Stuck or slow fermentation

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Nov 5, 2008
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I recently racked a gallon of sweet wine I am attempting to make, from a concentrate.(the first racking) The primary fermintation was very slow, not vigorous as usual.
Now that I have racked it, it seems to have practically stopped working.
Any suggestions on how to reinvigorate this wine?
Some hint of a recipe might help us. Also what yeast, original sg, current sg, current temperature?

Your post says "My car won't start." We need info to help you.

Fermentation my be completed. The only way to know for sure is to use a hydrometer to measure the specific gravity or brix. This will tell you how much sugar remains in the wine. If the brix is at 0 or below (or SG of 0.996) then your fermentation is completed.
It was a white grape concentrate. I brought the sg to the minimum for making a sweet wine. I did not write down the starting sg. I added yeast nutrient and yeast. the yeast was just a basic wine yeast. I have never even attempted a sweet wine, so maybe this is normal.
slow ferminting

the wine appears to be making just a little bubles at the surface.
Is it common for a sweet wine to be very slow in ferminting?
fermentation speeding up kind of late

also after racking for the first time, I moved it to a warmer part of the house. since then, the fermentation has picked up drastically. Hopefully this late blooming will not harm the quality of the wine?
You will be fine.

the yeast went into a dormant state due
to the cold. The 'heat' has wakened them up again.

Fermentation can fool you

In my experience, fermentation does not always go at the same rate even though it seems that conditions are the same. I have had wine ferment so fast (overnight) that I missed the big bloom and thought my yeast was bad. The only way to be sure is to measure SG before you begin and at various points in the process.
I am planning to check the SG in a couple of days to see the progress. I am sure it will be a great difference since I moved it and have witnessed the fermentation picking up.
yeast types?

Is there a particular yeast that works better for making a sweet or medium sweet wine with a higher alcohol percentage?
Is there a particular yeast that works better for making a sweet or medium sweet wine with a higher alcohol percentage?
Personally I would ferment to dry, shut down the yeast with sulphite & sorbate, and then sweeten.

That allows alcohol %age and sweetness to be handled independently.

Do like Steve suggests.

I make each year elderberry wine.
Now This year I made 2 batches, each using the same recipe.
Both batches 30 liter.

For both batches I added enough sugar to get to 15%
alcohol. But that is not what I aim for.
I aim for a 12% - 13% wine with a lot residual sugar.

The first batch did as I wanted. Indeed 12% and a
lot residual sugar. Right on the nose. A lovely immediately
drinkable dessert wine. Great for Xmas.

The second batch did his own thing.
It fermented dry.
It also had a lot of tannins, so now it has to age
for several years to become drinkable.
So as I wrote on my web-log:
I made a long term project with it.

So shortening things down.
It is unpredictable what wine yeast will do.
It is possible that they ferment an overly sweet must
to dry, or they quit at a lower alcohol percentage and
you will have a sweet wine.

So aim at the alcohol percentage you want, let it ferment dry,
and then stabilise before adding sugar to sweeten.


which yeasts did you use in that elderberry wine?

I also have some Elderberry wine fermenting. I started it back in Sept and just recently racked it for the 2nd time. It tastes real bad right now - strong and bitter. I have been reading about that elderberry may take a few years to age and mellow out. Is this true? If I am patient with this, will it become drinkable? Thanks!

I do not have my notes at hand, I will look up the yeast I have used later.


Indeed what you are experiencing is the high level of tannin that
elderberry has.
It will mellow in due time.
Set it aside for a couple of years and it will be fine.

Thanks for the advice - I didn't want to dump and I am glad I didn't. I'll 'try' to be patient! Again, thanks, and I enjoy your posts.
I just checked.

Most yeast I have in house is bulk bought from
Brouwland in Belgium. Packets of 100 gram.

Manufacturer Vinoferm
Type Bioferm Champ
Being: Saccharomyces Bayanus Champagne

Type Bioferm Killer
Saccharomyces Bayanus Killer

Type Bioferm Doux.
For wines with high residual sugar.

Now the point is that I do not know which particular
yeast I used for these batches.
I do know however that they were both made with the same


Interesting that the two batches came out so different. Any guesses why the difference? Were they both done at the same time?


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