Slow Primary Fermentation

Wine Making Talk

Help Support Wine Making Talk:

Joined
Jan 10, 2017
Messages
12
Reaction score
0
I made a 1 gallon batch of blueberry wine several months ago and it turned out great. So I decided to make a 3 gallon batch. I used the same recipe, and the same yeast, Pasteur Red. However, the primary fermentation is going very slow. I am on day 9 of primary fermentation and it is at 1.042sg. It is definitely coming down, as it was at 1.052sg 2 days ago. Is it normal for this to run this slow? Is it ok to just let primary fermentation continue? I learned my lesson with racking this wine over to the secondary before it reaches 1.010. Lol! It foamed out of the airlock and all over the place. Thanks for any advice.
 

heatherd

Supporting Members
WMT Supporter
Joined
Jan 8, 2014
Messages
2,008
Reaction score
1,297
Location
Maryland
I made a 1 gallon batch of blueberry wine several months ago and it turned out great. So I decided to make a 3 gallon batch. I used the same recipe, and the same yeast, Pasteur Red. However, the primary fermentation is going very slow. I am on day 9 of primary fermentation and it is at 1.042sg. It is definitely coming down, as it was at 1.052sg 2 days ago. Is it normal for this to run this slow? Is it ok to just let primary fermentation continue? I learned my lesson with racking this wine over to the secondary before it reaches 1.010. Lol! It foamed out of the airlock and all over the place. Thanks for any advice.
Some things I do in your situation with a slow ferment:
-Stir the must
-Move the must to a warmer area of the house
-Add yeast nutrient

I measure the SG to be sure it is still moving. If you hit three days in a row where the SG does not move, the fermentation is either done or stalled. Done would be in the 0.995 range.

If it stalls, I introduce more yeast.

Best of luck!
 

Rodnboro

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 10, 2011
Messages
681
Reaction score
351
What they said[emoji115]. Also, 1 gallon batches ferment faster than 3 gallons.
 
Joined
Jan 10, 2017
Messages
12
Reaction score
0
Thanks for the advice. I did add yeast nutrient at the beginning of fermentation. Should I add more? I also stir it everyday. It hasn't stalled yet, just slow going. However, if it does stall should I add more of the Pasteur Red?
 

heatherd

Supporting Members
WMT Supporter
Joined
Jan 8, 2014
Messages
2,008
Reaction score
1,297
Location
Maryland
Yes, I would add more nutrient. If it stalls I would add EC1118.
 
Joined
Jan 10, 2017
Messages
12
Reaction score
0
Im sorry, but I have a couple more questions. I have two different yeast nutrients: Food grade urea/diammonium phosphate, and thiamin/vitamin b complex. Is there one I should use rather than the other? Also, would it be a good idea to add yeast energizer or just the nutrient? Thank you guys so much for answering my newbie questions.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Jan 10, 2017
Messages
12
Reaction score
0
This is awesome info. I appreciate all the help. It is still going but is slowing down. I added yeast energizer on 5/7 and things picked up a little bit and went from 1.052 to 1.038 within 24 hours. The next day it was 1.032, then 1.026, and today it was 1.022. It has been in primary for 13 days now. Should I go ahead and rack it to the secondary, and hope it finishes or should I add ec1118?
 

Stressbaby

Just a Member
Joined
Aug 19, 2012
Messages
2,078
Reaction score
830
It is still moving so I wouldn't add the EC1118. Racking to secondary will appear to bring things to a stop, at least temporarily. Personally, I'd leave it until you can be sure it did not stick at a level of sugar that is unacceptable to you.
 

pip

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 6, 2017
Messages
106
Reaction score
47
I've done precisely one batch of blueberry, so take my advice lightly. I'd leave it in the primary given SG is still dropping. My batch took 23 days in the primary, but it did ferment to dry eventually.
 

Scooter68

Fruit "Wine" Maker
Joined
Aug 29, 2015
Messages
3,711
Reaction score
2,519
Location
Northwest Arkansas
I don't see an reference to the pH level of your must. Blueberries tend to be very acidic and too much acid can impact the fermentation. Ideally a pH between 3.4 - 3.6 is the target area but anything over 3.0 shouldn't have a problem unless the yeast variety is extremely sensitive to the pH.
 

pip

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 6, 2017
Messages
106
Reaction score
47
I don't see an reference to the pH level of your must. Blueberries tend to be very acidic and too much acid can impact the fermentation. Ideally a pH between 3.4 - 3.6 is the target area but anything over 3.0 shouldn't have a problem unless the yeast variety is extremely sensitive to the pH.
Thats the issue with blueberry, Scooter. I asked the ph question further up the thread. It's resolvable with some bicarb though. I say that from my one batch of blueberry i've made and 50 hours of reading about it on the net, so with blueberry i'm a newb...erry.
Sorry:h
 

Scooter68

Fruit "Wine" Maker
Joined
Aug 29, 2015
Messages
3,711
Reaction score
2,519
Location
Northwest Arkansas
Yup - My 3rd batch of blueberry was with 8 lbs of berries the acidity was about 2.8 and it was tough to raise that up into a reasoanble range above 3.2.

Will not go that heavy again. 5-6 lbs is the most that's needed and will reduce the chances of acidity going crazy.
 

Turock

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 3, 2012
Messages
2,374
Reaction score
552
It's not a matter of PH. Blueberry has a naturally occurring compound similar to sorbate so it's difficult to get a ferment started. The best way to ensure a smooth ferment is to always use a yeast starter. You can use apple juice for this purpose. Start the yeast in the apple juice, then add to the must. And be sure to split your nutrient dose---half when the yeast takes off and the other half at 1/3 sugar reduction.

When your must is too acidic, use calcium carbonate to raise the PH prior to the ferment.
 

Scooter68

Fruit "Wine" Maker
Joined
Aug 29, 2015
Messages
3,711
Reaction score
2,519
Location
Northwest Arkansas
So it has been pronounced - do not question! "It's not a matter of PH." ???????????

My 3 blueberry wine batches fermentations fired up just fine - in fact my first fermented dry in 4 days time. 4 1/2 lbs of blueberries using Montrachet.

My last also fermented quickly with 8 lbs of blueberries. Used EC1118 It did go slower 18 days to reach .990. It did also have a very low pH at 2.86.
Same process for each - Mixed my yeast in warm filtered water and set aside while I finished finally SG and pH testing. (Waited about 30 mins before pitching yeast.)
 
Last edited:

Stressbaby

Just a Member
Joined
Aug 19, 2012
Messages
2,078
Reaction score
830
It's really not a big deal at all to move pH from 2.7-2.8 up to 3.2 range if you do it preferment.

No I agree with Turock, it's not the pH. Blackberry has the same pH issue but doesn't have the fermentation problems. There is something special about blueberries. It is not just difficult to start them but they tend to stick for the same reasons.
 

Latest posts

Top