Need fermentation to finish within the next 4 days

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Aug 15, 2023
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I am moving in 4 days and want to bottle and bring my wine that is still fermenting with me.

On August 1st, I pitched my yeast for a peach wine. My OG was 1.087. 3 days into fermentation, I was worried that it was getting off to a slow start so I pitched another half packet of yeast. This second yeast pitch clearly did something because the next day, fermentation had sped up and a 1/2 inch layer of krausen had formed. Fast forward to day 12 and I transferred the wine from my primary to my secondary (I probably should have waited longer). It is now day 15 and the wine is still fermenting in my secondary and I am seeing bubbling every 7-8 seconds. The current gravity of the wine is 1.034.

What can I do to speed up fermentation so that I can bottle the wine in 4 days and bring it with me? I have a fear that if I bottle the wine the night before I move, the bottles could explode in my truck the next day. Is this fear irrational given that I will be able to open the bottles to let them air out about 12-24 hrs after I seal them? If my fear is not unreasonable, would you recommend I try and stop the fermentation using sulfites, or putting them in the fridge the night before. I'm scared to do pasteurization because I have a fear of messing with the methanol concentration after heating my wine.
What can I do to speed up fermentation so that I can bottle the wine in 4 days and bring it with me?
You can't. Your wine isn't even close to being ready for bottling. If you try now, you will have many mini-volcanoes. It needs to stay in bulk.

Sulfite will not stop the fermentation, not in amounts that will not render the wine undrinkable (you'd have to add an unsafe amount of sulfite).

Heating the wine to pasteurization levels won't affect the alcohol in any way, but it also won't do the wine any favors. Some might disagree, but you might as well throw it out rather than heat it.

How big is the batch and how far are you moving? Refrigeration should damp the ferment, but it will probably restart when the wine warms up, and if you've a long distance to travel, that's a problem.

If you are traveling in a personal vehicle, one option is to wrap a bunch of towels around it and put the container on the floor in your back seat (assuming you have a back seat, since you mentioned a truck).
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How far are you moving? A few choices:
When I moved in town I put it in five gallon camping water cubes. My main concern was the weight in a glass carboy so everything over a gallon was in plastic.
You can put your wine on hold by transferring to a water cube, ,, seal the cube so it doesn’t leak > put the sealed cube in an ice chest > ice it down. If you are moving/ driving for several days have it accessible so you can add more ice/ and drain off melt water.
It would take more watching but bag in box wine bags could be used at ambient temp. They will fit a silicone burper. BUT you would need to manage the bag to keep it upright. If you periodically check the pressure you could use the valve with the bag and burp it when the thing starts to balloon. ,,, I have used bag in box as a carboy // they are oxygen tight.
Pasteurizing to 140F for 45 plus minutes will inactivate the yeast. This will still be cloudy so I wouldn’t bottle it, just move it.
Temperature will speed the fermentation. This has the most risk since you can get reductive flavors by pushing the yeast and it still will want to ferment if it is at 0.5% sugar.
It depends on how far you are moving. Two years ago I moved across town, and took some 3-gallon and 1-gallon carboys carefully packed in my SUV. If your carboys are not too heavy to lift, you can put them in open top boxes with padding, and bungee cord them in place so that they don't shift or fall over. I used 12x12x12 boxes with towels packed around the carboys. The tops were open with the carboys sticking out. The boxes allowed me to pack them securely in my SUV and tying them down so that they could not move.
I moved a couple of years ago with two full carboys, I buckled them in the back seat with the airlocks taped on and away we went! The car was being towed so I didn't have to worry about any open container laws. When I opened the door at the new place it smelled great, and as an added bonus no need to degas.
Like everyone said, I wouldn’t be worried about moving it in bulk. I started a fermentation once with 5 gallons of wine and we decided last minute to go on a camping trip. So, we put it in the RV shower and took it with us. Driving around won’t hurt the fermentation, it’s probably good for it as agitation helps fermentation. That is one way to speed it up, oxygen is not a bad thing during this stage.

During secondary and bulk aging the wine will clear. We even named it after gunnison national park since that’s where we went. It’s a great wine.

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