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Has primary fermentation ended?

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Crusado

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Hello everyone, I'm a first time poster and first time wine maker living in South Louisiana. Using Black Spanish from my backyard. Rain almost every day and afraid I was going to loose them. Very low sugar and very high acid. Got only 1 1/2 gals must. Blended sample tested 16.5 brix, 3.86 ph, 16.1 g/l TA :( using refractometer, ph meter, and NaOH acid test kit. Added 10.5 oz sugar to target 23.5 Brix. Did not adjust for pH/TA hoping test was somehow off (I know. :( Not good science) and that MLF will correct. Did not retest after sugar correction either :( and assumed starting brix of 23.5. Added 50 ppm KMBS on 7/26 mid-afternoon and pitched ICV-D254 w/ Gofirm 7/27 late afternoon. Cap already formed early next morning 8:30 7/28, punched and added first does Fermaid K. Punching 3 time daily. Brix using refractometer and Temp are as follows:
7/28 8:30 am - 20 brix - 75F
2:30 pm - 19 - 77
10:30 pm - 17 - 80
7/29 7:00 am - 14 - 81
3:30 pm - 11 - 81
12:00 pm - 9 - 79.2
7/30 9:00 am - 7.5 - 77.2

I'm using an excel spreadsheet to compensate for the refractometer and alcohol which is claiming my sugar is at -2.8 brix. This seems to have happened way too fast. Is my primary fermentation finished? Will sugar continue to drop? I thought it would stop at zero and I would press and move on to MLF. Do I let it go till sugar stops falling? WHAT THE HELL!?!?? Also haven't tested pH or TA again. Will do so after pressing. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
 

M38A1

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Being new myself, I can't speak to the conversion of the refractometer with alcohol present. What I've learned is trust a hydrometer for SG if you have one as it's not affected by alcohol content. I have two now since everyone says "get two as you'll invariably break one at the worst moment". And testing pH in the presence of CO2 which is being off-gassed during PF will also skew the pH number from what I am reading here.

More to your question, from the few batches I've completed, that compressed timeframe doesn't seem right to have consumed 100% of the sugars.
 

Johnd

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I'm also in south Louisiana, small world, what city are you in?

I've had grape batches finish as quickly as 4 days, but you really should get a hydrometer for testing after fermentation has started, I don't trust refractometer adjustments. The rest of your process looks pretty solid, I'm curious to hear what your hydrometer readings are when you get one.......
 

Crusado

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I'm also in south Louisiana, small world, what city are you in?

I've had grape batches finish as quickly as 4 days, but you really should get a hydrometer for testing after fermentation has started, I don't trust refractometer adjustments. The rest of your process looks pretty solid, I'm curious to hear what your hydrometer readings are when you get one.......
 

Crusado

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I do have a hydrometer. Just thought the refractometer was as accurate and oh so easy. Stealing a couple of drops at each punching sure beats having to dredge up 100 ml or more. I will check sugar via hydrometer shortly and post. I am in Lockport which is on Bayou Lafourche 15 miles or so east of Houma. Yes small world, and hopefully bigger harvest in the future. I’ve only got 2 vines now but my cuttings are thriving and I will plant 6 more in the spring.
 

Johnd

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I do have a hydrometer. Just thought the refractometer was as accurate and oh so easy. Stealing a couple of drops at each punching sure beats having to dredge up 100 ml or more. I will check sugar via hydrometer shortly and post. I am in Lockport which is on Bayou Lafourche 15 miles or so east of Houma. Yes small world, and hopefully bigger harvest in the future. I’ve only got 2 vines now but my cuttings are thriving and I will plant 6 more in the spring.
Yes, it's a lot easier to use, the hydrometer is more work, just have a lot more faith in its results.

I know exactly where Lockport is , pass through there to fish down in Grand Isle and Port Fourchon.
 

mainshipfred

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I know exactly where Lockport is , pass through there to fish down in Grand Isle and Port Fourchon.[/QUOTE]

Your numbers are growing rapidly down there. If they keep growing you may see a Northern invasion.
 

Crusado

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Brix via hydrometer is 1.00985 @ around 4 pm-ish. Guess I'm not there yet. Non blended juice sample was 76.5F, pH 4.0, TA 12.3 g/l. Should I still press @ Zero despite the quick drop?? Why is the refractometer method with the spreadsheet off? Are there any other signs I can use to know it is ready? Was I wrong to blend original test sample? I'm hoping MLF will bring TA down but will it increase pH even further? WHAT THE HELL!?!?!! I feel like I'm preparing for the birth of my first child again.
 

Johnd

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I know exactly where Lockport is , pass through there to fish down in Grand Isle and Port Fourchon.
Your numbers are growing rapidly down there. If they keep growing you may see a Northern invasion.[/QUOTE]

You northern boys come on down here, we welcome all who aren’t afraid to melt.......
 

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