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How long is TOO long to leave in primary fermentation?

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This is my first time making wine from fruit. I made from a kit once before and it turned out amazing, but I am now attempting to make from real fruit.

I seem to be having quite a bit of trouble with fermentation and worry my wine might be ruined.

Here is what has happened:

I made my wine from a recipe I found online, and there were about three recipes from three sites that were very similar.

Add 2.5 lbs of sugar is to bottled water and boiled
Mashed up 3.5 lbs of blueberries in mesh bag, added the sugar water
Added water to gallon mark
Added about 1/8 tsp or potassium metabisulfite
Added bun and airlock
Stirred 2x a day for 2 days

Then I attempted to rehydrate 1/4 packet of yeast using boiled water. I followed instructions but this was my first time doing this so this may be where I went wrong.

Then I added:
1/2 tsp pectin enzyme
1/2 tsp wine tannin
1 tsp yeast energizer
And 1 squeezed organic lemon

I added enough water to get specific gravity to 1.096 then added the yeast and put a lid a bing and airlock



So here’s where I’m stuck:

My fermentation seems to be going very slowly. The recipes said this process should take 1-3 weeks but it has been over a month!

After 1 week my specific gravity was 1.079

At about a week and a half I was at 1.073.
At this point I was advised to try taking the lid off and covering it with a towel, so I tried that for a while.

After about 2 weeks I was at 1.060 and was advised to try adding more yeast energizer. I added 1/4 tsp.

Week 3 I was at 1.052

Week 4 I was at 1.045
The kid being off here made me nervous since it had been a month so I sanitized it and put it back on with the hung and airlock. The next day I added more yeast energizer. 1/2 tsp this time.

Just shy of 5 weeks I measured again and it is at 1.040.


It has been going down, but very slowly. What should I do? Is it ruined??

The peels are still in the mesh bag. I was pushing them down twice a day but now it’s just periodically, like maybe every other day.

Thank you so much for the help!!


EDIT:
I apologize that was actually supposed to say BOTTLED water to rehydrate. I heated the water to about 109 degrees F, then stirred in the yeast. I let it sit for at least 15 minutes to let it cool and then added it to the must.
 
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Stressbaby

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My guess is that it is too acidic. Hard to say without a measurement, but generally I won't add acid to blueberry. More often I'm adding calcium carbonate to get the acid down.

Do you have access to a pH meter? That would be good information.
Also, what yeast did you use? Depending on the yeast, you could try repitching 1118.
 

Vinobeau

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I'm surprised that your SG is down to 1.040. My guess is that the boiling water killed most of the yeast. Add the other 3/4 of the original packet of yeast.
 

Chuck E

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This is my first time making wine from fruit. I made from a kit once before and it turned out amazing, but I am now attempting to make from real fruit.

Then I attempted to rehydrate 1/4 packet of yeast using boiled water. I followed instructions but this was my first time doing this so this may be where I went wrong.

Thank you so much for the help!!
I re-hydrate my yeast using water 94-104 degrees, barely lukewarm. Boiling water may have killed your first yeast.
But you could treat this as a "stuck" fermentation. I would just stir in some EC-1118 yeast. That yeast ferments most anything.
 

Scooter68

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Blueberries = an acidic juice. You could try a 1/2 teaspoon of Calcium Carbonate but don't do more than that.

I agree though that hot water will kill your yeast so trying some EC-1118 would be a good backup plan now.
 

Xnke

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Need to read closer guys. Boiled water is not the same as boiling water.
 
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I'm surprised that your SG is down to 1.040. My guess is that the boiling water killed most of the yeast. Add the other 3/4 of the original packet of yeast.
I apologize, I misspoke. That was actually supposed to say bottled water, not boiled water (see my edit above). I read on the package that the yeast is supposed to be good for a month but it has been over a month. Are there any negative effects to adding old yeast?
 
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Blueberries = an acidic juice. You could try a 1/2 teaspoon of Calcium Carbonate but don't do more than that.

I agree though that hot water will kill your yeast so trying some EC-1118 would be a good backup plan now.
I actually meant to say bottled water, but I did heat the water! See edit above! I used red star premium classique. Do you think I could add the rest of the packet and it be salvaged?
 
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I re-hydrate my yeast using water 94-104 degrees, barely lukewarm. Boiling water may have killed your first yeast.
But you could treat this as a "stuck" fermentation. I would just stir in some EC-1118 yeast. That yeast ferments most anything.

I actually heated the water to 109. Do you think I could add the rest of my yeast packet? It is red start premium classique. I am also curious about how to tell if it is too acidic! Thanks for the help!
 
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My guess is that it is too acidic. Hard to say without a measurement, but generally I won't add acid to blueberry. More often I'm adding calcium carbonate to get the acid down.

Do you have access to a pH meter? That would be good information.
Also, what yeast did you use? Depending on the yeast, you could try repitching 1118.

See edits above. I used red star premium classique Yeast. I actually do not have access to a ph meter. Do you have suggestions for checking the pH or correcting it?
 

Scooter68

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Most likely culprit is acidity. The SG has been dropping so there are live yeast cells in there but the acidity is likely to be slowing the process down. You can also try a 1/4 to 1/3 dose of Yeast Nutrient per the volume of the batch.
Again Acidity is the most likely culprit simply because fermentation is happening just very very slowly.

What is the current room temp? If it's at or below 70 you could try getting the must a little warmer (75-77) to see if that helps.
A different yeast variety might help as well and as other have said EC-1118 is a pretty reliable performer.
 

Chuck E

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I actually heated the water to 109. Do you think I could add the rest of my yeast packet? It is red start premium classique. I am also curious about how to tell if it is too acidic! Thanks for the help!
It would not hurt to add the rest of the packet of yeast.
 

wood1954

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I only made blueberry wine once but it took a long time to ferment, btw I've never rehydrated yeast and it always comes alive and works well.
 

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