wine fermentation not starting

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fun4stuff

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Started a 6 gallon box kit for a cabernet savignon about 15 hours ago. Starting SG was 1.060. Primary fermenter is a bucket under airlock. Stirred heavily before adding yeast. We just sprinkled the yeast (lavilin EC-1118) in to the must that was at ~90 degrees, without stirring. We used "spring water" bought from the store. This was following the directions exactly.

Usually I make a yeast starter- dissolve yeast in a portion of the must and wait until i see a lot of bubbles and then add it to the rest. Previously, I have only covered the primary with a towel rather than airlock. Usually I add a little bit of yeast nutrient. The only reason I did not do these things is because the directions that came with the kit said specifically not to! My wife insisted we follow the directions.

So it has been ~15 hrs and I have yet to see bubbles in the airlock. I have not looked inside the bucket though. How long should I wait until I get worried? Should I buy more yeast and make a proper starter? Add yeast nutrient? Take off the airlock?

I appreciate the advice!
 

Flem

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Patience---Patience---Patience-----although I think your temperature is way too high. Should be in the mid 70's. IMO
 

cpfan

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starting sg of 1.060 seems low, which kit is it?

Steve
 

Flem

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Sounds like a "mist kit" and they chose not to bump the ABV level,
 

fun4stuff

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yeah, orchard breezin' mist kit. my wife ordered it. :-/ it is now 70 degrees or room temp. it was only 90 degrees when i added the yeast.

i think patience was my problem. i ended up peaking in and it looks like it has started as there are a lot of bubbles on the surface... still nothing in the airlock though.

i thought the SG was low as that only equates to a 8-9% abv. could i still boost it after moving to secondary? would i do this by adding sugar?
 

Wade E

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Sometims they can take up to 2 days to start when just sprinkling. Is that 90* verified by a thermometer or are you just guessing because too much higher and you will kill the yeast.
 

roadwarriorsvt

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Not sure if it matters, but usually in the primary, I'll just cover it with a cheesecloth or similar thin cloth. Cap & airlock come a little later when the CO2 production slacks off.
 

fun4stuff

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Sometims they can take up to 2 days to start when just sprinkling. Is that 90* verified by a thermometer or are you just guessing because too much higher and you will kill the yeast.
my thermometer's batteries were dying and ended up dying by the end. the last reading i got was like 94 degrees and then topped with another 1 gallon with room temp water. if anything, it would have been slightly cooler than 90. In the past I have had it 100-110 degrees F without issues... as i thought that is what it said on the back of the yeast packet. maybe i was just lucky??

i think i'm just not used to it taking so long...
 

Flem

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yeah, orchard breezin' mist kit. my wife ordered it. :-/ it is now 70 degrees or room temp. it was only 90 degrees when i added the yeast.

i think patience was my problem. i ended up peaking in and it looks like it has started as there are a lot of bubbles on the surface... still nothing in the airlock though.

i thought the SG was low as that only equates to a 8-9% abv. could i still boost it after moving to secondary? would i do this by adding sugar?
I'm doing a similar kit right now. I've noticed the the lid is bulging out. The gas might need to fill the bucket space before it pushes up through the airlock. Mine took a little while to start bubbling.
 

lloyd

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If it is just starting I would be tempted to whip some air into it with a wire whisk and then cover with a towel for a day or two before air-locking. any one else?
 

docanddeb

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I never use an airlock in the primary. In order for it to start bubbling... the entire space has to be filled with "gas". THAT will take a while. In the meantime, peeking to see if it's "working" lets all the gas out anyway.
I like to stir mine up a couple times a day after it gets going.

Debbie
 

Flem

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These kits tell you to put the lid on the primary fermenter with an airlock for about 14 days. (sg about .998) No mention of stirring. Just leave it alone.
 

docanddeb

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Weird directions. I guess you see if it's any good at 14 days then.

Debbie
 

Runningwolf

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Mike is correct. Most kits all tell you to place lid on primary under air lock. Just the opposite of what you're taught making wine otherwise.
 

Flem

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Mine has been under airlock for 7 days now. Happily bubbling away. I'm just dying to take a peek but I'll wait 'til it really slows down. The lid is still bulging so I know it's working.
 

fun4stuff

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Mike is correct. Most kits all tell you to place lid on primary under air lock. Just the opposite of what you're taught making wine otherwise.
I think this is what made me nervous. The a few steps from the included directions were the opposite of what I had always done.
 

Wade E

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I have been making 6 gallon batches for many years now and always keep the lid down. If you open it every day and stir it thats plenty of 02 for your yeast. I have cats that will get in there if I were to leave the lid off and IMO putting the lid on loose isnt going to give it anymore 02 then snapping it shut. Once fermentation starts all pressure will be outwards. If you throw a towel over it it will get more air so if you dont have kids and animals cant get to it then by all means do this but other then that just stir it daily. I ferment all of my wines to dry in there also, havent had a problem yet and my wines always ferment down to about .996.
 
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