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Samaelfff

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Hey folks,

I am brand new to this whole business. Just joined the forum. I have a " full speed ahead" kind of mentality but a budget I have to keep with, so I am acquiring all my equipment a piece at a time as I realize I need it. I did a tiny amount of research because the idea of dandelion wine intrigued me, so i bought some Red star DADY yeast and 2x 1gal carboys w/locks , and just got my hydrometer( w/o the darn glass tube though)and set to work. I got a recipe online, followed it,short of adding some orange juice, on May 4th, and things seemed to be moving along nicely, if a bit slow. However, I seem to have stalled and am not sure exactly how to proceed . Checked a few forums and the suggestions varied a bit, so I figured I would see what you think. Plus here I could ask a couple of questions.
1. If I am stalled but have decided that the ABV is about where I want it, even if it is under what the yeast should tolerate,what should I do next?
2. Does the cloudy bit clear up before or after bottling?
3. Other than just racking, what is the preferred way to strain out all the yeast and particulate so I don't continue fermenting in the next container?
4. Would just adding some sugar and shaking the bottle possibly work?
5. What are some things I absolutely should NOT do to make it work again?
If the pic attached, it's the one on the left.

Thanks for any input.

IMG_20170528_174717.jpg
 

Smok1

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Whats the starting sg?
Whats the sg now?
Let it clear before bottling for sure.
 
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BernardSmith

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Hi Samaelfff - and welcome. Stalling suggests a problem. Fermentation should not stall unless the yeast become non viable and yeast begin to ail if there are insufficient nutrients or if they have been stressed to a level that they simply shut down - but both these conditions result in wines that don't taste as good as you might hope. So you want to determine what may have caused the fermentation to stall.
Cloudiness in wines can mean several things. One thing that cloudiness points to are the particulates in the wine that remain suspended perhaps because of the carbon dioxide that is dissolved in the wine or perhaps because of the electrical charge those particles have which prevent them from clumping together and falling out of suspension. To address the likelihood of dissolved CO2 you can do one of two things - simply wait and the gas will eventually dissipate by itself, or you can stir the wine or pull a vacuum through the wine and "degas" the carboy.
To solve the problem of the particles possessing an electrical charge you can add what are called "finings" and these chemicals and substances neutralize the charges and enable the particles to drop out of suspension or they coat the particles and make them too heavy to stay suspended. Finings do not affect the flavor of your wine as they too drop to the bottom and are disposed of with the rest of the lees.
Unless you have sterile filters (less than 0.5 microns) and your wine is crystal clear with no particles in it to block such filters you cannot prevent yeast from being transferred (racked) and so fermenting any remaining sugars. So your goal is to allow every last molecule of sugar to be fermented. You then have no concern about whether you are racking any yeast cells. They will have nothing to feed on and so produce not one more molecule of alcohol. An alternative is to cold crash your wine and rack the wine off the lees and do that several times over several weeks. What that does is forces the yeast to drop out of suspension. What you can then do is stabilize the wine by adding two chemicals in tandem - K-meta and K-sorbate. The addition of these two chemicals when there are FEW yeast cells around is to prevent those few cells from reproducing and inhibit those that are there from fermenting. You can then treat your wine AS IF there are no yeast cells around and you can add sugar to sweeten a dry wine.
Hope this helps.
 

Samaelfff

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I don't know the start as I just got my hydrometer. Will try to get the current when I'm home. How long can it sit stalled before something bad happens?
 

Smok1

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I don't know the start as I just got my hydrometer. Will try to get the current when I'm home. How long can it sit stalled before something bad happens?
I was just curious because you said "1. If I am stalled but have decided that the ABV is about where I want it" if you dont know your starting sg you wont be able to find out your ABV. That abv scale on the side of your hydrometer is potential alchohal. Thats the potential alcohal you can aquire before pitching the yeast. Right now your gonna wanna make sure the hydrometer is reading less than 1.000. Basically if your looking at the abv scale on your hydrometer a finished wine should read 0% or less. That means your yeast has eaten up all that sugar and turned it into alcohal for you. Water has a sg of 1.000 100% alchohal has a sg of 0.787, so if the yeast did its job and you have a percentage of alcohal in there your final reading should be somewhere in the area of .990-.996
 
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Smok1

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So to your questions:
1: unless you know your original gravity you cant find your ABV, but as long as you followed a recipe you should be fine, just make sure you ferment dry, below 1.000 sg
2: definitley clear the wine before bottling or it will most likely clear
In the bottle and leave a pile of sediment in the bottle.
3. The yeast will die once theres no more food left for it to feed on unless the alcohal kills it first, just rack it off before clearing and if you choose you can use a filter before bottling, but unless you use a sanitizing filter i dont think the micron particle are small enough to remove yeast. I use a number 2 filter for white wines, i dont filter my reds, just let them bulk age.
4: i dont think id add sugar and shake it up, if its truly a stuck fermentation theres lots of threads here related to getting stuck fermentations going by the pros.
5: someone told me on here today ill see if i can remember it.... dont forget the 7 P's: proper planning prevents piss poor preformance haha well thats only 6 P's, forgot the other one but i thought it was funny. Check your sg, if its under 1.000 and you followed a recipe proceed to clearing.
 

meadmaker1

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Rack it
Top it off
Put it away
In two wks compare it to this picture for cloudiness and compare sg to see if there is any change if not keep allowing to clear untill nothing settles after at least two weeks.
Stay your course adjust next bach.
 

BernardSmith

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Actually, it is not very difficult to guess-timate the starting gravity of dandelion wine. The flowers will have essentially no fermentable sugars, so the only source of fermentation will come from the sugar that the OP dissolved in the water (or apple juice or ?? ). We know that one pound of table sugar dissolved in water to make one US gallon will raise the gravity of that water from 1.000 to 1.040 (and 2 lbs will raise that same volume to 1.080 etc etc). If the liquid was , say apple juice, typically, apple juice will have a gravity of between 1.045 and 1.055, so let's call it 1.050 and that same starting gravity (my rule of thumb) applies to most fruit juices . So if Samaelfff knows the liquid he used to make his dandelion wine, knows the volume of liquid he has and knows how much sugar he added then he can estimate his starting gravity, And that will be close enough, for all practical purposes, to suggest the potential ABV (alcohol by volume) and good enough to suggest whether he wine has stalled and if it has whether it needs to be restarted or whether he can call it a day and allow his wine to age and clear.
 

mainshipfred

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dont forget the 7 P's: proper planning prevents piss poor preformance haha well thats only 6 P's, forgot the other one but i thought it was funny. Check your sg, if its under 1.000 and you followed a recipe proceed to clearing.
And #7 is prior- "proper prior planning prevetns piss poor performance"
 

Samaelfff

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Ok. Quick update. I am at 1.052. and I used 3-4 cups of regular white table sugar as part of the original recipe. Was my first time and I think I added an extra cup on accident because I got a little distracted in the middle of the process.
 

Smok1

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Ok. Quick update. I am at 1.052. and I used 3-4 cups of regular white table sugar as part of the original recipe. Was my first time and I think I added an extra cup on accident because I got a little distracted in the middle of the process.
And you pitched the yeast on may 4th?Its not done fermenting yet, it still has a ways to go. Is there any visable activity going on in those carboys, id say the fermentation is stuck. Did you pitch the yeast in a primary bucket or did you dump it in those glass carboys?
 
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sour_grapes

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And #7 is prior- "proper prior planning prevetns piss poor performance"
Yes, that is the way I have heard it, too. Here is what I want to know: What planning is NOT "prior planning." Is there some way to do planning after the fact that I don't know about?

Soo, it is just a redundant way to get a 7th p in there, isn't it? If redundancy is allowed, why not "proper preceding prior preparatory planning prevents piss-poor performance"?
 

Samaelfff

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Activity is super slow. One bubble out the lock every 1-3 minutes or so. Straight in to the Carboys. That bad? Alternately the apple one I have going is bubbling once every 5-10 seconds
 

Johnd

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Yes, that is the way I have heard it, too. Here is what I want to know: What planning is NOT "prior planning." Is there some way to do planning after the fact that I don't know about?

Soo, it is just a redundant way to get a 7th p in there, isn't it? If redundancy is allowed, why not "proper preceding prior preparatory planning prevents piss-poor performance"?
Yes, it's a tad redundant, but that's how the old saying goes........Perhaps the redundancy is meant to call attention to the fact that planning, if it is proper, should be done prior. How many times have you read "I've planned to switch to xxxxxxxx yeast for this one" when, in actuality, there has been only a decision, and no planning has taken place, therefore rendering it improper, and obviously not prior.......
 

Samaelfff

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Alright I get it :p . Will put more on paper BEFORE starting my next batch. :p :p
 
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sour_grapes

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How many times have you read "I've planned to switch to xxxxxxxx yeast for this one" when, in actuality, there has been only a decision, and no planning has taken place, therefore rendering it improper, and obviously not prior.......
I am with you until the bolded part. Your example used the perfect tense, which is used to indicate an action that took place earlier than the time the statement was made. How is that "not prior"?
 

Smok1

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Activity is super slow. One bubble out the lock every 1-3 minutes or so. Straight in to the Carboys. That bad? Alternately the apple one I have going is bubbling once every 5-10 seconds
I would have started in a bucket as yeast needs some oxygen to help it get started, topped up carboys with airlocks dont allow for much oxygen. If your still getting activity and your sg is still up at 1.050 id probly try siphoning it into a primary fermenting bucket, adding some yeast nutrient and some ec-1118 and hopefully that will boot up the fermentation. Try and get that batch to ferment to less than 1.000sg (.990-.995) then transfer it back to the carboy.

If the fermentation is completely stuck try searching for stuck fermentation threads on this website to get some ideas on how to kickstart it back up, ive never had a stuck fermentation so i cant help you on that one.
 

Samaelfff

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ok. So racking off and starting with new yeast has had no effect. I was real careful about the liquid temps and I proofed the yeast first, so I am guessing something in the must killed my yeast after reinnoculation. Tasted it, it is super sweet. AS this was my first attempt I suspect I may have added a LOT more sugar than I should have up front. So is the course correction at this point dilution, some nutrients or am I just going to have to wait till next year and try again? Also, is there a reason why I cant just bottle at 1.052? Its sweet and tastes like the alcohol is real low but it isn't awful.
 

Smok1

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ok. So racking off and starting with new yeast has had no effect. I was real careful about the liquid temps and I proofed the yeast first, so I am guessing something in the must killed my yeast after reinnoculation. Tasted it, it is super sweet. AS this was my first attempt I suspect I may have added a LOT more sugar than I should have up front. So is the course correction at this point dilution, some nutrients or am I just going to have to wait till next year and try again? Also, is there a reason why I cant just bottle at 1.052? Its sweet and tastes like the alcohol is real low but it isn't awful.
I wouldnt give up yet, did you move ot out of the carboy and into a fermenting bucket? You could try starting some yeast in a measuring cup with a bit of yeast energizer and wait 15-20 min for it to get going, then start introducing a bit of your juice into the measuring cup at a time wait a bit and add more juice to the yeast, then after a few hours the yeast should be strong enough to dump into your primary bucket, while your waiting for the yeast to start up give the primary a good stirring try to drive off co2 and introduce some oxygen into the juices to help your new yeast do what they do
 
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