Delayed fermentation??

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Mar 26, 2010
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I'm having a problem getting the fermentation to start for a raisin wine. I followed the instructions. Added minced raisin to ferm bag and stirred in water, acid blend, nutrient, and sugar. Then I added the crushed campden (5 tablets). After 24hrs I added the yeast. Now 5 days later still nothing. The recipe is for 1 gallon so I multiplied all the ingredients by 5, except the yeast.

Any suggestions?


Do you have specific gravity and temperature numbers?

I'm using Red Star- Premier Cuvee Yeast(5 grams). The starting SG was 1.090 and not quite sure of the temp but the water I used was cool. Could it be the water temp? Might setting it outside in the Texas heat start it up?
Current sg and temperature of the must/wine would be very helpful. 1.090 is a good starting sg.

Get the temp up to 75 or a little higher and it should start. Raisins can sometimes also conyain sulfites but lets warm it up first to see if shell start, if not you may have over done the sulfite level and may need to make a yeast starter to get it going.
Sounds to me like you went way overboard on the campden. I do (and most recipes I see recommend) 1 tab per gallon. I'm something of a newb, so I'll let the experts weigh in on if that would kill the batch.
It's a 5 gal recipe so you should be fine with tablets you put in. Get it warmed up for a couple days and if nothing happens repitch a strong starter.
would stirring it everyday like you do with Skeeter Pee help is wine ? Also a slurry would probably be helpful with this type of wine also save the bother of doing a starter , I'm thinking a white wine slurry .
Thew slurry method is always a better method if you have that on your side as its already aclimated to alc and just ready to rip apart any fermentatbles. This slurry can typically handle things like higher sulfite levels and higher PH's or acidity level. Basically it will usually deal with the cicumstances at which adding a rehydrated or just sprinkling a yeast will not!
Day 1 the SG was 1.090, on day 6 the SG was 1.120 (I was very confused) and on day 7 it started to drop to 1.110. I'm going to check it again tonight to make sure it's still dropping. Also it began to fizz and foam, so I think it's taken off. The temp is around 68-70 F. Is it normal for the ferm bag to float? What are the symptoms of an "infected" fermintation? Would 4 (or 3) campden tablets work fine on a 5 gallon batch?
Did you just put sugar in or did you make it into simple syrup? If you just put sugar in it may of not been all dissolved when you checked the sg the first time. The best way to add sugar is to boil 1 cup of water and add 2 cups of sugar and mix together and that makes simple syrup.
The sugars from the raisins would have been released after day 1, resulting in a climb in sg. But I am surprised that there was little/no fermentation by day 6.

It's 68-70 now, was it cooler at day 1-6? Or has it been pretty much 68-70 all along? Cooler might have caused a very slow fermentation. I'm not sure how Red Star Premier Cuvee reacts to cooler temperatures.

The bag is likely floating because there is CO2 inside it.

Be sure you "dunk" that ferment bag at least once a day!! Keep it moist.
Inicially the water was pretty cool (didn't check temp), which may have caused the delayed fermentation. I poured the sugar in along with all the other ingredients--campden, yeast nutrient, acid blend-- then stirred it up. The cool water might have also prevented these ingredient from dissolving well.

It seems to be really fermenting now. My whole house smells. Would it hurt to put it outside in the shade (85 F Texas)? I appreciate all y'alls help.
Why do you want to put it outside? Is it cooler out there cause evn that i a pretty warm temp. You should try and keep it around 75* especially when the fermentation takes off good cause the vigorous fermentation will also raise the temp about 3-4* and too hot will stress the yeast! Cold water and not dissolving the sugar was all of your problem. Yiu have to heat up some water and dissolve it so that when you add it you can get a accurate sg reading as what you made will be pretty hot due to the high sg.