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Nov 4, 2009
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Can anyone give me some tips on fermentation please. I mean how long, how rapid etc. I started some pear wine a couple of weeks ago and that seems to be bubbling away quite well through the fermentation locks, but two demijohns of marrow (one has ginger cordial in it) which had been doing well for the first few days, have now slowed down to a bubble every 10 - 12 seconds. This can't be right, can it?
Roughly how long should a fierce fermentation take and and roughly how long until fermentation stops and the first racking needs to take place?:slp:slp
the fierce fermentation is usually 5-7 days, sometimes shorter, sometimes longer.
once any danger of it overboiling a carboy it should be racked off the gross lees, usually somewhere around 1.010 SG... from there secondary could take another week or more... it can sit relatively long in secondary provided no O2 exposure. once you open it tho, it'll be time to rack again, sulfite to prevent oxidation and top up as necessary to bring surface to air exposure to a minimum.

many factors affect the above... sugar content at start, pH, acidity, temp. there are many resources for the basics of winemaking and a hydrometer is an inexpensive investment that can help you be more accurate in what you do when and what to expect as a result.

every fermentation is different to some degree so visual indicators are generally unreliable.
Thank you rawlus for your answer to my enquiry. I will definately buy a hydrometer when next in town.
The rapid fermentation really only lasted 3 days and I was wondering whether I should add some more sugar or maybe, because it's marrow, some yeast nutrient?
i cant comment on marrow (the only marrow i know is bone marrow!) as i make only grape wines. there may be peculiarities with the type of base material you are using which others here can speak more intelligently on. did you add yeast and if so, what type? or did you let wild yeast do the fermentation?
adding sugar is sometimes done to boost potential alcohol, but usually this is done based upon getting a starting specific gravity or brix (sugar) reading with hydrometer or refractometer prior to pitching yeast and beginning fermentation and then calculating out where you want the finished product to be alcohol-wise when it's fully fermented and then making those adjustments up front.
A marrow is like a very large courgette but I take your point about using a hydrometer in future.
Okay, wht is a courgette? :) Fermentations can vary majorly even between to carboys full of the same wine with the same yeast at the same temp. Its all in how the yeast form a colony whch is a living organism and mother nature can really ply some games. that being said there are many other factors like nutrients added, temp, type of yeast used and so on that can also play a big role not to mention baych size, A 1 gallon btch can fermet out fully in 3 days sometimes.
It's a squash
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Marrow can mean

vegetable marrow, a variety of squash, or a large courgette
a courgette is the same as a zucchini ..

there is a recipe somewhere for fermenting the wine inside the marrow, you hang the marrow up and let the fermented wine drip into a bucket.. sounds like it would oxidise to me.. but apparently it works!

That is called Marrow Rum and I believe that the marrow is sealed with adhesive tape, but I won't bother writing out the recipe if marrows aren't generally available.
But, what I've made will be wine in a year's time, I hope!
By the way, I don't think a marrow is like any squash I've ever eaten.
A marrow is roughly 15" long and has a diameter of 4" but it can be bigger or smaller than that. It's dark green + lighter colour stripes lengthwise.
I've also made some sloe (fruit of the blackthorn) gin which I'm looking forward to trying at Christmas. Memory tells me that is really good.
You can not assess a quality fermentation just by gauging the fierceness of the fermentation or counting the bubbles in the airlock. Sometimes it will just "simmer" and some times it will roll and foam over with the same yeast. As mentioned areas such as acidity, pH, temperatures, yeast health, viability, and count all play into the equation.

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