failure to start fermentation

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May 21, 2010
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My husband and I made a batch of red currant wine last year and had a lot of trouble getting it starting to ferment. Once it started fermenting the rest of the process went smoothly. This year we are trying dandelion and rhubarb wine and are having the same trouble with getting the musts to begin fermenting. We are following recipes gotten off the internet or from the local wine maker store. We follow the recipes exactly with respect to pectic enzyme, metabisulphite, yeast, sugar, etc... . When we took the S.G. of the the musts before fermentation they were above 1.100 so we diluted the must with water until we got a S.G in the range of 1.080 - 1.090. After waiting several days we took the specific gravity and it appears to have risen?? to above that 1.100 level. The dandelion recipe called for golden raisins and the rhubarb recipe called for bananas. Have sugars come out of these fruits as they dissolved in the must?? Is the yeast dying because the level of sugar has gotten too high? HELP!!

The raising of the SG is one of two things that I can think of right off.

1. it wasn't mixed thoroughly at first after adding the water giving it a false sg of 1.080

2. The sugars came out of the raisins like you said....this is the most likely.

I'd get some more yeast and make a starter with some of the must and get a good liter or more going and then pitch that.

If the must takes of in the meantime then just add the starter to it anyway.
hello and welcome to the forum ..

please post the recipe for us to have a look at for you.

it could be the could also be the acidity..this can interfere with your yeasts capabilities.

It sounds like way too much sugar and then the added fruit keep bringing it up again but unless you are using a ton of fruit I cant see the sg going up that much from just the fruit. Are you dissolving this sugar in very hot water first or just dumping the sugar in the 75* water or must? Please post tghe frecipe and how you proceeded as in did you wait 24 hours after adding the sulfite before adding the yeast?

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