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Primary fermentation start?

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TikiWine

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How do I know if the fermentation has begun? I have a 20 gallon bucket with a loose lid and no airlock. How do I know it has started if not how long do I wait before taking action and what should I do?
 

Johnd

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How do I know if the fermentation has begun? I have a 20 gallon bucket with a loose lid and no airlock. How do I know it has started if not how long do I wait before taking action and what should I do?
You'll typically be able to see some movement / activity in the must, most likely bubbles coming up like they would if you poured a soft drink into a glass. The most surefire way to know is to monitor your SG on a regular basis. If it's steadily dropping, you're steadily fermenting.

Fermentation can take hours or days to start depending upon the environmental conditions, don't fret if you still don't see any activity in 48 hours, but by 96 hours you need to be assessing the situation to see if something is off.
 
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TikiWine

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Got it. Thanks. It's was only 12 hrs when I left this morning.
 

TikiWine

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The temp is up to 72, I see a few lil bubbles going on top at 36 hrs.
 

TikiWine

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Still not much at 48 hrs. Anything I can do to help it along?do I need more yeast?
 

TikiWine

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The temp is now up to 74-76 but don't really see bubbles popping. There is a thick surface do I need to punch down?
 

TikiWine

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I punched the surface and it began to nake a fizz sound. But did not stay steady if fizzled a lil bit. But hopefully it will build up.
 

Johnd

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Be patient, the thickness on the surface is indication that things are moving in the right direction, you do not need more yeast or to stir / punch down yet. Just give it a little time, do you know what your specific gravity was when you added your yeast?
 

TikiWine

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The yeast is ec-1118, the kit directions said to sprinkle. I rehydrated with go ferm and stirred it in. The starting sg was 1.092.
 

Johnd

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The starting sg was 1.092.
Perfect, you have a solid starting point. Check your SG each day, record or graph it if you like, checking to ensure that it is indeed decreasing daily. If all of your parameters are in line, you'll be finished before you know it............
 

TikiWine

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So I just checked the shower and it is still at 1.092. the temp seems to be increasing steady over the last few days it is up to 76. Not sure if that is enough to signify something has started.
 

Scooter68

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Temp is fine. Fermentation generates a lot of heat. In the summertime or in a really warm room if the temp gets over 80 THEN you might do something. Also read up on you wine yeast characteristics. It should tell you what the temp limits are and things like low foaming, and flavor notes it can foster.
 

TikiWine

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Ok I looked it up. It says it has a wide temp range. I followed the directions for rehydrating but I think I messed up putting the yeast mix into the must as it was at 64 degrees.
 

mainshipfred

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As long as the temperature of the hydrated yeast was within 10* or a little higher you should be fine. Plus with the fizzing and the floating cap, something is going on. Just give it a little more time. What are you making and what yeast did you use?
 

Ajmassa

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EC-1118 is a heavyweight. You could drop a boot in there and EC-1118 would turn it to alcohol.

It’s in a 20gal fermenter you said, but how much juice is in there? (Crazy thought that hydrometer might be touching the bottom at 1.092). And also what kind of wine are you making anyway?
 

TikiWine

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It's a 6 gallon kit from wineexpert. Right now there is only the six gallons I am starting small. The equipment was made for frozen must but I thought I'd work up to it.
 

TikiWine

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It's a red blend called Diablo rojo. There are 3 bags of oak chips and dust that went in they are floating. I also added Opti red. But it is a little foamy on the surface.
 

Ajmassa

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Is there enough volume of liquid for the hydrometer to drop?

When you drop in your hydrometer are you able to tap the top and have it bob down and then float back up to 1.092?
 

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