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Primary fermentation stuck?

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Douglas C

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Hi, newbie here. I have done a couple of batches from kits before, no problem. This is my first improvised batch of 6 gallons from fresh wine juice (not concentrate) shipped from Italy. Starting SG was 1.072. Added two packets of K1-V1116 (directly into must, which I now realize was a mistake) and three teaspoons of yeast nutrient. I had the bucket covered with a lid and with an airlock (also a mistake). About 30 hours later, and still very little action. Some light fizzing but no foam and no bubbles in airlock.

So, I just added three more tsp of yeast nutrient. Also added two cups of sugar. Also took the lid off and replaced it with a cheese cloth.

Temperature is about 72 degrees F.

Should I wait a while more to see if the yeast fully activates, or should I go out and get more yeast and add i properly (by dissolving in water first)?
 

Johnd

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Hi, newbie here. I have done a couple of batches from kits before, no problem. This is my first improvised batch of 6 gallons from fresh wine juice (not concentrate) shipped from Italy. Starting SG was 1.072. Added two packets of K1-V1116 (directly into must, which I now realize was a mistake) and three teaspoons of yeast nutrient. I had the bucket covered with a lid and with an airlock (also a mistake). About 30 hours later, and still very little action. Some light fizzing but no foam and no bubbles in airlock.

So, I just added three more tsp of yeast nutrient. Also added two cups of sugar. Also took the lid off and replaced it with a cheese cloth.

Temperature is about 72 degrees F.

Should I wait a while more to see if the yeast fully activates, or should I go out and get more yeast and add i properly (by dissolving in water first)?
Initially, adding your yeast to the must wasn’t a mistake, and the nutrient was probably ok, maybe a bit heavy handed. Covering the bucket with a lid and airlock isn’t a mistake either, though some prefer to cover it loosely. One packet of yeast is plenty for 6 gallons, though two will do no harm.

The second addition of nutrients is probably too much, don’t add any more. The sugar addition is probably OK since your initial SG is a bit low anyway.

Keep your must at 72 -75 and wait, yeast can sometimes take 3 - 4 days to get going, check the “use by” date on your yeast if you still have the packets. If the yeast was not too old, give it another two days to see if it gets going.
 

winemaker81

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The only thing I can add to John's advice is to give the must a good stir. I'd had wines perking within a couple of hours, and others take several days before getting truly active. It probably just needs a bit of time.

If you're still feeling antsy: get another package of yeast, check the date to ensure it's not old. Hydrate it before adding to the wine. Put a cup of warm water (~80 F) in a tall glass (at least 3 cups volume) and stir in a teaspoon of sugar. Add the yeast and let it set in a warm place (70 - 85 F) for 20 to 30 minutes. It should foam up -- if not, give it more time.

When this yeast is perking along well, add it to the fermenter.
 

Douglas C

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Thanks to both of you. I was a bit worried because my previous kit batches foamed up pretty quickly so I was worried I was missing something. There is some very slight fizzing now, so I guess I will just be patient and wait a few more days.
 

salcoco

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check with hydrometer some fermentation do no exhibit heavy foaming.
 

NelsonC

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Hi, newbie here. (...) Some light fizzing but no foam and no bubbles in airlock.

Should I wait a while more to see if the yeast fully activates, or should I go out and get more yeast and add i properly (by dissolving in water first)?
Some gentle stirring at daily intervals is now recommended sometimes... If there is fizzing then your yeast is (slowly) acting and that is a good sign. You will help bring the sugars into suspension, and some yeast particles up again if you stir once a day for the next couple of days.
 
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