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Turbosafari

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I am making 5 gallons of strawberry watermelon wine and after 72 hours all fermentation stopped. There is no activity that I can see and all sediment is now resting on the bottom.

I used strawberry and watermelon juice, 4 pounds of white sugar, cider yeast topped off with purified water in a 5.5 gallon carboy. After 24 hours it started bubbling like crazy then 72 hours after that it just stopped. I keep the container in a closet and has filled the closet with the smell of farts. I have made a other kinds of wine and never have fermentation stopped all together and never have it smelled like farts.

Is there any way to save this or might this be normal with this kind of fruit?
 

heatherd

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I am making 5 gallons of strawberry watermelon wine and after 72 hours all fermentation stopped. There is no activity that I can see and all sediment is now resting on the bottom.

I used strawberry and watermelon juice, 4 pounds of white sugar, cider yeast topped off with purified water in a 5.5 gallon carboy. After 24 hours it started bubbling like crazy then 72 hours after that it just stopped. I keep the container in a closet and has filled the closet with the smell of farts. I have made a other kinds of wine and never have fermentation stopped all together and never have it smelled like farts.

Is there any way to save this or might this be normal with this kind of fruit?
Did you check the specific gravity with a hydrometer?
 

G259

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The smell of farts is probably sulpher, I'm thinking. Did you use too much sulphate in the wine? I believe that it will kill the fermentation, but may dissipate with time, if it's not too much. My only question is: Will air exposure during this time, harm your wine from oxidation?
 

sour_grapes

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Yes, it is sulfur, but it is not from the added sulfites. More than likely, it is from sulfides, that is, the stuff that smells like farts. (H2S.) This is more than likely because of lack of nutrients in the must. (If you want, I can dig up the biochemical explanation of why low nutrient levels result in farts; let me know.)

Get a hydrometer and nutrients, check the SG, and then you can decide what comes next (with our help). If you get two hydrometers now, you won't break one again!
 

G259

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The sulphate just kills the yeast's ability to reproduce, thus the initial activity, then there is no more live yeast. I would take it out of the closet, into the open air, and vigorously stir a few times. I suppose my previous question is moot, because sulphate protects wine from oxygen, but yeast don't do good in it's presence. See my Apricot wine' thread, dried apricots are full of sulphates as a preservative (much to my chagrin!) I had to keep pitching yeast, because it wouldn't reproduce. I have 2 hydrometers, one broke while sterilizing it in the sink, then I bought 2!
 

G259

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. . . (late post) I didn't think of the nutrient angle, good suggestion, but wasn't this a kit, and wouldn't nutrients be included? Not enough?
 

Johnd

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The sulphate just kills the yeast's ability to reproduce, thus the initial activity, then there is no more live yeast. I would take it out of the closet, into the open air, and vigorously stir a few times. I suppose my previous question is moot, because sulphate protects wine from oxygen, but yeast don't do good in it's presence. See my Apricot wine' thread, dried apricots are full of sulphates as a preservative (much to my chagrin!) I had to keep pitching yeast, because it wouldn't reproduce. I have 2 hydrometers, one broke while sterilizing it in the sink, then I bought 2!
It’s potassium sorbate that prevents the yeast from reproducing. Most commercial yeasts are tolerant of sulfite by design. Very high levels of sulfite may kill yeast, as in your dried apricot example.
 

G259

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Yes, you are correct, I am confusing the two. Why then do we have to wait a day after adding Campden, before pitching yeast? I thought that it was to allow it to dissipate.
 

Johnd

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Why then do we have to wait a day after adding Campden, before pitching yeast? I thought that it was to allow it to dissipate.
It is to allow it to dissipate, though I suspect that a commercial yeast would power through a moderate sulfite application, but not without some adversity. Allowing sulfite to dissipate a bit ensures the yeast a less hostile environment to get established.
 

sour_grapes

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. . . (late post) I didn't think of the nutrient angle, good suggestion, but wasn't this a kit, and wouldn't nutrients be included? Not enough?
No, it wasn't a kit.

I used strawberry and watermelon juice, 4 pounds of white sugar, cider yeast topped off with purified water in a 5.5 gallon carboy.
Watermelon is notorious for giving rise to difficult fermentations.
 

Turbosafari

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Yes, it is sulfur, but it is not from the added sulfites. More than likely, it is from sulfides, that is, the stuff that smells like farts. (H2S.) This is more than likely because of lack of nutrients in the must. (If you want, I can dig up the biochemical explanation of why low nutrient levels result in farts; let me know.)

Get a hydrometer and nutrients, check the SG, and then you can decide what comes next (with our help). If you get two hydrometers now, you won't break one again!
A new hydrometer is on it way. What nutrients would I need. I know there are a few different kinds.
 

G259

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Go to Northern Brewer or Midwest Supplies. Fermax Yeast Nutrient is what I use, I'm sure there are others.
 

sour_grapes

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Many here recommend Fermaid-K early in the fermentation, and Fermaid-O for late in the fermentation.
 

Turbosafari

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Well I got my hydrometer and the sh was .990 but it turned skunk. Almost made me vomit when I tasted it. I'm not sure what went wrong.
 

stickman

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As indicated by others above, low nutrients is most likely what went wrong, there may be other factors, but that's where I would start. I would use a high quality complex yeast nutrient before adding the yeast.
 

Turbosafari

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As indicated by others above, low nutrients is most likely what went wrong, there may be other factors, but that's where I would start. I would use a high quality complex yeast nutrient before adding the yeast.
I didn't filter out all of the pulp before I pitched the yeast. Should I have? How would I figure out how much nutrient to add? Is there a rule of thumb to follow?
 

stickman

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A lot depends on the fruit you are using, in your case with those juices, I would think the initial nutrient content is very low. Your starting brix or sg is also important, higher means more nutrient is needed. The normal rule of thumb is 1g/gal of Fermaid K at the start of fermentation, and another 1g/gal at 1/3 sugar depletion before 10 brix. With your low nutrient must you may need more than the rule above, probably 1g/gal DAP in addition to the above. There are many details, but that's the short answer. There are other members here that have more experience with your type of must and may chime in with a recommendation.
 

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