Do not know what happened.

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Aug 5, 2008
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This is about our 4th batch of wine. So fairly new to the hobby. We made 11 gallon on the same nite. 6 gal elderberry, 1 blackberry, 3 wild grape, one bottled juice. this was started 10-22. The fermentation started out right away. Worked for about a week and then slowed. Like other batches I assumed things were going well. We just racked(holiday delay) and found that 3 of the gallons were .99SG. The others were all at least 1.02. ie 1 wild grape was fine and the other two were 1.04. All the wine was made the same way. All the elderberry in the same primary. All the grape together etc. They were placed in the same 4 ft in a room. Temp was kept between 65-75. I have always made my wine by heat extraction. The only thing I cant think of is some wine was too warm? Does anyone have any other ideas. It all tastes good, no off smell etc. If the yeast was killed. Cant a person add more yeast etc to restart it? thanks a bunch. Such hard work picking and cleaning to have 6 gal elderberry and 2 of wild grape not turn out good.
Pam, my eldo went real slow at the end.Give it some time,check the SG every other day,then every 4 days.What was your starting SG and which yeast?..Upper
Pam, I don't know what "heat extraction" is, but sounds like it's working okay. Without knowing exactly what you did, it would be hard to specualte. I PERSONALLY don't think you have anything to worry about.

I hope some of the more senior makers in here can reassure you further, but from the brief description you provided, sounds like wine to me.

Provide more details, recipe, starting sg, ending SG, etc. But sounds like it is going okay.

You did keep notes on all the steps you took on each wine batch, didn't you?

Hang in there, I have faith someone more knowledgable than me will be along to comment more.

Are you meaning 1.04 or 1.004. What were the starting sg's and what yeasts did you use? Did you add any nutrients to all of these?
Do not now what happened.

I am not real good at reading Hydrometer. But heat extraction is just cooking the berries on the stove and straining it to get the juice to start. My starting SG was 1.10 I used bread yeast with the Elderberry(didnt know any better on my first batch and was told it was excelllant and not to change a thing) I used Lavlin 1116 for the rest. The wine has absolutely no sign of any yeast activity. It was started October 22. I am sure it is not working anymore. I do my wine in gallon jugs. Three of the 11 are finished working and the rest in various stages. They all have different recipes. I have used all the recipes in previous batches that turned out excellent. I kept notes on all batches of wine I have done. Hope this is answering your questions.
Pam, I had a problem with a cranberry I started, and I too, was sweating bad. Read this thread and try it. We may be able to get you a "jump start"

Take about 1 cup of sugar waterm or about 1 cup of your wine must and heat it to around 105 degrees F or so.

Use a champagne yeast or something like Preniere Cuvee, The reason for this is they are more tolerant to high alcohol, some refer to these as "kiler yeasts". Others may recommend a different type of yesats, but what I mentioned, should work.

So.., take your sugar water, or your wine must and bring it to the correct temperature. Sprinkle your yeast on it and wait about a half hour or so. You will be able to see it "activating". It goes without saying to use a clean container from the start.

When you can see it "activating", add about a half of a cup of your wine must, and let it go for an hour or so, the yeast will continue to "grow", add another half a cup or so, and the yeast will continue to grow, then do this again, you will soon see a colony of yeast foaming and singing, (not sure about the singing!LOL), do IT AGAIN!

Now you have a strong yeast starter and add this to your stuck fermentation. You really don't have to stir it in, but, stir your new yeast starter, and pour it in.

This should get it going.

Read through the thread I mentioned. same story, different yesat. Don't EVER give up. But do this right away. Please let us know how this works. i WAS just about to give up on a stuck fermentation and tried this recommendation.

It works. if you have more than one stuck fermentation it most likely is the temperature. Keep your starter in a warm place and keep adding your must till it is going good. Stir gently and you will have enough to share amongst all of them. Before you add your starter to one or most, make sure the tekmperature of the must is around 75 or so. Add your starter and give it a chance. I heard staring at you wine waiting for action can make you crossed eyed.

Hope this works for you please let us know!

Another thing to consider is whether or not you are giving your primary some oxegen, it isn't necessary to have your primary fermentation under an airlock it (the yeasties) likes oxegen to multiply. take your airlocks off if you are using them and allow the yeast to continue to multiply, as we just talked about when making a starter, after the SG comes down, THEN transfer it and age it under an airlock!

I don't think its too late, but I am almost thinking the "must" itself isn't warm enough. try the starter and let us know. I am hoping you used sulphites and yeast nutrients when you started.

Please advise, without details on what you did, it may be hard to advise you further.

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Do not know what happened

Thanks Troy
Gonna work on that today. Sure hope it works. What amounts of sugar/water do you use to make the sugar water solution?
You know, I did not swirl my bottles this last time when I started the wine like I usually do. Because I had them standing in a close area, would have meant moving them all. I kind of jiggled the bottles a little but not like I usually do. Maybe there was not enough O2 for it to work right. I also didnt have the temp as warm. Thanks so much for the advice..
Let me know about the sugar/water ratio. thanks. Pam
Pam dont worry about "jiggling" them. This isn't going to hurt a darn thing right now. Lets get it started. Then we can worry about the other stuff.

Take about 1/4 cup of sugar in a cup of water. Heat it up, not boiling, get it warm. Stit until dissolved. If you are not confident with reading a hydrometer, we'll have to learn ya! And we will. One side tells you the temperature. one side tells you the "Potential alcohol by Volume", that is based on the sugar displacing the water, and I am NOT going to get into that right now. Lets get the "car" started first.

Take about a cup of water. I would use apple juice personally because I know it works. Did you read the thread I sent your way?

But take your 1 cup of apple juice and get it warm, not hot, or boiling. get it around 105F or whatever your yeast says on the back of the package.

Stick your hydrometer in there and watch the temperature, and I would hope you clean your hydrometer good first. Ifin You don't have one , and I sure hope you do, a regular old meat thermometer will work, please make sure you clean it first.

At the appropriate temperature sprinkle your yeast on top, NOT bread yeast! Allow it to set for 20 mins or so, it will be quite apparent when it gets to goin.

This is your starter. Keep it warm and put about a 1/4 cup of your wine in there. Give it an hour or so. (read the thread!) You will see, that starter is now growing from the sugars in the wine, wait an hour or so and add another half cup!, or so and let this "grow" for a bit longer maybe an hour and a half, you will see it growing, no need to cover it, just keep it warm.

By now it should be fizzing like crazy(your starter), but, your not done yet! Add another half of a cup of the wine, and let it grow for another hour. NOW, its really fizzing, still not done! Give it another half of a cup more of wine, and give it another hour.

NOW! Use a sterilized "stirring instrument", a spoon, LOL, stir your starter a bit and dump it in your wine, no need to stir it in, just pour it in. The yeast will find its way.

The most important thing is you want your wine "must" to be warm. 70-80F or so when you pour the starter in. In fact, just because, stir up the wine just a bit, not crazy stirring, just a bit. Do that now, you have 3 hours or so before your starter will be ready.

Pour the starter mix on it, no need to stir. leave it alone, don't stare at it! Wine can be self contious, it should go in a few hours. If it doesn't I may not be the one with the answers, but this has worked for me(read the thread link)

If you don't have any juice, use about an 1/8 cup of sugar DISSOLVED in 1 cup of water and add the yeast at about 100-105F, dont stir, just sprinkle on top.

Let us know how this goes.

I sure hope I can help, seems like I am the only one in here right now. I want to be proud to say this worked, I didn't make this up, it was taught to me by those who came before me.

Good Luck Honey,
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Are you meaning 1.04 or 1.004. What were the starting sg's and what yeasts did you use? Did you add any nutrients to all of these?

Pam... I will echo Wade's question... did you add any nutrients to the wines in question? When I have had fermentations to prematurely slow down, it has always helped to add some nutrient. Also, a pinch of epsom salts and a vitaman B1 tablet might be a good idea. I use Fermax nutrient, which contains these (epsom salts for potassium and vitaman B1 for yeast metabolic activity) but before I used Fermax I would just add a pinch of Epsom salt. Don't add much because it could affect the taste, but a small pinch should be ok.
I think the problem is in the bread yeast.I am not sure but the alch. tollerence in bread yeast may be low? Wade? Tom?...Upper?
The one with bread yeast will not ferment any further but you could do the yeast starter method, do you have any of the lees from the primary from any of the wines that fermented out good with wine yeast? If you do rack the wine off that and then rack your problem wines onto that yeats and it will work and work really good, better then making a wine starter as that yeast colony is already acclimated to the hogher abv of wine from the last batch that was in there unlike making a yeast starter. This is your best bet! Bread yeast is only good to about 9-12% and sometimes thats even pushing it hard.
Wade, was my recommendation wrong? I thought a good aggressive starter could fix darn near anything.

Please Advise
Do not know what happened

Posted a reply dont know where it went? I have done 39 gallons of wine and never had the ferment stop. Having it happen in 8 out of 11 makes me wonder. Not all were bread yeast. I did 3 wild grape with Lavlin1116. 2 turned out perfect, one did not? same everything. For the elderberry, I used acid blend, Yeast nutrient, pectic enzyme, and then the bread yeast.
And Now Darn darn darn
I was afraid that the starter would chill down as I had it in a room that the wine stays about 75ish. So put a small ceramic heater in the room and left for 45 minutes. I had added the 2nd measurement of wine to the starter. The wine was a little foamy on the top. When I returned home, the room was HOT HOT Hot. I Couldnt believe a little heater could do that much. The wines were at about 90 and the starter that was nearer the heater was 110. It had slowed and the foam was no longer apparent. Just opening up the room and adding the next wine cooled it down to about 107. It is starting to get little fizzies coming up again BUT . Have I ruined it? Should I start a new starter? I dont want it to pucker out again from having been too warm. What do ya think? beside that she was not real smart.
Troy, you were not wrong but yeast sitting at the bottom of a bucket or carboy that has fermented all the way down is very strong and is already acclimated to a high alc where making the starter and itroducing it to a wine that already has mid levels of alc can put stress on a yeast. Its the next best thing to what I am telling here though so if you dont have those good lees sitting there then Troy's idea is your next best bet. Ok, now as far as what you just did, 110* is very high, are you sure that was your wine temp and not just a stuck on temp gauge or false reading somehow? Keep an eye on it to see if it is going(stick your ear in there and listen for sizzling like a soda pop as thats 1 of the easiest ways to spot a fermenmtation along with checking it with hydrometer. Have another yeast ready though cause thats very hot for yeast and could have killed off the yeast.
Do not know what happened

I have no settlings. It was when I was racking/siphoning that I got a taste of the wine and was surprised it was so sweet yet.
I am sure that it was 110. I guess I will watch it tonite. Thinking I will start over tomorrow and not waste much more wine on it. Would that be your suggestion? I do have more wine yeast.
Never in my wildest dream would I have thought it would get that hot with just a small heater. I was worried of the opposite with our cold spell here that it would get a chill.. Geesh.. Cant win today. Maybe I am not supposed to drink this batch of wine. Starting to wonder.
Start anothetr yeast starter just in case as its chepa enough. You watch, this will be the best wine yet, Please dont give up on a wine, youll get through it. Just make another starter and slowly introduce a little of your existing batch into it a little at a time until your starter is 3 times bigger then it e=was and then add it back to yout wine, it should go from there. Cant remember, what was the starting sg?
Do not know what happened

My starting SG was 1.10. Are you saying to add this 1st starter slowly into the new starter I will start? Will I have a volcano of activity?

You'd never know it but some friends actually call me for advice on their wine. I laugh.. Sounds really scarey for me to be giving advice doesnt it? I did not have a thermometer before so maybe when I started my wine it was too warm. As I said before I start with juice that I have gotten from cooking the berries. I am a clean freak and dont like the thought of the grapes that have been crapped on by birds, bugs etc going into a bucket to rot. I would rather render the juice and start from there. I do home canning alot, so no big deal to make the juice. I know.. the commercial wineries dont worry about bug poop. Do the commercial wineries start with juice or do they have vats of must too.
thanks for all your help,, I really appreciate it.
They have vats of must which they pump over to tanks when finished. All that stuff you are talking about is killed off when sulfites are added. I got lost here, if you still have that starter and its going then use that as the starter and slowly add your wine to it if its still doing good, if you did kill it then toss it and start again.
Do not know what happened

I still have the starter, but it is really slow. little bubbles here and there but not fizzing. I just dont want to add it to all my wine and it not work well either. Know the heat probably did something. But I do have a couple of cups of wine in it. so didnt know if I could add that back to my wine after I add the other starter. Hope I am making sense. I guess I dont speak the wine language very well.

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