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Difficult cranberry start

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WineYooper

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I think I have an issue but it may be my lack of patience/experience and need to bounce my thoughts off experienced makers. First I have 22.5# of cranberries in the mesh bag in primary, 15# of sugar disolved in 1 gal. water, 1 gal of boiling water poured over berries, added red grape conc., 6 tsp yeast nutrient, 6 crushed campdon tabs, 1 1/2 tsp liqud tannin. Approximately 12 hours later added pectic enzyme and let sit for 12 hours. With a starting s.g. of 1.122 at 68F, probably because I just dissolved the 15# and added, beginner error in just following recipe instead of checking as I went and a 1.5# more berries then the recipe called for(no scale). I have picked up a brew belt and have that on primary and temp in upper half is low to high 70s from top down to brew belt. I tried to just rehydrate Lalvin 1116 and add to must and nothing happened in 24 hours. Made a starter with Lalvin 1118 in water and added 1/4 cup of must at a time and had 2 cups going nicely last night when I went to bed. This A.M. it seemed to be flat with not a lot of activity in starter. Still smelled good. I dumped 1/2 qty into primary and added another 1/4 cup of must into starter. The starter did not take off like it did last night. So with little patience I added it all to primary. I'm not seeing much action at this time, it's been about 4.5 hours, but some bubbles starting to appear now on surface so am hopefull it will take off now. Any comments on my progress so far.
From reading threads on this site I have read much on starters and sprinkling on top, I like the starters in my opinion and will probably use this in the future. If this batch does not start now I am going to buy another primary and dump back and forth between two to try and expell some of the gasses I read that could be inhibiting, I'm a little concerned also about the natural ocurring benzoate as well. I need more yeast so Premeir Red Cuvee and more 1118 are on my list as well as yeast energizer.
I'm running out of patience at this point, I hope this takes off. Sorry for the book.
 

Bailey

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I've had batches take up to 48hrs before there was much activity - even with a starter.

Sounds to me like you've done everything ok so far. Be patient.

A quick stir now and again may help add oxygen and drive off any remianing k-meta.

Good luck!

Remember - Patience.
 

IQwine

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Have you done this recipe before?
I calculate the potential alcohol at 17+
It's going to be a tough one to work with.
Good Luck
 

Leanne

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I've had anything up to three days wait for it to get going. Patience is the key. Cranberries can be a bit slow to begin with. Stir and keep it warm. Good luck.
 

Tom

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1st How much you making?
You just added 2 gallons of water total? What size batch is it?
2nd You will get rocket fuel and little taste/flavor and body with so much sugar
Why did you add so much sugar?
21# of cranberries is low if you are making a 5 or 6 gallon batch
Google WineCalc and download. This will help you add the "proper" amt of sugar. It should have been 1.085-1.090 starting gravity
Patience.... Cranberry wine is a bugger to start..Keep it around 70* or higher. That could be your problem..
 

WineYooper

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IQ, no I have not made this before. Was just trying to use up frozen fruit in the freezer and had enough cranberry sauce on hand. I thought it was a little high in potential due to my sugar error. I'm starting to get a little fizz in the primary now so am hoping this is the start of something good. I thought about splitting this up some and trying to dilute it down with water and use the removed part for top off.
 

WineYooper

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Tom, sorry I did not mention I have a 7.9 gal primary going and I filled it about as full as I dare to go. Might have about an 1 1/2" above the must. For the 6 gal batch recipe I got from the recipe column it said 21# and I used probably 22.5.
 

Tom

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22# of berries will take alot of space in a 7.9 fermenting bucket. How much water did you add total. I doubt you added more than 4 gallons of water. I would have split it in 2-3 fermenting buckets. Did you put the berries in a straining bag?
Also that much berry you would need to punch it down 2-3 X a day. It will also be harder to see it fermenting in the begining.
 

IQwine

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U might consider getting more cranberry's and re balancing your ingredients???
just a thought.
 

WineYooper

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I do have the berries in a straining bag and mashed them by hand pretty well before starting. I am starting to see some action on the top of the must now and starting to smell fermentation as well. I am on unenjoyment now so punching down will not be a problem. With the brew belt on I am seeing about 72F at top, about 1/2 way down 78F, bottom is 71F. I measured with a digital tool from HVAC work and the brew belt shows 109F. The brew belt is about 1/4 of the way up from the bottom. I do have about 10# more of berries if need be. I don't have an exact measure on the water just filled up to line on primary so you may be right on quantity. I tied a knot in the straining bag and then rolled up on itself so I have about 1/4 of the top surface area exposed.
 

WineYooper

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Tom, when I was introduced to winemaking I was shown to mix-mash-press the fruit and add it to the primary then fill to the line you could see in the primary. Maybe I'm going about this wrong and need a 12 gal primary for 6 gal recipes where you actually add 6 gal or slightly under. That is also why I am seeing such a high sg. Maybe members could set me straight in my ways. My next batch is going to be blackberries and I was going to use 36# as found in the recipe section here. Per Wade's recipe it calls for 5.5 gal with 36# of berries. Is this the correct way of thinking and not just berries and fill 7.9 primary up to the line? Another question woud be getting the correct sg when adding sugar. How do you decide how much to add when you dissolve it in water before adding? Start less and check then add more?
 

Tom

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Yes follow Wades recipe. I also made this. HOWEVER, use 6 gallon juice buckets. Split everything by 1/2 for each bucket EXCEPT the yeast. Ferment the primary as 2-3gallon batches and when racking join the both. Like I said on a previous post
"Google WineCalc and download. This will help you add the "proper" amt of sugar. It should have been 1.085-1.090 starting gravity"
Once you know gow much sugar you need take 1 gallon of water from the must and heat in a large pot. Once @ a boil add sugar and stir till dissolved.
 

Luc

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Elsa,

Two things come to my mind.

First, the starting Sg is very high which will give the yeast a hard time.

Second, cranberries are a source of sodium benzoate. This is a natural yeast inhibitor and that might help giving the yeast a bad time......

So the bubbles are encouraging, however it might become a sluggish fermentation. Keep a good and healthy yeast starter at hand just to be sure.

Luc
 

WineYooper

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Thanks Luc. Could I slpit this into two primaries now and dilute it down some to try and help the ferment? I guess I'm learning the hard way. Try never to repeat!
 

Wade E

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Yes you could split this into two primaries now. I think the amount of cranvberries is actually fine but would be low if using other berries. Definetly way too much sigar tough, always add your fruit ad most of your water and then check the sg and adjust from thetre as fruits sugars can vary considerably depending on the source and when they were picked as do the acids in the fruit. Cranberries and even blueberries can be a bear to ferment sometimes but it sounds like its going now so just keep the temp up and dont be afraid to add some energizer if you get some in the next few days.
 
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