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Stopped fermenting and still cloudy

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Shellbee

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I've just made my very first batch of wine from an old recipe using Luisa Plums, which came from my garden. Everything went well and after 5/6 weeks everything stopped fermenting. I waited another week, (just to check it had stopped), then I racked it into another DemiJohn. Today, (a few weeks later) there's no sediment but it's still slightly cloudy. I tasted it and it's very sweet - a cross between sweet wine & sherry. My questions...it's still cloudy so what do I do next? I live in a sub-tropical climate so it's quite warm. My 'recipe book' says to put it in a cooler room. If this is the case then how long do i leave it to clear now that it has stopped fermenting?
 

St Allie

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I made 2 gallons of damson wine this summer. Had to rack it 5 times in the end. Wouldn't clear.

I put the carboys in a cold place for a month.. Sediment did drop out and I bottled it..


patience is the key with plum wines..
 

Sacalait

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What yeast did you use and what was your starting and finishing SG? Did you start off in an open primary bucket (looking for O2) or in a carboy? Was it your intent to finish off sweet?
 

Wade E

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As others have said we need the info above to properly diagnose the results, please tell me you have a hydrometer and used it!
 

Shellbee

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I used Brewcraft general purpose wine yeast and I also used pectic enzyme. I started off in a carboy. Everything was fermenting for around 7 weeks but then stopped. We had some hot weather, (about 34/36 degrees celsius) about the time the fermentation stopped so I was wondering if that could have anything to do with it? I don't have a hydrometer - I can see i'll need one as I progress. This is my very first attempt so I'm a complete novice, my intention was to make something drinkable... which it definitely is... but I'd say it's more like a dessert wine. I used 'C.J.J Berry First Steps in Winemaking' which said to use 3.5lb (1.5 kilos) of sugar.
 

Luc

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First where are you located ???
I am from the Netherlands and I do not see many over here working
in degrees celsius and kilo's besides me.
Fill it in in your profile please.

Next about the plums.
Plums have a layer of wax on their skins.
So before staring making the wine removing that layer helps
later on in clearing the wine. It is too late for that now, but this might help in the future.
Removing the wax is easily done by 'washing' the plums in a bath of water and soda ash (household soda).

I made 2 times about 100 liter plum wine and it always cleared nicely:
http://wijnmaker.blogspot.com/2007/07/soms-lopen-de-dingen-in-het-leven.html

The other point is that I see that you are still early in the process.
First 5-6 weeks fermenting, next wait a week, next we are now a few weeks later. So basically you are 2 months in the process.

Give it time. It will take longer to clear. Winemaking is no hurrying proces.
Give it a few more months and if it has not cleared by then,start using clearing agents. Patience is the key.

Luc
 

Sacalait

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Without the use of a hydrometer you're really at a loss. Put that on your must have list before starting your next wine, you'll be glad you did and so will the folks here on the forum that are trying to help you.
 

Wade E

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Did you add any sugar to this this before fermenting? We need the recipe you used so we have an idea if this has stopped fermenting early or if it truly is done fermenting and is just perceived s a sweet wine. I tried looking at what tolerance this yeast has to abv but there is no info on the site. Some yeasts will have very low tolerances to the alc produced by wine meaning that some will only ferment to about 13% while others will go as high as 18%. If you added sugar to this recipe then you might have exceeded the amount fermentable by this yeast. If you did not add any yeast nutrient then it possibly ran out power. Like humans, yeast needs vitamins and minerals to do a good job and live and when a must is deficient in these nutrients which most fruits are with the xception of good grapes then the yeast will just peter off leaving residual sugar.
 

Shellbee

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I bought myself a hydrometer today - thanks for that! I'm located in New Zealand, in the Far North of the North Island where it's a sub tropical climate.

My recipe...I poured hot water over my fruit 'pulp' and left for 5 hours. I then added cold water and pectic enzyme and left for 48 hours. I then strained it and was left with a gallon of really clear juice. I boiled this juice and poured it over 1.5 kilos of sugar. I allowed the liquor to cool to 70 F then added yeast, (which I started first) & I also added yeast nutrient. I then transferred into a fermenting vessel & fitted air lock. After 4/5 weeks, when the wine began to clear slightly, I siponed it off for the first time and when all fermentation had stopped I racked it again and moved it into a cooler room, still with airlock fitted. After a couple of weeks it's still as cloudy as ever.

That's very interesting about the yeast. I think that the yeast might be my whole problem because the pear wine I have on the go just now has also stopped fermenting too soon. Any suggestions which yeast to use?

Thanks for the tip about the plum skin Luc and for the blog link..enjoyed looking at that.
 

jbullard1

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Question for Luc about the wax
Is this on processed store bought plums or is the wax natural on all plums?
I have a plum tree that is loaded with young fruit i hope to convert into a wine when ripe
 

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