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should chilean juice be fermenting on arrival???

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wyntheef

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I'm not sure if it is fermenting, but it is showing activity of some sort and I don't know why. Knowing some of you have been doing these imported juices for a number of years, I'm hoping you might advise. (this is my first time with the imports.)

The importer emailed that the juice was in 2 days ago, and I just picked it up this morning. There are small poppet type vents in the top of the buckets and there is bubbling there. This has me a little concerned that fermenting has begun, and I was wondering is this normal?

I had expected that the juice would be in a pre-fermenting state when it arrived, and then I would be able to check for s.g., ph, and acid before innoculating with k-meta and then pitching yeast after the must had reached room temp.

There was no documents provided or a statement of what I should expect to find, but on the side of the bucket it says..."contains grape musts, yeast, and tannins." But again, no instruction of any kind, so this could just be a general statement and maybe not intended to be taken literally.

Do I need a plan B???? :a1 Any help would be greatly appreciated.



Thanks,
Steve
 

xanxer82

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Even the cold musts may start to ferment. Add KMeta, wait 24 hours then add your own yeast.
Don't forget your SG reading :)
 

wyntheef

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Don't forget your SG reading
I'm thinking adding k-meta will halt any fermenting. Which would be ok since it may be wild yeast that started it anyway. But would the initial s.g. reading be skewed from whatever percent of fermentation has happened?
 

Dufresne11

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Stun the existing wild yeast with a healthy dose of P-Meta, wait 24 hours and then take your readings and pitch your yeast... best you can do now. I have picked up several buckets of juice that are in this state.
 

Wade E

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This happens very often with all juice buckets and even with very cold temps. 2 years ago I picked up a bucket late in the season which was on sale and was chilled at 45* for a few months and Ive been there many many times and know that that temp is consistant and the buckets sg was 1.032 when I got home and it warmed up! It was a white so I thought it would be great but still wasnt happy with the results and threw it in my big stainless steel pot!
 

Tom

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I'm not sure if it is fermenting, but it is showing activity of some sort and I don't know why. Knowing some of you have been doing these imported juices for a number of years, I'm hoping you might advise. (this is my first time with the imports.)

The importer emailed that the juice was in 2 days ago, and I just picked it up this morning. There are small poppet type vents in the top of the buckets and there is bubbling there. This has me a little concerned that fermenting has begun, and I was wondering is this normal?

I had expected that the juice would be in a pre-fermenting state when it arrived, and then I would be able to check for s.g., ph, and acid before innoculating with k-meta and then pitching yeast after the must had reached room temp.

There was no documents provided or a statement of what I should expect to find, but on the side of the bucket it says..."contains grape musts, yeast, and tannins." But again, no instruction of any kind, so this could just be a general statement and maybe not intended to be taken literally.

Do I need a plan B???? :a1 Any help would be greatly appreciated.



Thanks,
Steve
Keep in mind the juice you get is at least 3 weeks old. Wild yeast goes dorment in 33* but once warmed to room temp may be active. This is why you want to add meta to stun the yeast. I also suggest you at least rehydrate the yeast OR make a starter then add.
For reds I like to add raisins and a "banana soup" for more body.
 

wyntheef

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Thanks for the help guys.

I added the k-meta at about 4pm on friday and when I looked this morning (sat) at about 6am, the carmanere is sitting still, but the barbera is churning.

So I'm not sure if I should add even more k-meta? or add my yeast? or just let it go?
Yikes. Not starting out like what I would have wanted.
Suggestions?
 

Tom

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Either rehydrate of make a starter and add. Meta will not stop the wild yeast. The fresh (stronger) yeast will overpower the wild yeast.
Enjoy!
 

wyntheef

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Thanks for the quick response Tom. You always come through! :try
 

Tom

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BTW what did you get?
I have 6 already in secondaries.
I ferment in the bucket with the lid laying on top. I also added 2# of raisins to all the reds for more body.
 

wyntheef

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BTW what did you get?
I have 6 already in secondaries.
I ferment in the bucket with the lid laying on top. I also added 2# of raisins to all the reds for more body.
After some hand-wringing, I settled on 1 barbera and 1 carmanere.
I've had some other barbera and always thought it was a good wine, and
decided on carmanere after hearing how much you and some others here praised it (I'm not a frequent poster, but I do tune in and read quite a bit), and I also tried a few bottles.

When you say 'bucket', are you referring to the bucket it came in?
I wasn't sure they would be big enough, so I transferred into my own primary buckets.

I've never added raisins. Does it thicken the wine? When would it be considered too late to add them?
 

Wade E

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I think they can be added at anytime during fermentation. It will give the wine motre body and mouthfeel.
 

wyntheef

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Have to stop at the grocery store tonight anyhow, so raisins it will be.
 

slheinlein

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Stun the existing wild yeast with a healthy dose of P-Meta, wait 24 hours and then take your readings and pitch your yeast... best you can do now. I have picked up several buckets of juice that are in this state.
What is a healthy dose of P-Meta? This is my first time so need some advice. I picked up 2 buckets of Chilean juice - one Malbec and one Carmenere. The directions specified 1/8 teaspoon per 5 gallons of P-Meta. This doesn't sound like a healthy dose to me so wanted to check.

Also, if I want to add wood chips, when is the best time to do so?
 

Tom

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I think they can be added at anytime during fermentation. It will give the wine motre body and mouthfeel.
Yes I add in primary. Yes I ferment in the bucket the juice comes in. Now if you have a 7.5 gal fermenter ..go for it.
 

Wade E

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1/8th tsp at the beginning is fine as it most likely already has been sulfited already before they chilled it. After fermentation is done 1/4 tsp per 5 or 6 gallons is better.
 

wyntheef

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After moving my 2 chilean wines to secondary's, and checking sg after another 10 days, there was no further fermentation taking place. However, there was still some slight bubble action, so I gave it another 10 days and checked again. Still no change in sg's for either carboy.

My take on this, is that I have stuck fermentations fairly late in the process.
One juice is stalled at 1.000 and the other at .998. They taste ok, but somewhat sweet like you would expect at those readings.

These both had begun fermentation before I recieved them, so I wasn't able to start with valid initial readings to begin with, so I really don't know how to proceed from here.:?

I'm thinking of leaving them to clear for 3 or 4 months, and then make sure to add p. sorbate before bottling and ending up with semi-dry wines. It seems like a shame to end up this way though, so I'm hoping they could be restarted.
What do you think?:a1
 

slheinlein

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I have the same problem with mine. One is at .998 and another 1.000 for about 5 days. This weekend, racked again, put them upstairs where it is a few degrees warmer and it appears there is some action again. I'll check tonight and see if I'm closer to the .990 mark.

Racking plus the few degrees temp change might have woke the yeasties up some. Could be worth a try for you.
 

wyntheef

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Ya, I think waking them up is a better option than adding more because there already may be 2 yeast applications. the one I did and whatever was firing it up to begin with, although that may well have been wild yeast.
Kinda sucks not knowing what happened before I got my hands on it.
Please keep me posted on your efforts.
 

Lurker

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It is the rare bucket that is not fermenting when picked up. I just shock it and wait 24 hrs then add my cultured yeast. The cultured yeast should overwhelm the wild yeast. It has never been a problem. :b
 

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