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Dumb question about yeast

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SuperOctave

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Hello there,

I'm completely new at home wine making, but I've been reading a lot about it lately and find it to be completely fascinating.

I ought to preface my question by stating that I have not yet bought a wine making kit. I've picked out a 1-gallon kit that I'm planning on buying soon (that is, when my next pay check comes in...).

In the mean time, however, I wanted to see if I could make wine the science-experiment way with 3 cans of frozen grape juice concentrate, sugar, and (*gasp*) baker's yeast. So please, just bear with me on this.

The question...

The instructions that I found to make wine told me to hydrate the yeast before adding it to the juice. Though I THOUGHT that I correctly followed the instructions to hydrate the yeast, I must have done something wrong, because after 12 hours, nothing really happened. The instructions said that if nothing happened, I ought to try adding more yeast.

So I opened up another packet, hydrated it -- correctly, this time; I could tell a difference from the first attempt -- and added it to the grape juice. Immediately it started fizzing and bubbling.

However, just under a week later, it's almost completely stopped bubbling, and I don't hear it fizzing any more. I thought this bubbling thing was supposed to take 2-3 weeks?

Is it possible that: a) I "over-yeasted" - I should have started from scratch with the new yeast, or b) it doesn't take as long with only a gallon (as opposed to some of those 6 gallon kits)?

Like I said, I know this is only the science-experiment way of doing it, but I DO plan on buying the kit soon. Besides, I think that knowing why mine has stopped fizzing after only a few days will perhaps help when I DO have the kit.

Thanks so much!!
 

Torch404

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With out hydrometer readings it's hard to know when fermentation has stopped. What are you using for an airlock? After about the first week things slow down and you can only see activity in the air lock. What temperature is it at?
 

djrockinsteve

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This discussion was rscently done here not to long ago. I think the answer was yes but I'd have to search to find the answer.

I take my yeast packet (not B.Y.) and add it to 2 ounces of water @90-100 degrees (No hotter.), give it a gentle swish to moisten everything. Wait 20 minutes then add it to my juice. You'll see if foaming like crazy.

Others will make a starter before adding. Everything you use must be sanitized.
 

Tom

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You are real close to a great wine/beer supply store in Carrollton TX
http://www.finevinewines.com/
Call to talk to George to set you up with the bestmatch of equipment and wine kit.
 

bigabyte

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Bread yeast will not work as well. It typically dies off at only 4 or 5 percent ABV. The very first batch of wine I ever tried making was following some crazy instructions someone sent to me for a type of hard lemonade using bread yeast, which was only intended to reach up to 5% ABV. It also gives a much more "bready" odor and taste than wine yeast. It's quite possible the yeast has reached alcohol toxicity and the only way to get a higher ABV is by using a yeast more tolerant of alcohol.

ON EDIT--then again, I did't use nutrient or anything like that back then so maybe the bread yeast dies off so soon for other reasons too!
 
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SuperOctave

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Thanks for all of the responses!

Sounds like I really need to just get a kit. I should be able to in the next couple of days (maybe it's just me, but these kits seem kindof expensive for just a plastic and glass container, a airlock and siphon, and a few packets of yeast ;) -- I'm in the wrong business.

Anyways, like I mentioned, there was an obvious difference when I hydrated the second packet of yeast. I put it in warm -- not hot -- water, added a tsp of sugar, and it foamed! It was pretty neat pouring it in because it just kindof crawled into the funnel.

Re: the sanitation. I kept a large pot of boiling water and cleaned (err, sterilized?) EVERYTHING with it... the funnels, the spoons, the containers, etc.

bigabyte- the bread yeast was more in part to see if I could do it. I'm not really expecting this batch to taste very good!

Tom -- thanks for the info about the store. I may call them ahead of time before making the trek out there. I think I might stick with the 1-gallon kit that I found. Correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems that most kits are 6 gallons, so I was happy to find the 1-gallon. I like wine, but I'm not interested in making 30+ bottles in one batch! (yet? :h ). The store would probably be good for purchasing more wine yeast/sanitizers/etc... though. Thanks!
 

djrockinsteve

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You can do what some of us did, dive in and make your wine straight from juice. You can also make descent wine from juices found at the grocery store.

You would have to buy the supplies separate but it's not bad with what you get in return.
 

Malkore

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Bread yeast will not work as well. It typically dies off at only 4 or 5 percent ABV. The very first batch of wine I ever tried making was following some crazy instructions someone sent to me for a type of hard lemonade using bread yeast, which was only intended to reach up to 5% ABV. It also gives a much more "bready" odor and taste than wine yeast. It's quite possible the yeast has reached alcohol toxicity and the only way to get a higher ABV is by using a yeast more tolerant of alcohol.

ON EDIT--then again, I did't use nutrient or anything like that back then so maybe the bread yeast dies off so soon for other reasons too!
Not true...I've made 12% abv meads with grocery store bread yeast.
its definitely not ideal...doesnt' flocculate well, throws off flavors readily since it didn't evolve to make booze like the other strains we normally use.

If the second yeast foamed immediately, you already had fermentation going, and the CO2 in solution nucleated to the yeast cells, causing the foaming (just like sprinkling salt into a glass of beer).

12 hours is not even remotely enough time to worry. for your future reference, know that it can take 72 hours for visible signs of fermentation to appear.
 

xanxer82

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Check out finevinewines.com they are running %20 off starter kits including a wine kit
 

SuperOctave

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If the second yeast foamed immediately, you already had fermentation going, and the CO2 in solution nucleated to the yeast cells, causing the foaming (just like sprinkling salt into a glass of beer).

12 hours is not even remotely enough time to worry. for your future reference, know that it can take 72 hours for visible signs of fermentation to appear.
Oooops. Thanks for the clarification!

I could hear very faint fizzing - but it was almost so faint that I could have been imagining it! And it certainly wasn't bubbling. I figured that I didn't do the yeast right, so I pulled the plug at about 16 hours.

Live and learn, eh?
 

arcticsid

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Easy to say you dont want to make 6 gallons now, you will be hooked before you know it.

I predict you will be in here efore long asking where to get bottles from!!!!

Iforget who it was, but a wile back there was a member in here who didn't drink alcohol, but was a full blown wine making addict!!

Nver say never! LOL
 

Tom

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Yea we ALL said that NOW 6 gal is NOTHING!!:slp
 

SuperOctave

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...another dumb question about yeast.

Easy to say you dont want to make 6 gallons now, you will be hooked before you know it.

I predict you will be in here efore long asking where to get bottles from!!!!

Iforget who it was, but a wile back there was a member in here who didn't drink alcohol, but was a full blown wine making addict!!

Nver say never! LOL
haha! I think you might be right! Probably safer to start small, though.

Say. Another dumb question about yeast. If I make 6 gallons or 1 gallon - do I still use the same amount of yeast? Do I need to add more yeast for more, or does it matter? Wine yeast comes in packets, correct? So if I'm making less, should I just use part of the packet?

This is the kit that I'm planning on getting:

Edit: since I haven't posted 5 times, it won't let me put the link. But it's the 1 gallon kit at Homebrewers dot com.


Anyone have experiences with Homebrewers.com? Looks like a pretty good little kit -- for its size and price...
 

seth8530

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One packet should do you for up to 5 to 6 gallons. However, i recomend using a starter.... Really and truely you can do way more than 5 or 6 gallons with one packet lol but the point is moot.
 

SuperOctave

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One packet should do you for up to 5 to 6 gallons. However, i recomend using a starter.... Really and truely you can do way more than 5 or 6 gallons with one packet lol but the point is moot.
So the one packet is UP TO 6 gallons? I add the entire packet even if I'm making less than 6 gallons?
 

seth8530

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i see that it has yeast in it. My question is why buy a one gallon kit when you can just as easily make 5 gallons?
 

SuperOctave

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Because I'm not yet ready to be producing 30 gallons of wine with every batch!!

:ib

Once I get a kit ...and get better at making it - then I can upgrade ;)
 

seth8530

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I would seriously recomend you make a 5 gallon batch. They are just as easy to make as a 1 gallon.

Back to your original question.. I wouldnt recomend using a whole packet of yeast on 1 gallon. I would use maybe a quarter of the package and make a strong starter. then store the packet in a cool dry place.. one word of advice tho. once the packet is open it wont stay viable forever.....
 

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