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Fermentation Question

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RadarLuv

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Started my first batch from a kit last Friday. Bubbles on the surface on Sunday, the surface is smooth today. Is this normal? Please help a rookie!
 

Sacalait

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Did you check the SG initially? If so, check it now and compare the two readings. If there is an appreciable difference try splash racking (one bucket to another) to incorporate a little more air into the must.
 

cpfan

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Not sure what Sacalait is suggesting, but I don't recommend splash racking at this point. If you need to incorporate oxygen, vigourous stirring will suffice.

It is difficult to properly answer your question without some info.

1. Name of kit. Brand & Variety

2. Starting specific gravity, if available

3. Current specific gravity. If you don't have a hydrometer and test vessel, get one.

4. Room temperature during fermentation. Current wine temperature.

Please note that visual signs of fermentation are very unreliable (almost useless at times). Specifig gravity readings tell the story.

Steve
 

Sacalait

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What I'm suggesting is if there is a difference between the initial SG and what it is now AND fermentation is not complete then fermentation "may" have stopped. Stirring with a spoon should be done 2-3 times daily as most kits will instruct but when this doesn't produce results I splash rack and this has worked most often for me.
 

cpfan

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What I'm suggesting is if there is a difference between the initial SG and what it is now AND fermentation is not complete then fermentation "may" have stopped. Stirring with a spoon should be done 2-3 times daily as most kits will instruct but when this doesn't produce results I splash rack and this has worked most often for me.
You did not explain that very well at all for a rookie. How does anyone tell it's finihed/not finished without a current sg.

Actually very few kits recommend stirring in the primary. I only do it when there are grape skins or something, and that's really only punching down what is floating.

Unless you've been running a Ferment on Premises, I have made more kits in the last 6 years than you have (mostly Vineco and RJ Spagnols). I have never splash racked a kit wine.

Steve
 

Sacalait

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Well now, when I advised him to "check it now" would indicate a current SG.

I'm not a kit expert as you are and I don't pretend to know it all but I do know how to deal with a stuck ferment. With the limited information supplied I gave an off the cuff solution and so be it.:cool:
 

cpfan

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OK, possible scenario original sg 1.080, and current sg .992. IE the ferment is finished. Your instructions would have RadarLuv needlessly splash racking to beat the band and oxidizing the wine.

Steve
 

RadarLuv

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OK. Thanks for the replies. Here is the current situation.

Brand- Vino Del Vida, Cabernet Sauvignon

Started 10/31/08 SG= 1.08

11/14/08 SG=1.00

Kit says it should be 0.998 or lower prior to the next step and says it should be there in approx. 14 days.

Does this seem to be on track? is the 1.00 reading OK at this point? Thanks!
 

cpfan

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It's been a while since I made that kit (in fact I don't think I have made the 9 litre version, just the older 7.5 litre one). I would expect it to be down around .995 in 14 days.

What kind of temperatures does the room the wine is in experience? Warm in the day, cold at night?

Steve
 

cpfan

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Thats lower than I was running (about 72-74F). Perhaps that's why it seems a little slow.

I know that I advised against stirring earlier, but personally I would now stir gently every time I took an sg reading (probably daily). Expect to see a bit of foam as some CO2 is released. The stirring hopefully will bring some of the yeast that has settled out back into play.

Steve
 

RadarLuv

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Been a few days. I gave it a stir and it is still reading 1.00. Been 17 days. What do you think? Temp in the room is about 64f steady. Thanks!
 

cpfan

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Your temperature is low but OK. Call the 800 number in the instructions. You need to get it out of the primary at minimum.

Steve
 
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