Strawberry not fermenting

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Wino in training
Oct 25, 2009
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Hello all, I started a batch of strawberry wine 4 days ago and there's no sign of fermentation. Still at 1.070 which is where it started. There are two reasons I can think of that is causing this. #1 in the basement at 66 degrees, I've moved it today and had it at 72 for about 6 hours now. #2 I used distilled water :( . I wasn't aware of the problems with using distilled until browsing the forum today. I have added 1 gallon of filtered tap water about 5 hours ago. If this does not start in the next 24 to 48 hours does anyone have any suggestions(anyway to jump start the yeast)? The recipe is as follows:
5 gallons distilled water
10 Lbs corn sugar
10 Teaspoons Acid Blend
5 Teaspoons Yeast Nutrient
2 ½ Teaspoon Pectic Enzyme
1/4 teaspoon sulfite
1 96oz can Vintners Harvest Strawberry wine base
1 pkg Red Star Premier Cuvee wine yeast added after 24 hours
Make a fresh yeast starter and when it's going good (an hour or so) add it to the must. Get the temp. of the must up to 75deg. A heating pad wrapped around the bucket works fine.
Premier Cuvee fermenting temps are 45 -90* so you are right in the middle. Once the must warms up airate the must. This should help. If you have everything in a bucket DO NOT add the airlock or snap the lid,. Rather just lay the lid on the bucket.
BTW I would use Cote des Blancs next time for Strawberry.
OK I'm crossing my fingers. The yeast starter is in, temp is 76, bucket has a loose fitting lid. I should go watch the grass grow so I stop watching the wine
Bryan I recently had a batch of some extremely stubborn cranberry, I was about to give up but I too made a starter, and she went wild. This is the starter they taught me in here.

Started with 1/4 cup apple juice(had it on hand) at about 95degs. Sprinkled the yeast on top and let it do its thing. (kept in a warm place). Every or hour or so I added about 1/4 cup of the wine must. Let it go. When I had about 3 cups of starter I simply poured it into the must without stirring. Within 1/2 hour we had action. This was after about 7 days of nothing!

So anyway. I am a big fan of starters now. I hope yours gets it going. Don't give up.

( also,10 tsp of Acid Blend seems like an awful lot, is that what your recipe called for?)
we have liftoff... it took about 18 hours but it's going for sure now. Thanks for the help :b
Get yourself a TA test kit. Just because a recipe calles for 10 tsp that can change just by where you get the fruit or what year you get it even if its the same place.
Never add acid blindly.
I usually just take a sample to the supply shop (bader wine supply), they test it for free.
Thats excellent it took off for you! I been scared a couple times myself:D, have lost sleep over a stuck ferment! LOL . I have "jump started" a couple batches with Cuvee. But obviously a starter is the way to go.

I don't think I would ever simply rehydrate the yeast again, obviously there are other factors than can affect fermentation, but when it comes to introducing the yeast, a starter seems the most reliable way to go.

I have to wonder how many people have taking a drastic measure instead of taking the time to get in a forumn like this and have someone to offer advice and help, not just on this subject, but, any others!

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Well it's been 3 1/2 days and it's went from 1.070 to 1.060. I've read some of the other discussions on slow fermentation, and yeast energizer has been recommended. Any thoughts on this? Am I being too impatient?
As Tom said, temp. has a lot to do with it. If it is below 70deg. things slow down. You could also kick start it by adding a couple of very ripe bananas.
I have this in my utility room so the temp is varying from 68 to 72. I'm gonna have to give in and go buy a new heating pad, try for a steady 74. I'll try the bananas too.
just bring it in where its warmer for the fermentation. then put it in the laundry room
Id leave it in there as coler fermentations are what I do for all my fruits. A nice slow fermentation is very good for fruit wines and white wines! It keeps the fruity esthers in the wine unlike a fast ripping fermentation which is good for red wines. Some energizer is a good idea though as fruit wines are always lacking in these nutrients.
I gave it the bananas and it loved them. Made it down to 1.040. I transfered to the secondary w/airlock. Now it seams to have locked up again. I'm thinking another yeast starter, can too much yeast hurt it?
Bryan, I don't think the yeast is the problem. I wanna go with the others and say it may have to do with temperature. As opposed to a heating pad, alot of the gang uses a brew belt that simply wraps arount the carboy/vessel. From what I understand they work quite well, and they are cheaper, and use alot less electricity(only 25 watts or so) than a heating pad, probably safer too!!

Hang tough, I am sure someone else will be along to cchime in.

I would not have racked a proble fermentation and I usually never rack a wine untilits done fermnting cause yur leaving viable yeast behind. If its still at around 1.040 try addin a little bit of bananas af=gain and 1 tsp of energizer and stir well. Seeing as how your having so many problems with this ignore my previuos post and keep it warmed up. Did you use both energizer and nutrient in the beginning of this batch?
I used nutrient only, no energizer. I will give it some more bananas tonight.

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