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tckushnerick

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I think if myself as a somewhat seasoned winemaker, having done it for many years long ago when my kids were small. Then after a busy life raising them, I finally got back into it about 6 or 8 years ago (yes, I am a grandma now!). I make my wines from scratch, using a wonderful array of berries available to me at our acreage and other members of my family, most being very successful! One of the reasons for me signing up to this website is because of the difficulty I am having with a recent batch of lilac wine. I made one gallon last year and it was fantastic! So, this year I made a triple, using petals from the same bushes, so far so good. Here is my dilemma:
My folks have some of the really dark lilacs and I wanted to try them to hopefully get some of the purple color my other wine was lacking. For some reason, using the exact same recipe, I am unable to get the yeast to ferment. SG is sitting at 1.100 and even though is sounded like it was bubbling a bit, the SG is stuck. I removed the petals and added more nutrient and another packet of wine, but nothing. I hate to throw it out, if someone out in winemaking land could have advice for me!
 

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BigDaveK

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I had too much going on to try a lilac this year, unfortunately. I've done 5 flower wines in the last 2 months with more to come.
As @ChuckD asked, what was your initial SG and yeast. Did you do a yeast starter to make sure the little guys were working? And if it's no trouble, what was your recipe? More details would help.

Mother Nature can be finicky some times. I wonder if for this particular batch She decided there was too much sugar.

I'm a novice wine maker but this darn hobby hit me hard. Too much fun!

And welcome to WMT!
 

tckushnerick

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I had too much going on to try a lilac this year, unfortunately. I've done 5 flower wines in the last 2 months with more to come.
As @ChuckD asked, what was your initial SG and yeast. Did you do a yeast starter to make sure the little guys were working? And if it's no trouble, what was your recipe? More details would help.

Mother Nature can be finicky some times. I wonder if for this particular batch She decided there was too much sugar.

I'm a novice wine maker but this darn hobby hit me hard. Too much fun!

And welcome to WMT!
 

tckushnerick

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Thanks for your reply. The SG was and still is about 1.100. My thoughts were that maybe the darker flowers did contain more sugar. I tried a Nasturtium wine a couple years back, did the same thing. I ended up using it as a sweetener for some other wines. I did soak the yeast in 2 oz. warm water for 20 minutes as it says on the back of the package, as I always do for all my wines. I will post the link to the recipe.
 

tckushnerick

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Thanks for your reply. The SG was and still is about 1.100. My thoughts were that maybe the darker flowers did contain more sugar. I tried a Nasturtium wine a couple years back, did the same thing. I ended up using it as a sweetener for some other wines. I did soak the yeast in 2 oz. warm water for 20 minutes as it says on the back of the package, as I always do for all my wines. I will post the link to the recipe.
Thanks for your reply. The SG was and still is about 1.100. My thoughts were that maybe the darker flowers did contain more sugar. I tried a Nasturtium wine a couple years back, did the same thing. I ended up using it as a sweetener for some other wines. I did soak the yeast in 2 oz. warm water for 20 minutes as it says on the back of the package, as I always do for all my wines. I will post the link to the recipe.
 

tckushnerick

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Ohio Bob

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That might be the clue... A yeast starter, made 12-24 hours in advance can make a big difference. Perhaps with the high sugar, possible pH in the too harsh range, it all put some stress on your yeast.
 

BigDaveK

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Thanks for the link! I'll hang on to it for next year.
You mentioned sugar in the lilac. Many books say flowers don't have any sugar. I disagree. I've been eating day lilies - delicious!

Your acid may be too high. How many lemons did you use? Depending on the size, 1 lemon can be equal to a teaspoon of citric acid. 3 or 4 tsps in a gallon is too much. Get some pH strips if you don't have a meter. (Drugstore?) It will get you in the ballpark. There are a couple ways to reduce acid. Diluting with more water is the easiest. A good pH is 3.5ish. Below 3.0 is starting to get risky. Try to test your pH.
 

TechAdmin

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Welcome to WMT, any actions been taken?
 

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