Fermentation Continuing after Stabilizing and Clearing

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May 13, 2017
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I am making a WinExpert Speciale Red Velvet Dessert Wine (my 14th kit). Fermentation seems to be continuing after stabilizing and clearing. Instructions I followed are below.

After completion of Secondary Fermentation, I came to Step 3 Stabilizing and Clearing

  1. Do NOT rack the wine before stabilising and fining. Winexpert kits require that you stir the sediment back into suspension. Racking the wine off the sediment prior to fining may permanently prevent clearing. Please be sure to stir all of the sediment up from the bottom.
  2. "The wine needs extremely vigorous stirring during this stage. Without hard stirring, trapped gas in the wine will prevent clearing." I used a drill-mounted paddle.
  3. Checked SG (needs to be less than 1.010) … at 1.004
    Here I departed a bit to reduce loss.
  4. Racked to a 6-gallon carboy, ensuring to get all the lees from the old to the new carboy
  5. Dissolved contents of package(s) #3 (metabisulphite) and package(s) #4 (sorbate) in 125 ml (½ cup) of cool water. Add to carboy and stir vigorously for 5 mins. (instructions called for 2 mins.) to disperse the stabilisers and drive off CO2. Be sure to stir up yeast sediment from the bottom, and stir hard enough to agitate gas out of the wine. I did.
  6. F-PACK Instructions
    · I shook the F–pack bag, carefully removed the cap, and gently poured contents into the carboy using a funnel
    · Stirred vigorously for 2 mins. (instructions called for 1 min.). Proceed to Step 7. “Your SG should now be in the finishing range noted in the chart above.” It was.
  7. Shook contents of package(s) #5 (Chitosan). Carefully cut open the corner of the pouch(es) and pour contents into carboy.
  8. Stirred vigorously for another 4 mins. (instructions called for 2 mins.) to degas the wine.
  9. Racked:
    · To 3-gallon carboy to within 2 inches of the bottom of the bung
    · To 1-1.5 L bottle – filled to just over half full
  10. Airlocked:
    · Filled airlock halfway with water and reattached bung and airlock to carboy
    · Covered 1.5 L bottle with a balloon
Note: Temp is +/- 72F

Problem: the balloon on the 1.5 L bottle is slowly inflating. This would seem to indicate the fermentation (of the sugar in the F-PACK) continues in spite of addition of metabisulphite and sorbate.

I am thinking to add metabisulphite and sorbate again to stop fermentation. Does this make sense? If I do so, will I need to re-apply fining agents again?

Any suggestions welcome!
not necessarily. When I degass a young wine, sometimes more gas comes off during the following 24-48 hours. In my case this looks like my solid stopper getting pushed out if im not using an airlock. You need to get your hydrometer out to check over a few weeks if you are worried about it and only react if you have hard evidense of fermentation.
Thanks BenK, I've not experienced "more gas comes off during the following 24-48 hours." A new phenom. Funny ... the balloon inflated enough to "stand" and is now deflating. Guess my needless worry was a false alarm.

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