First batch. 1 gallon winexpert cab sauv kit

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TheCoolkid

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Hi everyone,
I started up my first batch of kit wine 3 days ago, I am about 80 hours into primary fermentation now. It is a 1 gallon winexpert cab sauv kit. It has been holding steady in the 75 degree range and there is still no action in the airlock. The lid of the bucket is locked tight. Could this be the problem?
 

heatherd

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Hi, the airlock isn't an indication of fermentation. I tend to ferment with the lid on loosely to dry and then rack over to my carboy.
 

TheCoolkid

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Ok,thank you. I will loosen up the lid going forward from now on.
 

BernardSmith

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Hi TheCoolkid - and welcome. Two quick thoughts:
1. Often buckets do not seal well and so the CO2 will find the easiest way out and that may be through the poor surface contact between lid and bucket rather than through an airlock. Always, always, points of least resistance.
2. When you add juice to the primary and then pitch (add) your yeast there is really no good reason to use an airlock. In fact , if you were making wine using fresh grapes rather than juice you would need to be punching down the cap of fruit formed across the top of your fermenter. The carbon dioxide being pumped out by the yeast forces the fruit in the pail to rise to the surface and that cap can trap the CO2 which in turn can cause enough pressure to eventually create a mini explosion with enough energy to expel a great deal of your wine and all the fruit. So wine makers two or three times a day for the first week or two are pushing that fruit down into the wine. They also punch the cap down to inhibit spoilage organisms from growing on the moist surface. You want that surface to be soaking wet and not drying out. Bottom line: an airlock and a sealed lid are just too much work to deal with so we cover the buckets or pails with clean towels to keep out dirt and pets (and children).
This is a wonderful hobby.
Good luck!
 
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TheCoolkid

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Hi TheCoolkid - and welcome. Two quick thoughts:
1. Often buckets do not seal well and so the CO2 will find the easiest way out and that may be through the poor surface contact between lid and bucket rather than through an airlock. Always, always, points or least resistance.
2. When you add juice to the primary and then pitch (add) your yeast there is really no good reason to use an airlock. In fact , if you were making wine using fresh grapes rather than juice you would need to be punching down the cap of fruit formed across the top of your fermenter. The carbon dioxide being pumped out by the yeast forces the fruit in the pail to rise to the surface and that cap can trap the CO2 which in turn can cause enough pressure to eventually create a mini explosion with enough energy to expel a great deal of your wine and all the fruit. So wine makers two or three times a day for the first week or two are pushing that fruit down into the wine. They also punch the cap down to inhibit spoilage organisms from growing on the moist surface. You want that surface to be soaking wet and not drying out. Bottom line: an airlock and a sealed lid are just too much work to deal with so we cover the buckets or pails with clean towels to keep out dirt and pets (and children).
This is a wonderful hobby.
Good luck!
This makes so much sense. Thank you for your reply. I am quite excited to learn more!
 

cmason1957

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I like to say to anyone who tells me that their airlock isn't bubbling is that airlocks lie to you all the time. They are sneaky little devils and the CO2 is getting out somewhere, if you SG/Brix (whatever you want to measure) is going down.
 

BernardSmith

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Oh, I don't know. I think the airlock is telling you the truth and that is that there is no CO2 passing through the liquid in the bubbler. Airlocks do not "detect" the presence of CO2. So , if that is what you are asking them , you are asking the wrong question. Airlocks are not sneaky... They are brick ignorant and they answer only one question: Did they pass gas? :e
 

TheCoolkid

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I loosened up the primary fermenter lid last night. There was the very obvious presence of co2 bubbling up. So if there was no bubbling the the airlock, it must have been escaping somehow.
 

VinesnBines

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In my experience, wine never ferments as actively nor creates the krausen like beer. Give it a good stir at least twice a day and notice the co2 odor. Keep a check on that SG and watch/smell for off smells.
 

TheCoolkid

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In my experience, wine never ferments as actively nor creates the krausen like beer. Give it a good stir at least twice a day and notice the co2 odor. Keep a check on that SG and watch/smell for off smells.
Ok. I can do that, I've been worried about moving it around too much. But, I'm learning that that is not something to worry about at all. In fact, you have to if there are skins you need to punch down. Thank you!
 
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