Secondary Fermentation Probs

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GregoryJ

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I made a batch of wine using frozen fruit, primary fermentation went normal as to to what I’ve read it should do however, after transferring to a carboy for its secondary fermentation I see no bubbles coming through the airlock….It’s been 12 hours and NO bubbles. Help !
 
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@GregoryJ, welcome to WMT!

If you don't have a hydrometer, the strong recommendation is to get one. This thread explains how to use one.

If the SG <= 0.998 and remains steady for 3 days, the fermentation is complete. If it's above that, depending on circumstances we may advise a number of solutions.

When listing SG, use 3 digits to the right of the decimal, e.g., 1.020, as this avoids mistakes and confusion.
 

GregoryJ

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No I don’t have a hydrometer but I’m going to get one today for my next batch, this was my first. When buying all my winemaking equipment I forgot to get it. So what do I do now, just give it some time for it to clear some more & then just bottle it? Thanks for the welcome.
 

ratflinger

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@GregoryJ

How long was your primary ferment? Depending upon the yeast, temp, sugar content fermenting can be a lot more rapid than one would expect. If nothing else give it a taste, does it taste sweet? If it doesn't your ferment is probably finished. Taste is not very reliable, as others have pointed out, you need a hydrometer.
 
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So what do I do now, just give it some time for it to clear some more & then just bottle it?
Nope. Use the same advice. If you don't take a hydrometer reading, you're guessing if the ferment is done. If the wine tastes dry it's probably done, but use a hydrometer to verify that. Sensitivity to sugar varies, and if you're less sensitive, you could be making a batch of mini-volcanos.

One of my early batches wasn't quite done, and the ferment restarted in the bottle and started pushing corks out. I caught it before any blew, which was great! I unbottled the entire batch and let it complete in a carboy, then bottled again a few months later.

You want to take and record an initial reading (too late on this batch, so don't sweat it). This let's you know the potential ABV, as a weak wine has a shorter lifespan and is less shelf stable, while a too strong wine may be more alcohol than you want. AND it might not ferment well, as yeast strains have their own tolerances on sugar and alcohol levels.

Keep records, including the final SG. I take readings during fermentation, to determine how far along the process is. I rarely record these readings and use them as a gauge, so the exact readings are not important to me.
 

winemanden

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One of my early batches wasn't quite done, and the ferment restarted in the bottle and started pushing corks out. I caught it before any blew, which was great! I unbottled the entire batch and let it complete in a carboy, then bottled again a few months later.
I had the same first batch problem. It sounded like a machine gun going off.Luckily they were all T-corks so they all popped out easily.:se
 

GregoryJ

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Nope. Use the same advice. If you don't take a hydrometer reading, you're guessing if the ferment is done. If the wine tastes dry it's probably done, but use a hydrometer to verify that. Sensitivity to sugar varies, and if you're less sensitive, you could be making a batch of mini-volcanos.

One of my early batches wasn't quite done, and the ferment restarted in the bottle and started pushing corks out. I caught it before any blew, which was great! I unbottled the entire batch and let it complete in a carboy, then bottled again a few months later.

You want to take and record an initial reading (too late on this batch, so don't sweat it). This let's you know the potential ABV, as a weak wine has a shorter lifespan and is less shelf stable, while a too strong wine may be more alcohol than you want. AND it might not ferment well, as yeast strains have their own tolerances on sugar and alcohol levels.

Keep records, including the final SG. I take readings during fermentation, to determine how far along the process is. I rarely record these readings and use them as a gauge, so the exact readings are not important to me.
Ok thanks, I’m getting one tomorrow but I just tasted it and it is definitely “dry”
 

GregoryJ

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@GregoryJ

How long was your primary ferment? Depending upon the yeast, temp, sugar content fermenting can be a lot more rapid than one would expect. If nothing else give it a taste, does it taste sweet? If it doesn't your ferment is probably finished. Taste is not very reliable, as others have pointed out, you need a hydrometer.
Primary ferment was 5 days, just tasted it and it is definitely “dry”. Will get a hydrometer tomorrow. Thanks
 
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Ok thanks, I’m getting one tomorrow but I just tasted it and it is definitely “dry”
The most important virtue of a winemaker is patience. There are only a few situations, hydrogen sulfide (H2S) being one, where a quick reaction is a requirement. For most things, "wait-n-see" is the better choice.
 
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