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Newbie... Cant figure our fermentation issues.

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lburden

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Hello,

I am new to wine making. My son bought me a kit recently after i told him that i thought it would be fun to experiment with it. However I feel like he has wasted his money as i am about to throw out my second batch. Please help, here is what I am doing:

I am trying to make wine based on a recipe for juice, not raw fruit. The recipe came in the kit that he bought,

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B005CIBAE0/?tag=skimlinks_replacement-20

which after doing some research seems that it isn't the best kit out there, but many people say that it has worked well. The recipe is:

2 Qts juice
2 Qts water
1 3/4 lb sugar (i use 4 cups)
2 1/2 tsp Acid Blend
1/2 tsp Pectic Enzyme
1/2 tsp Energizer (nothing in the kit says energizer, but after some research i am using the yeast nutrient that came in the kit which has Diammonium Phosphate)
1 Campden tablet crushed
1 pkg wine yeast.

I added everything to my bucket besides the yeast and waited 24 hours as specified to add the yeast. checked my SG and i was right at 1.090. stirred daily and rechecked the SG which never changed from 1.090. did some research and learned that there should be bubbles/foam which is the yeast working, but never got anything like that. BTW my house stays at about 68 to 70 which is a little low, but from what i read should still work. Followed a few posts about how to restart fermentation,

https://www.midwestsupplies.com/72-hours-no-fermenation-wine

Nothing worked. I read that you may have to re hydrate the yeast in order for it to work properly so i figured i screwed that up. after about a week the mixture started to smell bad so i threw it out. I cleaned everything and reread all of my instructions to make sure i was doing what i said and started over. Today was my 24 hours and i did rehydrae the yeast prior to putting it into the mixture and that was about 8 hours ago. It seems to be doing the same as my last attempt. No fizz/bubbles/nothing. It just smells like bread dough, i assume because of the yeast.

Is it possible that i got old or bad yeast in the kit. It came with Red Star Montrachet Active Dry Wine Yeast.

Please help...
 
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Julie

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You would need to wait 24 hours after adding the campden before adding the yeast. Also, what is the name of the yeast that you are using? And are you stirring your must?
 

lburden

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I did wait 24 hours, I added all ingredients together yesterday about 10 with the exception of the yeast. The yeast was added today at about noon. I am using the yeast that came with the kit. Red Star Montrachet Active Dry Wine Yeast. I stirred everything together yesterday until all the sugar and such was dissolved. Today i re hydrated the yeast in warm water, about 1/4 cup and stirred it until it was dissolved, then poured it into the primary and recovered it with a cloth.

Currently about 8 hours now and it doesn't even have a single bubble.
 

garymc

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Looks like he waited 24 hours between adding the campden and the Red Star Montrachet yeast. The yeast packet should have an extremely difficult to read expiration date, but it's usually good way past the date. I would check the juice being used and make sure it has no preservatives and that it is a juice that will not somehow resist fermentation. And, even though your temp should be ok, do what you can to raise it some. Don't put the container on the floor, which is the coldest place. I don't know how big it is, but look for a consistently warm place like on top of the fridge or a table or counter that is not attached to an exterior wall.
Oh, and I just thought of another thing. If your tapwater is highly chlorinated, boil it for a minute or two to remove the chlorine or use spring water that you can buy in gallon jugs at the grocery store.
 

garymc

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When you rehydrate the yeast, did you wait until it was active before adding it to the must? I just sprinkle mine on top of the must right out of the packet. I sometimes wonder if the rehydrated yeast is a different temp from the must and gets shocked when it's dumped in. Sprinkling lets it start right out at the same temp it's going to have to be to work.
 

Stressbaby

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I'm thinking that there is little to no pulp in this wine. I have had some floral wines with no fruit/pulp in which the fermentation was VERY subtle. You had to look at the surface in just the right light to see any evidence of fermentation. I would check the SG at 24 hours to be sure it is not moving.

FYI, Montrachet can be a tough yeast. Some folks have sworn off Montrachet due to sulfur issues. You have not crossed that bridge yet I suppose...
 

Julie

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It could take a couple of days before it gets started. Make sure you stir it very good a coup,e of times everyday.
 

lburden

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Thanks for all of the replies, I will wait a few days and then update, hopefully with pictures too.
 

StevenD55

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My experience....you don't necessarily HAVE to hydrate the yeast. However, it's a good idea to be sure you have good yeast. If the yeast doesn't kick off in the process of hydrating it in warm water and ingredients like sugar or go-ferm, then you know you need to get another packet of yeast. But it can still take a couple of days before it's obvious that everything is working.

Good luck.
 

Julie

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Also, are you fermenting in a bucket or a carboy? If you are in a carboy, get it into a bucket and let the lid lay loosely on top and again, stir.
 

dcbrown73

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I did wait 24 hours, I added all ingredients together yesterday about 10 with the exception of the yeast. The yeast was added today at about noon. I am using the yeast that came with the kit. Red Star Montrachet Active Dry Wine Yeast. I stirred everything together yesterday until all the sugar and such was dissolved. Today i re hydrated the yeast in warm water, about 1/4 cup and stirred it until it was dissolved, then poured it into the primary and recovered it with a cloth.

Currently about 8 hours now and it doesn't even have a single bubble.
It can take 24-48 hours before the yeast really get started. Eight hours isn't even remotely long enough.

EDIT: Whoops, I see Julie answered. Yes, be a little patient. As Julie said, if it's not in a food grade bucket, you probably want to move it to one rather than a carboy. Fruit wines can bubble pretty strong. I usually put mine in a bucket that is in a trash bag. I pull the bag up over the sides, but do not close it. This catches in foam that pours over if it get really crazy fermentation.
 
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Scooter68

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Please check the label on the Juice used. A lot of store bought juices contain preservatives that are designed to prevent spoiling of the juice - in other words those preservatives will stop fermentation from happening. And being at the low end of the temp range can inhibit the start of fermentation.

By the way if the bucket is treated with the campden tablet (1 tablet for one gallon)and the bucket is covered, unless some bacteria got into the bucket because it was uncovered, it's unlikely to spoil - Are you certain the smell was not the fermentation process itself?
 
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hounddawg

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stir daily during fermentation, asstatedabove, and get you some EC-1118 yeast of K1V-1116 yeast. and make sure to check your starting SG then check your SGdaily to make sure thereading is falling, i make country wines, fruits or berries and some show very littlesigns of fermentation, but your hydro meter will tell all with your SGreadings, and at times you'll get a sulfate smell that can make you think a good wine haswent bad, but as long as yyour SG isdropping you should, an very, very inportant, as stated above make sure your juice has no preservitives in it, a big no-no,,,
best of luck to you
Dawg
 

Cincincy

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I started a kit on Friday, last week. It started bubbling through the air lock on Sunday. About 48 hours. I think if you can smell something it probably working, (fermenting).
 

kevinlfifer

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A couple of things.
At the cooler temp t could take longer for the Bisulfite to dissipate. Much the same as CO2 is harder to remove in cooler temps. If it has not dissipated to a low enough level it will stunt the yeast, making for an even longer start time on fermentation.

I'm not sure why you need to pretreat juice with bisulfite in the first place.

In a cooler environment I've had to wait 5+ days for fermentation to show bubbles, even with no Bisulfite treatment
 

lburden

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So i had to go out of town for a few days on business and when i got back the yeast was working. Rehydrating it must have made the difference from last time. a few days of stirring and it was ready for the caraboy which is where it currently sits. It is very cloudy though, but i understand that it will clear as it ferments over the next 3 weeks or so? Also does anyone have a suggestion for a better yeast than the one i was using?

thanks for all the help and suggestions.
 

Scooter68

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Yeast performance depends on a number of factors including
Temp of the Must (Even a yeast good at low temps starts better at a warmer temp)
Acidity of the Must
Amount of Nutrient in the Must
Amount of Sugar in the Must (Too much and the yeast will die off before all the sugar is converted.)

THEN you get into the different types of yeast and that means first knowing the type of wine your are making Red, White Grape, Fruit, and very importantly your desired end Alcohol By Volume (ABV) target

Not trying to be vague but those are the things that will determine how and if a yeast performs.

There are several charts/list of yeast types/brands. Most all yeasts are pretty reliable but may not give you the finer characteristics in your wine.

Having said all that I'm sure several with many years of experience will post their favorites shortly.

I started with Montrachet (Came with my Fruit Making Starter Kit) I've since used a couple of yeasts capable of high ABVs successfully ( Lavin's EC-1118 and Lavins K1-V1116 Right now I have Zinfandel and Blush Zinfandel batches bubbling away with Red Stars Pasteur Red.

The key is matching the yeast you're going to use with the wine type you're going to make - Then find out about what makes that yeast perform best - match your conditions to it's needs and things should work, assuming the yeast isn't way out of date and the wine must basic conditions don't prevent the yeast from working.
 
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