Stuck Fermentation?

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Feb 12, 2010
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Hi everyone! I am new to this forum and to winemaking, but the lessons I have learned from everyone here have been fantastic. I'm hoping that you can shed some light on what my next steps should be with a kit that seems to have stalled.

I bought the Montepulciano, Vino Italian kit on Amazon. I think it is one of the Paklab kits I've seen discussed in other threads. I have the RJ Spagnols California Cab in the batting box in my garage, but I wanted to be sure I had the process down before I started working with the more expensive kits.

I followed the steps precisely, and everything went great for the first fermentation. The instructions said to monitor the SG around day 5-11 to see when the SG reached 1.1 or 1. Due to a short trip out of town, I returned to test and then rack the wine at day 8. It measured correctly at 1.0, and so I racked it from the fermentation bucket to the glass carboy. According to the instructions, I stirred the wine in the carboy as an early degassing step that should help with the degassing process later on.

Since I've racked it, it doesn't seem to have continued with the fermentation process at all. The SG has not moved, the fermentation as not continued. I have added yeast nutrient, to no avail. I live in Southern California and the carboy is inside, so it hasn't gotten too cold. Should I add more yeast, am I over-reacting?

The instructions say that the second fermentation should cease at around 8-11 days after racking. The SG should read .99 or .98 at this point. None of this has happened and I'm worried it my be ruined. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
It's fine. If you can get the s.g. any lower it will be drier than dirt. Most wines will cease fermentation around 1.000, .998 etc. The yeasts have eaten up all or most of the sugar and the alcohol has killed much of the remaining yeasts.

Now your wine needs to clear now. I have never done a kit so others on here could chime in and help you some more with that wine.
I dont think its worth it at this point to try and make another yeast to try and get it down any further and you really dont have any reaso to try to go any further. It is basically considered dry at 1.000 although you might just taste a slight hint of residual sugar but I dought it. What I would do if I were you and I really wanted to try to get it down more would be to put that aside and start the other kit and when thats done fermenting rack this wine onto the yeast slurry from that kit. Racking at that low an sg is not proper IMO because its pretty still by that point and you leave too much viable yeast behind. I either rack around 1.020 or just ferment till dry or you could stir it up eally well before racking so that you rack everything over.
Keep in mind that about 70% of the fermentation is done in the first few days - so once you rack you wine into the Secondary fermentation and the remaining 30% or so can take anywhere from two to three weeks
depending on the amount of nutrient and sugars still available.

So as you can start to see, the secondary fermentation is much
slower with less activity at any given time. You will also notice
the activity becoming slower and slower with each passing day.

Just give the Secondary Fermentation time to work and rack you wine off the lees in about a month or so.

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