Stuck fermentation

Discussion in 'Beginners Wine Making Forum' started by yppaul, Apr 15, 2018.

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  1. yppaul

    yppaul Junior

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    Hello everyone,

    I started doing my first one from real grapes (cabernet grapes), as before I only made wine from wine kits.

    The fermentation was progressing beautifully but eventually got stuck at 10 brix. I have tried everything to get it unstuck, including raising the temperature to 75F, pitching more yeast, adding yeast nutrients, adding yeast hulls, etc. It continues to be stuck at 10 brix even though it has been 3 weeks of trying different methods.

    Any ideas what I can do? I used the MT yeast and I added the GoFerm and yeast nutrient.

    Any suggestions would be much appreciated.

    Thank you in advance for your time.
     
  2. pgentile

    pgentile Supporting Members Supporting Member

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    MT yeast is tolerent to 15% so it should have no issues.

    Need some more information .

    What was your starting brix? Did you get a pH reading prior to fermentation? Any kmeta or campden tablets involved?
     
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  3. sour_grapes

    sour_grapes Victim of the Invasion of the Avatar Snatchers

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    How are you measuring your brix? (If used at this stage, a refractometer will give incorrect results.)
     
  4. yppaul

    yppaul Junior

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    Thank you for your quick reply. Starting ph was 3.34 and starting brix was 23. No kmeta or campden tablets involved.
     
  5. yppaul

    yppaul Junior

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    Thanks a lot for your reply. I am using a refractometer and adjusting it based on the tables provided on various websites. I agree that there is a margin of error but at 10 brix it is still far from done I think? (although if I have misunderstood please do let me know).
     
  6. sour_grapes

    sour_grapes Victim of the Invasion of the Avatar Snatchers

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    From here, and with what information you have given me, I have no way of knowing if you are on track or not. My (unjustified) hunch is that an error in adjusting a refractometer reading is more likely than a stuck fermentation, but I could be wrong. Fortunately, there is probably an easy way to tell: How does it taste? Does it taste like a Grape-NeHi soda? Or is it not at all sweet?

    As far as I am aware, this seems to be a good site to discuss adjusting refractometer reading that way: http://valleyvintner.com/Refrac_Hydro/Refract_Hydro.htm Is this the one you are using? Have you used your adjustment procedure previously, on kits? Can you just use a hydrometer to check?
     
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  7. pgentile

    pgentile Supporting Members Supporting Member

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    When did you start this?
     
  8. yppaul

    yppaul Junior

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    I stared fermenting it 4.5 weeks ago and it has been stuck at 10 for 2.5 weeks
     
  9. pgentile

    pgentile Supporting Members Supporting Member

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    Then I would have to agree with @sour_grapes. Hydrometer would really help at this point time. Do his taste test if you can't get one.

    My bet is you are done fermenting and below 1.000 on a hydrometer.
     
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  10. BigMac

    BigMac Big Mac

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    I agree with the previous folks.
    Quickly buy/order a hydrometer so you can do the test.
    But more importantly at this time xfer the wine to a carboy and put an airlock on it.
    Make sure there is minimal air in the carboy. Use 1gal, 1/2gal, jugs for the extra.
    But do this now till you figure out what the issue is.
     
  11. NorCal

    NorCal Super Moderator Super Moderator

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    I had a 60 gallon Zin ferment that was stuck as stuck could be. I was successful at getting it to go dry by starting another ferment, using some of the juice and then strategically step feeding the new ferment along the way. I documented it pretty well and will find the link, if you want to read.
     
  12. JohnT

    JohnT Moderator Super Moderator

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    In the mean time, try tasting it. (Sounds simple right?).

    Does it taste horribly sweet? if 10 brix is correct, it should be sickly sweet.
     
  13. cmason1957

    cmason1957 Member Supporting Member

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  14. sour_grapes

    sour_grapes Victim of the Invasion of the Avatar Snatchers

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    I could be wrong, but I think the OP was citing 10 Brix after correcting the reading.
     
  15. Ajmassa5983

    Ajmassa5983 Member Supporting Member

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    It’s almost not even worth attempting a restart once beyond a certain point. Residual sugar in a high abv environment can be a bear to ferment.
    I’m not sure what Sg would be the threshold, but 1.005 (1.5 Brix) may fall into the ‘huge pain in the ass/low probability’ category. Need that accurate reading though.
    I have a wine at 11.75% but was shooting for 14% abv. Broke my back attempting to restart. It’s decent and now aging, but lacks that extra ‘umph’ from not going dry. Hopefully your SG level will be make the decision for you- one way or the other.
     
  16. cmason1957

    cmason1957 Member Supporting Member

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    I read his posts several times and decided I couldn't tell exactly what he meant, so I read it to mean 10 Brix was the reading of the refractometer.

    As a side note and very personal opinion, I don't understand why anyone who isn't out in the field uses a refractometer. Oh sure, you can measure with just a few drops, but once alcohol is present it is wrong. Okay off my soap box, please ignore. Grumpy old man today.
     
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  17. JohnT

    JohnT Moderator Super Moderator

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    .. especially since hydrometers are so inexpensive.
     

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