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Stuck at 1 Brix, help needed!

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Landwaster

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We crushed Zin grapes down to 80g of must. Came to about 30 brix so we added acidified water to get it down to about 26. Added RC212 yeast and nutrient at 20 and 12. We had to go out of town, so we pressed at 10brix back into our fermentation barrels, assuming that it would finish up and we could rack into our wine barrel. Our cousin was watching it, and they seemed to get stuck at 5 and 7. He added yeast with an energizer (assume it was EC1118). Got it down to 1 and 2 Brix and they've been stuck there for 3 days. The temperature has dropped down to ambient temperature (around 65). Should we try again with a new batch of yeast?

We also have 20 gallons of another must currently fermenting (7 brix this morning). I was thinking of tossing a gallon or two of the must into the Zin tonight, hoping that the yeast will finish up the Zin since it's already going at a good clip. Any thoughts?

Otherwise we'll rack the Zin into our barrel to get it protected, and hope that it will slowly finish up on its own.
 

Boatboy24

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If you can, try and get temps above 70. 26 is a pretty high starting brix. You may need to finish it off with EC-1118.
 

Luse_Cellar

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I think 26 is OK personally, this is what I adjusted my Grenache to (came in at 32 initially) and it's down in the negatives now. It does have a boozey smell but Grenache is much lighter than Zin, which should handle the high alcohol just fine. I used RP15 which seemed to have no problems, RC212 is supposed to be good up to 16% alcohol so I would think that can handle it.

Have you pressed it yet? I'm assuming so since you're talking about racking it to barrel but with Zin you should be safe to press it now. If not, you might consider doing so as if you do get it restarted it's likely to stick again if you leave it on the skins, depending on the variance in ripeness of the fruit when it came in. Zin (especially old vine) is notorious for being finicky due to it's long flowering stage and resulting lack of consistency is ripeness.

If it were me I would do my best to warm it up, mix it up real good, and add some yeast hulls. I would then continue to mix it up frequently as best I could (probably 3-4 times/day). If that didn't do anything for another day I would then restart it, probably with UVA43. I would also try and avoid using any more nutrients at this stage personally, aside from the yeast hulls. Additionally, I would try and get some oxygen in the must to help the yeast along once it did start going again, but not a whole lot of oxygen.

What varietal is the other must, and what was it inoculated with? I'm not sure if this is the best idea, depending on what the other stuff is. Seems to me like trying to restart it would be more controlled. Also, perhaps putting that gallon of the other must which still has a considerable amount of sugar left in it into the Zin's relatively high alcohol content would stress the yeast from the other must. If you're already dealing with a stuck ferment, the last thing you want is more problems from stressed yeast from the other must. If you've got a stuck ferment without off-flavors/aromas you're lucky and you still have a good shot at saving the wine without too much of an issue. I would keep a very close eye on this, stuck ferments can go south quickly.
 

richmke

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Using an on-line Brix calculator, if you started at 26 Brix, and ended at 1, then your implied ending SG is 0.941. I would say that you are finished. The alcohol in the wine throws off the Brix reading. At 7 Brix, it would have an implied SG of 0.978.

Take an SG reading, and see where you are at.
 

whackfol

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Close to zero, I doubt the accuracy of a hydrometer - regardless of scale. Do you have access to Clinitest tablets? If so, you can measure the residual sugar and see how close to dry you are. Some doubt even the accuracy of the Clinitest test. It's available and cheap so I depend in it. Absent this or in conjunction with, can you detect a sweetness and, if so, do you find it pleasing or offensive?

It's hard to get a fermentation restarted close to zero B. Good advice has been given. Add to it the restart method in the Scott's Fermentation manual at their site. One of the most important things to find is what caused it to stop. Temp, pH, abv, lack of nutrients...?
 

Floandgary

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Like using different pressure gauges to check your tires!! Accuracy is subjective. Most here rely on the use of a hydrometer with usually satisfying results! .990-.992 would be dry enough for anyone!
 

whackfol

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1B is not dry. Mine have gone to -1.5.

In looking at a Brix to specific gravity table, 1B is equivalent to 1.004 s.g. I have not looked, but I suspect the poster assumed Brix was being read by a refractometer using the Brix scale and applied the alcohol correction formula. I assumed the OP used a hydrometer using the Brix scale. This is every bit as accurate as s.g. They correlate and are both read off a hydrometer. In the case of the triple scale hydrometers sold at most lhbs, they can be the same hydrometer.
 
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Luse_Cellar

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1B is not dry. Mine have gone to -1.5.

In looking at a Brix to specific gravity table, 1B is equivalent to 1.004 s.g. I have not looked, but I suspect the poster assumed Brix was being read by a refractometer using the Brix scale and applied the alcohol correction formula. I assumed the OP used a hydrometer using the Brix scale. This is every bit as accurate as s.g. They correlate and are both read off a hydrometer. In the case of the triple scale hydrometers sold at most lhbs, they can be the same hydrometer.
I agree with this. I checked my Grenache (which as I had mentioned, I adjusted to 26 Brix as well) about an hour ago and it's down to -1.87 Brix after temperature correction, using a good hydrometer. Unless a refractometer was used, or the hydrometer was not very accurate, or was used incorrectly, I would be very surprised if it was actually done at 1 Brix. If the wine hasn't been double checked with a hydrometer, that's the first thing to do.
 

Landwaster

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All readings done with two hydrometers, so 1 and 2 brix is accurate. Added a scoop of Aglianico must (5brix) to each. A day later they're down to .5 and 1.

I assumed that adding fresh yeast again wouldn't do well due to the high alcohol content. The yeast in the fermenting must, however, should be acclimatized to the alcohol.
 

NorCal

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I had a stuck Zin a few years ago. I started a new batch with dome of the must, nutrient and some sugar. I step fed the must in until I got the 60 gallons to clear.
 

whackfol

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With a starting Brix of 26 your abv could be about 15% depending on the conversion factor used. That is close to the upper range of your yeast.

This old article from Winemaker Magazine discusses your conundrum and other options:

https://winemakermag.com/704-troubleshoot-a-stuck-fermentation

If you try to restart, go to The current Scott's Fermentation Handbook and read their protocol to restart stuck fermentations. Pay attention to the instructions as I remember they have slightly different procedures for Brix level.
 
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