Stuck or Sloooow Fermentation?

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Jan 21, 2009
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Hello: On 6/10 I started a WE Selection Originale Valpolicella, following the directions to a "T". I used bottled spring water, have the temp at 72f (the instructions say between 65 and 75F), and had a begining sg of 1.081. There doesn't seem to be much, if anything going on fermentation-wise. Its not bubbling freely like the only other kit I've done did-a RJS pinot chardonnay. There is a "cap", or foam on the juice, and I see an occaisional bubble, but I thought there would be more action after almost 72 hours. Think its OK, or should I maybe boost the heat a little? Any suggestions?
Thanks, Mike

Visual signs of fermentation are pretty much useless. What was the starting sg and what is the current sg? Did you stir the must vigourously before pitching the yeast?

Like cp said visual means nothing and some fermentations will start off much slower and some will just never be that big cap with foam all over. If its fermenting its fine and just keep an eye on it with your hydro so you know where it is so you can rack it when its supposed to be racked, never follow the # of days as that is just a basic amount to give you some kind of timeline.
Thanks guys, I'll check the sg and see what's going on.. I shoulda thought of that to start.

Different yeasts have different fermentation habits. Some have a rolling boil and some just simmer.
Different yeasts have different fermentation habits. Some have a rolling boil and some just simmer.
I don't think that it is just the yeast. Some musts ferment more vigourously.

Another thing.. If you are fermenting in a bucket sometimes the lid is not sealed all the way and you will see little bubbling in the airlock.
Only way is after 5 or so days take a gravity reading.
All above is right. There is alot to take in consideration like; yeast, temp, kind of wine, which kit used, how fresh it is.
Relax have a glass of "something. It looks like it's OK.
I just went through this with an island mist kit. I watched the must in the primary for like 4 days and never noticed a single sign of fermentation. not even a slight alchol smell. Well on the 5th day I was sure it was stuck and I put my hydrometer into the must and low and behold 1.01. Took a little taste and sure enough it was filled with alchol. That kit fermented right under my constant checking and I didn't even realize it.
ea, everything seems to be OK. The sg is down a little, and during the day yesterday I noticed that things are a little more active. So, I had a glass of something, and then another glass....
I agree with cp and also know that smurfe knows that, even the same yeast and the same juice can ferment way differently. I did side by side fermenting on 2 of the same kits just once and the results were way different which suprised me. 1 was foaming like a SOB and the other was a normal good ferm. The real crazy 1 finished days ahed of the other but they both taste the same afetr 6 months in the bottle.

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