How can I save wine with final SG too high?

Discussion in 'Beginners Wine Making Forum' started by vinceit, Nov 18, 2019.

Wine Making Forum

Help Support Winemaking Talk by donating:

  1. Nov 18, 2019 #1

    vinceit

    vinceit

    vinceit

    Junior

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2019
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    Gender:
    Male
    I started a batch of fig wine and accidentally added more sugar than the recipe (https://eckraus.com/content/figwine.pdf) called for. See my log below. After 1.5 months of “fermentation”, the solution is clear, the airlock makes an occasional bubble once in a few hours, but the SG is 1.030. Seems like the fermentation failed. I feel really sorry for all the work and ingredients :( Is there anything I can do to save this batch?

    The Log

    Sep 17, 2019
    Added to primary fermenter:
    - 18 lbs. of chopped fresh figs
    - 2 tbsp. Yeast Nutrient
    - 1⁄2 tsp. Pectic Enzyme
    - 4 tbsp. Acid Blend
    - 1⁄2 tsp. Wine Tannin
    - 5 crushed Campden Tablets
    - MISTAKENLY added 10 lbs. of sugar instead of 9 lbs.
    - Added water to equal the batch to 5 gallons

    Sep 18, 2019
    Added to primary fermenter:
    - 1 Packet of Wine Yeast: K1V-1116

    Oct 2, 2019
    Removed fig must. Siphoned into a carboy. Specific Gravity: 1.040. There was little to no frothing activity in the next couple of weeks

    Nov 17, 2019.
    Specific Gravity: 1.030
     
  2. Nov 18, 2019 #2

    iridium

    iridium

    iridium

    Supporting Members WMT Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2017
    Messages:
    94
    Likes Received:
    38
    What was your starting SG? If you know that you can calculate the abv currently in the wine. If the current alcohol percentage does not exceed tolerance level for the yeast you used then you can add nutrients stir it to add oxygen and maybe even add more yeast to see if you can start it again.

    If alcohol limits have been reached then just let it age. I don’t know if you were going to back sweeten but what you have are residual sugars for a sweeter wine. So in essence you have already back sweeten led and may still be good. It may be just fine depending on what flavors you were trying to achieve.
     
    vinceit likes this.
  3. Nov 18, 2019 #3

    Ajmassa

    Ajmassa

    Ajmassa

    Just a Guy

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2016
    Messages:
    3,283
    Likes Received:
    2,597
    No starting SG recorded ? Fermentation did not fail. It just fermented as much as it’s capable of. K1v-1116 tolerant up to 18% abv.
    Which puts your starting SG likely around 1.161.

    How’s it taste? Is it meant to be dry or back sweetened later? You can definitely save it. But need to be willing to make a 2nd batch of wine. And Crunching some numbers accounting for what the ideal sweetness and abv ought to be for this wine- making 2nd batch to compensate and land in ideal ranges after blending
     
    vinceit likes this.
  4. Nov 18, 2019 #4

    vinceit

    vinceit

    vinceit

    Junior

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2019
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    Gender:
    Male
    I recorded SG only after I removed fig must (Oct 2, 2019) and it was 1.040

    How can I figure out if "the current alcohol percentage does not exceed tolerance level for the yeast "?

    How do I now that?
     
  5. Nov 18, 2019 #5

    iridium

    iridium

    iridium

    Supporting Members WMT Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2017
    Messages:
    94
    Likes Received:
    38
    @Ajmassa gave the alcohol tolerance for the yeast type. I think it is like 16%. You really need starting Sg to calculate alcohol amount. If you have that you can find an online abv calculator where you put in starting SG and ending SG and get the alcohol percentage. Without the starting SG that becomes more difficult to do.

    If you don’t have that I think there are at least two things you can do. The first is taste the wine. It will likely be very sharp because of all of the co2 still in the wine. However you should get a sense of the taste of the wine. Given that you have residual sugar the question is do you like the taste. If you do, the. Add k-meta and potassium sorbate and let it age. The k-meta protects the wine from oxidation and the sorbate prevents fermentation from restarting.

    If you don’t like the taste because it is too sweet you can add yeast nutrients to see if that restarts fermentation or add yeast. In both cases you want to stir the wine to incorporate oxygen for the yeast to consume in the fermentation process. I would also look in here for various threads that talk about stuck fermentations and how to get them unstuck. That appears to be what you have.
     
    vinceit likes this.
  6. Nov 18, 2019 #6

    vinceit

    vinceit

    vinceit

    Junior

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2019
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    Gender:
    Male
    Could you explain how you have arrived at that number, please? Again, I recorded SG only after I removed fig must (Oct 2, 2019) and it was 1.040

    It tastes quite sour, carbonated, and sweet. The original recipe I used was for a dry wine.

    Could you provide more specific/actionable instructions, please? What will go into the second batch? How to accunt for sweetness and abv? I'm willing to do more work with the 2nd batch, but the figs season is over and I won't be able to get fresh fruits.

    Thanks!
     
  7. Nov 18, 2019 #7

    Scooter68

    Scooter68

    Scooter68

    Fruit "Wine" Maker

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2015
    Messages:
    2,934
    Likes Received:
    1,341
    The yeast you used has a alcohol tolerance of 18% * so it's not likely that you exceeded it's limits but rather other conditions stressed the yeast or caused it to stall.

    The SG measurement should always be taken before any yeast is added and in fact before you add any sugar. Then as you add sugar you can keep checking the reading until you reach the desired level. Many times it's best to let that prepared wine must sit at least 6-8 hours before pitching the yeast - take one more reading JUST before you add the yeast. It's very common for additional sugar to disolve or for the fruit itself to release more sugar as it begins to break down.

    Your 1.040 reading was taken well after fermentation began, so it's tough to know if you exceeded the alcohol tolerance of the yeast, but it does sound like you have a stalled or stuck ferment. SInce the ferment was well down the road by the time you took that SG reading, it's really tough to go back and figure out the original reading.

    As mentioned, look on this forum for threads regarding restarting a stuck or stalled ferment. That's the purpose of keeping all these old threads around, by doing a little research on here you can often solve the problem by finding out what problems others had that sound identical to yours.

    *See attached Yeast information
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Nov 18, 2019
    vinceit likes this.
  8. Nov 18, 2019 #8

    sour_grapes

    sour_grapes

    sour_grapes

    Victim of the Invasion of the Avatar Snatchers

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2013
    Messages:
    9,776
    Likes Received:
    7,229
    How are you measuring the SG? If you are using a refractometer, it will be inaccurately high (due to the presence of the alcohol).

    10 lbs of sugar in 5 gallons of water only gets you to ~1.090 or something. I realize you have less water and more figs, but something seems off.
     
    vinceit likes this.
  9. Nov 18, 2019 #9

    stickman

    stickman

    stickman

    Veteran Winemaker

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2014
    Messages:
    1,333
    Likes Received:
    1,088
    I was thinking the same thing as @sour_grapes regarding the water addition. If there were 18lbs of figs in the primary and then water added to the 5gal mark, my guess is there would be way less than 5gal of liquid, so the initial gravity could have been very high, toss in dry yeast with high gravity and significant viability might have been lost. I noticed step 5 indicates removing the pulp and then adding water if necessary back up to the 5gal mark. Was additional water added as indicated in step 5?
     
    vinceit likes this.
  10. Nov 19, 2019 #10

    vinceit

    vinceit

    vinceit

    Junior

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2019
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    Gender:
    Male
  11. Nov 19, 2019 #11

    vinceit

    vinceit

    vinceit

    Junior

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2019
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    Gender:
    Male
    Yes, I removed the pulp, and then added water to the 5gal mark
     
  12. Nov 19, 2019 #12

    Ajmassa

    Ajmassa

    Ajmassa

    Just a Guy

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2016
    Messages:
    3,283
    Likes Received:
    2,597
    My number of 1.161 SG was based off kv-1116 abv tolerance 18% and assuming it simply maxed out and stopped. With 1.030 as your final SG to get 18% abv the calc spit out 1.161 starring SG. Tho I’m wrong to assume anything. 1 extra lb.of sugar isn’t a crazy amount in hindsight.
    I’m optimistic you’ll get there with a little help

    (And for the record— i am NOT a fan of any literature EC Krauss puts out. This current situation is a direct result of those janky instructions.)
     
    vinceit and sour_grapes like this.
  13. Nov 19, 2019 #13

    Scooter68

    Scooter68

    Scooter68

    Fruit "Wine" Maker

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2015
    Messages:
    2,934
    Likes Received:
    1,341
    One thing that can help you eliminate a lot of guess work is to plan ahead. Arrive at an estimate of how much volume you will lose due to skins/pulp and increase your starting volume to offset that loss. Go high when in doubt. Having extra wine is never a bad thing. So when you figure out how many pounds of fruit, figs whatever you want to use per gallon - include that extra volume in your calculations. So if you want to use 4 lbs per gallon for a 3 gallon batch (12lbs total) and you expect to lose 1/2 gallon volume... use 14 lbs total. By doing that you won't lose flavor or dilute the ABV. If you go a little high you can save the extra in smaller glass bottles with airlock AND you can afford to leave more behind in racking without losing precious volume. Once fermentation has begun, it's much better to not add any water along the way - it makes keeping track of the ABV difficult and tends to dilute the flavor.
     
    vinceit likes this.
  14. Nov 21, 2019 #14

    winemaker81

    winemaker81

    winemaker81

    wine dabbler

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2006
    Messages:
    222
    Likes Received:
    82
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Raleigh NC
    First -- based upon what I've read, your wine is not in any danger. It may be sweeter than you want, but you will produce a wine.

    How stable is the temperature. If you had a sudden drop, that could inhibit the yeast.

    I recommend adding 2 to 3 tsp yeast nutrient and a package of EC-1118. EC-1118 will ferment a rock if given the opportunity. You should not need more yeast, but that may invigorate the wine.

    I agree with AJ, I don't like the recipe. Never top up a fermented wine with water -- as was previously mentioned, that messes up the balance. Instead plan for 6 gallons initial volume, as per Scooter's recommendation. This will fill a 5 gallon carboy with enough left over to keep it topped up. The excess should be placed in a container sized to fit the volume. You can get smaller stoppers to put airlocks on any size container you can imagine.
     
  15. Nov 21, 2019 #15

    Scooter68

    Scooter68

    Scooter68

    Fruit "Wine" Maker

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2015
    Messages:
    2,934
    Likes Received:
    1,341
    As has been suggested - be skeptical of recipes found on line from all sources - Look at them carefully for 'unusual' quantities and processes that are outside the most common practices.

    When you have ANY question post that question here. Our opinions may differ but we all want folks to succeed and if someone posts something that seems strange - ask about it.

    The one thing that gets most folks in trouble more often than anything else - Rushing to get things, started, finished, or bottled up. Take your time.

    Mistakes happen more often when you rush than any other time. The carpenters adage holds true in wine making Measure twice, Cut (Add) once. Once you add something to a recipe you can't take it out doesn't matter if its sugar, K-Meta, water etc.
     
  16. Nov 23, 2019 #16

    vinceit

    vinceit

    vinceit

    Junior

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2019
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    Gender:
    Male
    Folks,

    huge thanks, everyone who replied! Lots of helpful info. I keep learning along the way. Regarding the recipe: I've followed it once 3 years back and produced amazing wine. This time around I used the same yeast and the same figs from my tree :) but brands of the other chemicals were different plus I sure messed smth up.

    What I've decided to do.

    I settled on trying to restart/revive the fermentation. The current temperature in the carboy is 71F, and my house has had a stable temperature for the past few weeks. Searching the forums and web pointed to using EC-1118 and 3 options of how to use it:

    1) Rehydrate EC-1118 with original wine, sugar, nutrient and water solution and add then add it to the carboy.
    I know you are not fond of eckraus but I used their instructions from:https://blog.eckraus.com/making-a-wine-yeast-starter-to-restart-a-stuck-fermentation. So, I used:
    - ~ 500ml of wine out of carboy
    - ~ 250ml water
    - ~ 1/4 tsp yeast nutrient
    - 3 tbsp sugar
    - EC-1118
    - ~71F
    I have not noticed much foaming at all. Please, see attached pictures after 48 hours: IMG_1.JPG, IMG_2.JPG. I expected to see more activity. Does it look normal to you? I'm worried there is something wrong with the current wine solution that it hinders yeast work.

    2) Rehydrate EC-1118 just with some water and sugar and then add it to the carboy.
    I used:
    - ~ 200ml warm water
    - 1/2 tbsp sugar
    - EC-1118
    - ~71F
    See attached IMG_3.JPG after 1 hour - way more foaming activity. If I decide to use this method, how long should I wait before adding this to the carboy?

    3) Add EC-1118 directly to the carboy just like @Scooter68 suggested.

    Which option would you recommend?
     

    Attached Files:

  17. Nov 24, 2019 #17

    winemaker81

    winemaker81

    winemaker81

    wine dabbler

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2006
    Messages:
    222
    Likes Received:
    82
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Raleigh NC
    If I recall correctly, #2 is what the vendor recommends, so I'd go with that one. I believe the vendor says 20 minutes, although if it is foaming well, it's probably ready.

    That said, #1 and #3 work. For #1, adding the wine is probably unnecessary, but it does not hurt. For #3, some yeast vendors say to just at it to the must/wine. Either way, you can't go wrong.
     

Share This Page