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Problem with Fermentation

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apd6545

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I have been making wine about 5 years now and lately I can not get my fruit wines to ferment out dry. I currently have a batch of apple, 18 gallons going, it is in the primary for over a week now and it is only down to 1.07 SG, it was started at 1.113. Tempeture is controlled at 80 degrees, sugar was added via syrup so it was completely dissolved, and all other material was added according to the receipt. The only difference is that I bought a 20 gallon primary frementor that is 15 by 15 inches by 36 inches high. I am using lalvin 1118 yeast. I made two batches of Strawberry and fermentation stopped at 1.003 using the same primary but added raw sugar, with the same yeast. In between these two wines I made my fresh grape wine, used sugar syrup for sweetening, starting SG of 1.110 same yeast, a different primary. The primary was a wide 12 gallon tub and the wine cooked down to .084 SG.

One of the first times I used the new primary significantly over sulfide the must and it took me two weeks of air-rating the must before I could get a fermentation started. That fermentation did go down below <1. SG.

I am baffled and would appreciate any ideas anyone might have on what is going on. Thanks

Tony
 

St Allie

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hello Tony and welcome..

my thoughts are... and it's just a guess... that the wider mouthed fermenting tub allows the yeast more access to oxygen?

will be interesting to hear others thoughts here.

Allie
 

Wade E

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Are you using nutrient and energizer? Fruit wines other then grapes do have have the proper amount of nutrients buoilt in like a grape does. I use yeast nutrient at the rate of 1 tsp per gallon and 1/2 tsp of energizer per gallon and never have a problem getting down to around .994. The funny thing is maybe I should stop using these as I actually dont need mine to go that low as i like to sweeten them back. On another note, why such high starting sg's with fruit wines. Fruit wines should really only have a starting sg around 1.085 and thats plenty of alc for a fruit wine.
 

Luc

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Wade already pointed out to two things that bother me also.

First we do not know the recipes, but if you used fruit and watered it down there is a serious lack of nutrients.
Nutrient manufacturers describe the amounts on their packaging presuming that you use pure grape juice. When using other fruit, or a watered down must, you might add more as described.

Second why the high SG. Apple wine is best at around 11%.
And if you want a high alcohol wine it is better to add sugar in stages, and not all at the same time. Did you do that ???

Luc
 

apd6545

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Thanks for the feedback, I do use nutrient and energizer in the quanities outlined, I also have always been successfully making my fruit wines with starting SG's at the 1.110 level, and trhey have come out around the SG.094. I am leaning, that there is something going on with the primary, or there is something wrong with the yeast.

Tony
 

Luc

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Ok as we can strike out nutrient.......

How about temperature ???

Maybe it is getting cold at your place and the yeast might have trouble fermenting ????

Luc
 

apd6545

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I took the wine out of the primary today, it only got down to 1.05 SG after 10 days. I am away for the next two weeks so I will let it sit and see where it is at when I return. I am not holding out for great things. After I get back I am going to make the same wine, only use a different primary and see what I get. Thanks for all the input. Will let you know what I find out.
 

Wade E

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You can make many win es exactly the same and each will ferment differently even under severe specific condotions. You may be right that you could have a bad batch of yeast. A few years ago Lalvin had a bd batch of EC 1118 going around and the other forum I was moderating had this problem popping up like crazy for about 1 12/ months. Make a starter yeast with a god strong yeast like Red Star Premier Cuvee and slowly introduce small amounts of this wine into it until it has tripled in size and then add this to your wine. I highly dought its your bucket unless you have a bad bacteria in there.
 
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