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Ajmassa

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My juice bucket is showing signs of fermentation. I added no sulphites. The juice kinda took a backseat to all the work I had goin on yesterday.
I hit it with some tannin and left it alone. If I add the commercial yeast right now, will that be enough to take over? I didn't want to add so2 because of MLF later.
SG hasn't changed yet but I'm sure she'll be dropping shortly. I think I'm going to just add the yeast, but will rehydrate with go ferm to make sure she takes off as quickly as possible.

Any suggestions will be appreciated


 
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Ajmassa

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What negative things are occurring to the wine during a crazy fast fermentation?

So within 24 hrs I saw signs of activity, but SG hadn't dropped at all still at .1092 @ 73°. I added maybe 10 lbs of skins from another batch's must, and tannin.
At that point I rehydrated yeast with Go-ferm and added to bucket.

24 hrs after that (Monday afternoon) a cap was formed, and underneath the juice was steamrolling. Down to 1.030 and at 80°. I added a 1/2 dose of ferm k.
24 hrs later I'm down to 1.002 and now 73°.

So in about 2 days I went from 1.092 to 1.002. This seems hella quick. I'm thinking I'm losing some of the "goodness" that a nice 5-7 day ferment typically offers. Does this theory hold any merit?
 

Ajmassa

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I've heard of some of these juice pail distributors adding commercial yeast to the juice. And after purchased and no longer refrigerated, would easily start up.
But I'm certain my juice doesn't have any yeast added. I don't know. It just doesn't sit well with me with how fast it went, and not being sure if my yeast took over or not.
With all the reading I've done over the years, natural ferments scare the crap outta me. What's done is done I suppose.

Also, hearing you've successfully done natural AF on you juice is definitely encouraging.
 
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Julie

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There are distributors who add yeast to the buckets, normally this is Lavlin 1118, which will ferment very quickly. Ask your distributor if they add yeast. If you lost any quality because of a fast ferment, it would be very little. I believe you still will have a very good wine.
 

pgentile

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My buckets were pitched with my zin skins(cake) on saturday. I didn't add yeast the zin skins had rc212 going strong and had just been pressed. Added nutrients and cap was up within two hours. They started at 1.090 sat and are at .998 this evening. But I had a feeling pitching on active skins this would go quickly.

Sauvignon Blanc bucket I picked the saturday before last took 8 days to go from 1.088 to .996. 71B-1122

Did your grape skins come from a previous batch already pitched or straight from crushing?
 

Ajmassa

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I'm all but positive these buckets don't have yeast added. Been using them forever and the supplier's been selling the same Regina juice since juice buckets have been around.
I made sure to add the skins to the juice before any yeast was added to them. Just straight must skins. In May I added pressed skins with yeast and malo to a juice bucket and it took off crazy fast.
But yea, two days on potentially native yeast. 1.092 to 1.002
 

Floandgary

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You should always ask your distributor if juice buckets are pre-inoculated or not. Many do this, but also as many do not or have stopped due to customer complaints of fermentation "start-up" before they've even gotten home. Of no real consequence but you may want a particular result that a specific yeast will provide. The commercial yeasts will overpower any wild yeasts which may be present, so add it ASAP for max benefit. And as has been noted some will do their work rather quickly!!!
 

Ajmassa

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Well she's stuck. Sitting at 1.004 ish (yesterday's reading was off a little). I'm deducing that my commercial yeast never took, and the natural yeast just ran its course, hard and fast.

I did some digging around and I'm going to make a yeast starter. The link I found highly recommends to use champagne yeast. But I read many posts of using EC -1118 with success. http://blog.eckraus.com/making-a-wine-yeast-starter-to-restart-a-stuck-fermentation
My only question is would it help to add some more sugar to the wine right before I add the starter? I started at 1.092 and I was thinking about bumping up to 1.100 but decided to just go ahead at 1.092. So could adding sugar from 1.004 to 1.010-12 help the starter even more so (as well as get me to my initial planned abv) ?
And champagne yeast or EC-1118?
 
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Ajmassa

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Either is fine they are both high alcohol tolerant strong strains. Adding sugar can't hurt I guess unless it doesn't restart.


That's a great point about not restarting. It would bump down from 11.5% to 10.5% abv if I bumped and it didn't ferment.
I will play it safe and try to get 12.5% w/o added sugar.
Thanks man
 

Floandgary

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Either is fine they are both high alcohol tolerant strong strains. Adding sugar can't hurt I guess unless it doesn't restart.
Another basics lesson to take note of,,, thank you "pgentile". Sounds simple enough to just add some more sugar and start over. But you cannot forget about the alcohol that's already been produced. Research your yeast choice to be sure of alcohol tolerance :slp
 

Ajmassa

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The SG has not really changed over the last two days. The actual SG is 1.001 in the tube ~1.003 in the bucket with the skins I noticed today.
At 1.001 I imagine it will be very tough to get anything going again. I still made a starter with EC 1118 (which I didn't realize it was technically champagne yeast) and will wait a day or so for that to kick off.
1 qt mason jar filled half with wine
Filled with water to 2/3 full
1/4 tsp ferm k
3 tbs sugar
EC-1118 on top

After adding I plan on waiting a few hours and then racking everything to glass. I read this could possibly help via introducing 02.
Wine is currently just under the 6 gal mark of an 8 gal bucket. With lid snapped tight & airlocked. (showed pressure against lid and pressure in bubbler today)
Hoping I'll get lucky and she drops on her own after stirring today. But if not, am I crazy to add a yeast starter to a batch at 1.001?? Tastes good, but I think would benefit from being more dry.
This is a Grenache based blend. Chateuneuf Du Pape.
 

Julie

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Did you have the lid snapped down with an airlock during the whole fermentation? This could have been why it did not ferment to dry. Also, you should be stirring it. And you really should ask your distributor if they inoculate with yeast because it sounds like it was.
 

Ajmassa

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Did you have the lid snapped down with an airlock during the whole fermentation? This could have been why it did not ferment to dry. Also, you should be stirring it. And you really should ask your distributor if they inoculate with yeast because it sounds like it was.


No I only snapped it down after SG stopped moving. And I have been stirring around 2x daily. And I know my distributor well and also others who use them. And the Regina juice is not pre-inoculated.
 

Ajmassa

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Sitting just about 12% abv from 1.092-1.001 right now. The starter I made never really kicked off with any substantial foaming. 24 hours later I added some more sugar (simple syrup) to starter and still more of the same.
Ditched the plan and riding with it as is. Racked off the crud into glass and hand squeezed the grapes I had in there with it. Will rack 48 hrs and and maybe 1/2 dose of opti-malo. And maybe check MLF sometime this week.

I think this batch, along with my grape batch have taught me a new lesson. I had gotten a little too comfortable with not adding any so2 at all until the wine was stable. And especially now that I've been adding malo.
With the wild yeast going in the pail, and my nerves from the big batch from no sulphites I don't think I can roll like this anymore. Every little off smell, or slow in SG dropping had me sweating bullets. Putting too much concern on MLF success and not AF success-taking it for granted.
 

terrymck

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No body will taste the difference with your 1.004 wine. Do you know if your hydrometer is even accurate. Mine is off .002 high so when I am at 1.000 it is actually .998. Stick it in distilled water to check. If you are doinng a MLF I'd do it now.
 

terrymck

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Sorry did not notice the 2nd page in this string. You probably have it fixed.
 

Ajmassa

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Actually broke my good triple scale hydrometer last week. But I had backups. They're good.
The wine is tasting spot on, I think it's actually benefitting from 1.001. Allows for the flavor to linger while still tasting like a full red. Off dry? Semi dry ? Whatever you call it it's working for this wine.
 

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