No fermenting going on...I think

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DnaNC

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It has been a little over 32 hours since I added the yeast and sugar to my very first (strawberry) wine mix and it looks kinda pitiful. Maybe foamy but not bubbly. the specific gravity has not changed.

My recipe is

  • 19 gal fresh strawberries that had been frozen and thawed, (put in a brewing bag)
  • 10lbs sugar
  • 3 tsp acid blend
  • 2-1/4 tsp pectin enzyme
  • 3 capsules yeast nutrient, white labs WLN3200(supposed to be 5 tsp)
  • 1/4 tsp wine tannin
  • 1 pkg Lalvin 71B yeast
  • 5 campden tablets
I added all except sugar, yeast, and yeast nutrient, let it sit 24 hrs, then added sugar, yeast, and nutrient. I realized I had the wrong nutrient and the package said 1 capsule per 1-7 Gal - so i used 3 capsules).
16577161644111939128931823723477.jpg I had added yeast to water that was 99 degrees and it sat for 15 min and then added it to mix. Looked active.

The whole thing measured 1.09 SG .

It's been sitting at 70 degrees for over 32 hrs now with thin towel over it.

I'm seeing YouTube videos that are much more bubbly than mine. Mine is just a bit foamy. I think its not working. Can I add more yeast and the yeast nutrient you mentioned and have it pick up and go? What can I do to save my creation? Go get more/correct yeast nutrient and add a bit now? Add more yeast if nothing going by tonight?
 

BigDaveK

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I agree with @crushday, wait a day or two.

Did you add the yeast directly to the must or make a yeast starter? It can be as simple as adding the yeast to a bit of water with a pinch of sugar. Signs of activity will be obvious, then add to the must. One thing it does is tell you that if there's a problem it's probably not the yeast.
 

DnaNC

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I agree with @crushday, wait a day or two.

Did you add the yeast directly to the must or make a yeast starter? It can be as simple as adding the yeast to a bit of water with a pinch of sugar. Signs of activity will be obvious, then add to the must. One thing it does is tell you that if there's a problem it's probably not the yeast.
I made a little starter but didn't add sugar and didn't really know what I should expect so I don't, in retrospect, know if the yeast was good.

Because the weekend is coming and the homebrew store is only open certain hours, if there is still nothing going on, what is my next step? Put in some Campden, wait a day, start again? Or?
I want to go get the right yeast and nutrients if I need them. Or is it a lost cause?
 

crushday

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Now it's 72 hours and not even a foam or bubble or anything. Just juice. Do I add yeast again?
I would definitely add yeast again, as a starter. Not a starter of only warm water and yeast. Add sugar and make sure that’s going before adding to the batch.

Perhaps your previous yeast was no longer viable. And, there’s no harm adding WAY MORE yeast than 5g - I wouldn’t hesitate adding four packets. At this point you need it going.
 

BigDaveK

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Now it's 72 hours and not even a foam or bubble or anything. Just juice. Do I add yeast again?
71B is my favorite for fruit and flower wines.
Adding more yeast won't hurt anything.
Had a thought...you said you started the yeast in 99F water? If your measurement/thermometer was not accurate that could be the problem. I think 100F kills many yeasts. Lower temp, more yeast would be the first thing I'd try.
Good luck!
 

DnaNC

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Had another thought....yeast like and need oxygen at the beginning of a ferment. For the first 2 days of all my ferments I whip them up. I mean, I don't stir, I whip them till they foam.
Excellent, I'll put lots of yeast in 90 degree water with a tsp of sugar and a cup of must, make sure it foams up (?) And add it, and stir the fire out of it. Thanks guys!
 

ChuckD

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Excellent, I'll put lots of yeast in 90 degree water with a tsp of sugar and a cup of must, make sure it foams up (?) And add it, and stir the fire out of it. Thanks guys!
A popular method is to pour the starter down the side of the primary fermenter to concentrate it. The next day when it starts foaming in that area stir it up good.
 

DnaNC

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I agree with @crushday, wait a day or two.

Did you add the yeast directly to the must or make a yeast starter? It can be as simple as adding the yeast to a bit of water with a pinch of sugar. Signs of activity will be obvious, then add to the must. One thing it does is tell you that if there's a problem it's probably not the yeast.
Oh now I understand what you mean about obvious! I made a starter with the new yeast in 92 degrees water and a tsp of sugar to try to get my fermentation going, and the yeast puffed way up! So exciting! My previous yeast must have been the problem or else I killed it with the temperature. I put it the yeast in to the mix last night and this morning the batch was all puffy, so I stirred it. I cant wait to see what it does next! Thank you.
 

BigDaveK

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Oh now I understand what you mean about obvious! I made a starter with the new yeast in 92 degrees water and a tsp of sugar to try to get my fermentation going, and the yeast puffed way up! So exciting! My previous yeast must have been the problem or else I killed it with the temperature. I put it the yeast in to the mix last night and this morning the batch was all puffy, so I stirred it. I cant wait to see what it does next! Thank you.
FANTASTIC!

I've made very few mistakes with my wines so far thanks to WMT. Read a lot of posts and learned from other's mishaps. Mistakes are important, though - a great learning experience.

Keep us posted on that wine!!
 
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Oh now I understand what you mean about obvious! I made a starter with the new yeast in 92 degrees water and a tsp of sugar to try to get my fermentation going, and the yeast puffed way up! So exciting! My previous yeast must have been the problem or else I killed it with the temperature. I put it the yeast in to the mix last night and this morning the batch was all puffy, so I stirred it. I cant wait to see what it does next! Thank you.

chugging along yet or na?
 

DnaNC

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Oh she's a beauty now, bubbling along just like anything! Thanks for your help! I added the 4 packets yeast and 1 more of those weird yeast nutrient capsules I had. That seems to have fixed it. SG today is 1.04.
One more question, it's in a 71 degree basement but it reads at 77 degrees! Should I worry about that?
 
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wineview

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Oh she's a beauty now, bubbling along just like anything! Thanks for your help! I added the 4 packets yeast and 1 more of those weird yeast nutrient capsules I had. That seems to have fixed it.
One more question, it's in a 71 degree basement but it reads at 77 degrees! Should I worry about that?
For red wines a 77* environment will give you a fuller bodied darker wine. Lower temperatures yield a lighter colored an lighter bodied wine.
 

BigDaveK

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Oh she's a beauty now, bubbling along just like anything! Thanks for your help! I added the 4 packets yeast and 1 more of those weird yeast nutrient capsules I had. That seems to have fixed it. SG today is 1.04.
One more question, it's in a 71 degree basement but it reads at 77 degrees! Should I worry about that?
That's great news!
Yeast can certainly give off some heat. I wouldn't be too concerned. My tomato wine hit 84 on one day. I was considering cooling it but the temp went down over the next couple days back into the mid 70's.
 

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