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When to worry about stalled ferment?

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Glen

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I began my second batch of wine. I feel like it is moving really slowly, i wanted to get input on whether to add EC-1118 due to stalled or SLOW ferment.

1 gallon Concord Vinter's Best concentrate
4 Gallons of water
32 fl oz Tart Cherry Juice (no preservatives)
32 fl oz Cranberry Juice (no preservatives)
16 fl oz Grape Juice Concentrate
8 lbs Cane sugar
32 fl oz water (used to make simple syrup with
96 Fl OZ of White grape juice
Titratetable acid 0.65% (adjusted with acid blend per instruction)
Added Tanin per label instructions (1/4 tsp per gallon)
Steam sterilized and added Ligh Roast Oak Spiral (in Primary)
Fermaid O added on day 3.
ICV D21 Yeast - hydrated in 250 ml 100 F water for 20 minutes

Initial SG 1.100

Ambient tempt 70-75 F

Under airlock, but stirred vigorously every day. SG readings taken periodically. I have a dog, a cat and 2 kids under 3 years old. i feel more comfortable with a lid and an airlock, although i have read it could cause problems during primary.

Sg after 3 days 1.08

SG after 5 days 1.076

SG after 7 days 1.069

Today is day 8 and will check on it after work.

I know this means little, but lots of fine bubbles and air lock is actively bubbling, although not vigorously. When i stir, lots of fizz and foam, but SG readings indicate an issue maybe?

I was hoping for help or insight. Should i add the 1118 or wait it out? Other options maybe?

My first ever batch was pretty close to being completely dry after 10 days or so.... But that was an apple wine...
 
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salcoco

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the worst part of wine making is Patience with a capital "P" you are doing fine if stalled the sg would not move at all. the fizz when stirring is co2 escaping the must. I would try at least three times a day, it would probably help. I had a cranberry wine that took thirty days to ferment. you started pretty high with sg, it is taking some time for the yeast to built up a large colony to accelerate the fermentation. Patience.
 

Glen

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Patience, i can do that. Just glad to hear it is no cause for concern at the moment. stirring 3 times a day might be tough. Could a degassing drill attachment do the trick if a strong vortex is created? or is that overkill?
 

Scooter68

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No need for a strong vortex or hard stirring even. Even stirring once a day would be fine, more is nice but not required just keeps everything mixed well so that the yeast gets to all the sugar to convert it.


No degassing needed at this time.

The 'fizz' and foam is just evidence that your fermentation is an active one not a slow one. The slow part comes next secondary stage. Followed by the R E A L L Y slow part - aging.

If this is going slow for you, you'd better get ready during the aging process little to nothing visible happens. Find something else to do or another batch to start during that time.
 

Glen

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I guess each ferment is different. This is only my second attempt and with a speedy first run, i wasnt sure if i was staring down the barrel of a stalled ferment which i have only read about.

Aging takes time and makes sense, and i knew that would be a months in the making. Not expecting the start to finish to be immediate, assumed primary would go a lot faster....
 

Scooter68

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I've had both lighting fast and s l o w ferments but one at least was fermenting and I just didn't realize it. I was using a snap on plastic lid - the lid seal didn't so gas from fermentation was leaking out easily without bothering or making the airlock bubble. Figured it out when I rinsed the lid off, got water in the seal ring and suddenly the airlock started bubbling. So if you are using a plastic lid with an airlock check that and the gromet for the airlock as well. You may have more activity than you realize.
 

Glen

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Just wanted to update and get any feedback.

9/7 sg 1.058
9/9 sg 1.052
9/12 sg 1.049
9/14 sg 1.043

9/21 sg 1.036

Do you think this will ever completely go to < 1.000? Any concern with the fermentation taking this long? If the pattern holds it will take several more months until it is fully fermented.

Took the ph today as I finally got myself a way to measure at it has a ph of 3.2. I thought it was maybe a problem. I added 1/2 the full dose of fermaid incase it's a nutrient issue.

Am I just being impatient? My first attempt was a very rapid ferment and may have skewed my expectations...
 
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Stressbaby

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That's pretty slow. Looks like four weeks to get to 1.036.

Did the grape juice or concentrate have any preservatives?

I'm all for patience too, but I'd be thinking about pitching the 1118 by now.
 

Glen

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Thanks for the reply. No sorbate or other preservatives in the juice. In addition the bulk of the must was from a wine making supplier. Water addition likely had some chlorine as it was from the tap. But not that much and should have evaporated off my now with all of the stirring.

I'll give it a try with 1118.

Should I hydrate as usual and add to must or take more prudent "restart" approach increasing must volume to new innoculent slowly over a 24 hour period?

Maybe rack it first? Not much sediment in the primary, was originally going to let it complete before racking to age....

Any input would be appreciated.

Thanks
 

Glen

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Hey Arne, I have a high/low thermometer in the room with it. Ambient temp is between 68-75F. When looked this morning, it was 72. The carboy is on some Styrofoam insulation foam board to keep it off of the concrete

My hydrometer has a thermometer built in, but not sure how accurate or responsive (time it takes to measure temp of must) it is when i take the SG its in the mid 70's. its only in the conical for a few moments, probably a better gauge of ambient temp.
 

Stressbaby

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Disclaimer: I'm no expert in stuck ferments. I had my first one this past week actually, blueberry, which I fixed with a pinch of Fermaid K and K1-V1116 sprinkled on top to hydrate, then stirred in.

As long as you are comfortable with the nutrients, I'd sprinkle, but I'd reserve a pack for the restart approach in the event that it doesn't take off.
 

Glen

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I will give sprinkling on top. I never head of k1-V1116. Will see if i can find it. local store does have EC1118.

If it doesnt work, i will try the other method.

Thank you!
 

Stressbaby

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I didn't have any 1118; I probably would have used it if I did.
 

Arne

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Hey Arne, I have a high/low thermometer in the room with it. Ambient temp is between 68-75F. When looked this morning, it was 72. The carboy is on some Styrofoam insulation foam board to keep it off of the concrete

My hydrometer has a thermometer built in, but not sure how accurate or responsive (time it takes to measure temp of must) it is when i take the SG its in the mid 70's. its only in the conical for a few moments, probably a better gauge of ambient temp.
Looking back, is your s.g. still dropping? If so, sit back, drink some wine and have a great day. Wines come around by waiting on them not wishing they would hurry up and get done. If it does stop fermenting, then is the time to worry. I havn't had any experience with the yeast you used. It could be running out, might not like a high alcohol enviorment. You might look up what the manufacturer has to say about it. Anyway, as long as the s.g. is still dropping, not much to worry about. Good luck with it, Arne.
 

Glen

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It roughly 70 degrees +-3 degrees or so.

on 9/21 i pitched 1118 directly on the top of the must, got some foaming action from the yeast and it sunk. Looked like it was going to start back up and then stopped again. Took a SG reading on the 25th and it was about 1.033.

on the 26th i added 2 packs of 1118 to 100 degree water and dehydrated. added must to the dehydrated after 15 minutes hydrating. Doubling the volume of must to yeast starter ever 4-5 hours there after (except over night). i didnt have a vessel large enough to do the entire batch this way but after i was added 1/2 of must to 1/2 gallon of yeast starter/must mix, i waited another 4 hours and added to the fermenter.

Again, it looked like it was happy and about to take off, but stopped again. Is this a lost cause. SG reading lastnight was 1.032ish
 

Johnd

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It roughly 70 degrees +-3 degrees or so.

on 9/21 i pitched 1118 directly on the top of the must, got some foaming action from the yeast and it sunk. Looked like it was going to start back up and then stopped again. Took a SG reading on the 25th and it was about 1.033.

on the 26th i added 2 packs of 1118 to 100 degree water and dehydrated. added must to the dehydrated after 15 minutes hydrating. Doubling the volume of must to yeast starter ever 4-5 hours there after (except over night). i didnt have a vessel large enough to do the entire batch this way but after i was added 1/2 of must to 1/2 gallon of yeast starter/must mix, i waited another 4 hours and added to the fermenter.

Again, it looked like it was happy and about to take off, but stopped again. Is this a lost cause. SG reading lastnight was 1.032ish
If you're maintaining your temps as you've said in the 70-75 range, and using nutrients as indicated (Fermaid O), your SG wasn't too high, can't help but wonder about the pH of the must.

In your initial post you indicated that you adjusted the TA to .65 with acid blend per instructions, does that mean you did a TA test, or used the acid blend addition as indicated in the instructions? If you have a pH meter, take a small sample in a test tube, shake it vigorously to degas, and get a pH reading on the wine.
 

Glen

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Hi John,

I was had thoughts about the PH as well. I do not have a PH meter, but i do have "wine pH strips" and an acid titration kit. I believe i had a titrated acid originally around 0.55 and added acid blend to make it 0.65. The PH strips looked like it was around low threes, but strips are hard to read.
 

Johnd

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Hi John,

I was had thoughts about the PH as well. I do not have a PH meter, but i do have "wine pH strips" and an acid titration kit. I believe i had a titrated acid originally around 0.55 and added acid blend to make it 0.65. The PH strips looked like it was around low threes, but strips are hard to read.
Given the difficulties you are having, and that all of the other factors seem to have been ruled out, at least as far as I can see, a good, solid pH test seems in order. I doubt you'll get a good enough result with the strips. If your pH is in the very low 3's or high 2's, that could easily be your issue...
 

Glen

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Without a pH meter, any suggestions? Just add some wine approved "carbonate" until i can see with certainty that the acid is solidly reading a pH 3.5 re-pitch and hope for the best?

Need to research calcium instability, no idea what that is.
 

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