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New to wine making, does a lid make a difference!

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Alison

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Hi I have started my first go at Red currant wine but it isn't fermenting after 7 hours. One article said it could be because i had the lid on the plastic bucket when waiting for the Camden tablet to work (before adding the yeast) so the gasses couldn't escape. I only have 4.5l in a 3 gallon bucket. Do you think this is right and if so can I now do anything about it? Thankyou Alison
 

Alison

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So you think having the lid on shouldnt make a difference? I'll give it a bit longer then. Thankyou. If it doesn't work can i add more yeast?
 

Johnd

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So you think having the lid on shouldnt make a difference? I'll give it a bit longer then. Thankyou. If it doesn't work can i add more yeast?
Yes, but only after you figure out why it didn’t work the first time, which is highly unlikely if you have the proper SG and temp ranges and your yeast wasn’t ancient.
 

Alison

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I don't understand about sg. Why do you need to take a reading to start with if you only need to make sure it's 1000 when you finish?
 

jgmann67

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I don't understand about sg. Why do you need to take a reading to start with if you only need to make sure it's 1000 when you finish?
One reason:

You’ll want to know what your potential ABV will be. For example, must with an SG of 1.095 that finishes around 0.992 will give you something like 13.5% abv. For a typical kit, that’s usually right in the ballpark. But, what if your starting SG is 1.080 instead? If it finishes at 0.992, you’re at about 11.6%.
 

Johnd

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I don't understand about sg. Why do you need to take a reading to start with if you only need to make sure it's 1000 when you finish?
In addition to using the SG readings to control your final ABV, you can have too much sugar in your must, and the yeast will never get started.

If you have a lot of sugar, say enough to produce a dry wine with 15% ABV, but your yeast is only capable of surviving in environments with an ABV of 12%, your yeast will die and leave unfermented sugar, you need to know the starting point and how much alcohol you could potentially produce.
 

BernardSmith

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Hi Alison, and welcome. To go back to your original question: when you add metabisulfate to the must should you hammer down a lid to keep in all the sulfur dioxide or do you want that chemical to dissipate fairly quickly. In my opinion, you want the latter. While commercial yeasts are cultivated to be rather less affected by SO2 compared to indigenous yeast they are still sensitive to that bactericide. Indeed, we add SO2 each time we rack and just as we bottle, part to inhibit oxidation but also to inhibit wine refermenting in the bottle. That concern is especially relevant if you are planning to back sweeten.

You want to make sure that when you pitch (add) your chosen yeast there is really no SO2 hanging around to stress the yeast. You can do that by allowing the gas to dispel over 24 hours but it can do that only if you provide a large enough opening for the gas to escape. Sealing your fermenter is not usually the best way to handle the SO2 produced. :b
 

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