Primary to secondary fermentation

Winemaking Talk - Winemaking Forum

Help Support Winemaking Talk - Winemaking Forum:

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.


Nov 1, 2008
Reaction score
What do we do? We started our primary fermentation of crushed Syrah grapes with skins on at specific gravity of 1.09. After 5 days and violent fizzing at 80 degrees the specific gravity went to 1.010. We missed the ideal of 1.030. When we pressed it we put it in the secondary fermentation carboys and we have two that are bubbling like crazy one that is bubbling only now and then and two that are not bubbling at all. It appears that the fermentation is stuck in two of them. What do we do to get it going? Add more yeast or do we just take some out of the two that are bubbling and add to the ones that aren’t. If we do how much do we add? They are 15 gallon carboys.
Treat it as a new yeast starter. With one that has a good fermentation going remove about 2gals and add 1gal of the one that is stuck. After fermentation has started vigorously continue to add to it until you've got 5-6gals going then add back to original and proceed to the secondary.
Agreed with Sacalait, that's the best way to get it going
in my opinion.

I too have a batch of Syrah grapes. I am pitching yeast on them today. Is there a reason to press before it reaches 1.000 ? That's what I did with the Zinfendel grapes last week.
1 reason to press off of the skins and seeds earlier is to reduce the amount of tannins extracted from the seeds. I just finished pressing off my grenache that got down to 1.000 before I was able to press. I think it has a bit more tannin to it but it's not bad at all plus I think the pastuer red really brought out alot of fruity aromas from these grapes.
I never press before the wine is completely done. I let it go until the cap doesn't reform and just some seeds are floating. Then I press within 24 hours because of the danger of oxidation since the yeast have stopped and there will be no protective layer of CO2.

Keep in mind this technique will yield a "regular" wine that will need at least a year of aging, and several years for some grape varieties. If I wanted a paler, light bodied wine that was drinkable in a couple months I'd just buy a cheap kit. Grapes are expensive and a lot of trouble, so ensuring adequate maceration means getting your money's worth and a better product in the end (in my opinion).
Last edited:

Latest posts