Fermentation hasn't started

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TikiWine

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I am trying to start a 3 gallon desert wine kit. It's been 48 hours and still no evidence that fermentation has started. Anything I can do to help it or anything I need to add?
 

Johnd

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I am trying to start a 3 gallon desert wine kit. It's been 48 hours and still no evidence that fermentation has started. Anything I can do to help it or anything I need to add?
Not yet, it sometimes takes longer than 48 hours. Just make sure that your temps are in range and give it a bit more time.
 

DIYer

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I am trying to start a 3 gallon desert wine kit. It's been 48 hours and still no evidence that fermentation has started. Anything I can do to help it or anything I need to add?
What are you looking for in terms of "evidence" and what type of vessel are you fermenting in?
 

DIYer

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The SG has not gone down nor is the airlock percolating.
Airlocks are notoriously unreliable. I don't even use them in primary, just cover with a cloth.

What yeast are you using and what temperature is your fermenter at? Did you rehydrate the yeast, or just sprinkle it on dry?

There are so many factors, we really need to know what all you did and how in order to make any useful suggestions other than wait another day or so....
 

TikiWine

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Lalvin ec-1118 2 packs per the kit, must temp at time of sprinkle was 75, ambient room temperature 70.
 

DIYer

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Lalvin ec-1118 2 packs per the kit, must temp at time of sprinkle was 75, ambient room temperature 70.
Should be fine then, unless the yeast was old (shouldn't be the case if the kit was fresh) or had been exposed to hot temps in storage (possible, but not likely if the juice in the same kit was ok). Let us know tomorrow if you see any foaming or even just "swirling" (like currents in a river) in the must. Sometimes all the activity is underneath the surface.
 

Jal5

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Doesn’t the beginning fermentation usually require more air than the airlock provides?

Many folks simply cover the bucket with a cloth for the primary fermentation and don’t put it under airlock until racked to secondary.
 

salcoco

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since this is a dessert wine, the sg is quite high and it takes the yeast some time to build a colony enough to start fermentation. I would remove the airlock and use an open container with a cloth covering the opening. stir at least twice daily. I would give the wine another 24 hours to start.
 

TikiWine

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Update...checked this morning and it's a fizzy party. I guess they had a fun night last night. SG is down to about 1.100 down from 1.130
 

Johnd

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Update...checked this morning and it's a fizzy party. I guess they had a fun night last night. SG is down to about 1.100 down from 1.130
There you go, off to the races, just takes a bit of time sometimes................
 

TikiWine

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So it was going good for a while, but the last 3 days now it's stuck at 1.040. I need to get it to 1.020 to add the sugar packet. How can I get it to keep moving.
 

Scooter68

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Others can speak to this perhaps better than I can but, I'm guessing (yeah just a guess) that the yeast has just been overwhelmed by the amount of sugar.
Step-feeding is recommended by many when trying to make a high ABV wine (Dessert wine) to gradually increase the amount of sugar available to the yeast. I'm on my third batch of Black Currant wine and it has stalled at 1.056. The previous efforts all quit fermenting significantly above .990.

Of course that doesn't solve your current issue. Hopefully somebody with a bit more depth of knowledge on overcoming a stalled ferment can help you out.
 

mhopkins

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sebscot

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As others said already, be careful not to just dump your sugar, but rather gradually feeding your yeast. Your yeast can go into a sort of "shell shock" if you feed it your whole sugar volume at once.

This especially applies if you are trying to make higher alcohol content wines, if you want to do this you may have to add extra yeast. I have a blog where i talk about this among other things, you can find the link in my profile if you want to read more :)
 

TikiWine

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Thanks y'all. Slowly but surely it's coming along. I think it did go to shell shock. But it was a whole pack from the manufacturer of the kit. 3 weeks in only to 1.031 lol. Only 12 to go
 

Arne

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Before you add any more sugar you might want to taste it first . I know it is going to be yeasty and have fermenting flavors but taste for the sugar level. You can always not add more sugar, but when you dump it in it can be hard to get rid of. Good luck with it, Arne.
 

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