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JCBurg

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B78B1DC8-0B4F-4CED-9E1C-BBD576B346DA.jpeg Hello everyone, and thanks in advance to anyone who gives me a hand. My fermentation process took off like a rocket and went below 1.003 in a couple days. I racked into secondary and it dropped down to 1.0004 a couple days later.

Now it’s at 1.0002 and It has been a few more days. The speed of this fermentation has me concerned about it getting stuck at the end here, since there has been very little movement for a while. When I look, there is still a small ring of bubbles and I still see little bubbles floating up to the top inside. Yes, I am being paranoid about my wine a bit but I can’t help it, I love it almost as much as my baby son! I just would like for some more experienced eyes to look at what I’m seeing and confirm that fermentation is still active, thank you!
 

jgmann67

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View attachment 56894 Hello everyone, and thanks in advance to anyone who gives me a hand. My fermentation process took off like a rocket and went below 1.003 in a couple days. I racked into secondary and it dropped down to 1.0004 a couple days later.

Now it’s at 1.0002 and It has been a few more days. The speed of this fermentation has me concerned about it getting stuck at the end here, since there has been very little movement for a while. When I look, there is still a small ring of bubbles and I still see little bubbles floating up to the top inside. Yes, I am being paranoid about my wine a bit but I can’t help it, I love it almost as much as my baby son! I just would like for some more experienced eyes to look at what I’m seeing and confirm that fermentation is still active, thank you!
Yes your ferment is still active. Trust your hydrometer. When your readings don’t change for a few days, you’re probably done.

If you’re concerned, you might keep your wine in a 70*+ place, and stir once a day.

But, really, it looks just fine.
 

JCBurg

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Thanks for the peace of mind, it’s what my gut was telling me but like I said I get a little paranoid over it. It’s only my second year and the whole process isn’t familiar to me yet, not to mention this fermentation as been so clean!
 

jgmann67

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Thanks for the peace of mind, it’s what my gut was telling me but like I said I get a little paranoid over it. It’s only my second year and the whole process isn’t familiar to me yet, not to mention this fermentation as been so clean!
Key ingredients to good wine - proper hygiene and patience. I’ve only been doing this for 4 years. There’s a steep learning curve at first. But, it gets easier.
 

JCBurg

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Well, I am obsessive with my sanitation, and I brush and floss (lol) patience is helped by the fact that I have a lazy procrastination streak in me. The curve HAS been steep, this is a fact but I've got a few books under my belt now and several vintages. Honestly, this one HAS been easier because I was prepared ahead of time with my recipe and process andI've taking really good notes. I have been vigilant in watching the condition of the wine so far. The more I know, the more I enjoy it.
 

Scooter68

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Remember the safe rule of thumb is when the SG doesn't change in 3 days - fermentation has stopped. Even when the SG is above 1.000 - various conditions can cause a ferment to stop before all available sugars have been consumed.
Those fine bubbles are from either CO2 or MLF or both. Rack off the lees and move ahead.

And be sure to reduce the headspace now that fermentation is stopped.
 

stickman

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Is this a wine that was coinoculated with malolactic bacteria? If so, you'll want to periodically check for ML completion, a sluggish ferment near the end of AF is one of the few times where ML bacteria can be a problem. If ML completes before AF I would recommend using lysozyme to kill the bacteria, otherwise there will be a risk of increasing VA as the bacteria may consume the remaining sugar.
 

crabjoe

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Sorry to ask here since it's not related to you fermentation issue, but it's related to your post.

How are you getting more than 3 decimal places on the gravity reading? Are you using some they of digital hydrometer?
 

JCBurg

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Sorry to ask here since it's not related to you fermentation issue, but it's related to your post.

How are you getting more than 3 decimal places on the gravity reading? Are you using some they of digital hydrometer?
No... It was early and I have an infant son.... I didn't realize the typo until too late. :)
 

JCBurg

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Is this a wine that was coinoculated with malolactic bacteria? If so, you'll want to periodically check for ML completion, a sluggish ferment near the end of AF is one of the few times where ML bacteria can be a problem. If ML completes before AF I would recommend using lysozyme to kill the bacteria, otherwise there will be a risk of increasing VA as the bacteria may consume the remaining sugar.
I did use an MLF culture, yes. It is my first time doing so also. Do you think I should go ahead and kill them, and just abandon the fermentation?
 

stickman

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No don't kill the bacteria until they complete their job of converting the malic acid. I would test for ML completion using the typical chromatography kit or test strips. I'm not suggesting there is a major problem, just that you should be aware of the ML status especially when the AF seems to be sluggish.
 

JCBurg

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No don't kill the bacteria until they complete their job of converting the malic acid. I would test for ML completion using the typical chromatography kit or test strips. I'm not suggesting there is a major problem, just that you should be aware of the ML status especially when the AF seems to be sluggish.
OK, a couple of things.. Nothing I read said anything about testing for completion, so thanks for that information. I was looking at test kits and MLF information in general and I read that MLF can take anywhere from one to three months to complete, is that generally true? either way, I think the MLF is still in progress but my fermentation is complete, so would it be advisable to rack off of the lees, or will that interrupt the ongoing MLF?
 

JCBurg

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Is this a wine that was coinoculated with malolactic bacteria? If so, you'll want to periodically check for ML completion, a sluggish ferment near the end of AF is one of the few times where ML bacteria can be a problem. If ML completes before AF I would recommend using lysozyme to kill the bacteria, otherwise there will be a risk of increasing VA as the bacteria may consume the remaining sugar.
This wine WAS coinoculated, yes. I will take your advise and increase my due diligence on wine checking, I want to know exactly where I am at. From my check last night it seems the SG may be decreasing VERY slowly yet.. it JUST above 1.000, and I really want this to get to full dryness. My late grape harvest already limited my potential alcohol to 12.5
 

JCBurg

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Remember the safe rule of thumb is when the SG doesn't change in 3 days - fermentation has stopped. Even when the SG is above 1.000 - various conditions can cause a ferment to stop before all available sugars have been consumed.
Those fine bubbles are from either CO2 or MLF or both. Rack off the lees and move ahead.

And be sure to reduce the headspace now that fermentation is stopped.
I am watching VERY closely now, to make sure it's done so I don't let it sit on lees too long.
 

stickman

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Do you have the chromatography kit or test strips to determine ML completion? It is best practice to test for ML completion though it isn't absolutely necessary as long as the AF goes to completion without trouble. A sluggish AF near the end may allow the ML bacteria to start their job, the time it takes to complete the malic conversion depends on several factors nutrients etc. but is primarily pH driven, lower pH wine generally takes longer. During a sluggish ferment, if you're only watching gravity you may not realize that the ML has started. The ML bacteria will preferentially consume the malic acid and usually follow by consuming the citric acid, once those food sources are gone they may adapt to consume sugar if any remains, this doesn't always happen, but is possible depending on the various bacteria present and especially at higher pH. The consumption of sugar by the bacteria usually increases the volatile acidity, an increase in volatile acidity will increase the risk of a stuck fermentation, this is the primary reason for the usual sulfite treatment of the wine promptly after ML completion.
 

JCBurg

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Do you have the chromatography kit or test strips to determine ML completion? It is best practice to test for ML completion though it isn't absolutely necessary as long as the AF goes to completion without trouble. A sluggish AF near the end may allow the ML bacteria to start their job, the time it takes to complete the malic conversion depends on several factors nutrients etc. but is primarily pH driven, lower pH wine generally takes longer. During a sluggish ferment, if you're only watching gravity you may not realize that the ML has started. The ML bacteria will preferentially consume the malic acid and usually follow by consuming the citric acid, once those food sources are gone they may adapt to consume sugar if any remains, this doesn't always happen, but is possible depending on the various bacteria present and especially at higher pH. The consumption of sugar by the bacteria usually increases the volatile acidity, an increase in volatile acidity will increase the risk of a stuck fermentation, this is the primary reason for the usual sulfite treatment of the wine promptly after ML completion.
No I don't have them but I am picking them up at my supply shop today.
 

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