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old_guy

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Trying to make cranberry wine, using wild cranberries I picked last fall. I boiled the cranberries until they popped, let cool, added the pektin extract, waited 10 hours then added the yeast nutrition, waited 6 hours then added the rehydrated wine yeast. Covered with a cloth and waited. I noticed small amount of foam after a few hours and this has grown to thinly cover the top of the jug, but nothing else. No bubbles, no vigorous activity, nada. Am I expecting to much? I don't have the acid checker, so what is an easy way to tell oif wine is fermenting, or if it somehow became stuck?
 

cpfan

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so what is an easy way to tell oif wine is fermenting, or if it somehow became stuck?
Specific gravity readings with a hydrometer.

What is the current temperature of the room and the must/wine?

Steve
 

old_guy

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Thanks

Temp of must varies, between 65 degrees to about 70 degrees, depending on time of day. Should there be actual bubbles after 2.5 days? Or just the thin foam?
 

old_guy

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Oh, one other thing. There is a white foamy looking stuff collecting at the bottom, and growing, i.e. getting deeper every day. Not sure if this is just residue from the raw cranberries, or some yeast activity. Sorry for newbie questions, just not sure what to expect. I figured I could wait the 7 days and then move to the secondary fermenter and add a ballon to the top to see of carbon dioxide is being generated, but would hate to wait seven days if I can figure out what is wrong now.
 

cpfan

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Foam is the same as bubbles, as far as I'm concerned.

I believe that you are getting a slow ferment because the must/wine is cool. Maybe I shouls say non-vigourous rather than slow. Of course, good wine yeasts are low foaming anyway.

Is there a hissing sound?

You should get some wine making equipment, especially a floating thermometer and a hydrometer, and something to help take a hydrometer reading. It would definitely help to understand what is happening at this stage.

Steve
 

old_guy

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Ok, will try to warm must up. Will also try to find a hydrometer although I am up in the boonies, so may have to internet order it. I dont here any fizzing but do hear semi-frequent snap, crackle, pops.
 

Tom

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I make Cranberry. It May be slow to start. Are you fermenting in a bucket? How much are you making. We really need all the info from the start to help you.
Welcome to the group
Tom
 

old_guy

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Tom, thanks. I am attempting, well actually hoping, for one gallen. I am doing primary fermentation in a 2.5 gallen glass jug. I bought all my wine making stuff from a local winery (Three Lakes Winery) who are known for their cranberry wine cause we grow the berries locally. Alas, they would not give me their recipe so I pulled one from the internet. Again, no foam before I added the wine yeast (Montrachet), but only a little now on top after almost 3 days. Looks like a lot of stuff going on at the bottom, but I don;t think this is yeast activity as I would expect bubbles floating to the top. The foam definately has small bubbles in it. Oh, and I initially added the rehydrated wine yeast on top and did not stir it in until 24 hours after. I usually stir briefly once per day to break the pulp cap collecting on top. What else you need to know? I am guessing I can tell for sure if fermenting once I get into secondary ferementor because then I can just watch for the balloon (or bubbles from airlock if I can buy/make one).
 

Tom

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Its gonna be tough to transfer from a glass jug with all the pulp. Like I said buy a hydrometer. Its more important with wine making. You need to have an airlock when you transfer which should be around 1.015ish, Cranberry is tart you may consider backsweeten just a little later.
 

old_guy

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Ok, will try to find a hydrometer. My primary jug is wide mouth, but have not yet found a 1 gallon glass jug with a narrow mouth so I can attach, or make, an airlock. Nobody has one gallen jugs anymore, all plastic junk. If I can get this right, I have wild blueberry and wild blackberry I would like to try.
 

Wade E

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You need a rubber bung to put an airlock in any size carboy. Definelty get a hydrometer. Cranberry is a tough and slow fermenter and Montrachet is a stubborn yeast which needs a lot of nutrient so if you start to smell any type of sulphur smells immedialetly get some more nutrient in there and stir it well. The Montracht is also a veery low foamer so dont expect much in that department. I use that yeast quite often along with Cotes Des Blanc on my fruit wines.
 

old_guy

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Yes, driving to get a hydrometer today, will also see if they have an airlock so I don't have to make one. When you say that yeast likes butrient, how much? Original recipe called for 1/2 tsp, and this morning I added another 1/2 tsp per your suggestion. This for probably 1.5 gallen of must. Also, since it has been almost 4 days with little or no fermentation, does the must go bad, so I need to start over? Or is it still ok if I can figure out how to kick start the fermentation?
 

Tom

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Usually its 1/2tsp per gallon. You might want to get another yeast as well just in case.
 

Luc

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In winemaking we used to use benzoate to inhibit yeast from reproducing, and for wine to prevent spoiling.
Nowadays we use sorbate and sulphite for this purpose.

Now do a search on google with the words cranberry and benzoate and you will know instantly why the must is not fermenting.

Rack it from the lees as that is likely a layer of dead yeast cells.
in the meantime make a real vigorous yeast starter like here:
http://wijnmaker.blogspot.com/2007/08/gist-starter-yeast-starter.html

That may help jumpstarting the must.

Luc
 
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arcticsid

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OG, if you can't or dont have an airlock you could always use a blow by tube, drill a hole in the cap and run the tube into a container of sulphited water, it can "burp" but no air can reenter.
 

Madriver Wines

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old_guy

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2nd Try

Well, the cranberry never did ferment, so I laid it to rest the other day (silent moment for respect), but being one not to quit, I started again with some wild blackberries I picked last fall. I used all the same additives I used with the cranberries, but lo and behold, she be bubbling like mad this time. To make sure I am doing this right, I let it sit in the primary fermenter for around 5 days, or until the SG = 1.050, then I strain the contents into the secondary fermenter and attach an airlock, where I let this sit for several weeks until all the bubbling stops. How do you folks strain from primary to seconday? Just a basic kitchen strainor? Or do you use a plastic tube and siphon off the liquid? Any other feedback on my remaining tasks? Thanks
 

Wade E

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I use a basic stariner if there is that much pulp but usually dont need that as I use a fermentation bag.
 

Luc

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Wow I read that Luc and it would be a kick a-- starter! How long is the process? I was wondering from the point of starting the must to being able to add it back in?
Well normally I make my yeast starter.
Then I add pectic enzyme to my must and let that do its
work for 24 hours.
Then I add the yeast starter.

Luc
 

old_guy

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More Help Please

Ok, been about two weeks. Fermenting/bubbles have decreased significantly. Only a few bubbles today. I checked SG and it was just a hair about 1.000, so I racked into a clean (2nd) secondary using a siphon hose and attached a real airlock. Now what? I let sit until I see no bubbles at all, and then bottle? Or to a certain SG? Do I add the additional campden tablet now, or just when I bottle? Oh, and when I moved to the 2nd secondary, I no longer have a full gallon, due to all the lees at bottom of original seconday. Do I add water to bring it up to a gallon, or just leave as is? Thanks
 
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