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Slow start to feementation?

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Kevin B

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Looking for some advice on next steps. Started a peach wine from Vintners Best concentrate on 9 Jan (Yes, the corn syrup stuff... don't judge.) After adding water SG was 1.080, temp of juice at 70 F. Used EC-1118 yeast. My basement is a constant 58-60 degrees. I know its at the low end of the temp range but I like the low and slow ferment to preserve as much fruit flavor as possible.

After 48 hours, no real fermentation happening aside from some foam on top. I did not retake SG reading. Instead I stirred juice and moved upstairs, which is around 69-70 degrees. Today, 3 days later still no noticeable fermentation happening. I checked it beiefly as I walked out the door to work so again did not check SG. (Yes, I am browsing the forum while at work)

My question is what steps I should take after I get home, aside from taking SG and temps? Is it advisable to add another shot of yeast?
 

Scooter68

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Best bet - What I would is to warm that batch up.

For me I've had a similar problem a couple of times BUT by warming the entire batch, the yeast then took off and I was able to let the batch return to the lower room temp. I would also suggest wrapping the batch up with a towel around the bucket (?) to maintain the natural heat fermentation gives off. One way to warm it would be to find a couple of 1/2 gallon plastic jugs (Milk/Juice). Sanitize the outside and fill them with hot water, cap them and place them in the bucket. Use both at the same time if you have space for them without overflowing your bucket. (You might have to split the batch temporarily to do that perhaps.)

Once the fermentation fires up you should be fine with the lower temp. Keep in mind that the max alcohol tolerance and temp ranges are all based on their specific fermentation conditions. Unless you match those conditions perfectly your results may be different - as you have already found. So many factors that can influence the process so I'd try to stay well within their ranges for starting off the batch.

PS - No judging on your choice of wine base. What makes YOU happy is what matters. I post info about the different products so that folks can make an informed decision. I prefer to use only natural fruit - like direct orchard sourced Peaches, but; that's not always possible. So, You use what you can find and do the best with it.

(This past fall I was shocked along with some long-time customers from this board when one supplier changed their wine base product and unless asked about it, they never informed customers and their Web site didn't have a list of ingredients I reported them to their state board for product information and they were eventually cited for failure to follow the states product labeling standards. So, yeah, I will go attack dog when I feel someone is NOT being up-front and honest but again. If customers are happy and things are legal - that's what matters. Your supplier was NOT the one I'm talking about.)
 

Kevin B

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Thanks for the info. I truly appreciate it. I will warm her up this evening and see if we can't get this thing rolling.

I am actually not much of a fan of fruit wines but I love peach flavor and thought it would be nice to sip this summer. If we like this I will most certainly try my hand at fresh fruit.

Another quick question but have you (or anyone else) ever tried blending a small portion of dry fruit wine with a finished white grape wine? I am considering attempting to blend a little with Sauv Blanc to see if I can add a slight peach flavor to the natural profile.
Thanks again!
 

VinesnBines

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Blending is fun because you get to taste your wines. I think the peach with a Sauv Blanc will be nice. Once you get your peach to your satisfaction, do a bench trial to see how much peach to add to the Sauv Blanc. After you settle on a ratio, bottle a couple test bottles and let them age a few weeks or longer to let the flavors blend better. You can also decide on your ratio and blend after opening to serve to guests. Hint: make a note of your ratio so you can make the correct blend.
 

Kevin B

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Thank you, will definitely check SG. Thanks for the blending info. My only concern was possible residual sugar causing secondary fermentation in bottle. But I think the low amount of peach I plan to use as well as the plan to not back sweeten should avoid that. Good suggestion on small bottles to test how things taste after sitting for a bit. Appreciate all the help.
 

VinesnBines

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Once dry and stable, you may need to backsweeten a tiny bit to pull out the peach flavor. Don't worry about that right now.
 

Kevin B

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Update: moved primary down to basement to take an SG reading. As soon aa I opened the top I could smell that sweet fermentation smell. SG was 1.060, and cloudy with CO2 bubbles so indeed is fermenting...just slower than I expected.

Moved back up to upper level for warmth and wrapped with blanket. Went back to basement to start another kit I have. When I came back up the peach wine was gurgling away. Seems that slight agitation from moving down and upstairs got it rolling. Moved back to basement unwrapped to ferment at lower temp of 60 degrees.
Will keep an eye on it. Thanks for all your help fellow winemakers!
 

VinesnBines

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Great, now take a big spoon or whip and stir that peach must at least twice a day and take the lid off the primary and cover with a towel. Yeast needs oxygen and stirring helps incorporate the oxygen. Do the same for the new kit.
 
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