Also keep in mind the published tolerance of a yeast is an average under laboratory conditions -- a yeast's actual tolerance can vary. Folks have reported step feeding EC-1118 (tolerate 18%) up to 21% with some TLC.

If the yeast was fine for the Welches, it's hasn't suddenly gone bad unless you stored it in a 400 F oven or something.

EDIT: Also keep in mind that yeast is a living entity, and it will not necessarily react as expected. Mother Nature and Dionysus can be capricious.
 

sour_grapes

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Another problem is the yeast -- what is the alcohol tolerance? If it's 16% or so, the yeast is done. It has poisoned its own environment. Also keep in mind the published tolerance of a yeast is an average under laboratory conditions -- a yeast's actual tolerance can vary. Folks have reported step feeding EC-1118 (tolerate 18%) up to 21% with some TLC.

DADY is "turbo yeast" meant mainly for that activity that we cannot discuss on this forum. It has 22% tolerance.

EDIT: I think I was wrong about the turbo yeast part, but the rest is correct. I don't really know what a turbo yeast is. 🤷‍♂️
 

Texas Jim

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What is the SG of the Welches? If it's 1.000 or lower, the wine may be done -- not all the sugars in Welches are necessarily fermentable.

[ Just checked it. 1.105.]

Another problem is the yeast -- what is the alcohol tolerance? If it's 16% or so, the yeast is done. It has poisoned its own environment. Also keep in mind the published tolerance of a yeast is an average under laboratory conditions -- a yeast's actual tolerance can vary. Folks have reported step feeding EC-1118 (tolerate 18%) up to 21% with some TLC.

[Red Star Dady 9804, "Ferments up to 22 percent before slowing"]


If the yeast was fine for the Welches, it's hasn't suddenly gone bad unless you stored it in a 400 F oven or something.

EDIT: Also keep in mind that yeast is a living entity, and it will not necessarily react as expected. Mother Nature and Dionysus can be capricious.
 

vinny

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I don't really know what a turbo yeast is.
Yeast with a whole bunch of yeast crack in one package.

We try to make sure that our yeast has all the nutrient and ingredients required so it is not stressed and produces the least amount of biproducts and off flavours. Turbo yeast is the exact opposite. Throw it into any environment, add enough sugar for it to convert into the highest ABV nasty tasting swill possible.
 

vinny

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[ Just checked it. 1.105.]

This reading is confusing. This is a starting gravity with the potential of 13% ABV. If you have gotten it that high again you might be feeding too fast. is it possible the reading is either. 1.010 or 1.005? Easy to mistype.

You mentioned previously that you like high test port. I assume that your goal is to test how far you can push the ABV?

Nutrient it as important as food. If there is not enough nutrient for the yeast it can tire out. Sugar isn't enough to push the yeast to it's max. If it is stressed it will also produce more unwanted alcohols, proponols, aldehydes, etc. and more unwanted flavours. It is important to keep the must balanced with the additional of sugar.

DAP and yeast energizer might help you push it further without stressing the yeast too far. Hopefully others can chime in. I am not familiar with port and higher abv musts, just how to keep yeast happy.
 
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@Texas Jim, even though the yeast is supposed to tolerate 22% ABV, it may quit early for many reasons. In your case, regardless if the current SG is 1.001 or 1.010, it may be done simply because there is no fermentable sugar left. Commercial drinking juices are often poor material for wine making, because of the constituents.

This doesn't mean you can't get a good results (I've made Welchs), but the process doesn't finish as cleanly as it should when working with grapes and fruit. At this point, simply exercise patience and see what happens. You may want to put it under airlock and let it set a month.
 
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